Growing up in the church, you have to remember listening to gospel almost everyday, especially on Sundays. Whether you are listening to it on your way to church, during praise and worship, on your way back to church, or even during Saturday morning cleaning, there is one gospel artist that most likely made it on your playlist at least once. The unique sound of Hezekiah Walker put the ultimate spin on gospel that led to an overall enjoyment of listening to the sacred song. The influence of popular culture, upbeat tunes, and diverse lyrics led to people singing songs and wanting to replay them over and over again. Hezekiah Walker was influential on artists such as Tye Tribbett and Kirk Franklin by being part of a group of pioneers that introduced popular music culture to gospel music in order to attract a wide range of audiences. Some of his notable songs impacted by pop culture include “Jesus Is My Help”, “Power Belongs to God”, “Lift Him Up”, and many more.
Although Hezekiah Walker is known for his upbeat(use another word)gospel songs, he still have numerous songs that tones down the musical components and focus more on vocalization and dragging out the lyrics. The music style is similar to traditional gospel yet still a bit more modern and just as enjoyable as the songs influenced by the popular culture of that time. These slower songs consists on lyrics that are repetitive in order to get the message across and ensure that the listeners feel the spirit while taking in the words. A few of these songs include “Second Chance”, “I Need You to Survive”, “Faithful Is Our God”, and others. These songs (in addition to the songs listed above) are arguably some of the Black Baptist Church essentials in addition to songs by Marvin Sapp, Kirk Franklin, Tye Tribbett, etc.
More About Hezekiah Walker
Hezekiah Walker was born December 24, 1962 in Brooklyn, New York. He stemmed from a very religious background, so becoming a gospel artist was his destiny. Since childhood, Walker had a passion for music and even listened to artists such as Walter Hawkins, Shirley Caesar, and the Clark Sisters. In 1985 he formed the Love Fellowship Crusade Choir(LFCC) which is the choir of the church that he is now the pastor of. It wasn’t until he lost his mother at age 21 when LFCC and Hezekiah Walker really became established. Once he lost his mother to an unexpected death, times became very hard for him. He quit his job and just a few days after that he was put out his home. That was when he wrote one of his first hit songs titled “I’ll Make It” that caught the attention of gospel listeners and put him on the map. His career took off and began doing music and making live performances along with his choir. Hezekiah Walker was nominated for numerous awards including the Grammy Awards where he won two (1995 and 2002). To this day, Bishop Hezekiah Walker is a pastor at Love Fellowship Crusade Church which is a megachurch in Brooklyn, New York.
Hezekiah Walker is a very influential gospel artists that put his mark on the genre as a whole. His upbeat music with pop culture influences will forever have an impact on the sacred sound of gospel.