Sunday, October 7, 2012

GB Gospel Fest - About the Artist: Shana Wilson and Jonathan Nelson

Shana Wilson- A Worshipper that loves God and His People

Shana Wilson was born and raised in Detroit, MI. She is the youngest daughter of Bishop Samuel & Lady 'J' Wilson (Pastor/Founder & 1st Lady) of Community Christian Fellowship Ministries, where she attends and serves as Worship Leader, and Choir Director. Shana is recognized for her giftedness in songwriting and her anointing to worship.

Shana has written a number of songs which include, Press In Your Presence, You are Holy, Lion of Judah, So Amazing, and Shout to the Lord, that are all on her debut album "The Nations Are Waiting". Shana grabs hold of radical praise and worship that breaks chains, which cause others to be bound! She has grown to love and accept her calling to break strongholds off of all who experience the ministry of song that God has birthed in her, through her testimony in her walk with God. Shana Wilson has ministered from her heart to the heart and soul of many others. Her goal is to always draw someone closer to God through the anointing and the leading of the Holy Spirit, while ministering.

Shana has such a passion and love for God's people. She loves children and enjoys ministering, mentoring and empowering youth to embrace the fullness of Jesus Christ. Her desire is to share the message of hope, grace and the love of Jesus Christ to people that are abandoned and lost all over the world. Shana also desires to start a non-profit organization through Shana Wilson Ministries, that will sponsor children that may be orphaned, less fortunate, with limited resources, or living in single parent homes. It will provide ways and mentors to sharpen their gifts and talents and find avenues that will allow them to put them to use in the kingdom of God. With the leading of the voice of Jesus, these things will happen in God's timing.

Her educational resume includes a diploma from Martin Luther King Jr. Sr. HS in Detroit, MI, where she enjoyed singing classical, traditional, contemporary Christian and gospel music as a soloist, she was also in the women's chorus, concert choir, and the Madrigals singers under the tutelage of Mrs. Alice Lloyd. She studied at Morgan State University as a Music Major in Gospel & Classical Music under the tutelage of Dr. Nathan Carter. She's also enrolled in school in MI finishing up her degree. In preparation for where God was taking Shana, she won 1st Place in the Vickie Winans' "New Rising Star" contest 2006 for the state of Michigan.

Truly she is a worshipper, lover of Christ and his people, psalmist, songwriter, inspirational speaker and exhorter, who enjoy using her gift for the Lord Jesus Christ. Upon being asked where does her worship derive, Shana's response is always the same "My worship is born out of my relationship and experience with the Lord". With the swift approach of her Sophomore project “I Love You” Shana continues to strive to encourage people to get to a place in their worship and relationship with God that will leave a lasting impression of God's love on them. Shana is on the move, and effecting a generation as she continues to follow God…be on the look out for this mighty woman of faith and her ministry, coming to a city near you.

Multi-Stellar Award winner Jonathan Nelson is one of the brightest young faces in contemporary praise and worship music. Over the last few years, he’s put his stamp on urban praise music as the composer of now classic tunes such as Donald Lawrence’s “Healed,” Youth for Christ’s #1 smash “The Struggle Is Over,” and Bishop T.D. Jake’s “My Praise Is My Weapon.” Then, in 2008, Nelson stepped from behind the shadows to reveal himself to be a charming worship leader with his Top 10 smash “My Name Is Victory” which spent an astounding 65 weeks on the Billboard Hot Gospel Songs chart and won him a Dove Award nomination as Best New Artist of the Year.

Things in Nelson’s life have been moving at a feverish pace ever since. There’s a new position with a new church in a new state, a new music producer, and even a new self-awareness to accompany his newfound fame. This whirlwind of change and optimism led Nelson to name his sophomore CD, Better Days (Integrity Music). Recorded live at The Faith Center in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Nelson says that the ten-song CD raises his music to a new plateau. “I moved from sophomore class to junior class with this CD,” Nelson says proudly. “The world needs to hear these proclamations. My Name is Victory was a great start but these messages can be digested by people around the world and sung back to God.”

A member of Nelson’s 18-member back-up group, Purpose, brought the CD title song to his attention. “When he brought it to me it just spoke to me about what the project is about,” Nelson says. “We are living in a time of recession, earthquakes, oil spills. People need to hear a message of encouragement that better days are here.”

Those better days have indeed arrived for Nelson. Last year, he accepted the position of music minister at Henry Fernandez’s Faith Center church in Sunrise, FL. Taking the job also meant moving away from his native Baltimore, MD. “It has been the smoothest transition in my life,” Nelson adds. “I have a great pastor who is very non-conventional in his approach to ministry. The focus is on worship, the Word, and faith.”

Nelson’s wife, Christina, and their two children, J. Andrew and Julianna, have adjusted to the relocation very well also. “They love it,” he says. “It’s a family-oriented environment. We have sunshine everyday. When it’s cold up north, nine times out of ten, its warm down south.”

Nelson is interacting with a more ethnically diverse population since his move to the Sunshine State and it’s had an influence on his music. “I go to a church that is very diverse,” he says. “So this new music has a very global sound because the members come from everywhere.”

Nelson recruited Grammy Award-winning producer, Aaron Lindsey (known for his collaborations with Israel & New Breed, Martha Munizzi, and Marvin Sapp), to help him polish the universal rhythms showcased on Better Days. There’s a Caribbean lilt on “Cry Holy” and a funky bass line on “Praise Saved My Life.” In between there are old school churchy runs on “Another Way” and majestic echoes of worship on “I Am Your Song (God).” Kierra Sheard rocks “Performance,” Nelson cheerleads on the R&B-flavored, “Expect The Great,” and the majestic “Smile” is a song that will be sung in churches around the world. “The underlining theme in this CD is faith,” Nelson offers. “These are faith declarations. Faith is the engine you use to speak things over your life. These are songs of faith, hope, and empowerment.”

As “Expect The Great,” the first radio single from Better Days, makes its way up the Billboard charts, Nelson is reflective on his place on today’s music scene. “I understand my responsibility as a worship leader all the more,” Nelson adds. “I have been given the assignment of writing lyrics that the people of God will sing over themselves and ultimately to God. If we sing to each other about his goodness, mercy, power, love and faith,†we create an atmosphere for healing, miracles, signs and wonders. I've given my will completely to God! By faith, I now say yes to God. I sincerely believe this CD is going to be monumental because many listeners will also say yes to God in every area of their life. Then, we all will truly experience better days!