Now I See - Ta'Ta Vega

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by Melissa Riddle

The voice is familiar, even if the name isn’t. 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 Ta’ta Vega, whose soulful sound can also be heard in The Lion King, Amistad and Forrest Gump

Among other films. She’s 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. Vega’s debut, Now I See, is the soundtrack of her life. It’s 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 God’s faithfulness and healing as only one who’s 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 "I’m 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 Crouch’s 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 Vega’s beautiful braids spinning in the air like a propeller, dancing before her Lord. The most moving moment? Cut nine, Eddie DeGarmo and Dana Key’s "I’m Accepted." Knowing even a little about Vega’s dramatic life, this poignant lyric really hits home.

Stylistically, she’s Mahalia Jackson with a little Patti LaBelle and Aretha Franklin thrown in for excellent measure. And as far as I’m 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: 800/333-9643.