Zoe Records: Celebrating 20 Years in the Gospel Music Industry

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Beverly Moore


I S A AC ODENIRAN 20Years of small beginnings and strong foundations.

“It almost seems like yesterday, yet

it's been

20 years since Zoe Records was incorporated. Zoe Records began as a vision given from above, but one could not have imagined at the time the wide-reaching effects of answering a call to carry out this assignment. Did I ever imagine when I stepped out in 1999 that by 2019 Zoe Records would have released 50 albums, organised the Zoe Nites series of spotlight events, received public funding for community music projects, won a Dove award, won and received nominated for several other awards? Neither did I foresee that we would write books, make films, curate exhibitions, tour artists internationally, have an internationally syndicated radio show, sponsor international performances at major events, publish magazines, organise festivals, work with schools and music hubs, influence lifestyle and culture at local and international levels. No. I didn't imagine all of that. I just obeyed the first simple instruction and 20 years later Zoe has grown beyond one person's dream and vision. Individuals, families, communities, tribes, nations and the world will be changed when one person hears and follows God's leading; one step at a time. God bless you all for being part of the vision for Black Gospel Music, Culture and Entertainment in the United Kingdom and worldwide. Amen.�


STILL SHADEY at Bizzle live, London, 2018

“ I have been honoured to have known Zoe Records for over 10 years and I have found them to be a fantastic platform for independent artists; a fantastic platform that is more hands on and exemplifies best customer service like no other. Zoe Records provides beneficial service that will kick start any one’s career in the music industry, providing an insightful and supportive service. I congratulate Zoe Records for 20 years achievement in the music industry. They have stood in the trenches of time and stands on the frontline of creativity and productivity. Go well!� Marcia McPherson, Faithworks Choir







In the beginning ….. 1999 was a good year for beginnings and for laying down strong foundations. It’s the year when that which had, up to that point, been a dream began to take shape. I was going to start a record label. I incorporated a company called Abundant Life Recording & Entertainment Company Limited, which would trade as Zoe Records. Apart from the usual profit and more profit company goals, I wanted to lay foundations that would position Zoe Records in the future as the premier British black gospel music label. That was my goal, and the direction Zoe Records would take. I was going into the music industry for the long haul so, why not set myself big, audacious and bold goals. Goals I believed were in line with God’s leading. With incorporation complete and company goals set, I set about the task of pulling together a team of talented individuals who would help me build Zoe Records. 20 years on and we have gone on to become the first UK Gospel Music label to receive a Dove Award. To the Zoe team our Dove Award is an important milestone and statement. It reminds us that the label, artists and music are heading in the right direction and have the potential to gain the attention and recognition of highly esteemed international awarding bodies.


BIZZLE Bizzle Live, 2018

“You feel like you have to play by Satan’s rules to get where you need to go. Then you say ‘forget it; Im just going to go without iit just to follow God’, then God brings it anyway “ Bizzle


Our first US visit took us through …… So, how exactly was Zoe Records built and Washington DC and the Southern states. Zoe artists went on a three-week tour at sustained for twenty years? Historically black colleges and The simple answer is that we placed a lot universities (HBCUs), black majority emphasis on relationship building and churches and numerous radio shows. gaining influence. We still do. The process was slow, difficult and not all the avenues were welcoming. In the early days, our focus was networking and building relationships Breaking into a new market was across the industry. challenging and problematic, but we Our belief was that in order to crack the persevered and have continue to do so for UK Gospel music market, an artist needed In order for our audience engagement and twenty years and twenty-one US tours to first break into the US markets. music promotion initiatives to remain later. competitive, Zoe Records made a Our challenge was to find market-ready commitment to secure local, national and British artists whose music styles would Adapting ……… international platforms for rostered resonate with US audiences. The emergence of digital technologies and artists to showcase their music and sell culture in the 1990’s, forever changed the merchandise. Zoe Records was keen to sign artists who business models in music industry. Previous models involved a pre-set We view our market as extending beyond had some material ready and who displayed true commitment to their craft sequence of steps in order to move music the church gates to encompass all music and music careers. from artist to consumer. lovers.

