UK artist Bee Bakare is a Nigerian-born British soul singer-songwriter. Her music is recognisable by the deeply rich and warm contralto that features in her sound.
Shortly after her first single ‘Little Darling’, she released a self-titled debut EP in June 2015 in response to requests from audiences and supporters at performances. Since her successful EP launch event, she has played gigs in and around Bath and West England, where she studied and lived after originally pursuing a very different career path.
Blowing away audiences with that big voice and smile, she is gaining momentum with a wealth of over 200 live performances in 2016 alone, ranging from intimate shows to UK festivals and concert venues.
Her songs known for their ‘catchy hooks’ have also achieved and continue to achieve international radio play. They have also secured her finalist positions in the UK songwriting contest (USC).
Now Bee has become one of three winners for Future Music’s UK songwriting contest….2017 looks to be a very bright year for her! Watch the video for Little Darling here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6mBuvB3-VI
DANNY GOKEY’s album ‘Rise’ debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Christian/Gospel Albums Chart, #9 on the Top Current Albums Chart and #32 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart. His fourth studio album, Rise follows Danny’s latest studio album Hope In Front Of Me which also debuted at #1 and crossed 50 million cumulative U.S. streams today. Drawing from his own experiences with grief and adversity, the album offers a powerful message of hope and triumph.
FEBRUARY: WOW GOSPEL 2017. The power packed compilation returns with the best Gospel praise anthems, ballads and radio hits of the year. The double disc CD features tracks from legendary gospel talents such as Donnie McClurkin, Kirk Franklin and many more! The DVD features live and concept videos from artists such as William Murphy and Israel Houghton…..MARCH: Grammy award winning artist, speaker, songwriter, author and worship leader LAURA STORY has a gift for communicating. She first connected with people when her song “Blessings” found an audience. She has since continued to draw from her life experiences and challenges to speak to the heart of the Christian faith. With reflection, vulnerability, and personal honesty, Laura once again pens songs that gift a deep spiritual connection in her newest worship-focused release “Open Hands”…..Revival is rising. Faith is stretching. Hope is being restored. Echoing this spirit of Elijah, it is the prayer of ELEVATION WORSHIP, with the release of their new live album ‘There is a Cloud’, that these songs will usher in a new season of revival in our hearts, in our churches, and in our world. These new songs will fuel your faith and restore your hope as you draw closer to the heart of Christ…..Filled with positive, uplifting lyrics, along with energetic beats and tender melodies, ‘Lifer’ delivers the massive hits that MercyMe is known for. It’s a reminder that no matter what life may bring, we can find hope to persevere. We are more alike than we are different, and we are connected by our stories and a God who is the author of them and we can trust our lives to Him.
THE GUARDIANS : Packin’ Up. (Stow Town Records)
The Guardians have claimed their place as one of America’s favourite Southern Gospel trios with their recent hits “Somebody Prays,” “Shoutin’ Sounds,” “Let the Healing Begin” and many others. Group members, Neil Uhrig, John Darin Rowsey, and Dean Hickman, are committed to glorifying the name of our Lord through song. Their collective mission is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, to sing songs that minister to people’s hearts and touch their lives. This latest single shows the band in full flight with an uptempo number that will soon have you tapping your feet. There’s banjo sounds, guitars, a driving rhythm and a full orchestra backing which all go to compliment the band’s tight harmonies. The lively chorus says “I’ve got my sword; I’ve got my shield; I’ve got my ticket that is signed and sealed.” It’s all about being ready for your journey with Christ, and it’s well delivered. As I write, the song is already climbing the US gospel charts and is bound to be another big hit for The Guardians. 8/10.
Ohio based singer, HOLLYN, whose first single “Alone” was a major US Christian radio hit, released her debut full length album on 10th February. Hollyn has been working on the project ‘One-Way Conversations’ for the past year and it includes guest appearances from TobyMac, Steven Malcolm, Andy Mineo and Tree Giants.
NATHAN JESS : Tear the Veil. (Integrity Music)
Tear The Veil is the first single from the forthcoming release from Nathan Jess and features Jesus Culture’s Chris McClarney. The song is straight in with very little in the way of an introduction. It moves along at a medium pace largely driven by drums and pad keyboards. Guitar joins in for the first chorus and it starts to build through the second verse and into the second chorus but the guitars (in fact most of the backing) seem to sat a fair way back in the mix. The result is a lack of dynamics throughout the song – in fact it seems a little lifeless overall. It then comes to a stop in as sudden a way as it started. This is a radio edit version at 3:23 and it seems much shorter than that – you do get the impression that it has suffered at the hands of some rather over eager and insensitive editing. In short it is a plain song given no help by the backing or arrangement. I’ll be honest, I’m not overly impressed by the single at all, especially as it is the first single release in advance of a new album. Either it’s a bad choice of single, or the best of a bad bunch. Either way, it’s disappointing. 5/10 Robin Thompson.
JESUS CULTURE : Let It Echo Unplugged. (Jesus Culture : 0602547899)
Recorded live at the Underground Lounge in Sacramento, this 7 track release features some of the song from the “Let It Echo” album that has become a worldwide hit. As the name suggests, unplugged means that all the instruments used are acoustic, and this stripped down version does lack a little of the awe its predecessor had. However, Kim Walker Smith is in her element, as she sings “Never Gonna Stop Singing.” Even in this bare all production, the message still comes across with great authority. Again, on “In the River”, Smith caresses each word of the song to make a joyful noise. The title track is sung by Chris Quilala. This version begins with just a few instruments backing his vocals, before everything comes crashing in, accompanied by myriad voices in praise. The Torwalt’s are featured on “God is With Us” and “Set Me Ablaze” and those gathered are certainly enjoying themselves, judging by the reaction to each song. If I’m honest, I prefer the original album in all it’s glory, but this one will also make a welcome addition to Jesus Culture fans. 7/10.