THERE’S BEEN a dearth of high profile UK female gospel artists making waves.
But one singer the gospel community should be aware of is Northampton based singer Chantel, whose music is winning plaudits from many on the UK gospel scene.
Singer songwriter Chantel who serves as a worship leader at Life In Christ Church International in her home town released her debut album My Road To VirtueM last year.
I would never have known about the album if I hadn’t met Chantel at a music workshop where she handed me a copy earlier this year. Ever since then, it’s become one of my most played CDs of the year.
This soul/gospel release is filled with great songs, which reflect the trials Chantel has gone through and also celebrates God’s blessings and good times.
Chantel shared the inspiration behind the album. “I wanted to show my audience my life journey, whether at a time in my life when things are going well, demonstrated by songs such as Spending Time and My King, or at a time when things are not going too well, demonstrated by songs such as My Petition and My Declaration. I wanted to relay the message that no matter what you’re going through praise is the best weapon to use and not to give up because God is faithful.”
One of my favourite songs on the album is Chantel’s unique gospel version of the Jill Scott classic He Loves Me. Chantel admits she is a Jill Scott fan. “Well Jill Scott is truly an inspiration and I remember listening to that song He Loves Me when I was younger. One day whilst walking to work feeling low and unloved I felt the Lord say to me ‘I love you especially different’ which made me instantly feel so loved and reminded me of the song He Loves Me which inspired me to write Especially Different but with God as the focus.”
My Road To Virtue has bitter sweet memories for Chantel. She recalled “When I started to record my album, I remember it being really hard as it had only been a year since my mother had passed away, but I felt a strong urge from God to start recording my album. It helped me to focus on how my pain could help someone else who could be going through the same thing as me.”
Chantel has been married for 10 years and has a child. She has been serving God for 16, having been converted to Christianity at 13. Her faith is her life. “My faith in God is the most important thing in my life, because God has helped me through so many hard times, and without him I would have lost my mind years ago. He is my everything.”
It’s Chantel’s prayer that the album provides healing and encouragement.
“I want listeners to feel encouraged, uplifted and receive healing through my album. I want them to see my testimony and feel encouraged that no matter what happens in life you don't have to give up because God is faithful and able to bring you through, as he brought me through. I also want them to know that praise is the greatest weapon to use in your hard times as it enables you to focus on God who is greater than any hard situation and rely on him completely.”