When you think of clubbing, what do you think of?
Drinking. Dancing. Delighting in the attention you get from the opposite sex as they make bee lines for you to get to know each other. I know, me too.
So when I heard that there was an “All White Gospel Party” my initial instinct’s screamed with “that’s not going to work…that’s crossing world and church in a way that they just shouldn’t be crossed”
My mind couldn’t comprehend how the two could meet. How could the club come to church? How can church come to a club? This surely, is wrong.
The poster read that there’d be the best of gospel garage, RnB, hip hop, dancehall and funky house. There has been much debate of what can be classified as gospel so these genres with the word ‘gospel’ in front again was reason to be hesitant.
Nether the less, when I attended the All White Gospel Party in Manchester on March 20, 2017 I decided to go with an open mind. Dressing in a white dress, blazer and white heels, I wasn’t sure if it’d be the same attire as a club or church, so I mixed the two.
My first thought was of the venue. Now, being someone who has had experience, years of experience at that, in the clubs of the world I knew what a traditional club looked like visually, but whether this would be the same was something to be unsure of.
Until I walked in, the room looked elegantly white, with round tables and covered seats, almost resembling a small wedding hall. The table tops decorated with candles and crystals to add a delicate touch of class.
At the front was the DJ and a small dance floor, a bar in the corner of the room and in the corner was a photographer with a bright light and white backdrop.
“Well…” I thought
“This is actually really nice and cosy!”
The night got off to a slow start, with a slow trickle of people coming in through-out the night. In a traditional clubbing environment the lights are basically off, so off you can barely see those around you. The music too loud for conversation. The seats sparse. But this was different.
With windows all around the room, the light shone in and lit up the whites. And as the light faded slowly in to night the room still had a luminous glow.
The DJ, DJ J Skills played some old and new gospel songs to set the scene for the incoming guests. Everybody lowly took their seats, got drinks, bopped along to the music and waited till the evening to begin.
The contents of the night is what I was most intrigued about. I wasn’t initially sure what was in store, would there be dancing, games, complete darkness?
Here’s the low down of the night.
It began with a prayer by Minister Emmanuel. This reminded us all why we were there and ensured God was at the centre.
The hosts then took over, making the crowd feel comfortable, they introduced the event and the night began to take shape. It became clear how the evening was going to go and the atmosphere settled down along with the anticipation.
My hesitant nature began to ease, I started to see how an event like this could work.
“Maybe it’s something that can be mixed…” my mind wondered as the artists began to perform.
There were four artists on the night, they were Cerose, Skye, InderPaul Sandhu and Cavell. Each artist had a different style, a different vibe to add to the night. The first were Cerose and Skye with a joint track. It got the evening off to a great start and drew the audience in with the unique way the song was delivered. Not only did it appeal to my rap loving side but the lyrics were poetic
and pointed towards The Most High. Each artist then performed individually and gave a flavour of their individual styles. Skye was indeed humble in sound and performance. Cerose had music that ignited a certain fire and made God a being that many in the world could relate to. Not only were the lyrics on point, he had an intellectual flavour that left you wanting to know more about Jesus and what he was saying.
Next was the host of the night, Inderpaul Sandhu. Being a multi-talented man, he a great host and a great musician too. His music reminded me of the 90’s, old school music with a pure vibe.
“This music is actually…amazing” I remember thinking as I smiled away to each track.
The night was going smoothly, the vibes were positive, the people looked happy and entertained. The hosts then decided to break the ice and play games. In a traditional club you don’t play games but this is what really set this event apart. The ice was broken between the guests and gave the evening an intimate family vibe.
We played a game where we all had to get in order of birthdate – catch being no one could speak. On the surface it sounds difficult but through had communication we managed to do it. Almost everybody got involved which was beautiful to see.
Then it was back to the music.
Last but by no means was least Cavell. When his track came on the vibe certainly picked up. His music got the crowd up and jumping with its catchy lyrics and beat. His final track was more sombre, showing a difference of style and understanding of music.
All through the night I was watching the bar staff. These were people who may not have known God but were working at an event bought together by God.
“I wonder if they like the music that they’re hearing…” I thought glancing over to the bar area. Just as I did that I saw a young man bopping his head to the beat of Cavells second from last track.
This, for me, was incredible.
The night closed with prayer by Minister Emmanuel and a speech by the two wonderful hosts. It left me feeling so positive and uplifted by the people I had the pleasure of meeting, the music I was blessed to have heard and the event I had the honour of attending.
What I loved most about this event was the pure uncertainty of it, nobody was really certain what to expect and I definitely had my own reservations, but honestly whatever pre-thought I had it was completely changed by the end of the evening.
The atmosphere was so uplifting, encouraging and pure it was easy to sit back and relax but then get involved with the music too.
Another great aspect was just that, the music. The artists are ones that I had not previously heard of but was so glad I had discovered them. Christian rap/grime
has always been a grey area for me, an old discussion had with old church friends once embedded in my mind that that genre of music was not good for the kingdom and that if you don’t feel anointed from it then it’s not considered gospel, but these artists completely changed my way of thinking. The importance of Christian rap and grime is extraordinarily high, there is a whole set of people who speak the language of grime, a whole demographic that simply don’t connect to traditional gospel music. That’s not to say they never can or would as God can reach anyone through anything of course, but then it’d be a huge contradiction to say God can’t reach people through this genre of music. He can, He did, and He will continue to do so. If that is the language of some then we have to embody that language to reach the masses.
My overall all verdict of the night is a positive one, the music, atmosphere, networking opportunities and general feel was more than I expected. These kinds of events are rare for Christians, so rare that they are often feared by the more uptight religious folk, I will hold my hands up and say I had an element of uptight-ness in me but after this event my thoughts have changed. This is truly an event that is set to change the minds of the masses.
To anyone wanting to go to the next event follow @OliviaMinistries for the latest updates
Take care and God bless