Three years ago I sat in a crowded Compton, CA church (Love and Unity) and witnessed one of the most incredible recordings I’ve ever heard. It was the Soul Seekers’ live recording of their second album.
The Soul Seekers are a Stellar-Award winning contemporary gospel “quartet” comprised of young men who all worked in the mainstream music industry in various capacities and decided to make music for God–together.
The members are: Teddy Campbell, Warryn Campbell, Nisan Stewart, John “Jubu” Smith, Gerald Haddon, Charlie Bereal, Craig Brockman and Eric Seats.
Their individual resumes boast work experience with a gamut of talent such as Beyonce’ and Missy Elliott to Nelly, 50 Cent, Diddy, Jennifer Hudson, Whitney Houston, Bette Midler and Britney Spears to hit making shows Diddy’s “Making His Band” and “American Idol.”
Just one look at the pews and you knew they were not an ordinary quartet group. Among church folk of all ages, celebrities such as Coko from SWV, Musiq and Rodney Jerkins (to name a few) were in attendance. (It’s doubtful that a Canton Spirituals or Mighty Clouds of Joy concert would attract the same people, in part because these artists are the Soul Seekers peers.)
Between tongue-talking praise breaks and revolving ovations, these gentlemen displayed the graceful moves of the Five Heartbeats, the sleek attire of P Diddy, Winans-like vocals and musical savoir faire beyond compare. Then, after months of anticipation, the album release was planned forward.
I didn’t mind waiting. From the moment I heard their self-titled debut album I became an immortal Soul Seekers fan. They are distinguished by the fact that everyone in the group is capable of producing and singing music as well as playing an instrument. And they sound like they have been singing and playing together all their lives.
The Soul Seekers’ offer a fresh perspective on the gospel quartet sound. They mold the customary toe-tapping 2/4 count that defines most traditional quartet songs into intricate rhythms, which meshed with their organic gospel quartet vocals perfectly. A prime example of this blend of the old and new is their song “I’ll Take Jesus.” Often when I rolled down the streets of L.A. with my music blasting, that cut was incessantly on repeat. If there was a “B” side with instrumental only I’d listen to that as much as the tracks with vocals. That’s what I like about the Soul Seekers: they make quartet music that is current, music for this generation, music that draws me in just as much as the singing itself.
So today, after seeing pics from their photo shoot weeks ago on Facebook and hearing dolloped details about the project over the last several months, with pleasure, I can confirm THE SOULSEEKERS ARE BAAAAACK!
It’s been a long time coming, but the first single from that highly anticipated project, has been released on My Block Records. Titled, “It’s All God” Pastor Marvin Winans guests on the song, which speaks of how blessed it is to have a God who supplies our needs.