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 April 3.
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.” Franklyn 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 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, 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 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 April 3. 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.
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.