With his dynamic, powerful voice, it is through God’s grace that gospel sensation Kevin Vasser is on a path to immeasurable greatness. And it is Vasser’s robust, energetic, incomparable sound that makes him one of the most uplifting and talented artists that the gospel industry has experienced in a while.
As the son of a preacher and with influences such as Sam Cooke, Joe Ligon, and Marvin Winans, singing has always been part of the equation for Vasser. He joined the church choir at age five and then formed the group Youth Edition with his older brother and two cousins while only in middle school. With his father as their manager, the group sang around Chicago for years, entering competitions and talent shows until winning a local radio station contest in 2000, beating out R&B and hip hop acts, and garnering the group a record deal. They recorded the gospel album Anything is Possible which went on to be a chart-topping album for the quartet. Youth Edition’s success gave the group the opportunity to perform and travel around world and also gave Vasser an introduction into the music industry.
A few years later, Vasser decided to temporarily step out of the group to pursue a solo career. He began working on an independent album and in 2006, after getting picked up by EMI Gospel (now Motown Gospel), he released So Glad, a 10-track, personal testimony of his commitment to God, produced by Percy Bady. With its powerful, triumphant conviction and amazing production, Vasser enjoyed success with So Glad, and the album helped solidify his place in the gospel industry as a stellar recording artist. “I was able to establish who I was with the album and the direction I wanted to go as a solo artist,” says Vasser. “Youth Edition’s style was very urban and inspirational, but So Glad was more gospel allowed me to establish my style.”
Now Vasser is back with his second album, but this time on Malaco Records. Only You Can Deliver is slated to be released later this summer and will feature some of Vasser’s most incredible work yet. Emotionally rich, deeply moving, sincere, and absolutely inspirational, Vasser’s sophomore effort is sure to take the gospel world by storm.
Co-written and co-produced with Phil Feaster, of the Fred Hammond production team, Vasser hopes that Only You Can Deliver will allow people to become closer to God. The first single, the title track of the album, featuring Dewayne Woods, was released in late April and is already generating a buzz. The album also features a collaboration with fellow Chicago gospel artist Dolisha Ballard on the song “You Are My God” and a reunion track with Youth Edition called “Jesus is His Name.” Vasser says the album is one that can be easily sung at church. “A lot of the music coming out now in the industry is great music, but not necessarily something that you can play every Sunday at church. I wanted to record an album that any minister or worship leader, on any given Sunday, could listen and have it be relative to their service. If the album can strengthen someone’s relationship with God, then that would be great.”
Vasser’s own relationship with God continues to strengthen each day. Even in the face of adversity—eight years ago Vasser was diagnosed with kidney failure and now has to undergo daily kidney dialysis—it is through God that Vasser continues to be upbeat, positive, and more ambitious as ever. “I want people to know my heart. I want to share my testimony and be transparent. I also want people to understand that you might be dealt a curve ball in life, but that doesn’t mean that you have to give up because of it,” he expresses. “Even while I deal with my situation, I’m still able to progress and be active. I’m still able to try to achieve success in everything that I do. The scripture says that ‘No weapon formed against us will be able to prosper.’ I try to encourage people by telling them that you may be in a situation, but if you remain positive and trust God, you can still achieve your goals.”
Vasser has received nothing but loving support, encouragement and praise from his wife Ericka, and their two children, Kyra,16, and Kevin Jr., nine. “My kids are my number one supporters and I try to include them in everything that I do—from engagements to whenever I perform out of town,” he says. “And when I have down time, I’m definitely hanging with my family. No doubt about it. I try to balance it as best as I can, but they are definitely big supporters of my ministry and that helps out a lot.”
When he is not recording or performing, Vasser is the Director of Worship & Arts at the legendary Fellowship Baptist Church, headed by Pastor Charles Jenkins, who is a good friend and mentor. Vasser has been part of the church for 11 years and director for the past six. The church has become such an important staple in his life that he even recorded a record with the choir called “Best Of Both Worlds” in which Kevin was the featured vocalist on “Days Of Elijah”, released in 2012, and which received 5 Stellar Awards.
After the release of Only You Can Deliver, Vasser plans to begin working on a reunion album with Youth Edition as well as another album with the Fellow Baptist Church. And in five years, Vasser sees himself serving in the church on an even larger scale. “I’m not sure how things will end up exactly, but I definitely have a calling for ministry and preaching the word. I see myself continuing with my music, walking in complete health, and preaching. Wherever I feel the Lord is leading me, is where I want to go.”
Because he is a hard working, professional, undeniably gifted artist, and a faithful believer in God’s glory, whatever is it Vasser chooses to do, he will do so with grace, dignity, and passion. “I am a person of very strong faith. It is important to stay true to who you are and to hear the voice and follow the direction of God. I want to be what God wants me to be,” he says. “I don’t want to please man. I just want to make sure I please God. And as long as I am connected to him and in a place where I can hear him speaking and follow his leadership, I think I’ll be in good standing.”
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Only You Can Deliver
CD - 9.95