Artists You Should Know

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As an artist myself, it brings me tremendous pride to feature other great artists on my website. It brings me even more pride to have enjoyed it and to know that I could be the conduit through which someone may hear this music that may not have it in their market or just may not know about it yet.

I want to help spread the word so that others may have the same pleasure that I have. My goal is simple: to encourage them to keep sharing their gifts with the world and using them to glorify the Father. Enjoy!


 

Sean Scales

 I am deeply impressed with a young singer that recently came to my attention, who is a capable producer as well as artist. From the first note of “All My Praise”, you just know this man is about to dig his heels in and give us an electrifying song — and that he does.

Usually guest artists add to the song to which they make their cameo. Lowell Pye is a welcome addition to this song. However, as I said in my review of Cheneta Jones, the guest is nice to have, but with such a capable artist, they are garnish to a well-dressed plate. You don’t necessarily need it since the meal is already so delectable.

Sean’s vocal range and ability don’t overshadow Pye, but he sure gives him a run for his money. He certainly could carry this song alone. It’s just nice to sing with friends and these two buddies enhance a great song. The music is great, the arrangement is great and the vocals are great. If this is a precursor to something more, I enthusiastically await the next offering. It is not ground-breaking or trend setting, but rest assured, everything on this song is top notch and the quality is what attracts you to it.

 

 

 

The company you keep tells a lot about you. With access to singers like Robert Hawkins, Romandis Moore and Eric Maurice Clark, I’d say that Sean Scales is of a higher caliber. He’s an artist who’s going to give you quality music and from what I see thus far, gives all his talent, effort and praise to God. He has a personal ethic consistent with his message.

 


 

Marica Chisolm

A singer recently contacted me because they needed a song to sing for a conference and wanted a suggestion from me. It’s a shame that many of the artists that I cover in AYSK don’t have the dollars and distribution behind them because their music is genuinely good.

One song I suggested was Marica Chisholms new single “Favor“. It’s a great song with an encouraging message. It is also simple for the singer, the musician, anyone that will sing background and the audience that will receive it.

This is the kind of song that would be well-received in a conference or revival service. The song is not only good, but Chisolm does a fine job of delivering the message without the sense of entitlement that seems to invade modern Gospel music more and more these days. Her delicate voice wafts over the notes with grace. She naturally falls off some notes and phrases in a way that most singers have to practice  intently.

                                    

Her sophomore album, “Worship Conversations”, reinforces the idea that worship is not only submission, but a form of two-way communication with God. I have not had the opportunity to hear it, but her track record as a proficient worship artist gives me confidence that this will be her best offering ever.

With good friend, MaQues Collins and MCM Management by her side, there can only be greater things on the horizon for this mellifluous worshipper. I only recently came across the single and I’m thankful that she has released this song and that songs like it are still being produced today. Thank you, Marica Chisolm, for providing us with beautiful songs like “Favor“,  “Used” (2012) and “Send Your Rain” (2013) that serves as an encouragement to the listener and functions as a conduit through which a service can flow.

 


 

KJ Scriven

Proudly, I must submit to you, KJ  Scriven  I’m not saying you didn’t know about him. After all, he is a Grammy winner. I’m just saying you need to be reminded of how great he is.

His live project “Chasing The Wind (Live) [From Gat3 Studios]” caught my attention right away and easily made my list of favorite live albums. His robust tones seem to effortlessly blanket each song perfectly. The lyrics embrace the message of faith beautifully, but his approach is what you’d expect from someone like De’Angelo; soulful and well-defined.  While many of his contemporaries are easily satisfied with banal lyrics of recycled clichés and the superficial two-dimensional tropes, this is not so with Scriven.

Under Construction” from 2010, is thoughtfully creative and viscerally moving, That theme has been consistent in his music throughout his musical library to date. His music is laced with poetic, well-developed word pictures unfold along well-crafted melodic lines, the songs will leave your heart singing long after they end. Each song so moving that they have an air of intrigue, whetting one’s appetite even before the play button is pressed. 