Goal expansion, beyond us to

include the many….. Zoe Records has expanded it’s overarching goals. In addition to aiming to become the premier British Black Gospel music label, we also want to play our part and help to get the British Black Gospel music industry to the place where British Black gospel artists are able to live comfortably on the income they make through their music.




For your invaluable support in helping young people prepare for adult life.


Routes to the customer usually included A&R, music and song writing, publishing i.e. recording, distribution, and finally retail through physical shops.

Craig Miles Soundtrack Radio Promotion, Dallas, January 2010

When Zoe Records begun, social media usage as a business tool and source of brand KPI’s was relatively unknown. Myspace, MSN and LinkedIn dominated the social network landscape and Facebook was the new boy on scene. In the modern music business landscape, it is difficult, and a waste of good marketing and audience engagement opportunities, to build a record label brand or raise the profiles of artists without a presence on social media. Zoe Records embraced digital culture, bought domain names, built websites, opened social media accounts, blogged, vlogged and began to use hashtags!

Isaac Odeniran, Yemi Adeshina, Mr and Mrs Hyman Stansky Dallas, Texas January 2010 Tour

In digital culture, music can, through digital channels, be sold directly from the artist to the consumer. Zoe Records changed routes to consumers turned its focus to live music events and direct engagement with audiences and fans. There were other aspects of the music business, about which we had to learn.

Marnita Coleman, Beverley Moore, Little Debbie Dee, Isaac Odeniran,

We buckled down for an extensive, and as it turned to be, on-going period of learning.

95ONE WRBS, Baltimore, 2006






We learned about and bought in external expertise on copyright, licensing and royalties. We joined collection agencies covering the territories in which Zoe was seeking market share.


Zoe Records’ work in the USA was making good progress, but here, at home, in England, we seemed to have hit a wall.


We had not been able to capitalise on the momentum created through our US tours. There just weren’t enough career enhancing platforms available to our artists here in the UK.


Little Debbie Dee, Beverley Moore, Isaac Odeniran, Hampton, Virginia. January 2006

Beverley Moore, Little Debbie Dee, Isaac Odeniran, CBS6,Richmond, Virginia, 2006 Tour

We decided to create some new ones, and Zoe Nites was born. Zoe Nites are small intimate music showcase events, where billed artists perform their music live. The audiences at these events though diverse, are unified by a love for good live music. Zoe Nites are about grassroot engagement. Harnessing and building local support and having a fixed base from which the label can reach out to new fans. Zoe Nites help the label and rostered artists carve out their share of London Black Gospel Market and to through streamed content, build a national and global audience.



Zoe Record’s promotion activities aim to persuade individuals, sponsors and grant-making bodies to buy into our artists and their music and as a consequence attend or sponsor our gigs .

voice their discontent by spending their money with a label that they felt understood and met their needs better than we do.

found them to be the effective means of meeting the needs of end-users, artists and the label. The bulk of Zoe’s music sales are the result of touring and live performances. The ‘Shirley Caesar and Tye Tribbett Live’ concert at the Hackney Empire, in 2007, was a breakthrough and seminal event for Zoe Records

We walk in a fine line, hemmed in by two seemingly opposing views. On one side is Peter Drucker’s declaration from his book Zoe Records is always on the lookout for The Practise Management; ‘ The Purpose artists and musicians who are a great fit of a Business is to Create a Customer’; and for our label, and events. It was the first time the label had brought on the other is the need to allow the Once the artists have been found and ministry aspect of Zoe Records to prosper. a multi-Grammy award nominated and signed, the label faces the on-going winning Black Gospel music artist from challenge of creating exciting high impact the USA to play at a relatively large and artist and music marketing campaigns on Although we have come a long way, the secular venue in London. This concert constant change within the Black Gospel small budgets. Music marketing landscape compels us to helped the label achieve two goals; take music beyond the church gates and prokeep being innovative. In an attempt to The consumers of our music have an balance business and ministry objectives, vide a high-value and visibility platform expectation, set by other records labels for the UK gospel artists who shared the with larger marketing budgets than ours , Zoe Records has become very creative stage with Shirley Caesar. about how we use design and create about how they want to receive their content creation for media packs, music. promotional materials, social media posts 10 years later, Professor Wilbur Belton, Tye Tribbett’s uncle, would facilitate a and one-sheets. We approach all They want it created and packaged in a second seminal moment for Zoe Record communication with our end-user in way that is on par with what they see in He was the first international artists, on mind. the secular industry. behalf of Zoe Records, to provide black Gospel music styled and influenced Failure to listen and heed the needs of the Seminal events ……. continuous professional development Zoe Records is very strategic about the end-consumer would have a negative activities to Music teachers across impact on the label. End-users will simply time and locations of tours. We have Newham.

