The better part of the millennium has seen a swelling wave of cornerstone voices in the music industry providing their own takes on classic hymns.
Recently, Amy Grant released Be Still and Know — Hymns & Faith; Michael W. Smith released his new album Hymns II: Shine On Us, a collection of classic songs and contemporary hymns, and Audrey Assad released Inheritance.
These are some of our top favourite modern versions of classic faith songs that stir the soul and cause our heart to reflect in awe and wonder on the majesty and grace of our loving Saviour Jesus. The contemporised arrangements, new choruses and sometimes complete reworking help these deep and meaningful songs shine.
Adding to the array of amazing voices which have stunned us by remaking, remixing, re-producing or restructuring timeless church hymns is the daughter of Africa and indie artist Gemma Griffiths, who this week released her own version of Hakuna Zita.
We, too, couldn’t hold it inside watching the eccentric virtuoso swapping pop hits for church hymns as she has done covers for popular songs like Mudhara Achauya and Musarova Bigman in the past.
According to her website, Gemma travelled to Snow College in The USA after completing her high school education in Zimbabwe to study towards a Bachelor’s degree in Commercial Music Composition. She studied trumpet, piano and voice, being invited back in 2017 to give a concert of her works, and speak on her musical journey after returning to Africa.
In 2016 Gemma moved to Cape Town, South Africa to record and has played shows with South African artists such as Jimmy Nevis, Majozi, Goodluck, Freshly Ground and Matthew Mole.
Gemma continued working closely with Zimbabwean musicians whilst in Cape Town, sharing the stage at the Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts with one of Zimbabwe’s top artists – Jah Prayzah, and with Zimbabwean legend Oliver Mutukudzi at Artscape Theater.
Watch Gemma Griffiths sing Hakuna Zita here:
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