Gospel Spotlight: Resounding Praise focuses on ministering

December 28, 2018
The members of Resounding Praise.

From the first note on Resounding Praise's debut original song, called 'Why Fight', the listener is engaged in an upbeat rhythm that forces them to glorify the Most High.

Founding member Keith Wilson, who plays the guitar and adds to the vocals, cannot remember a time when the focus of the group was anything other than that - praise and worship.

"Ministry has been the foundation of what the group does," Wilson told THE WEEKEND STAR.

"Our primary goal is to impact the lives of as many persons who come in contact with us, whether through experiencing our performances on stage, listening to our music through various platforms, or by any other means, such as charity work."

The name, 'Resounding Praise', was coined by Abigail Collins, one of the members, and it was instantly received by everyone before the group was officially launched in 2012 with 10 singers and five musicians, who were all, at that time, students of the University of Technology and from different parishes and church organisations.

After seven years in the industry, Wilson said that more Jamaicans have been seeing their worth.

"The local gospel-music industry has evolved tremendously as more Jamaicans are becoming more appreciative of the music being presented to them - music that takes inspiration from different styles and genres," he said.

"This gives us more freedom to express ourselves musically without overthinking if the intended audience will gravitate towards our music based on genre."

But in every song selected or recorded, he said that moderation is key.

"We are mindful that dancehall is part of our culture, that it is to be endorsed and cherished just like the jazz, blues, and alternative influences within the contemporary gospel style. But it is also considered that some persons find the genre repulsive, more specifically when packaged with the gospel message, which can diminish its intended impact," he said.

The group has not done any dancehall-type singles as yet, but they have done numerous covers of traditional hymns and choruses - the most popular being Trading My Sorrows, originally recorded by American evangelist Darell Evans in 1998.

Resounding Praise is slated to perform at the Jamaica Youth for Christ's Genesis Praise Fest on New Year's Day at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre. They are also preparing to release the Free To Worship EP in the first quarter of 2019.

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