It’s less than two weeks now to the Dove Awards (A.K.A The GMA) and really things are steaming up. Questions from various hearts, whose going to be the next female vocalist, is Francesca Battistelli going to take after Natalie Grant and have it for the next four years? Who is going to be the next best band of the year? Lots and lots of questions really but have you thought of a category that has a way of giving an artist the spotlight too? Today we would be taking an inside look at the nominees for the category of the ‘New Artist of The Year’. It’s hard to choose a favourite when you have

  1. A young woman whose heart for God is seen all over her lyrics and is a devout God seeker
  2. A guy who has made ripples (of sort) in the secular scene and turns around years back the road to release one of the best Christian Album (according to iTunes) last year (2010).
  3. A family band who have a calling and (not just out to do their thing) to bless the world with songs penned for God
  4. A songwriter who has written one of the world’s most favourite worship song ever before he even came on the broad music scene
  5. No other name
  6. A lady with a powerful voice that would sweep you off your feet at first listen and also a heart  surrendered to God’s plan in a world craving for our every attention
  7. A regular worship team member at the Passion conference who is good at the art and also has penned a number of worship tunes.

Who are these people? I hereby present to you, your nominees for the ‘New Artist of The Year’ category.

AUDREY ASSAD

Audrey’s music is what we would have if we had C.S. Lewis penned the lyrics to a song to be rendered by Nichole Nordeman replacing the heavy background piano for a softer acoustic feel.

“I was 19” Audrey recalls “when I started to fully understand the idea of surrendering my life — not just as a concept, but the daily hopes and dreams and disappointments — and giving that away to God, That’s when I first started to realize He had gifted me with music.”. This young woman has a way of penning her spiritual journey into songs that would make us reckon the lordship of Jesus. Her debut ‘The House You’re Building’ is one everyone who desires a deeper communion with the divine should check out.

CHRIS AUGUST

Former mainstream musician and backup musician/ keyboardist for the rocky pop star Ashlee Simpson is beyond a box of talent. He is a man who has faced his demons and does have a story to tell. This 28 years old debut (No Far Away) is just so real and let’s not go into the quality of vocals he delivers on it. Chris August is actually nominated for five Dove awards. Wow! Former producer for artists such as Brian McKnight and Jessica Simpson has come back to be about his father’s business and one thing is for sure, we would be hearing from him a long time.

FOREVER JONES

Meet the Jones! But sorry these ones aren’t broke. Husband and wife Dewitt and Kim Jones grew up in Washington and came from families with musical background. They have been writing songs since the 90’s for well known artists such as Ron Kenoly and The Brooklyn Tabernalcle Choir. Based on a call of God, the band started which consist of Dewitt and Kim and their five children (D’Jeniele, DeWitt, Judah, Dominique, and Mya Joy Grace). Their debut album (Get Ready) which was produced by veteran producer Tommy Simms is out in stores now and garnered two Grammy nominations at the 53rd Grammy Awards held in 2011.

JOHN MARK MCMILLIAN

The worship song ‘How He Loves’  has been covered by various artist diverse genres such as Flyleaf, The New Breed, Todd Agnew, The Glorious Unseen, David Crowder Band and Jesus Culture. But the story about how this song came about centers around a man named John Mark McMillian. John wrote this song following the death of a dear friend who, during a church staff meeting, prayed out loud “If it would shake the youth of a nation, I will give my life today.” McMillan was awakened in the middle of the same night by a phone call; the friend had been killed in a car crash. He wrote ‘How He Loves’ the next morning as, “a celebration of a God who would want to hang with us… despite who we are”. The song took more than a year to surface in the Christian mainstream, but has gone on to become a commonly played worship song on Christian radio and throughout church organizations. John’s first debut with a recording label ‘The Medicine’ is out in stores now.

NO OTHER NAME

The members of No Other Name have seen how music can change lives and spread the gospel. See what Laura has to say about that, “I would never say that music can take the place of preaching God’s word but at the same time people will listen to a song where they might not listen to a sermon. Music is clearly a language that can communicate to everybody.”

Ministering together for over 10 years, No Other Name brings a creative, interesting and powerful presentation of songs full of truth and meaning. Featuring thoughtful and scripturally based lyrics with a tight harmony, they have ministered in churches all over the nation. From arenas to the local church, No Other Name’s message is evident – it’s all about Christ and what He did on the cross. Their debut is out now in stores.

KERRIE ROBERTS

On an interview about her debut album, Kerrie says “I want every song to leave people with a sense of purpose – a call to action, a realization of a truth, a promotion of hope and healing”. And that and more she offers on her debut with a gorgeous strong voice in the likes of artists like Janna Long of Avalon and mainstream artist Christina Aguilera. Kerrie Roberts, daughter of a church pastor had her first performance at the age of five and since then been writing songs, playing the piano and leading worship. Her hit single ‘No Matter what’ is included in the latest Wow hits (2011) compilation.

KRISTIAN STANFILL

Meet outstanding songwriter and worship leader at the passion conferences (which is organized by Pastor Louie Giglio). Kristian Stanfill has enjoyed a bit of success as an indie worship artist and is even now here to deliver more with a recording contract to sixstep records. His debut ‘Mountains move’ is out in store now.

So who is it gonna be? You have met them, so go in and vote for the ‘New Artist of The Year’ of your choice.


P.S. – Don’t forget to catch the airing of the awards on Easter Sunday, April 24 at 7:00 PM, EST

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