Ongoing challenges ….……



Twenty years, fifteen awards, one hundred live performances, one hundred and twenty artists, over twenty-one international tours and fifty albums later, Zoe Records is still growing stronger and overcoming even more challenges. Here is to another twenty years, of legacy creation Not bad for a record label begun by a man with a vision but without any prior experience of running a record label.


The Dove Award is an accolade given by the Gospel Music Association (GMA) of the United States in recognition outstanding achievement in the Christian music industry. It represents acknowledgement and recognition from peers, and from admired and respected artists and musicians. In 2010, Zoe Records became the first UK record label to receive a Dove Award in the Urban recorded song of the year category. The award winning song was from compilation album “The British are

Coming.” The Dove and Stellar awards ceremonies are very good opportunities for networking and making contacts from the industry. Apart from the potential for mass exposure, these platforms are great for engaging with fans in a new way. They afford fans the opportunity to see artists in a different light. The back stories and behind the scene content surrounding award ceremonies, serve to humanise the artist in the eyes of fans, while also highlighting the impact and benefits of being on Zoe Records roster.

behalf of our artists. Showcasing platforms such as award or inauguration ceremonies, are great places for gospel artists to be seen and heard. Our artists use these events to generate positive press from the plethora of music media personnel the occasions attract. Zoe Records provides touring artists in with media-readiness training which prepares them for scheduled and unscheduled interactions with the media. A positive and well-written review is very useful when promoting future shows and for inclusion in an artist’s press kit.

As the platforms and venues grow, so do the profiles of label and the artists. The bigger and more high profile the venues and occasions, the wider and greater the audience reach. Increased audience reach requires more charisma and showmanship from the artist.

As part of our work to get artists media-ready, we help the artists package themselves in a way that presents their talent, their talent, charisma and personality in the best possible light. In other words, we help them develop a personal brand.

Zoe Records spends a significant amount of resources securing access to international and local platforms on

It is important that brand Zoe Records and the personal brands of our artists work compliment each other.


“Your music will always be new to someone, so keep spreading the word about your previous releases, even after you’ve put something new out.” Chris Robley (Musician, CD Baby Blog)

LA DONNA HARLEY–PETERS Album: So far , So Good 2011



UNIQUE C R E AT I O N Z o e N i t e s , J u ly 2 0 1 7

Social Capital...….

Zoe Record operates on the principle of ‘relationships are the bedrock of what we do’. Building good relationships, making connections and developing networks has always been our ‘go to’ strategy for business success.

Relationships influence our artist selections…. When we sign new or established artists to our roster, we work with them based on the old A&R, Artists and Repertoire, models. We go out, find artists, build relationships with them, watch their careers and how much ownership they take of their music-making and music sales process. We use the information we gain in deciding whether the artist would be a good fit with Zoe records. We are interested in artists who are, in turn, extremely interested and committed to their own success. The reason for this simple; self-motivated artists with healthy levels of self-interest usually have extremely good work ethics. Although we aim to give all our rostered artists a competitive edge, we take a hands-off approach to the definition of success and the artists creative output. Developing and maintaining good relationships with the artists, enables us to provide them with a tailored and personalised A & R service. As an independent record label, we can be flexible, which enables us to provide the kind of A &R service that is pliable enough to incorporate each artists’ music style, values and creative journey.








