|Vineyard Music Discography|
South Africa has a number of rich worship traditions, including choral music, classical, hymns, choruses and contemporary styles. These draw from jazz, kwela, jive, rock and other traditions. Some music was born out of a struggle against Apartheid, and many songs sustained Christians and gave them hope in dark times.by Donn Edwards
Even the national anthem of South Africa was written as a hymn: Nkosi Sikelel iAfrika means God bless Africa.
Worship is not about musical style; its about relationship with the Lord. The best worship music often comes from groups where relationship with each other in the group was primary, and the music they played secondary. One such group was Friends First. It drew together musicians from around the country whose primary aim was relationship with each other, across cultural, geographical and race barriers. One of their albums even had the title Another Friend in Another City. Their ministry was to break down the prejudice and fear in peoples hearts first, since it was this sin that sustained Apartheid, and would outlast the political structures of Apartheid. At the same time they understood that God had a better vision for the country, hence the album We See A New Africa.
Worship leads to obedience and availability. Here Am I, Send Me explored this aspect of worship. Their last album Dumisani Ma-Afrika! was prepared with the international March For Jesus in mind.
At the same time as Friends First was forming, another group in Durban was writing and recording worship songs designed primarily for use in churches. Isi and Fini de Gersigny led this worship team, and have produced a number of albums that have inspired churches around the country, particularly those relating to New Covenant Ministries.
When the guys from Integrity Music Inc came to South Africa to record two albums, We Are One and Rejoice Africa, four of Isi and Finis songs were used on these albums. Rhema church hosted the Integrity recordings in Johannesburg, and were inspired and encouraged to produce their own worship albums. The first in the Praise Africa series was recorded in 1998 and called Forever ... , and the next album is on its way.
Some of the musicians from Friends First formed another group called Canned Fish, to document the songs they were singing during worship, and .. because belief was not meant to be boring. Another group that also subscribes to this notion is The God Sessions from Durban. These two groups are participating in the Pulsate Worship Festival in early November.
In Pretoria, the folks at Hatfield church started an album series called Church Ablaze to record the songs they were writing and singing. Many of these songs have been born out of renewal, hence the album titles Holy Spirit Come and Waves of Glory.
The State Theatre in Pretoria was the venue for two days of recording by Evan Schoombie, a well known singer and TV personality. The story behind the album Free to Praise makes fascinating reading, and is included with the CD, along with an excellent book on worship.
There is much more to tell. But for now, enjoy some of the albums already mentioned:
The God Sessions The God Sessions
Canned Fish Flood
Canned Fish Swimming Upstream
The Cornerstone Band Before the Rocks Cry Out
Evan Schoombie Free To Praise
Praise Africa Forever ...
Praise Africa One Voice, One Spirit
Jon Daniel ... And Well Never Be the Same
Jon Daniel Revival Generation
NCMI Live Worship Song of Heaven
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