“History does not happen in a straight line…” – Barack Obama
Neither does hip hop nor its prolific breakout rhymist/activist/author/voice of conscience Lecrae. Never afraid to move the needle, few would argue that his much anticipated Columbia Records debut album (due out this summer) comes at a pivotal moment for the artist, as hip hop’s torrent now moves to him.
Surging or insurgent - depending on your point of view - he’s blessed with a visionary verbal arsenal and an abiding faith that’s piloted a unique career trajectory defying the typical hip hop storyline. ‘The system may not have planned for this,’ wrote Vibe about Lecrae, ‘but it’s definitely coming around.’ “More caught than taught,” is how the artist describes his incredible journey that includes two Grammys, a history-making #1 album with his masterful 2014 offering, Anomaly (topped multiple categories, including the Billboard 200 and is RIAA Gold certified), and a compelling live resume, most recently notching a headlining 2016 ‘Destination’ tour which Lecrae says was about “real unity, not pretend unity.” He continues to thoughtfully engage the culture, reeling off a NY Times Bestseller (last year’s riveting memoir ‘Unashamed’) and a breakthrough spoken word performance at the BET Hip Hop Awards last fall that had the twitter-sphere heralding his arrival as truth-telling firebrand. BET hailed it as an “epic poem,” of “necessary affirmations.”
Wande, born Yewande Isola, is a budding Hip Hop artist dynamic performer, Austin, TX native that is here to inspire. Using her infectious rap skills and personality, she accomplished an impressive 11-song release cycle in 2018 that featured a mix of features and original songs, earning her a Rapzilla,com Freshman nod for 2018, and launching her rap career. The momentum culminated in her being offered a recording contract offer from Reach Records where she worked as an A&R administrator and would become the first woman artist in the label’s 16 year legacy.
Matt Tapley has been the Lead Pastor of Lakemount Worship Centre in Grimsby, Ontario since 2008. He is a gifted leader who serves the Church by developing leaders in a culture of dependence on the Spirit with full devotion to the unchanging Word of God. He frequently travels the nation as an insightful preacher, anointed worship leader and a keen contributor to leadership team environments. Matt’s commitment to the Manifest Presence of God and the healing gifts of the Holy Spirit are a catalyst for stirring renewed faith for the “more” of God wherever he ministers. His personal life message demonstrates a confident faith in declaring the relentless goodness of God no matter life’s circumstances.
For Canadian Worship Leader & Songwriter Brooke Nicholls, the last four years have felt like a whirlwind. From touring across Canada playing over 350 dates, to being named Female Vocalist of the Year by the Canadian Gospel Music Association not just once, but three times and having her new album nominated for a 2020 Juno Award - it’s been an incredible journey. But this didn’t come out of nowhere; like all good seemingly ‘overnight success’ stories, the truth is much longer and more storied.
Flash back to 2015; seven years into a pop music career, three independent records and countless missed successes under her belt, Brooke was left with nothing but disappointment. As she reflected on her career to that point, she began to understand that she was running from God; that He had dreams and a plan for her but for whatever reason she thought she knew better. She also began to understand that, to her surprise, throughout all the confusion and heartache God was guiding her each step of the way - and so she wrote.
What came out of that season was Brooke’s debut Worship & Inspirational album - ‘Found In You’ (rel. Dec 5, 2016). The songs on ‘Found In You’ were milestones of how God had been working in her life, bringing her through tough seasons and helping her find hope and healing. What she didn’t know was how those songs would connect. God began opening doors for Brooke to share her songs and in the year that followed the release of ‘Found In You’ Brooke was able to travel across Canada, opening for acts like MercyMe, NewSong, The City Harmonic, Love & The Outcome and Dan Bremnes, all culminating in Brooke being named the New Artist of the Year and the Female Vocalist of the Year at the Canadian Gospel Music Awards.
In late 2014, Sadie Robertson arrived at a crossroads. Fresh off a runner-up finish on Season 19 of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, the then-17-year-old saw her life swirling into a bubble of fame and glitz and paparazzi; it was fun, yes, but also she recalls, a decidedly non-normal and uncomfortable existence. “People looked at me differently,” the Louisiana native first introduced to the world as a star of A&E’s Duck Dynasty, says. “I wasn’t sure I liked the fame. I don’t see myself like that.” A devoted woman of strong Christian faith, Robertson wanted to use this opportunity to make an impact on the world.
“My passion is to speak, to write, to encourage,” Robertson says proudly. And with more than 5 million followers on her various social platforms, the young woman saw she had a direct line of communication to her peers. Specifically, she recognized she could be positive voice to those in dire need of an inspiring, non-judgmental presence in their lives. Now, in only a few years, she’s become one of the most prominent voices of her generation.
Chad Veach has a passion to reach people through the life changing message of the Gospel. He has given his life to the mission of the local church and has a vision to see all people know God, find freedom, discover their purpose and make a difference.