BBC Radio

President GMA , 2006, Nashville

While A&R is about the music, artist development focuses on the artist. The boundaries between A & R and artist development are blurred, and it could be argued that they are one and the same in many respects. Zoe Records’ A & R activities include recording, promotion and marketing of the music. Our artist development activities include showcasing at local, as well as high profile platform. As part of our artist development program, we encourage artist to develop their vocal and song writing skills and to be pro-active and use the platforms accessed through Zoe Records to raise their individual profiles. Zoe Records has grown market share using two routes; The first is through local church engagement and the second is by reaching non-church attending music lovers.

DA’DRA & S TEVE C RAWFORD Anointed, at the Stellar Awards g Over the years Zoe Records has spent a lot of time and resources networking with promoters, event owners, studio owners, stylists, vocal coaches, music, distributors, collection agencies, journalists, radio presenters, and DJ’’s. We want to understand and to learn the best and most effective way of collaborating with the wider industry in order to get gospel music beyond the church gates and out into the wider world.

Zoe Records, in partnership with Zoe Building audiences from those outside the Gospel Promotions, has extended number church brings a unique set of challenges. of showcase platforms to include British (Black) Gospel music is perceived, Spotlight, UpScale, London Black Gospel in some circles, to be of an inferior quality Music Festival, and Fri:dem festival, which are hold in non-church venues. in comparison to secular music. Zoe Records has constantly striven to evoke positive narratives around Black Gospel. The label has worked hard to increase number of touchpoints through which people can access and engage with British Black Gospel music.

Over the years, through experience and regular consultation with audiences and artists, we have gained a significant body of knowledgeable about our markets and audience profile. Zoe Record’s musical output must straddle the musical tastes of three and sometimes four generations in


order to meet the needs of the musical taste-diversity within our audiences. We have become more proficient at matching artist with audience, while still allowing opportunities for audience cross–over, i.e. the lovers of one music style to hear another music style and become fans of that too. British Black Gospel music, our artists and audiences musical preferences are varied ranging from traditional gospel music, R’n’B and soul, to ragga, hip-hop, rap, grime and Electronic Dance music.

“Since this inaugural representation in 2006, Zoe Records has sponsored a delegation of British Black Gospel artists to the Stellar and Dove Awards every year”




“Congratulations on 20 Years of service to the Community and most specifically the Gospel Music artist that have benefited from the support and opportunities that Zoe Gospel has singularly given : For example Instead of new and emerging artists competing with established artist in the UK scene Zoe Gospel approach has been to assist artists in raising their profile from local artist to international status with trips abroad into other territories. This has given them a tremendous boots to their career aspirations. Zoe Records has supported the distribution of products and created a number of new events (Zoe Nites and Fre3dom Festivals). Zoe is a stand out Record label in our scene. We’re convinced there is so much more the label has to contribute to this thriving scene. We congratulate and look forward to the future success in which we all have a share.


Thank you.”

Juliet Fletcher, Director - GreenTree Productions and








Gospel Music Workshop, 2011

KIRK FRANLIN Gospel Music Workshop, 2011



Gospel Music Workshop, 2011

Gospel Music Workshop, 2011



DEBORAH Dove Awards, 2012






“Congratulations to our dear friends - Zoe Records, celebrating 20 years in gospel music. We appreciate your integrity, determination, love and support and for gospel artists and the music. We have watched and enjoyed your creative development and process with the artists both here in the UK and the US and had the pleasure of attending quite a few concerts. One of our favourites has to be Shirley Ceaser and Tye Tribbett at Hackney Empire a few years ago. It was how can I say? 'Off the Hook!' You have worked alongside and welcomed UGN Jamz Radio from our early beginnings in 2009. Zoe Records, being the first sponsor of Heartbeat on Thursdays and Saturdays, and now with your own afternoon show promoting UK gospel worldwide on UGN jamz. Your ideas are always creative and fresh. We especially enjoy ‘Zoe Nites’ event, a regular platform showcasing up and coming artists and well as established artists. Also we admire the work that goes into your other events and workshops inviting people to enjoy your shared passion for gospel music. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and talent and keeping going in such an ever changing and evolving industry. All God’s blessings to Zoe Records for the future. Dave P and Helen Le Paul UGN Jamz Radio







