A new compilation album recorded at the 'Fri:d3m Festival' in London has recently been released by Zoe Records, featuring a diverse range of Gospel music. Louder Than The Music spoke to Tracy Lenga, Project Coordinator and a featured artist on the 'Fri:d3m Festival Compilation Album', to find out more about it.
For those who haven't heard of the Fri:D3m Festival, can you tell us a bit about it?
Fri:d3m Festival Compilation Album is a special album for a number of reasons, primarily being a community project to teach gospel music to young people check (Frid3m, Freedom Choir) and it’s the first British Gospel Music Festival. There’s a gathering of communities and individuals in this album that makes worth the listen, young and old, different styles and flavours of Gospel music and high quality production.
Tell us about the 'Fri:D3m Festival' compilation and why you decided to put the album together?
We wanted to bring together a diverse crowd together that enjoy Gospel music as well as build our community. UK Gospel is so rich and diverse we have create a platform that accommodate this and raise awareness as well as reach wider audiences.
Which artists are featured on the album?
This is a 3-disc album featuring top and emerging artists across African & Caribbean, Urban Gospel, and Traditional Gospel music. Some of the artists include Shanteh, Unique Creation, Volney Morgan & New Yeh, Keziah Job and Andrew Bello. There are more that 15 artists on this compilation album.
What message would you like people to take from this album?
There are many concepts explored by the various artists on the album but ultimately I believe the Gospel message of Jesus Christ and our testimonies as Christians. There’s a strong element of togetherness and community in the overall album. This shows how Christ will take people from different backgrounds and bring them together in the faith.
There are many different genres covered by these songs and artists, were you concerned about how well it would fit together as an album?
I believe the UK is a remarkably diverse place and especially the Gospel music genre as it is not categorised by the sound rather by the message. We did consider breaking down the album into 3 discs to ensure people that preferred to listen to just Urban Gospel or African Gospel would be able to do so. But based on the culture of Gospel music in the UK this compilation album further highlights our experience of a festival and most live events in the UK.
Do you think British Gospel Music in particular is starting to gain more attention now?
Yes most definitely, the emergence of new genres especially urban Gospel has had a lot of mainstream coverage and it’s in demand in the UK and beyond. The fusing of Gospel and contemporary sounds i.e. Afroswing or Drill has helped generate further traction and attention in recent time. I also think the collaborations we are seeing now is showing more people are interested in working with UK Gospel artists.
When lockdown restrictions are eased and things return to normal, might we see another Fri:D3m Festival?
Yes there will be further Fri:d3m Festival, we aim to make this an annual festival, perhaps in 2021 depending on how we progress after lockdown.