He’s being hailed as gospel music’s next superstar and Zacardi Cortez is definitely headed in that direction. His new music video, “Living For You,” posted on YouTube on May 3rd and has racked up over 92,000 hits in six days. The soulful song was produced by Drathoven (who also produced Yolanda Adams’ Top Ten smash “Be Still”) and shows that Cortez can handle an urban flavored ballad as well as Usher, Trey Songz or R. Kelly.
“I’m just a simple man who makes plenty mistakes,” Cortez sings to God in the video. “But you never judged me and you loved me for who I am. Your love came in and changed my life and is making me a better man…therefore I’m gonna live for you.” It’s a balmy springtime track sure to capture the hearts of urban music lovers while also engaging everyday church folks.
Since blowing up as the dazzling lead vocalist on James Fortune & FIYA’s 2008 breakthrough hit “The Blood” and their subsequent #1 smash, “I Believe”, Zacardi Cortez has gained a reputation in music circles as a singer’s singer as much for his intricate vocal gymnastics and fiery hoops as for his smooth tone. The Houston native can sing it all, from gutbucket blues to polished symphonic pieces and he displays it all on his forthcoming debut solo CD, “Zacardi Cortez: The Introduction”(Blacksmoke Music Worldwide) that hits online and retail stores everywhere on May 22, 2012.
With the buzz swirling around Cortez’ name over the last few years, it’s no surprise that a who’s who in music has signed up to croon with him on the 13-track CD. Lalah Hathaway duets with him on the smooth anthem “Every Promise” and Fred Hammond brings horn-driven funk to “Praise You.” James Fortune opens the soul-stirring ballad, “God Held Me Together.” The silky soul of “Alright” features Isaac Carree on a track that fits neatly between tracks by R. Kelly and Trey Songz. Cortez shares the lilting ballad “For Me” with Kierra Sheard and shows off his quartet growl with the Williams Singers on “He Brought Me.” The legendary John P. Kee, stops in on the current Top 5 smash, “One More Time.”
The 26-year old rising star has been singing all of his life and began his career singing with his family, The Cortez Singers, and recording with his musical godfather, John P. Kee. “Zacardi is the best singer in America today,” says Blacksmoke Media CEO, Kerry Douglas. “I’ve been grooming him like I groomed James Fortune and Earnest Pugh. Zacardi is my next superstar and I have no doubt that he will be one of the biggest artists the gospel world has ever seen.”