"Congratulations to Isaac and Zoe Gospel Records on their 20th birthday. The one word I associate with Zoe Records is consistent. They have kept on making and promoting gospel music and mainly UK artists, in spite of the obstacles, naysayers, disappointment and difficulties. In addition they have opened great doors of opportunity for their artists and given them experiences they could only dream of. Happy birthday Zoe Records. I pray there are many more to come. " Marcia Dixon - Recipient of the Wise Women Inspirational Woman of the Year Award 2016 MD PUBLIC RELATIONS





Relationships and audiences ………

Relatable artists connect well with audiences. They understand the importance of creating moments in their engagement with new and existing fans and of keeping them informed of their activities. For Zoe Records, this means that there is synergy between the label’s promotion activities and those of the artist. This synergy of marketing activities results in an impact far greater than that of its individual parts.

LIS A APENTENG Shekinah Sisters with Soul , Zoe Nites , July 2017

Relating with the communities in which we live. Relating with the church……

Our communities include the churches with which we have an association either through our geographical location, our staff, our volunteers, audiences, or artists. To quote Kirk Franklin “Promoters didn’t understand that you couldn’t sell tickets to a big gospel show the way you would for a Rihanna tour, he said. “You gotta go to the churches, you gotta include the churches, churches gotta know you, you gotta become a partner.” Kirk Franklin.

HEAVILYN S ARPONG Shekinah Sisters with Soul , Zoe Nites , July 2017

JACQUI ANN AN Shekinah Sisters with Soul , Zoe Nites , July 2017

Over the years we have developed relationships with local, national and international churches. The primary consumer of our music currently is the church. Although we aim to increase our customer base by taking the music beyond the church gates, it is still vital that we serve our existing customers well. Growth is adding the new while holding to the former.


FEED ‘ EM zoe nights 2019

We provide high quality and memorable music-making opportunities for young people from, predominantly though not Zoe Records, through our not-for-profit exclusively, inner-city neighbourhoods arm Zoe Gospel Promotions, is engaged in across London. several initiatives that encourage the deIn these projects, young artists and velopment of musical talent among musicians receive coaching from talented young people.

Relating with local



national and international professional artists and musicians from the young persons preferred music style and genre. Out of these youth-centric activities has sprung our singing teacher and vocal coaches personal development programs.







Music-Makers Wall of Fame A record label is nothing without talented music-makers. The music-makers listed below have either sung live at our events, recorded songs on our compilations albums, signed a record or distribution deal with our label. Priscilla Jones, Stuart Menzie, Shekinah, Hannah Ola, Datin, Bizzle, Mryla Abrahams, Still Shadey, Seth Pinnock and Ant, Marc Jones, Asha Eliah, Melvillous, Icie, Arthur Gene Conyers, Maryland Station Band, Gill Frances, Fiona Yorke, Natalie Philips, Jermaine Wong, Minister Taf, Lil’ Red head Somi, Snatcha. Chan, Four Kornez, Lola Godheld, All ‘Bout Christ, Simply Andy, Mathew Allen, Beverley Moore, Elizabeth, Little Debbie Dee, Ni-Cola , Isaac Odeniran, Sam Moore, Gospophilia, G-Force, Dwayne Tryumf, Faith Child, Guvna B, Commission, Jayess, Jahaziel, Victizzle.

Praisetek Gospel Music Awards (PGMA AWARDS)UK, 2013. For our contribution to the promotion of the UK Gospel Music Industry

“Recently I took stock of the state on

gospel music in the UK. I had stumbled across an article published by the African Caribbean Evangelical Alliance in 2001, the title “no big deals”. It was very critical of Christian record companies who invested heavily in contemporary Christian artist and virtually nothing into gospel artist. The same is still true 20 years on. Zoe record has been the outlier in that story. I hear people complain all the time about how bad the UK gospel sector is those complaining seldom are investing in it to better it.

