Gospel: Summer 2023

Monarch Gospel Recommendations

KELONTAE GAVIN
Testify

Chart-topper Kelontae Gavin has launched a new single from his upcoming album with the release of the song and visualizer for “Good Love” featuring Kim Burrell. “Good Love” provides a deep reflection on God’s love and how it can heal wounds, bring hope, and transform lives. Kelontae Gavin’s smooth, rich vocals complement a contemporary gospel instrumental with a funky twist. Grammy-nominated artist Kim Burrell joins him on this track, together contemplating various themes related to God’s constant love in the midst of life’s changes. Released on July 21, Testify is Kelontae’s third full-length album.

SOUNDS OF BLACKNESS
Woke

Fresh from their NAACP Image Award nomination for the anthemic single, “Time for Reparations,” the three-time Grammy award-winning Sounds of Blackness is back with an urgent new social justice anthem for today: “WOKE.”  The track features the soul-charged vocals of the Sounds of Blackness’s very own Quan Howell while weaving together a tapestry of social justice themes and iconic protest music references. “WOKE” is a message to stay alert and understand deeply the history of systems of hate across the globe. “WOKE” is a demand for a life that is free of systems of oppression.

TASHA LAYTON
Never

Renowned  for a number of anthems that have encouraged people all around the world, Tasha is back with another, he powerful pop track, “Never,” penned by Layton, Keith Everette Smith, AJ Pruis, and Matthew West. Produced by Layton’s husband, Grammy and Dove award-winner Keith Everette Smith, “Never” spotlights the hope and healing found only in Christ. Echoing a theme that hallmarks Layton’s life and music, “Never” unequivocally declares His promises: “There’s not a broken too broken for You/Will there ever come a day when You’re not holding me together?/You say, ‘Never.’” Tasha says her prayer is that “this song serves as a reminder that you are never forgotten, never forsaken, and never abandoned. That God is close to you in this exact moment. That whatever you are going through will never be wasted.”

CANTON JONES & EVERETT DRAKE
Amen Right There

Christian hip-hop act Emcee N.I.C.E. teams up with Canton Jones and gospel legend Everett Drake to produce the upbeat production “Amen Right There.” The song is an instant rap and gospel classic, especially with Canton and N.I.C.E.; it crosses multiple genres in Christian/gospel and hip-hop/rap. “Amen Right There” is very upbeat, a sing-along song with a dance vibe that has South meets West bounce and melodies with a Kanye West “Through the Wire”-type vibe. Instruments include bass, drums, lead guitar, piano, and a hard hip-hop kick drum merged with Everett Drake’s gospel vocals, delivering a feel-good sensation and inspiring all who listen to praise and worship.

VASHAWN MITCHELL
Elements

The latest release from singer-songwriter VaShawn Mitchell creatively draws the audience into an exploration of nature’s basic elements: wind, fire, and rain. The music guides listeners to examine the fundamental principles of the believer’s walk. It serves to encourage and inspire to continually walk “by faith,” allowing confidence in God to become truly foundational in the interpretation of life’s issues.