THE ARTIST WHO’S UNSHAKEABLE
UK Gospel rap artist, Reblah, has had one million YouTube views for his song, Unshakeable. He talks to Andrew Morrison about his music
Andrew Morrison (AM): Hey Reblah! Firstly, congratulations on reaching a million YouTube views for Unshakeable. When you were recording this song, did you have any sense that itwould grow to be this successful?
Reblah (RB): With this one, we were very intentional with the direction we wanted to take it in. We looked at it from a bigger perspective. Being able to have a jet for the video was only possible through the grace of God. Moving forward, I want my videos to be more Christian-focused and to have less of a materialistic emphasis, while still being relatable. It can sometimes be easy for believers to judge when they see us rapping next to a jet, for example. But I spoke to someone recently who wanted to sit down with me and know my heart, and he confirmed that the creation of Unshakeable was Spirit-led, and he now gets why we presented it as we did.
AM: Rap and drill are both associated with an intense flow, aggressive beats and strong messaging. By contrast, we often associate faith with serenity. Your music reflects a striking balance between the two. What inspired you to marry together the peace of your message with the ferocity of your sound in this way?
RB: I was trying to relate to a different audience. Even though, sonically, the song is a drill song, it’s still a worship song. What we do in Christ is always Spirit-led, and I like putting a mix of styles in all my music, so that it’s never boxed in. For instance, drill music wouldn’t usually have a singer to break up the rapping, but somebody who predominantly listens to worship songs will be used to hearing a vocalist on the song, so we wanted to combine the two. Beloved Music sings the Unshakeable hook beautifully.
AM: When you see how well Unshakeable has been received, do you feel additional pressure to recreate this success?
RB: I think, at the end of the day, gaining a million views is something which is just of the world. It’s here today and it’ll be gone tomorrow. It doesn’t necessarily define who I am. There may be a million people who have listened to the song, but how many people have devoted or given their life to Christ? The most important thing is discovering what we can do for Christ through the music. The accolades that come with this are good, but they’re more about self-glorification.
Unshakeable has a phenomenal video, but it’s very easy to mistake it as being focused on material possessions. I had to realise that the call of God on my life is for me to reach a different target audience. For listeners who have grown up in gang or drug culture, this video gives the song a level of street credibility that helps it to reach those people. It can be used as ministry in so many aspects that differ from the traditional way of promoting Christianity. Unshakeable could easily be used as ministry in prison, for example. It reaches out to the lost, and I believe that Christ died for the lost.
AM: How important were your collaborators on this song?
RB: They were hugely important. Zelijah Tishbite was a visionary and really helped to make this project happen, as did the producer, J1W. Beloved Music did an amazing job with the chorus.
AM: What’s next for you in terms of new releases?
RB: I’ve got a song coming out soon, called Jesus Christ is Lord. I’m also working on a larger body of work. We already have Unshakeable, and now I want to create something ‘undeniable’!
Connect with Reblah on Instagram @reblahgram
LIMOBLAZE: AN ARTIST ON THE RISE
Limoblaze’s song, Jireh (My Provider), has gone viral with over four million views
Andrew Morrison (AM): Jireh, your collaboration with Happi and Lecrae, has been a huge success. How important to you is working with other artists and fostering a sense of community within the industry?
Limoblaze (LB): Collaborations challenge you to create a sweet spot between yourself and the other artist. This pushes me to experiment. Sometimes, I can’t imagine my sound meshing with theirs, but then we end up creating something beautiful that I couldn’t have created by myself.
AM: In such a message-driven genre, how do you go about balancing a focus on lyrics with due attention to the sonics?
LB: I am a believer, and I continue to grow in faith. The message aspect of my music is a given. At the same time, I am very intentional about ensuring the quality of the music is up to scratch. I also make sure to have great people around me, who are willing to give me feedback without any bias.
AM: When did you know that you wanted to create faith-based music?
LB: My friend introduced me to Lecrae, and I remember sitting in my room and listening to his songs on repeat, and I just broke down crying. I decided I wanted to be able to talk to God and talk about God in this way.
AM: Bearing that in mind, how big a moment was it to be able to release Jireh alongside Lecrae?
LB: I’m still a superfan of Lecrae but getting to become a friend and make music with him is something I am forever grateful for. He cares a lot about me and my journey — he’s basically a big brother to me.