DFW Mass Choir, William Becton, Chicago Mass Choir, The Christianaires, B. Chase Williams & Shabach, Vickie Winans, Commissioned, Christopher Gray/ NC Mass, Slim and the Supreme Angels, James Hall & Worship & Praise, Walt Whitman & The Soul Children of Chicago, Kim McFarland, Mighty Clouds of Joy, Calvin Bernard Rhone, Witness, Candi Stanton, Douglas Miller, Jenifer Holiday. Solos by Edwin Hawkins and Shirley Miller, Danniebelle Hall, Love Alive II, Edwin Hawkins, Andre Crouch, Tramaine Hawkins, Walter Hawkins, Lynette Hawkins. Sandra Crouch, New Jersey Mass Choir, The Winans, LA Mass Choir, Douglas Miller, Daryl Coley, Coko, Coco Dupree, Deborah, Professor Belton and Ladwec, Tye Tribbett, Shirley Caesar, Patrick Lundy & the Ministers of Music. Andrew Bello, Tneek, Maestro Bravest, Kwest, Feed’Em, Remi Ogunshakin, Volney Morgan, Shantelle Fuller, Sabrina Hilaire, InderPaul Sandhu, Dennis Parkes, Dawn Thomas –Wallace, Israel Allen, Ayo Tikare, Unique Creation, Triple O, Sarah Teibo, Davida Robertson, DJ Shunz, Alton Mcghee, Mike Edwardes, Jarrett Turnipseed, Christopher Savage,. Thank you. Without you we would not have made it to twenty.

Isaac Odeniran and Zoe records did the opposite, they didn’t complain but put their money where their mouth was and put UK Gospel on the international map. Little wonder that the only time in the history of UK gospel Music that an artist has won the highly coveted dove awards has been under the label of Zoe Records; a feat none of the so-called “established” Christian labels have managed in the last 30 years with the few gospel artist they have ever signed.


Zoe Record changed the lives of UK artist and the history of the movement for the better. If we had more like Zoe records we would be...........”

Muyiwa Olarewaju Station Director Premier Gospel / Presenter Tuning Point TV Show Station Director Premier Gospel


M E L A N I E B U RG E S S All ‘bout Christ

F R I : D E M F E S T I VA L 2017


SHIRLEY CAESAR Zoe Concert Birmingham , 2007

Relating with local neighbourhoods contd ………

Our long-term objective is to remove barriers to on-going music making for young people from deprived neighbourhoods, and to provide them with music career enhancing opportunities and platforms which they might otherwise not have access. Zoe Records works with school, college, and university work placement schemes. The label is ideally placed to give young people much needed work experience in the business side of managing a record label and live music events.

Relating with the Gospel Music Industry ….

Regardless of type, each industry has these unwritten but judiciously enforced conditions which state everyone in the industry needs to prove, establish and demonstrate that they have the right to be there as well as what it takes to stay the distance!

satisfying the previously stated, industry conditions. Zoe Records has been able stay the course because of the formal and informal relationships it has established across the industry.

The label owes a great debt of gratitude to the executives and personnel from the music industry Failure to comply will result who provided services and in an inability to remain in advice over the years. the industry for any meaningful length of time. Zoe Records continues to be a member of several The same is true for influential and important businesses. The industry Gospel music networks and watches ! initiatives. Possessing high level s of social capital is the key to


Zoe Records grant funded show case events:

Spotlight London Gospel Music Festival Upscale Zoe Records non–grant funded showcase events:

Zoe Nites The British are coming; USA Tours

ARTHER GENE CONYERS Shirley Caesar live in London, Zoe’s Live in London Concert 2007

Relating with the Music Industry ‌..

Relationships, business or otherwise, are about influence.

The role of the record label in music industry landscape has changed and Zoe Records is no exception.

The level of influence determines success, long term impact and legacy.

We have innovated our business model, so it is adaptable to change.

