by Melissa Riddle
The voice is
familiar, even if the name isnt. I first discovered her on The Color Purple
soundtrack, having been mesmerized by the powerful "God is Trying to Tell You
Something." The actress was actually lip-syncing; the voice was that of Tata
Vega, whose soulful sound can also be heard in The Lion King, Amistad and Forrest Gump
Among other films. Shes also sung for such notable artists as
Michael Jackson, Andrae Crouch, Stevie Wonder, Madonna and R&B hit-man Babyface.
Now, after years of behind-the-scenes studio and soundtrack recording,
Quincy Jones wants you to put a face with her unmistakable voice. Vegas debut, Now I
See, is the soundtrack of her life. Its a drama of movie-making proportions, the
stuff most of us only hear about on talk shows or read about in the newspaper. Having
survived a brutal rape, which resulted in pregnancy, two bullets from sniper fire,
homelessness, abduction and threats on her life, Vega sings her testimony to Gods
faithfulness and healing as only one whos been through the fire can sing. Now I See
is our chance to hear a one-of-a-kind story and share in her joy.
From songs about the glories of heaven ("Are You Ready" and
"I Got Shoes"), the true source of love and grace ("Love From Above"
and "Im Accepted") and the celebration that new life in Christ begins
("Brand New Dance" and "Now I See"), these songs offer a veritable
contemporary gospel feast of joy and a reminder that above all else, God is the author of
all great things. Andrae Crouchs classic tune "Oh It is Jesus" and
"Walk With Me" by the legendary gospel great Thomas Whitfield are one-way
tickets to havin church.
The most grooving moment? "Brand New Dance." I can just see
Vegas beautiful braids spinning in the air like a propeller, dancing before her
Lord. The most moving moment? Cut nine, Eddie DeGarmo and Dana Keys "Im
Accepted." Knowing even a little about Vegas dramatic life, this poignant lyric
really hits home.
Stylistically, shes Mahalia Jackson with a little Patti LaBelle
and Aretha Franklin thrown in for excellent measure. And as far as Im concerned,
Vega deserves a place in their line.
Originally published in the March 199 issue of CCM magazine, copyright 1999, CCM
Communications. Reprinted with permission. For CCM subscription information, please call: