Reflection Music Group announces the signing of Miami-based hip hop artist Reconcile to its RMG Amplify division, a label partnership that provides marketing support to established independent artists. The Billboard charting artist releases his song “Reckless” today on online retailers.
While Reconcile has had a great rapport with co-CEOs Derek Minor and Doc Watson for years, he was also drawn to the partnership because of its support of and commitment to its artists. “I look at Derek and Doc and they are pushing the margins,” he says. “They are taking what they are doing to as many platforms as they can. You can see Derek and Doc lobbying to have songs on huge platforms and you see Derek standing up for the culture and social injustice.”
Speaking on behalf of the company, Watson says RMG is looking forward to working with Reconcile. “Reconcile is a great artist,” he says. “He’s been one of my favorites for a long time. He works hard and puts out great music. Most importantly, he has a message that needs to be heard everywhere.”
One example is Reconcile’s new release, “Reckless,” a redemptive song about the struggle to walk away from a life of crime. The song was inspired by his brother and cousin’s real life jail bids. He explains, “I was looking at their lives and getting those phone calls saying, ‘I’m tired of living reckless. I want to change. I really hear you, but it’s like I’m still lost in this life and have a lot of demons just holding my chest down.'”
Reconcile has found success with each of his previous releases. His 2012 free release, Abandoned Hope, received more than 45,000 downloads while he was still a senior at Rice University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies, Philosophy and Sociology. His debut album Sacrifice reached No. 3 on the iTunes Hip Hop chart and debuted at No. 20 on Billboard’s Top Rap Albums chart. His last set, the Catching Bodies EP, debuted at No. 30 on the Billboard Christian chart.
Gospel artist Robert Hawkins has spent most of his life pursuing music. Now, his joy comes from serving the Lord in any and every capacity of life and pouring his heart into to his music. In the past year, he has released a single “Happy”, which is steady on Gospel radio charts, and recently released his new EP RESERVED which landed on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums Chart at #10.
To build his budding solo artist career, Hawkins traveled and performed background vocals for various Gospel Artists: Leandria Johnson, Ashford Sandars, Jonathan Dunn, Joshua Rogers, and Jon Plair. As he continued serving in the background God opened many doors on his behalf allowing him to minister in song at churches worldwide further establishing him as a soloist and leader of worship. Robert began making television appearances on BET’s Bobby Jones Gospel, TBN’s “Praise the Lord”, and on The Word Networks “Rejoice In the Word with Bishop Bloomer” and “The Lexi Show”.
His diverse and pristine vocal style is now exemplified on his infectious single “Happy” (produced by Reginald Strong, Jr.). The official music video for “Happy” also showcases Robert’s passion and love for people, and his genuine jovial spirit.
“My single ‘Happy’ means something new now because of the struggles, pain and adversity I faced for 12 long years,” says Robert. “God came out of nowhere and made provisions for me to record and release this song and EP. I truly have several reasons to be Happy!”
Some of those painful and harsh times included a period of drug experimenting. “I started using cocaine as a recreational drug,” says Hawkins who currently lives in Grand Rapids, MI. “It became uncontrollable. I would disappear from church, work, and home for weeks at a time, and sold my cell phone, my car, anything I had to get high. It wasn’t until I became overwhelmed and began to lose hope. After a hard self-assessment, things began to change.” Robert then checked himself into a clinic and began to reconnect with God and music.
Robert’s perseverance and relentless desire to stay connected with God continues to shine. The 2017 Rhythm Of Gospel Awards were given out this past weekend (June 24) with Robert holding four nominations. Robert brought home two awards: Urban Contemporary Artist of the Year and Contemporary Male Artist of the Year. He also maintains an intense appearance schedule with over 30 dates throughout the summer and fall criss-crossing the country from Los Angeles to New Orleans.
“I love to minister because it’s an outlet and source for leaving an everlasting impression on hurting people like myself,” Robert shares.
Although he is being awarded for his vocal aptitude and accomplishing industry accolades for his performances, Robert’s true reward is being reserved.
On Sunday June 25, 2017 during BET Awards Weekend, One Church LA and BET join forces to launch Celebration of Gospel Live on the main stage of BETX in and near the Los Angeles Convention Center. A city-wide gospel experience, the four-hour event brings praise and worship to the BET Experience. Doors open at 10:45am, and the event begins at 11:15am. One Church LA congregation members and BET Experience fans welcome to attend. To attend, get a free wrist band at the Convention Center box office beginning at 8am on the day of the event. The event will be livestreamed from the official One Church LA web site.
It’s the perfect marriage of art, music, and the word and an opportunity to experience One Church LA on the biggest stage yet. With a far-reaching congregation, the church directly speaks to the Christian community within the Southern California entertainment industry, encompassing a congregation of actors, producers, content creators, writers, artists, dancers, musicians, and more. Moreover, the 21st century take on the word empowers and enlightens a large millennial base.
Hosted by One Church LA husband-and-wife pastors Touré Roberts and Sarah Jakes Roberts, the event features performances from leading faith-based artists Major, Tasha Cobbs, Jonathan McReynolds, Mali Music, and Israel Houghton. In addition, One Church LA dance ministry “One Movement” will present a special presentation choreographed by A-list choreographer, TV personality, director, singer, actress, dancer, and congregation member Laurieann Gibson. It’s an all-encompassing and immersive gospel experience for believers of all ages.
This kicks off what promises to be an incredible summer for Touré Roberts and Sarah Jakes Roberts. Both will appear at MegaFest 2017 in Dallas, TX June 28-July 1, participating alongside Sarah’s father and head of The Potter’s House, Bishop T.D. Jakes. In addition, she just released her powerful and poignant new book, Don’t Settle For Safe. Get it HERE. Touré’s next book is slated to arrive later this year.
About Celebration of Gospel Live, Touré comments, “We’re very thankful to BET for granting One Church LA an unbelievable platform to share our message during BET Weekend. We’re making the most of this incredible opportunity with an unforgettable experience!”
“It’s a blessing to join forces with such amazing partners like BET,” adds Sarah. “It’s an amazing opportunity to bring music, performance, and the word together, and we’ve got some surprises in store. Can’t wait to see you all there.”
Touré Roberts and Sarah Jakes Roberts remain beacons of light to generations of believers around the world. Author of Purpose Awakening, speaker, producer, and One Church LA founder Touré shepherds with a modern perspective on ministry. A guiding force among millennials, the entertainment community, young professionals, and families alike, he has appeared on CBS, KTLA, Discovery Channel, OWN, BET, TV One, and more also being listed as one of the Top 100 Influencers in the nation by The Root.
Businesswoman, writer, author of Lost and Found: Finding Hope in the Detours of Life, and media personality, Sarah Jakes Roberts stands out as a powerful voice and influencer. Beyond appearing on The Today Show and Dr. Phil and in the pages of The Associated Press, Essence, and The 700 Club, she would be named a “National Overcomer” by Pat and Emmitt Smith Charities in partnership with Robin Roberts of Good Morning America. Together, they’ve ushered One Church LA into the spotlight as a transformative force in the lives of millions.
Make sure to get refreshed, re-energized, and revitalized at Celebration of Gospel Live with Touré Roberts and Sarah Jakes Roberts!
Gospel’s rising star, Bryan Popin, and his label Little Boy Wonder Music/Flaydo Music, have entered into a distribution deal with Fuel Music to release his highly-anticipated new album I Got Outon July 21, 2017. The
I Got Out 16-track deluxe edition is available for pre-sale on all digital outlets including iTunes, GooglePlay and Amazon Music on June 16, 2017.
“Welcoming Bryan Popin to the Fuel family is a major highlight for our company. He’s a groundbreaker and pioneer. We love his passion and heart and believe he will be a huge influencer in the Gospel music market. His music is inspiring and uplifting and it’s an honor to be working with him,” says Tony Potato, Fuel Music founder and president.
With his sophomore release, I Got Out, the classically trained pianist turned Gospel singer steps into his musical calling to reach out and share the love, pain and encouragement taken straight from his own experiences. A body of work that took almost three years to complete, I Got Out was born out of Bryan Popin’s reflection on “next steps” after going through a series of difficult and unexpected life challenges that could have easily shaken his faith. I Got Out isn’t merely a title for this new musical offering, it also serves as the project’s prophetic theme that Popin hopes will connect with and encourage every listener.
The title cut and new radio single “I Got Out” is a swingy congregational anthem with a contemporary edge. It features production from super-producer AyRon Lewis (Kirk Franklin, James Fortune, Bishop Paul Morton Jr.) and vocals from CeCe Winans’ Born Again Church choir. The chart climber continues to move up, even entering Top 10 on Billboard’s Gospel radio chart, and is featured on Apple Music’s Gospel A List. The echoing theme, “I’ve been thru the fire, but I got out” resonates with people reflecting on their own personal testimony of God’s grace and goodness in their life. Says Popin, “By faith I want this song to declare that soon you’re going to look back at your situation and say… I GOT OUT!” The single’s recently released lyric video brings the praise energy, watch here: I Got Out Official Lyric Video
I Got Out is packed with additional personal testimony-driven songs. The album’s opening track “Step In The Name” will make you dance not only because of its infectious groove but also for the assertive lyrics to “just let go” and “step into your miracle.”
