Lola Godheld image by StarlightImagery.co.uk
Last week was a good one for UK gospel, not least because on the 20th of April, 2011, London-based Lola Godheld made history by becoming the first Black British solo artist to win a Dove Award.
She was awarded the Urban Recorded Song of the Year for her song ‘Wait On The Lord’, taken from the excellent UK gospel compilation album ‘The British Are Coming’.
The album was also nominated in the Special Event Album of the Year category.
And – just to put this into some sort of context – the song was up against the likes of Brian Courtney Wilson’s ‘All I Need’ and Karen Clark Sheard‘s ‘He Knows’.
This was the 42nd annual Dove Awards, and it took place at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia.
The win is even more significant because the Doves strive to strike a balance in representing product, artists and categories from the Black, Latino and White gospel music industries in the US.
On the strength of that alone, it’s good to see the song performing well outside what could be considered its typical demographic.
Having said all that, it’ll be completely wrong of me to not acknowledge London-based Zoe Records who spent the last 12-18 months promoting the project out in the US, with a huge cast list of players on both sides of the Atlantic.
In addition to the ‘Special Event‘ nod, ‘The British Are Coming’ picked up respectable nominations:
‘Best Recorded Rap Song’ for Jay Ess‘ ‘Too Many Fakes’ ft Dwayne Tryumf and Victizzle (produced by Victizzle), and,
‘Best Traditional Song’ for Beverley Moore‘s ‘Jesus Has Been This Way Before’.
And – lest we forget in the heat of celebration – the UK contingent at the Doves was strong this year…
Big shout out to Kingsway Communications’ Survivor Records for their nomination of the UK/US collaboration project, ‘One Voice – Every Tribe, Tongue & Nation’ in the Special Event Album of the Year category.
This is the album from which ‘Somebody Help Haiti’, the massive charity single written by Noel Robinson and Israel Houghton was taken.
So, Are The Brits Are Coming to America?
Does this mark the long-awaited, long hoped-for regular UK invasion of the US Christian and Gospel charts and marketplace..?
Well, I’m not quite sure it does, though I’m desperate to be proved wrong.
UK acts have made some impact on the States over the years. For example, Raymond & Co were very well received for ‘Playing Games’ in 2004/2005, even appearing on several high-profile TV shows over there.
What we need is the current trickle of UK artists and material heading out to the States to become a flood, and then we’ll be in business.
However what Zoe Records and Kingsway/Survivor have done is show us what’s possible with a combination of persistence, hard work and high-quality material.
I’m particularly encouraged by Zoe’s success; they were a truly independent entry, where Kingsway had the weight of EMI Gospel behind them (though that shouldn’t take anything away from a great nomination in a good category).
The World Will Find Out
By way of conclusion, I’ll put it this way:
- bring on the future. The Brits indeed are coming.
I don’t know when, where or exactly how, but the world will soon find out about the Brits…