01 Jun Local Artists Navigating Covid-19: Chevelle
I’ve decided to reach out to artists to see how they are navigating Covid-19 with the hope of sharing their stories, tips and most importantly, sharing ways that we, as a community, can support our local talent, especially during these trying times.
Next is Chevelle.
Multiple award-winning Jamaican gospel singer Chevelle Franklyn is set to release Go In Your Strength, the debut worship single from her full-length album ‘South Wind Vol 1’, globally on the 3rd April, 2020.
Recorded in South Africa, the 13-track album features the voices of South African gospel singer Ntokozo Mbambo. Franklyn co-produced the album with Nqubeko Mbatha and Mojalefa Mjakes Thebe (Zahara, Yvonne Chaka Chaka).
“I initially travelled to South Africa for a short stint to record two songs but God had other plans – a few days turned into a few weeks and a full-length album! South Africa is one of my favourite countries, the richness of the cultures, the beautiful people and landscapes, and of course the incredible musicianship,” says Franklyn.
Having started out as a reggae artist when a teenager (known for performing on the global hit with Shabba Ranks, Mr Loverman), Franklyn’s turning point came during a live concert in 1998 where she was expected to perform Dancehall Queen. Instead, she performed the gospel song, Silver and Gold by Kirk Franklin, deciding to use the moment to announce that she had become a Christian and will be singing and recording Gospel Music exclusively. “I did not hear a message or anything, but I felt the calling of God. I just broke down on the stage and said, ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ I knew there was something better out there.”
Chevelle gave her life to the Lord ending all her secular contractual agreements, walking away from the international hit song Dancehall Queen.
‘South Wind Vol1’ is Chevelle Franklyn’s first full worship album. “It is total worship, total exaltation and admiration for God. Where previous albums have been about testimonies, this one points solely to Him and who God is,” says Franklyn.
“You are my maker, you knit me in my mother’s womb.
You are my helper, when I call I know you won’t chase me away.
You are my keeper, through it all I know that I will prevail.
You are my armour, so my protection is guaranteed.
You are everything we need, everything we need, you alone will do.
We will go in your strength”
For more than three decades, Chevelle Franklyn has toured the world, to countries such as the United Kingdom, The Middle East, Asia, Austria, Germany, Holland, France, the US, and multiple African countries. She has collaborated with renowned artists such as Donnie McClurkin, Israel Houghton, Micah Stampley and Lionel Petersen. It is South Africa that Franklyn keeps returning to, to produce music.
“Previously as a secular artist, I recorded songs during the apartheid era, themed around freeing Nelson Mandela. It was illegal for South Africans to produce songs of liberation and freedom. Often it was the songs from Jamaica that helped South Africans get through some of the toughest times. When I was able to visit the land I was singing about, I fell in love with South Africa. It is an inspirational and creative space and I’ve always been welcomed with open arms,” says Franklyn.
The official music video for ‘Go In Your Strength’ will also be released on the 3rd April 2020. Chevelle Franklyn will be visiting South Africa later this year; ‘South Wind Vol. 1’ will be available on CD and all digital platforms in 2020 date TBC.
Chevelle Franklyn has affirmed that this is her best work yet. “I can’t wait for the world to hear ‘South Wind’ – I also sing in Zulu on the album. It’s a dream come true; I’ve wanted to do this for so many years. I was in the right place, at the right time, with the right set of people,” concludes Franklyn.
How have you been using your time during the lockdown?
There’s a lot of detoxing. Reading The word much more. Its been an incubation time for me.
What’s the first thing you look forward to doing when this is all over?
Go to a lovely Seafood Restaurant. Also going back into my recording Studio.
I feel like the weight of the global pandemic and economic crisis has left many of us feeling overwhelmed, how do you rise above that and stay creative during this time?
I rise above fear my knowing God is with me. It is He who’s brought me this far and He will take care of me. I think about the scripture. – Philippians 4:8
Meditate on These Things
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Everyone is having to change the way they do things, as a result of the pandemic – how has your own industry changed, what challenges do you now face that you hadn’t before, and what steps are you taking to overcome them?
Gatherings were everything to the music-business but now as you know no social gatherings. Lots of cancellations that came with this territory but step-by-step day by day we are adjusting through social media.
What is your message of hope to the people of South Africa?
Affliction isn’t strange, it isn’t new and even though we haven’t seen anything like this before. God hasn’t change He’s the same yesterday today and forever. – 2 Corinthians 12:9
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. You’re not alone and I will be praying for you. I love you.
How can South Africans support artists during this time?
Purchasing our music through digital platforms, following us on our social media pages. Subscribing to our YouTube channel and pray for us.
I’m a Jesus-praising, beauty-obsessed, plant-crazy, career-driven, soccer-loving, tattoo-craving, picture-taking, mom of two.