AM: How does the experience of playing your songs live compare to listening to the studio-recorded versions?
LB: I play in countries that are not English-speaking countries, and they still sing every lyric! To have people sing your songs back at you is the best feeling. Seeing what the music means to them, it is satisfying knowing that I’ve been able to touch people’s lives in this way.
AM: What’s the most impactful idea that you have encountered recently?
LB: There is always an equation in what God is doing. That equation involves me and a few other things, but the only thing that is constant is God’s agenda. All the other factors in the equation can change — God can use anybody. So if He is using you at the moment, stay grateful, stay humble and stay obedient.
Visit www.limoblaze.com for more information
VISIONS TV ONLINE PRESENTS SHOW ON U.S. RADIO STATION
Visions TV Online has teamed up with GODRadio1 in the USA to secure more exposure for UK Christian and gospel artists. The station is a Billboard-charted station and reaches a regular listenership of over 30,000. The Visions TV Online show goes out live every Sunday at 9am GMT, playing a wide range of different genres within Christian music, including gospel, Christian contemporary music, hip-hop, dance and electro, reggae and dancehall, R&B, chill-hop, and lo-fi. Closing each show is celebrity rapper of Big Brother fame, Jazzi P, who covers interviews with artists who have been nominated for The Music and Media Platform (TMMP) Awards.
Email email@example.com if you would like your music played on Visions TV Online show.
Visions TV Online’s Top 5 Songs of the Month
- Gospel Heritage, Various Artists
Released under Platoon Records, this project features brand new music from a number of gospel stalwarts, such as Sinach, Juanita Francis, Tim Godfrey, Bishop John Francis, Becca Folkes, Sarah Téibo, Volney Morgan, Lurine Cato, Sharyn, Chevelle Franklyn and Isaiah Raymond.
2. Live From The Old Chapel, Philippa Hanna
This new EP from British singer-songwriter Philippa Hanna is, at its heart, a celebration of music as one of God’s greatest gifts to us. Speaking about the new project, Hanna muses: “I’m really enjoying exploring the way instrumentation can elevate our expressions of worship. Taking these songs to a different space creatively has been my way of giving thanks for them.”
3. Everything Left Unsaid, Triple O
Triple O’s latest album opens with a powerful, spoken-word conversation with Sophia Thakur about overcoming the feeling of not deserving God’s grace. The hip-hop artist joins forces with Still Shadey, Sharyn, S.O and more to deliver a reflective, up-tempo journey through mental health struggles and self-doubt, before reaching a faith-filled destination of gratitude.
4. Autumn Colours, Just Derrick
The Gospel Hydration team continue their streak of stellar releases under Hydration Records with this latest offering from Just Derrick. Autumn Colours will please any fans of Christian chill-hop and the emerging lo-fi sound.
5. Live at the Manor, Manor Collective
The Manor Collective comprises a number of exciting voices within the gospel space, such as Becca Folkes, CalledOut Music, Charlotte Kiwanuka, Elle Limebear, Féz, Jonny Bird, Junior Garr, Myles Dhillon, Sarah Bird and Tertia May. The collective dropped an accompanying Live at the Manor documentary, detailing the creative process behind the album on YouTube.
Our Top 5 tracks are available to stream on all digital platforms.
YOUNG PODCAST AWARD FINALISTS VISIT THE BBC
Seven school friends started a podcast called Young Kingz during the pandemic. It provided them with a lifeline, particularly as COVID-19 had meant the boys had missed out on large chunks of their final year at primary school and quickly amassed a loyal following.
Earlier this year, the school friends were finalists in the Community Group category of the BBC’s ‘Make A Difference’ Award and went on a tour of the BBC, where they ended up being interviewed by award-winning radio host, Eddie Nestor. The creators of Young Kingz got to visit a range of studios — from BBC Sounds to BBC Radio 1Xtra.
The group of friends ended their memorable trip to the BBC by recording a special edition of the Young Kingz Podcast, which featured Amanda Star, a fellow podcaster and founder of Young Black Shining Star, a platform elevating young children of Black origin.
VisionsTVOnline is a platform that promotes UK and international Christian music. To learn more about their promotional services, email firstname.lastname@example.org and the team will be happy to help.