We don’t ever remember a year where there has been so much quality music released in the period of 12 months. During the summer especially we were inundated with great tracks. As first revealed on the UK Gospel Show on Premier Gospel at the weekend, here is our pick of the very best UK Gospel tracks of 2018.
10. Still Shadey – Victory
We say: This man is a hard worker with an astute understanding of music to go with it. 2018 was the year we truly got to know Still Shadey and his ability to make music with substance that you can also vibe to. Victory is one of those records and it sounds great with a cool drink on a hot day.
9. Guvna B ft Kingdom Choir – Cast Your Cares
We say: “Guvna B keeps evolving. That’s where longevity comes from”. These were the words we used on the day Guvna B’s album Hands Are Made For Working came out earlier this year. When you’ve been making music as long as Guvna B has, you know what works, you know how to make hits and it’s very tempting to stay safe. Guvna B hasn’t done that with this album, or indeed with this song. Cast You Cares is in many ways a microcosm of the LP and this new version features the choir everyone is talking about right now, the Kingdom Choir (yes them from the royal wedding).
8. Becca Folkes ft CalledOut Music – Control
We say: Becca Folkes is one of the gems we have in the UK who is incredibly talented. Vocally she is near perfect but when she collaborates with CalledOut Music and writes a track for the summer, it’s a perfect match. Becca always finds her way onto our lists because she makes so many tracks that stand out from the crowd.
7. Olaedo ft Leke and Becca Folkes – Good Life
We say: Right at the start of 2018, Olaedo posted a picture on Instagram of herself with Leke and Becca Folkes in retro 90s gear. It made us think it would be great if those three actually worked together on a track. Now we know they did and they created something that got an immediate reaction for us on first listen. It still gets us dancing now. Oh, and GKid in an absolute beast. #thatisall.
6. Zion – Calvary
We say: Earlier this year, a track arrived in our inbox from an artist we’d never heard of before. We gave it a listen and realised straight away, we were hearing something very special. The soundscape is rich, the message is hard hitting and the style was far and away different to everything else we were hearing at the time. Zion is unafraid to be and do something different. He’s taken his eclectic palette of musical influences and told a gripping story of the cross.
5. CalledOut Music – I Am Free
We say: 2018 belonged to CalledOut Music. Simple as that. He had his first ever headline show which sold out a massive venue. He then released his debut album. But before all that he released a single that we fell in love with. Even for a CalledOut Music track this is good, which is saying something. CalledOut Music is so consistent yet his tracks don’t follow a formula. He finished in the top five of our annual list in 2017 and he’s here again in 2018.
He says: I just wanted to write a song about the freedom I now have now that I’m in Christ, now that I’m a new creation. Old things have passed away. It’s a song of celebration, it’s a song of jubilation.
4. Sarah Téibo ft Tehilla Daniel & Jason Nicholson-Porter – Like A Child
We say: Yes, there was a remix of this track featuring the legendary Fred Hammond but the original is the version that does it for us. When we first heard this back in January, we praised the ‘Michael Jackson-like harmonies that kick start the track and resound throughout.’ We also love the concept for this video. We don’t have a separate list for best video but if we did, this would probably win. It’s a fantastic all-round package. A perfect way to lead Sarah’s second album Keep Walking.
She says: A lot of the songs on the project have slapped me in the face and hit me hard because they meant a lot to me before I even got the chance to share them. You get the passion from the way I deliver the songs, it’s very personal.
3. WYLD ft Jake James & Shopé – Take Over
We say: One thing we love about WYLD is that we never know what to expect from him. He has worked with a number of high profile artists from all over the world and has experimented with many styles. This combination of WYLD’s beats, with the vocal talents of US based Jake James and Canada based Shopé was a winner for us. We featured it on our Gospel Summer Spotify playlist because we were playing it all the way through the warmer months.
He says: I can go back to it and listen to it and remind myself that actually I don’t need to do all of this on my own. I can give all of these situations to God.
Read the full story of how WYLD almost quit and how the time period around this song changed everything.
2. Siânny ft Chris Da Amabassada – Little Bit More
We say: Wow! This was the dancefloor smash we needed for the summer, and it came from an unexpected source. We profiled Siânny in a #WeIntroduce article on the site at the start of 2017. We knew she was good back then but even we were surprised by this single. It’s got an all out dancehall vibe complete with drums reminiscent of Lenky’s Diwali Riddim from the turn of the century. And with Chris Da Amabassada on the track – a man who had a stunning year of his own – it’s a really fun record.
She says: That song is all about not always focusing on the things we do on a day to day basis like work or school, or whatever it may be. It’s just giving God that little bit extra and not getting caught up in the things we really want to do.
1. Asha Elia – Serve
We say: We love discovering new music from new artists and at the start of 2018 we had never heard the name Asha Elia before. That all changed when we heard Serve. Asha is a unique artist who makes music you don’t hear elsewhere on the UK gospel scene. With Serve, we were introduced to her soft, peaceful vocal delivery that is a perfect match for the laid back R&B beat produced by Akuetteh. Spotify tells us Serve is our most listened to UK track of 2018 and it featured prominently for ages on our halflight Spotify playlist for good reason. It’s so captivating, we just can’t stop listening to it.
She says: I try to talk a lot with my friends and family about what they’re going through, whether it’s depression or things like that. But a lot of the time, words don’t really resonate as much as music can so that’s what has inspired me.
Listen to the special edition of the UK Gospel Show on Premier Gospel to hear the top 10 in full and the stories behind the tracks (Available for 30 days) – https://bit.ly/2CnTxcB