by Alexis Taylor
NNPA News Service
Effortlessly blending the message of Christ with edgy rock, Nicois Harris has once again captured audiences with her second album, "Un-de-ni-a-bel" (Undeniable).
The Arlington, Va. native has returned from her October 2011 mission to Ghana full of inspiration and with an important message that crosses all color and culture lines.
"I hope listeners walk away with how easy it is to engage in conversations with God. It's not as bureaucratic as religion makes it," said Harris. "It's easy to converse with him and receive from him. Its easy to have a trusting friend in him and receive the love he lavishes on us- we just make it hard."
Opening with an up-tempo piece heavy with electric guitar, synthesizers, and bass, Harris says she first started putting together a concept for the album two years ago.
"I didn't force it, it just sort of landed in my lap," said Harris, who admits that she, like many gospel artists first tried her hand at secular music. "I started to meet the producers that I'm working with now and then there were little nudges from friends saying 'You ought to do your own project – there's a void.'"
Offering a range of musical experiences, Harris' album gives space to praise and dance with numbers such as "Take Everything" and "Digital World," while also leaving room for intimate worship and meditation with pieces like "Revive Us" and "We Worship."
Harris has shared the stage with gospel greats such as Shirley Caesar and Tye Tribbett, and clear influences of Martha Munizzi, Chris Tomlin, and Karen Clark-Sheard can be heard in her music.
"Nicois brings a fresh energy and passion to the world of Christian music," said musician, songwriter, and producer Kurtis Parks, in a statement about Harris' musical gift.
"Her ministry is not just a thing that happens on stage, but the way she lives her life. Her songs are not only catch and filled with incredible layers of music, but they are brought to life by heartfelt lyrics and the power of Nicois' voice," said Parks.
Harris says her trip to Ghana helped her grow not only as an artist, but as a human being.
"It was life changing and very enlightening. I got to experience events that I probably would have never experienced in the U.S. because we are very spoiled here," said Harris. "It's a very proud people and they are very poor – but their countenances are high even in the midst of poverty."
The artist says she now draws her strength and inspiration from the "Word," citing "the entire passage of Psalm 90 as a favorite."
The mother of three has been married for eleven years and even enlisted the help of her husband to help pen part of the album. The couple's work can be heard on "Day One" and "Fighting to Die," an innovative take on the Bible's call for the daily death to all things dealing with selfish human nature.
(Special to the NNPA from the Afro-American Newspaper)