Feature: JNewry

In a continuing series, GOSPELflava.com shines light on new independent artists. Look for more of these features to appear on a regular basis.

Justin Newry (who goes by the name JNewry) is a graduate of the Berklee School of Music in Boston and serves as the minister of music at Eagle Summit Christian Center in Durham, North Carolina.

JNewry has decided to bring his God given gifts to the world with his debut project entitled The Beginning, an 11-track offering with a significant number of live recordings mixed with a few studio cuts. While he is not yet affiliated with any record label or distribution companies, the quality of the sound and the strength of the songs on the project is first rate. The entire project was written and produced by JNewry and colleague Kevin Camp.

CD The project opens up with a wonderful song of praise entitled "Praise". A nice baseline and a hard-hitting horn section provide the perfect elements for this one. The transitions on this project are smooth and there is a wonderful blend of sounds.

JNewry lends lead vocals to several of the songs, however there are a number of other lead vocalists featured as well, each of whom do a wonderful job in bringing life to the selections. This beautiful singing is heard on songs such as Camille Harrison's interpretation of the classic hymn "Tis So Sweet" and "He'll Take the Pain Away". Beautiful ballads, including "Calvary", "Season of Breakthrough", and "Look At Me Now" are album highlights. A diversity in sound is evident on the standout "Jesus We Bless Your Name".

The Beginning is a project that you will want to check out, with its crisp sound and range of tempos. It was originally released in 2009, however JNewry and his team are executing a re-launch and promotional push of the project this year.

GOSPELflava.com spoke with JNewry about the project, his musical influences, and what he plans to bring to the Gospel music world through his ministry:

GOSPELflava.com: Tell me about your vision for "The Beginning".

JNewry: I consider myself to be a worshipper, so I wanted the songs to flow. This project also reflected the beginning of my new life. I feel like I was going through a "rebirth" at the time.

GOSPELflava.com: What do you want the take away to be for listeners from this project?

JNewry: I want it to impact someone in such a way that it sparks a "rebirth" for them. I envision this project being a catalyst for one to be transformed. Every song is a personal testimony.

CD GOSPELflava.com: How would you describe your sound?

JNewry: I would say a mix between Kirk Franklin, Israel Houghton, and Michael W.Smith. They are my biggest influences. I think I tapped into different facets of their styles. Gospel music is the only genre determined by its words, so I wanted the sound to be distinctive as well.

GOSPELflava.com: Where do you see yourself musically five years from now?

JNewry: I definitely want to be able to say that I have grown. I want to push the boundaries of how people think gospel music is supposed to sound. I want people to hear my music and be touched by it. I ultimately want souls to be added to the Kingdom because of the music that I produce.

GOSPELflava.com: What's your take on the indie movement in the gospel music community?

JNewry: I think it's incredible. I'm thankful for people like Gerard Bonner who consistently plays a lot of indie music. It definitely helps. I definitely believe that indie artists are on the rise. I'm definitely looking forward to more great things. It's all bout timing, efficiency, and who you know.

GOSPELflava.com: Any final thoughts that you want to leave with readers?

JNewry: If you want something to grow you have to sow into it.

You can check out JNewry's music at www.jnewry.com

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feature by Nakiyah Hayling

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