“You’re Gonna Live Again (Bella’s Song)” is one of I Got Out’s most contemplative tracks. It’s a soaring worshipful ballad that originated out of a time when Popin’s daughter suffered a series of bullying incidents. As a father, the accompanying frustrations of seeing her suffer and authorities deal with the incidents was extremely difficult. God gave a song to encourage Popin and his family. He recalls, “It spoke to my family, my daughter and me. It reminded us that this season too will pass, that Bella would come out of this and continue to pursue her dreams.” Popin’s hope is that this song encourages listeners in the midst of overwhelming struggles in that very same way – that no matter what life has dealt them nor what someone has spoken over them…”they’re gonna live again!”
I Got Out features top notch collaborations with two of today’s most renowned gospel voices. BET Sunday Best winner Tasha Page-Lockhart joins Popin on “Beautiful Savior,” an audacious cut with a sound that goes beyond the genre. Gospel music and television superstar Tamela Mann rounds out the album with an updated soulful version of “Alright.”
Rising star C West, a 20-year old acoustic soul-singing guitarist, hits the Billboard Magazine and Mediabase Gospel Airplay charts this week with his decision-making hit, “Focus.” The futuristic, mid-tempo track clocks in at No. 28 on the Billboard chart and No. 27 on Mediabase chart. It was the second most added song at gospel radio last week with twelve new stations spinning the song.
“Charting on both the Billboard and Mediabase charts is a dream come true,” says the Buffalo, NY native. “`Focus’ is one of my favorite songs because like the song says, `the end will be worth it.’ So, no matter what’s going on, if I can stay focused on what’s important in life and keep my priorities straight, everything will be okay.” The song is tentatively scheduled to go live on all major digital service providers on July 7th with the full, twelve-track debut album, “Hide and Seek” (Marquis Boone/Tyscot), dropping October 27th.
C West’s music is influenced by the urban smoothness of Maxwell, the rocking edge of Lenny Kravitz and the consciousness of a young man seeking a righteous path in life. His decision-making jams, stream from the mind of a millennial seeking to understand the world in which he finds himself while also getting close to the God who birthed it all. “I know what I want for me, I want the money, the cars, the clothes and the woman but you know what’s best for me,” he declares on, “Focus.”
“With the introduction of C West, we wanted to push the envelope,” says his manager, Marquis Boone, about the merge of mainstream-styled music with spiritual messages. “Trust me, people are definitely going to be talking about this compelling young man.”
There are very few programs that address the need for hands-on training and mentorship for today’s artists and musicians. A Work On A Wheel Music and Fine Arts Camp (AWOAW) is a camp that aims to fill the need for present day leaders to be multifaceted and able to meet multiple qualifications sought from the music industry, music ministry and the performing arts. Developed and Sponsored by Salem Baptist Church of Omaha, NE, under the leadership of Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Selwyn Q. Bachus, A Work On A Wheel Music and Fine Arts Camp is returning for its second year July 17-21 with free classes for U.S. residents ages 7th grade to adult.
This one of a kind music and performing arts week-long camp offers classes free of charge. Music education and performance classes include: Strings, Guitar, Bass, Percussion, Keyboard, Drama, Dance, Choral and Music Theory. Music Production Classes will also be offered in Sound and Studio Engineering, and Songwriting. Making AWOAW unique is the inclusion of Visual arts classes in Art and Photography and Music Business Master Classes in Publishing, Marketing and Record Label Ownership.
“When participants come to AWOAW, they can expect a nurturing atmosphere and encounter instructors who are passionate about seeing them succeed,” says AWOAW camp director Ananias “Markey” Montague, Minister of Music and Fine Arts Salem Baptist Church. “I’m extremely excited about this year’s AWOAW Music and Fine Arts Camp.”
Some of the music industry’s most influential and most proficient executives are on tap to instruct the camp’s Music Business Master Classes. Ted Winn (Publishing), Percy Bady (Songwriting), Benita Bellamy (Marketing & Publicity), Bryant Scott (Record Label Development), Calvin Rodgers (Musicianship), Theron Johnson (Vocal) are some of the instructors coming from across the country to AWOAW to administer master classes intended for new and emerging artists and ambitious business and entertainment entrepreneurs.
In addition to AWOAW Camp, a new element has been added this year – THE ARTIST IMMERSION. The Artist Immersion is an intensive Artist Development workshop providing professional and artistic expertise that ensures an immediate impact on artists’ success in their craft. While receiving hands on training, participants will learn personal presentation and style, negotiation skills, media interviewing skills, performance techniques, and how to build a complete show. Course material also includes a variety of professional, pedagogical and technological topics. Due to the intensity of the course, this session is limited and an application is required. Apply for The Artist Immersion Session.
Salem Baptist Church hosts and presents A Work On A Wheel Music and Fine Arts Camp with sponsorships by and in partnership with The Omaha Community Foundation, Omaha Performing Arts, Creighton University, Metropolitan Community College and The Nebraska Arts Council.