“Closer”: an alternative to tradition

The perfect alternative for young Christians who are tired of the mainstream Christian gospels, they same ones they hear in church every Sunday, has just surfaced. The new single, “Closer” by GAWVI, gives off a feel-good, beach-side vibe that makes the listener want to open up the windows and watch the sunset. Although it is supposed to be an uplifting song about God, it has the beat and tune of a Calvin Harris song.
GAWVI, an up and coming musical artist, has begun to create a name for himself as a solo artist through his debut album We Belong. The album’s single “Closer” features Robbie Lee and Julissa Leilani. The song provides listeners with an energetic and party-like sensation, but at the same time it falls into the genre of Christian/Gospel music, by expressing the artist’s worship of God.

GAWVI and the two talented featured artists express their relationship with God through the upbeat and uplifting music that you could play at a church or a party. The song’s appeal is vast, it is religious (but not over the top), it is upbeat and positive, but  but it can also be seen as a love song. This makes it much easier for GAWVI to connect with his fans since his appeal grabs  at more than one specific  group.

GAWVI’s “Closer” is a mixture between electronic pop and gospel music that one would hear in a typical contemporary church. It is comprised of a small portion of piano, eventually leading into upbeat electronic music. GAWVI’s background as a producer is evident in the song’s EDM roots. By the end of the track, the beat fades into a soft piano tune as Julissa Leilani sings the outro. “Closer” tries to communicate the importance of love and religion in a way that would appeal to our current generation’s youth. The sound of today’s pop music represents some things that are not appropriate, but nevertheless, accepted. GAWVI took an alternate route by producing the same feel in that teenagers may not even remember that they’re listening to religious music.

The song is not without its weaknesses though, such as the repetitiveness of the lyrics. The repetitive chorus may cause an audience to get bored hearing the same thing throughout the course of the four minute song. However the two featured artists, Julissa Leilani and Robbie Lee, continue to draw the listener in with their diverse voices. They create a choir like feeling which builds the songs uplifting feel.

A lot of work was put into the creation of art – GAWVI’s song “Closer” is no different. He found lesser-known artists to feature on the recording. Robbie Lee was discovered through a church in L.A. singing worship. In a Youtube video posted in February, GAWVI stated that when he met Robbie Lee, Lee confessed that he had never been in a recording studio before, and had no knowledge on how to make a melody.

To get Lee started, GAWVI went in the booth with Robbie and started him off in order to make progress. Julissa Leilani, however, was a different story. She was discovered through the social media app, Instagram. Many of GAWVI’s fans tend to interact with him on social media, sharing with him music, urging him to notice people. GAWVI revealed that this was how he discovered Leilani in the same video interview.

Upon seeing her perform on social media, the artist immediately asked Leilani to fly out to Atlanta, Georgia with her mother and be properly introduced. Leading up to the creation of Closer, the three artists opened up to each other about their relationship with God and how he impacts the lives of each of them. From there came a song that is “closer” to magic.

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