As followers of this site already know, I LOVE showcasing new artists, independent artists and music that I am sure others will love, but may not know about. With only a few weeks to go until the lazy days of summer are over, I’ll highlight 5 artists per week (a few more this week), every week and continue that throughout the fair-weather season Let’s go!!
It could have just as easily been Kierra Sheard, Tasha Cobbs or Casey J. However, it wasn’t it was a gifted and humble young lady named from Syracuse, New York named Marissa Janae.
Her young voice has so much grounding to it. Her vocal choices are sure and precise. Her tone is light but solid. I love this song and this singer.
Thankfully, she doesn’t make us wait through an elaborate intro. ten seconds in and we are enjoying her voice with a soft acoustic accompaniment. Organ and click track join in shorty after, never intruding on the singer’s space. with support vocals and full band added with smooth subtlety. By the time the song reaches its climax, you are already familiar with the pattern and can not only sing the words, but internalize them. I certainly don’t want this to be the last we hear from her and hopefully we can “Exchange” more God-given music for our support of this Artist You Should Know. It would be a welcome trade for both sides.
“Exchange” by Marissa Janae
His extraordinary sound and thunderous tone made him a favorite on Sunday’s Best (Season 8). The term “class act” was said repeatedly on the show and it describes him aptly. After finding out about him, I went to Youtube and enjoyed many of his performances. His demeanor was refined in every instance and “class” is conveyed through all of his marketing and performances.
“Broken Vessel” is consistent with the God-given nature of Terrill Hall. Comparisons to Micah Stampley and Donnie McClurkin are inescapable however, in my opinion, he has a sound that is all his own. Unique in its tenor, his lower register is just as dynamic as his upper range. Something rare in the arena of male singers.
Recording artists don’t do songs like this anymore – where the vocals are akin to stringed instruments and the phrasing is broad and open. It reminds me of an era when we were captured by voices like Douglas Miller, Vanessa Bell Armstrong and Darryl Coley. Hall makes intelligent vocal choices throughout the song and never once lays a note out of place. His ending is wonderfully “Buble-ish” to say the least. The end of the song is a set up for the future of this great male singer.
“Broken Vessel” by Terrill Hall
The members of Righteousness Ministries International in Marietta Georgia (Apostle James Alford) are blessed to have a jewel in their midst. While researching for Sean Scales, I ran across a name I’d never heard before (that’s what this series is all about) and from the very first note, was thoroughly impressed.
Her brand new single, “Source Of All My Joy” is a lively worship tune that affirms one’s dependence and commitment to the God they trust. Kezia Alford has presented appealing worship music since 2013. Her past hits include the solemn “Here With Us“(2016) and “Soul Music“, a project of 10 songs that I enjoyed immensely simply because of the purity of her tones and humble sentiment of each song. Her discography isn’t comprised of glossy songs, but it is musically solid and slyly involved.
You who love Praise & Worship music have no excuse not to like Kezia Alford. Her music speaks that which her heart believes.
“Source Of All My Joy” by Kezia Alford
Jeremy Wilder blesses us with a song that speaks freedom in volumes. From the syncopated vocal rhythms, the nice light rock orchestration, the way Wilder’s vocal tones aid him in his adept ability to be worshipful and celebratory.
This celebration resonates well beyond the confines of a mere song and one can feel Wilder’s enthusiasm from the heart. This is more than a single for the artist/producer, it is more a PSA to the world about the Savior.
Modern production touches, great singing by all parties involved, great music and one artist’s individuality are the ingredients that whet the appetite of the listener for more and cause them to thumb through his entire discography for more of his wholesome creations. They will not be disappointed. Jeremy Wilder is a new artist to me. I am glad that I found out about him and declare him to be an Artist You Should Know.
“A God I Can Trust” by Jeremy Wilder
From the onset, she arrests us with “Awake“. The song’s gripping words are crafted into greatness by the voice of Jokia.
“T.F.L.I.U. (feat. Felicia Wiliams)” follows and gives us something hearty for our worship teams. However, it is songs like “Holy” and “Rise” where you can hear the richness and purity of this singer’s voice. The latter is sung with such powerful conviction that it ranks with the likes of songs like Cece Winans‘ “Alabaster Box“. She finishes the project in no better way than to say the last word of “Amen“, which forsakes all the trappings of a “closer” for the joy of simplicity.
The best moments here are the anachronistic ones — unadorned ballads and poignant upbeat tunes make Jokia a great singer and interesting Artist You Should Know.
“T.F.L.I.U.” by Jokia
The sweet blend of acoustic guitar with steady, calming voices and enchanting harmonies could easily make “You Reign (feat. Chante Cann)” a good song.
However, its acquiescent lyrics, so poetic in their message, transform this good song into a great song — perfect for worship.
“Every breath in my lungs
Beat of my heart
Every melody sung
Tells of your love…”
It’s so simple yet powerful and it softly fades and disappears long before it feels like 3 minutes and 26 seconds should be over. A song as wonderful as the God it s geared to, it is definitely worth a listen, a download and an inclusion in the library of a worshiper as well as a worship leader.
“You Reign” by Brandon Ramey”
This project has all the pieces that are used to make a singer great. Outstanding in voice, production and song selection.
I admire Jennifer Mekel because she is able to make a song move powerfully without submitting to the tactics of vocal acrobatics or over-orchestration. She just lays back and allow the song to come to her.
This record is filled with such well-produced music, that its hard to choose just one song as a standout. However, I can say this: “Give Thanks“, “Rocks Cry Out” and “You Are The King” are strongly recommended for worship and personal listening for the discerning ear.
It is evident that Mekel surrounds herself with great singers simply by the wide array of aggregations and vocalists that accompany her here. Each one gives a presentation of the highest caliber. The music execution and arrangement is superb and the production is top shelf. Each song seems to fit the artist perfectly – the hallmark of a great project and artist longevity is great song choice.
If you are young and live for a contemporary spin on traditional style or if you’re a long time fan of regal singers like Cece Winans, Marette Brown-Clark, Tramaine Hawkins or Sandra Crouch and their polished, classic singing, This young lady has taken the mantle from them and is running with it.
“Give Thanks” by Jennifer Mekel
There you have it! Another installment of AYSK. We already have more artists coming to these pages and I’d love to have your help. If you know of any artist – from your hometown or anywhere else – that is making a positive impact and producing good music, please don’t hesitate to let us know about them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.