   

Scriven’s new single, “Lead Me” gives the Believer’s life reigns to God from a a meditative perspective. Supported by Scriptural reference and accession to Christ’s guidance. 

KJ Scriven is a voice to be heard, a musician to enjoy, a songwriter to explore and an Artist You Should Know.

 


 

Samuel Ljungblahd

 

Samuel Ljungblahd is a Swedish songwriter and gospel/soul singer who, at 20, had to make the choice between football or music.  During his younger years of training, he not only was influenced by Gospel, but 60’s and 70′s soul, funk and R&B became part of Samuel’s personal style. This style is prevalent throughout his musical journey. His newest project, “The Psalmist” is no exception. To be from another country, Ljungblahd’s project is incredibly authentic. I played it for several listeners at a holiday event and they genuinely enjoyed everything from the Earth, Wind & Fire groove in “Take Me By The Hand” to the forceful drive in “Praise You“. I can’t count the number of times I had to mispronounce his name as someone came up to me, with smartphone in hand and asked, “Who is that?” as they opened the music downloading app of their choice

When I heard it for the first time, about three songs had passed before I reflected on the fact that this album is GOOD! It is filled with incredible musical and vocal arrangement.

Each and every song you hear is strong enough to attract the interest of polished singers and musicians, but simple enough to be interpreted by those with more humble musical ability.

After you get past the James Brown call out approach in some of his preludes and the fact that he makes us wait an average of half minute before there is any actual singing on most tracks (which is a pleasant wait, filled with good musical intros), you will be in for a wholesome musical project that has something for any Gospel music lover. Music directors and choir leaders should give “The Psalmist” a good listen and pick for their repertoire songs like: “I Praise You”, “Power In The Blood”, “Greater Things Will Come”. He offers something from his R&B influence in the latter portion of the record. All of it is good and all of it can make you appreciate the true artistry of Samuel Ljungblahd.

Although a sample of his album would be simply wonderful, here is a glimpse of what you’ll be getting when you see Ljungblahd in action with mentor, Kirk Franklin.


 Estee Bullock

A Brooklyn native, Bullock was previously a member of the Grammy Award-­winning Gospel group Hezekiah Walker & Love Fellowship Crusade Choir, and co-­wrote the Gospel mega-­anthem “Souled Out” as well as “Keep On Movin’ On” and “Grace“. His CV lists numerous songs for Gospel’s most celebrated voices including “Nobody” (Shirley Caesar & J. Moss), “Worship You Lord” (Maurette Brown-­Clark), “Friend Of Mine” (DeWayne Woods), “Glad” (Zebulon Ellis) and “Name Of The Lord” (Jonathan Nelson).

His debut LP “Fisherman” showed another facet of  his songwriting pen and is still esteemed today.  His newest release, “For The One I Love” is an amazing example of consistency in writing substance and showcases the depth of his lyrical well. “Keep On Singing” is a song you must listen to more tan once. The subtle but substantial production details don’t jump out at you initially. I heard things on my second and third listen that show Bullock’s knack for details.

The first three songs, “Love God, Love People“, “Didn’t Have To” and “Who Else” are “must hears” and if you could listen to only one simple, unblemished ballad to sum up the sound of Gospel in this era, “One And Only” would definitely be my pick. After that, the last portion of the album is just as engaging as the first. It is no wonder that Estee Bullock has had as much songwriting success as he has. He now turns the pen to himself and it is every bit as great as it has been for others.

 I encourage you to also get to know him as an author as well and every worship leader needs to read his book, Worship: Cause and Effect. Estee Bullock is an Artist You Should Know that is using his gift of writing to do more than entertain. He wants to move the Kingdom forward. My summation of Estee is this: Good writers are everywhere. Great writers are few and far between. I have been fortunate to enjoy the pen of a great one in Mr. Bullock.

 


We applaud their work and thank them for their contribution to the Kingdom as well as the industry. It is because of them, we were led to create a platform to introduce future Artists You Should Know in Seasons to come. Stay tuned.

 

 
 
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