Reiya Renae covering new ground | Entertainment

Reiya Renae says she has faith in the local gospel industry to break barriers and make award-winning moves.

Speaking in reference to Sunday’s virtual staging of the Grammy Awards, she told Gospel Spotlight, “We may not be at that place just yet, but we can still be part of that.”

“I have faith in our community. People like Jermaine Edwards and Kevin Downswell are steering in the right direction, but I feel the journey takes some time,” Reiya Renae said.

Like many, she was introduced to gospel in her home and church, but became involved in school productions where she honed her talents. Two years ago she launched her own, ‘Let Worship Rise’. It was held at the Angels Open Bible Church where she is part of the praise and worship team, when she was going by the moniker Anointed Psalmist.

She shared, “Most of what I did was centred around worship including the music, which were mostly covers. However, I always knew there was a calling on my life and I wanted a rebirth hence the name changes to Reiya, which translates to ‘God sees’ and Renae, my first name, meaning ‘reborn’. Now, I am getting ready to release my debut single Your Grace to show my capabilities as a music minister.”

The song is a fusion of praise, contemporary, culture and R&B, which is the way her overall sound can be described. Since the name change, she expressed that “a lot more persons are gravitating towards me and noticing the rebirth, the diversity of my sound and are calling me by my current name”.

Reiya Renae is not afraid of criticism, especially where the traditional systems of gospel are concerned.

“Gospel culture is so diverse in the present day and I am writing, not to reach one community but the entire world,” she said. “Majority of young people will not gravitate to old school gospel, but if they are hearing a mix, they are likely to hear the message.”

Your Grace, scheduled for release on Good Friday (April 2), was co-written by a supportive friend.

“It’s one of those songs, that when you listen to the words you immediately know what the songwriters were thinking and feeling and that’s the reason for me starting out with it. Also, I went through a lot in terms of love, not really receiving or understanding, which led me to having low self-esteem. But since my relationship with God, I feel special… his grace is sufficient. I am bringing hope, joy and love in the time when people are looking for it the most,” she said.

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