In the music business, successful record labels are those that leverage their influence, channels of communication and reach to promote artists, and their music.

Our new way of working is to synchronise our album releases and promotions with tours. Relating with the wider music industry enables the label to further leverage the output from this new work model and to ensure that agreements are in place so that income from licensing, performance and sync publishing may be earned and collected.

Successful record also ensure that there is always new music and artists in the pipeline.

Zoe Records registered with several collection societies.

Here is to the next twenty years of music- making .

Relating with networks wider music industry is beneficial the label and its associates, because gives access to information, opportunities, finance, networks, platforms, media channels, venues and much more.


TNEEK Zoe Nites The Water Margin. O2 July 2017


Epilogue‌.. We are looking forward to extending the reach of our music and our influence. We want to always be playing our part to showcase vocal excellence and be on the pulse of upcoming music. Zoe Records wants to continue to give chances to lesser known UK Black Gospel Music artists and to be involved in the promotion and release of new music. We have a unique history and the telling of it is part of our brand building and brand story .

LECRAE 2012 Dove Awards

Isaac Odeniran, Deon Kipping, Uzo Aniya


T YE TRIBETT Live in London Zoe Concert, 2007

Thank you to all who have helped us along our journey. Looking forward to working with those that will walk the next twenty years with us.

Zoe Records 36

ZEBULON ELLIS Gospel Music Workshop, 2011






Isaac Odeniran Marnita Coleman Atlanta , 2011

Zoe Records artists performed at the

C-Room Christian Entertainment venue in Georgia, for an event in support of the 2011 Stellar Awards.

PATRICK LUNDY Fri:dem Festival, London 2018

Beverley Moore

DOVE AWARDS C -Room 2011




DJ CASS C Bizzle Live in London Concert



ANDREW BELLO Fri:dem Festival


JayEss at Dove Award 2012

“Gospel music is nothing but singing of

good tidings, spreading the good news. It will last as long as any music because it is sung straight from the human heart.” ― Mahalia Jackson

Looking forward The report by Zoe Gospel Promotion’s heritage project, and archives across the country tell similar tales about the vital role the church and music, played and continues to play, in the process of integration and community building. This is particularly true about the black churches and of Black Gospel Music. Music can gather, to heal, to soothe and comfort . It has a unique ability to reach deep into the human psyche and spirit. That’s why it is so central to church worship. The churches provide cost-effective places of recreation, where people know that they would be welcomed. It’s not just about the Sunday morning services, but about all the other services, social and life events that occur in the church building and through church networks. This ready-made community is a lifeline for many people. In most African and

Caribbean cultures, music is used in everyday life, and the church, both building and people, is part of most celebrations. A huge part of Black church experience involves and revolves around music. Members of black communities from all over the world find their way to the churches, bringing with them a little bit of the sound from ‘back home’ or from overseas.

The process of musical fusion, reallocation of the terms new, urban and contemporary will continue unbated into the future. This continuous evolution and reallocation is the story and history of British Black Gospel music.

This sound is fused with the churches existing music creates a new sound that is The thing that makes it British Black Gosexciting and dynamic, and labelled new, pel is because it is British music of black urban and contemporary. origin whose central message is the good Sooner or later members of another part news of the gospel. Creating the new of the black community will bring a difdoesn’t mean we do away with the old ferent sound , and fuse that with whatever neither, does keeping the old mean that sound they find in the church to create we ignore the new. There are audiences another ‘new, contemporary and urban for both. ‘gospel sound.


