For this week's artist spotlight, we travel over yonder to the midlands/Preston to shine the spotlight on a super talented group of young people who are doing great things!
Hey guys, it's so awesome to have you here with us this week. Tell us about who you are.
We are 'Scripture Says'! An acappella group consisting of four members: Laura (soprano), Chido (alto), Tino (tenor) and Nigel (bass). We chose the name 'Scripture Says' as it reflects what we are aiming to do which is to spread the word of Christ. Following the text in Hebrews 4:12 which says : For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword...' we want the words of our songs to directly impact the heart.
Wow! That is awesome! Can I just say, I'm a really big fan of yours & you guys inspire me so much! However for those who don't really know you yet, how long have you been doing music?
The first song Laura sang at church was when she was 8 years old, when she had a lead part in the church play ‘Owl Tale’ as a hedgehog.
Chido was part of a marimba band when she was in the 4th grade, but started singing when she joined the school choir in Grade 6.
Tino remembers singing in front of church with his mum and older brother from a very young age, until he felt embarrassed by the whole “singing-with-mum situation”. He joined a steel drum band in primary school which led to his interest in learning drums and guitar.
Nigel was in the 7th grade when he started a group called “Harmony Boys” where he was the lead soprano! Yes, SOPRANO!
Lol Nigel was the soprano??? How times have changed 😂😂😂 So tell me. how did you get started? And also why did you choose your very unique name?
Scripture Says began in 2012 when Chido and Nigel, having previously sang together in a Coventry-based group called Calvary’s Calvary, met Laura and Tino who were active members of the Preston SDA music team. The group started off with 6 members and was very close to being called “Redeemed”, but the name Scripture Says stood out as a firm favourite. We all share a love for God, music and evangelism with a desire to spread God’s Word in a unique way.
So you've only been going for 4 and a half years give or take? Yet you've achieved so much in such a short space of time, although we'll come to that in a minute. You guys have a very unique style and sound, so I'm wondering about your influences. Who is your favourite Christian/gospel artist?
Laura – I’m a fan of some types of Christian contemporary music. I’d say my favourite band is Unspoken, I quite like their pop/rock sound
Chido – Jessica Reedy’s female bass does it for me
Tino –Jonathan McReynolds for his vocals and guitar skills
Nigel – Stand Music, an acappella group based in Zimbabwe
So a variety of styles blend together to make up the group, that's so cool! Also Tino, I have to co-sign on Jonathan McReynolds - one day (by God's grace) he'll appear on our channel and website and I'll have the distinct privilege of accompanying him! Anyway, still on the subject of influences, what is your favourite album and why?
Laura – Jonathan McReynolds, Life Music for its real and relatable message
Chido – Jessica Reedy, Transparent for her rawness and heavy lyrics
Tino – Erica Campbell, Help for her musicality
Nigel – Shower Power, The Journey for typifying the contemporary African acappella sound
That's great, I'm familiar with all those artists (though I need Jessica, Erica and Shower Power albums in my life!). I also need to check out Stand Music and Unspoken! I always get homework when I do this, I like it!
Moving on to songwriting, that's something very dear to my heart and you guys are (in my opinion) great and prolific! How many songs have you written so far?
So many! We actually have a song bank of 30+ songs waiting to be refined and released. So watch this space!
Wow, that's awesome. Now I know Tino is beasting quietly on the guitar, but aside from that, do you guys play any other instruments?
Laura plays the violin; as well as the guitar Tino plays the drums; Nigel attempted learning the bass guitar but gave this up when he realised he could do more with his voice. Chido plays her iPod, and that’s about it.
LOL 😂 No shade there Chido! If there was one particular artist you could work with, who would it be and why?
Tough question. We are currently with some amazing, talented artists around the world. For our second album we are lining up collaborations with Riffi (South Africa), Tanaka Muza (Stand Music, Zimbabwe), and Natalie Jeffers, Jabez Walsh and Alvin Dawati, all based in the UK. One group that we would loooove to work with is our sister group, His Will!!!! They’re genuinely insane and it would be an honour.
Amen, I'm glad to hear about both the local & international collaborations, can't wait to hear the results! Also I have to agree with you about 'His Will', like yourselves the sky is the limit for their talent! Moving on now, can you tell us 1 quirky thing about you?
