Custom Search 1

‘We want to share gospel with the outside world’

SING YOUR HEART OUT: The London African Gospel Choir performing at the O2 Arena in February

NEXT MONTH, The London African Gospel Choir will take centre stage at Broadway Theatre, London.

The choir, which is based in southeast London, has been praised by international superstar, Annie Lennox. She even personally invited them to perform at her Music Industry Trust award acceptance ceremony.

Last year, members of Parliament were moved to tears on hearing the choir sing for the Nelson Mandela memorial service at the Great Hall, Westminster.

Founded by husband and wife Al and Crystal Kassi, ten years ago, members of the choir are in full gear, rehearsing for the big show – which will be taking place on October 4.

Crystal spoke with Life & Style about the choir:

Why did you and Al create your own choir?
The choir was created to establish a platform of excellence for African gospel singers and musicians, and popularise the African interpretations of gospel music.
When we were in church, we heard such beautiful voices, and we just wanted to share this with people who don’t go to church. We wanted to share it with the outside world.

What does the choir mean to you?
In general, it’s very challenging for black people to work together. What I love about the choir is that we can come together as black people that come from different backgrounds, and all get along and enjoy something together.
It’s not without challenge, but even if we have problems, it’s not because of our nationality. We all get on together.
Also, we try and create employment when possible. If we get income from a performance, then everyone is paid.

Who takes part in the choir?
The London African Gospel Choir is formed of over 30 people from different parts of Africa and the Diaspora.
It’s really diverse. We have singers from everywhere: The Ivory Coast, South Africa, Uganda, Cameroon, Kenya, Guadalupe, Jamaica, Nigeria and Ghana. I’m sure there’s more that I’ve forgotten too.

Where does the choir perform?
We rehearse twice a week in a church on Old Kent Road. We do events for weddings, funerals, festivals, and lots of other events. Not only do we sing, but we dance too.

What songs does the choir sing?
We sing in English and African languages including Swahili, Zulu and Twi.

What can the audience expect to see at the live show next month?
Come expecting a colourful night of cultural excellence. What we try to carry is the joy that we have and show off the amazing voices and music.

A lot of people say that Christianity is boring. There’s this preconceived idea of Christianity. But actually there’s a lot of joy and happiness.

Subscribe to The Voice database!

We'd like to keep in touch with you regarding our daily newsletter, Voice competitions, promotions and marketing material and to further increase our reach with The Voice readers.

If interested, please click the below button to complete the subscription form.

We will never sell your data and will keep it safe and secure.

For further details visit our privacy policy.

You have the right to withdraw at any time, by clicking 'Unsubscribe'.