15 Songs, 1 Hour 8 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Houston native Zacardi Cortez has been an up-and-comer for a few years now, from his appearances on Wow Gospel to his strong contributions to James Fortune's hits “The Blood,” “God Can," and “I Believe.” The very trait that made Cortez a strong backup singer—his strong vocal diversity—make the 25-year-old’s solo debut album a real stunner. Cortez puts his voice through intricate runs on “God Held Me Together,” belts from the gut on “Praise You,” and shows that he can sing as smoothly as the dickens on the infectious “Living for You.” Fred Hammond, Lalah Hathaway, John P. Kee, and Isaac Carree are among the famous guests who are supposed to make you want to buy the record. Their contributions are fine, of course, but unnecessary. Cortez is the real deal; it’s hard to think of another young artist so capable of bringing together gospel sounds from the past 30 years, mixing it all up, and making them fresh again.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Houston native Zacardi Cortez has been an up-and-comer for a few years now, from his appearances on Wow Gospel to his strong contributions to James Fortune's hits “The Blood,” “God Can," and “I Believe.” The very trait that made Cortez a strong backup singer—his strong vocal diversity—make the 25-year-old’s solo debut album a real stunner. Cortez puts his voice through intricate runs on “God Held Me Together,” belts from the gut on “Praise You,” and shows that he can sing as smoothly as the dickens on the infectious “Living for You.” Fred Hammond, Lalah Hathaway, John P. Kee, and Isaac Carree are among the famous guests who are supposed to make you want to buy the record. Their contributions are fine, of course, but unnecessary. Cortez is the real deal; it’s hard to think of another young artist so capable of bringing together gospel sounds from the past 30 years, mixing it all up, and making them fresh again.

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About Zacardi Cortez

Combining his full-bodied voice and a funky '80s throwback attitude, gospel singer Zacardi Cortez was a member of James Fortune's FIYA project before launching his solo career. Having grown up touring the gospel circuit with his family band, the Cortez Family, Zacardi was mentored on the road by John P. Kee. After an appearance on Kee's 2005 release, Live at the Fellowship, Cortez joined Fortune's FIYA, singing lead on their 2007 album, The Transformation, and its Top 20 single, "The Blood." With Cortez up-front, FIYA would top the gospel charts in 2010 with the single "I Believe," and suddenly the singer was being talked about by names as diverse as John Legend and Rickey Smiley. The stage was set for a solo career, which began in 2012 with The Introduction, his debut album released by the Black Smoke Music label. ~ David Jeffries

HOMETOWN
Houston, TX
BORN
September 17, 1985

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