There are a few quirky things about Scripture Says. Firstly we sing better when we don’t warm up… we don’t know why. Also we are a group of thrill-seekers, always looking for heart-racing things to do – like our recent Skydive for ADRA. Another quirky thing is our very bad habit of eating desserts after 2am, undoing all our good work with sugar 😕
Wow, that's interesting indeed! Who would you say is your biggest influence?
As a group, we do not have any artists that we can say are a main influence to our music. We all individually bring to the table such varying musical interests, influences and experiences, which we throw in a blender to create our unique sound. So in a way, our main musical influences are each other.
But, as our name suggests, the biggest influence to our mission and the heart of our ministry is the Word of God. It is this word in our hearts that is the theme of our songs, our source of creativity and inspiration.
I like that...a lot!!! Your heart for ministry and unique talents will definitely take you places. Your gift will make room for you! What does 2017 hold for Scripture Says?
In 2017, we hope to begin finalising and recording the songs to go on our second album. We are also working in collaboration with Adventist Animator Natalie Jeffers, on a project where we will narrate in song the parable of the prodigal son. We also hope to release some music videos as the year progresses via our Youtube page.
What! That sounds off the chain! Alvin Chea narrated an illustrated nativity which I saw at Christmas and that was amazing and powerful! I cannot wait to see what you guys come up with! Clearly music is a huge passion of yours, but apart from music, what would you say are your biggest passions?
Laura – my biggest passion is fashion design and all things creative. I have started up my own fashion brand called ‘Laura Jane Fashion’ and am in the process of sewing my 2017 summer collection – check this out on www.laurajanefashion.co.uk
Chido – my biggest passion is working to better the lives of people living in the poorest countries in the world. I currently work for a children’s charity and am blessed everyday to see differences being made in their lives and situations.
Tino – I am passionate about health and the human body. I enjoy learning about how complex the human body is and how this provides evidence for God’s design.
Nigel – I have a deep-rooted desire to facilitate children’s growth in Christ, which I do through being part of the leadership team for the Pathfinder and Adventurer clubs. I also have a love for the great outdoors, and frequently take opportunities to enjoy the beauty to be found in God’s creation.
That's great, you guys actually just make me feel so proud to know you! So we're wrapping up now, so let's get some quickfire questions about the group & the group dynamic out of the way. Ready? Set? Go! Who's the loudest in the group?
Definitely Laura! Laura is living proof that dynamite comes in small packages! She is loud, but brings so much life and energy to the group, rightfully earning the title “Chipmunk”. Not surprisingly, she also sings the loudest, coupled with her explosive runs, her ability to hit crazy high notes.
Lol the phrase "lickle but tallawah" comes to mind! Who's the joker of the group?
Laura is “full of Nonsense”, Chido is “The Savage”. Nigel is “The Inappropriate Joker”. Unfortunately, Tino is not that funny.
Lol your inside jokes are hilarious. Who's the deepest thinker?
Ok interesting! Tough one here, who is the most creative?
We all have different areas of creativity. Nigel is our lead lyricist, and has written the most songs out of all of us. Chido comes up with the most interesting harmonies. Tino is amazing at coming up spontaneous melodies and additions to songs. Laura is our talented in-house graphic designer, responsible for our visual identity and overall look as a group.
Sounds like each of you really brings something different to the table. What's your proudest moment as a group been so far?
Our biggest accomplishment was releasing our debut album – More than a Conqueror – in December 2015. For us it was about having something tangible to give to people who would ordinarily not step into church to hear our music. The album went on to be nominated for the ‘Best Religious Song’ category of the Contemporary Acappella Recording Awards (CARA) in 2016, for which we give God the glory.
Another proud accomplishment has been the results of our efforts to fundraise for the Adventist Relief and Development Agency (ADRA), a charity very close to our hearts. The four of us went skydiving in Cornwall to raise money and awareness for the issues faced by people in need. Through the massive support of our families, friends and church congregations, we managed to raise £3,424 towards supporting ADRA in changing lives around the world.
Yeah so that album is required listening for anyone who is serious about gospel music and Acapella. Do you guys have any upcoming gigs/dates to share?
We will be singing at Tottenham Music Day on Saturday June 3rd where the amazing singer and powerful evangelist from the USA, Jill Monae, will be ministering. If you are in the area, please do come along!
Thanks for joining us and sharing your amazing journey so far guys. You need to purchase their album and you can do that here: https://itun.es/gb/uHXr_
God bless you all!