Within hours of its release, the latest album from gospel outfit Joyous Celebration went gold - it climbed to the number-one spot across all genres and retains that position on the Apple Music Gospel Charts.
Joyous Celebration 22: All For You is the 22nd album from the award-winning choir. After enjoying major success with their last album, Joyous Celebration 21: Heal Our Land, which was recorded at the Potter’s House Church in Dallas, Texas, founder Lindelani Mkhize said it was now time to thank their fans.
“We started working on All For You in May last year. Usually, as soon as we launch a new album, we start working on our next one.
We brainstorm and decide on a theme for the album. With All For You, we knew that we wanted to thank our fans.
We wanted to take the music back to our communities and thank our fans for all the support they have given us over the years. Which is why we named it All For You, because this album is all for them,” Mkhize said.
He added he name also has a double meaning: “The album is also about Christ and everything that he has done for us and what he continues to do for so many people. We are very grateful for the grace he has shown us, as we are celebrating 22 years of music as Joyous Celebration, and this is a milestone,.”
With an ensemble of more than 30 singers, putting together a new album can be difficult, but for Mkhize and his team, the process is seamless: “Once we are done brainstorming, we then write songs. This is done by our singers and it is based on the theme of the album. The songs could be sung by the person who wrote it, or could be given to someone else to sing, whoever is best suited for it,” he said.
“We are an academy; it is not just about the singing. We teach on all aspects of music making, including songwriting,” he added.
As executive producer, Mkhize is responsible for ensuring the group puts out an album that sounds good. Commenting on All For You, he said, “One of the things I do as producer is to look back at what we have done and what we have missed. So, with this album, the sound is not what our fans would usually expect from us. We were actually very brave with our sound this time around. It has our usual presentation, but the arrangements are different. It has a very futuristic sound, while still staying true to our roots.”
Speaking about the group’s growth over the years, he said that the members enjoy using themselves as guinea pigs: “We always want to be different. Imagine if we did the same thing for the last 22 years. If we sing an old song, we like to revamp it and add new elements. It is very important to reinvent yourself; we always look at where we started, where we are now and where want to be in the future.
“Growth comes with change and if you don’t change, you will never grow. We just always remember to stay true to ourselves during our changes.”
The group will be launching All For You at Carnival City in Johannesburg this weekend. It is something they do every year, which is also the start of their annual countrywide tour.
Mkhize said that fans should come with an open mind and be ready to blessed and have fun: “Everyone is going to go on a journey with this album and will have fun so get ready to dance all night and enjoy His presence. We produce music that makes everyone wants to be a part of, so you can expect that and a lot more,” he said.