MARC JONES Bizzle Live in London




S A M MOORE GMWA Florida 2011

Looking forward contd

music of an inferior quality does diminish In that music will be the good news relayed through ragga, afro-beat soul, hip the delivery of the good tidings. It’s not an either-or scenario, but rather a -hop, pop, classical, R ‘n’ b, jazz, rock, In a sense we, all music-makers in UK, ‘this music’ and ‘that music’ situation, grime, trap, EDM, all kinds of music are building a legacy, just like one that left styles, because all kinds of music styles depending in the congregation. to us by the black communities that lived are found in the black community. The thing that we must safeguard at all before us. It’s just that some are more popular than costs is our commitment to continuous When the history of British Black Gospel others. raising, regardless of music style, of the quality of the British Black Gospel music. music is written in the future, it will “Zoe Records’ core business include the music that is happening right The good tidings don’t diminish the vocal is music production and now, all over this country. publishing music.” skills and musical ability of the artists, but


ASHA ELIA performing at The Water Margin , O2 Nites , July 2017



NICOLA F r i :d e m Festival

MELVILLOUS Zoe Nites July 2018

“The r e i s n o s u b s t i t u t e f o r t h e e x p e r i e n c e o f performing live; in real time and before a live audience.”


Zoe Nites The Water Margin, O2 July 2017

Zoe Nites The Water Margin , O2 July 2017

“There’s nothing more telling about where you are as an artist than being able to say, ‘I played on that record that you’ve heard on the radio’.” 48



SHOLA VICTOR –SAGOWA Fri:dem Festival, 2018






Atim Obot 2006—2013

Helen Ewulo 2012- 2013

Volunteers 2006—date

School work placements 2008—ongoing

Charlene Holder 2013 –2015

Uzo Anyia 2007—2018

Tui 2018

Interns from the Erasmus Programme 2014— Date

Student Placements from University of West London 2006—date

Yemi Adeshina 2007—2017

T wenty years of service It takes a team of talented and committed individuals to build and sustain a company. To all who have helped make Zoe Records the 'Premier British Black Gospel Record Label'.

Brian Lilley 2016—date

Tracey Lenga 2017—date


Sing! Use your voice to make great music.


Sing with beauty, strength and confidence…. When an artist is possession of power gained from knowing why they have been given a stage and what they are there to do, their delivery is filled with a level of confidence and inner assurance that causes the audience to sit up and take notice.


“People are going to ask them what the singer is like? Did you enjoy it? Would you go to another of their gigs?”



“There is nothing more satisfying that creating music- making experiences where audience members enjoy your performance. Where you are able to connect with the audience ”






PUSHING AHEAD Celebrating diversity in vocal timbre, music style, demography and range.

Sisters with Soul Zoe Nites September 2018

SN ATCHA Freedom festival

“Each artist brings something different to the genre. They add their own contemporary, traditional or ethnic twist, contributing to the body of music, growing the genre, and expanding its range.�


Zoe Impact & Assessment Report


Zoe conducted a series of telephone and face to face interviews with members of the audience, artists, actresses, actors, directors and producers, as well as with key Local Authority departments and schools.

Sisters with Soul Zoe Nites September 2018

The objective was to gain feedback from our partners and stakeholders on how we were doing. We wanted to ascertain Zoe’s impact as • A record label; • An agent for community cohesion; • An organisation committed to building legacy i.e. developing the next generation of artists; • An active member of music industry and black gospel music genre. We separated the responses we received into three groups Music, Film and third-tier organisations including Local Authorities. The responses from each of these groups have been collated under three headings, Good, Improvements and The Future.

Through the consultation we discovered themes like: Although Zoe is very active within the genre, its impact is not significantly felt across the industry. Zoe Records needs to engage more young people to broaden its audience base, without losing it’s core audience. The diversity within the genre has expanded, with contemporary music styles gaining more prominence as the demography of gospel music audience and artist change.


Under the heading of social change, the consultation process confirmed that Zoe Records’ capacity was enough to sustain the labels work with young people and schools across London. The consultation also revealed, the need for improved communication between Zoe and partners. Get a copy of the report and read more about the findings of our consultation process and what we have identified about the BBGM industry . Email: Zoe Records, to request a free copy.



“Collaborations between the US and the UK are breaking down barriers and creating new opportunities for UK gospel music artists at home and abroad. “







Z ERECORDS 9 Campbell Rd E15 1SY Company No: 03831585 www.zoerecords.co.uk Follow us @zoerecordsUK LinkedIn. Twitter. Instagram. Facebook Spotify. Itunes