It’s not often we feature website launches on the Sound Doctrine, but the new home of the aStepFWD UK Christian Chart isn’t just a website. It’s an important part of the fabric of gospel music from Britain.
Friday night was the launch event for the new aStepFWD site. Taking place at the London Southbank University, the event was the culmination of a successful Kickstarter project that saw 138 people pledge an impressive £6,615 to make the project a reality. The results were impressive and there were some unexpected elements that caught us completely off guard.
But why should you care about the site? As well as everything else, it’s where the UK Christian Chart lives, which is a project that has taken a life of its own since its launch. It doesn’t rely on sales – the Official Chart has that covered – instead it uses the votes of industry insiders as well as music fans. Already it has given a spotlight to new artists that otherwise wouldn’t be heard and celebrates the best of what the scene has to offer. It offers a platform in a way that the Official Chart hasn’t yet been able to.
The launch event itself saw the industry coming together to join with the founder O’Neil Dennis and his team to celebrate the launch. There were artists, record label bosses, taste-makers and media on hand to see the site for the first time. Artists such as Becca Folkes, Volney Morgan and New Ye, and Lurine Cato gave performances. Other key industry figures also paid testament to the achievement of the aStepFWD team.
The site itself didn’t disappoint. The new site is clean, contemporary, uncluttered and functional. From now on, voting for the chart will be easier than ever. But O’Neil doesn’t do things by halves. They also took the wraps off a pilot for a UK Christian chart TV show. Yes an actual TV Show! The show is fronted by Premier Gospel’s Selene Jordan, Kid (from Adam & Kid) and Toni Kelly from Ruach Radio. They did a very good job of keeping the project a secret and we’re very much looking forward to seeing the full show.
We’re very passionate about UK Christian music at the Sound Doctrine and this event reminded us why. Yes, the country is full of talent but more than that, it’s a bustling community of people who want to support each other. And it’s all for a cause which is much bigger than what any website can take credit for.
Here’s to the future of music from Blighty!
See the new site for yourself at astepfwd.com