My Praise-His Presence
He's just one of those artist! Soulful; Melodious; Captivating. Raymond is one of those artists who will catch your attention. But it's not vanity, arrogance, or showmanship. It's his heart for worship. His relationship with the living God is the reason he's dedicated his voice to spreading the love of Jesus Christ in song. Raymond baptized at the early age of 7, received the baptism of the Holyghost at the tender age of 8. However, before his Christian experience he remembers singing with the Sunbeam children's choir where his mother was a co director and the pianist. He grew up at the Refuge Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith singing with his family, the youth choir, and other groups within the ministry. And every Sunday evening there was an impromptu service that developed between the morning and evening service. Basically one person would spearhead it, and everyone else would sign up to sing, or recite a poem (or the books of the bible), or preach. He and other young people would practice a song to sing either by themselves or as a group. Later he took the mic to lead is first solo with the Refuge Young Adult Choir. On Saturday morning's he would wake up to his mother playing the upright piano on the other side of his bedroom wall. By his pre-teens, the seed was well planted and he developed a habit of singing all the time. So much so, his father would ask him, 'don't you ever stop singing?' Raymond went on to sing in district, state, and national choirs. Later, he joined a local Richmond based group called Rapture, later named Brothers Keeper. This group came into his life at a pivotal time. A time where he was searching for a greater truth than taught religion. Raymond says, 'it was a time of ministry, maturity, and development.' With ministry as their focus, they went on to open for leading gospel artist such as Yolanda Adams, Kirk Franklin, Donnie McClurkin, John P. Kee, and many others. After joining the group, they began working on their first recording in 1994 with a local producer, Lamont Coward. In 1995 Raymond recorded his first solo tracks on Lamont's debut Christian recording entitled 'Friend To Friend.' One song in particular was a duet with singer, songwriter, Monica Pollard called 'Wherever You Go.' This song became the most requested song on WREJ radio in May 1995. Pursuing his God-promised path to recording, he released a single entitled Forgiven - A song for Bill Clinton in the spring of 2001. The same year, he also recorded with Lamont Coward on '15 Minutes of Praise and Worship,' and also with a long time friend Alicia Jones on her debut project entitled 'High Praise.' In 2002, Raymond began writing the music for his own project. The title cut, 'My Praise' is the song that lifted the project 'My Praise - His Presence.' This CD is praise and worship heightened by relationship and experience with favorites like 'Heart of Worship,' 'Lord You Are,' and 'I Call You Jesus.' In 2003 he began focusing on new music for his sophomore project entitled Phases Of Life. The May 2005 release will show growth both in package and content while harvesting his inevitable tones of worship. Phases Of Life will also include some spoken word a.k.a. poetry. These little bits will make you dance, smile, and even chant from your seat. You don't have to believe me. Some of the titles include, 'I Got High,' 'Who Cares,' and 'Breathe Again.' Phases Of Life is a project of gratitude, truth, and a journey to destiny. Without a doubt, everyone has phases, and I believe there will be more than one song you can identify with the Phases Of your Life. Now as far as Raymond goes, spending time with him is generally a 'blast' and sometimes provocative, spontaneous, energizing, and encouraging, to say the least. He likes to spend 'down time' in front of the mirror singing impromptu songs, trying to dance (and still trying), or making funny faces. No, he's not weird, just amusing to the Lord, and you might laugh, too. For Booking & Contact: JIREH's Entertainment Gigi Hopkins - Manager 804.909.8010 Raymond has had the opportunity to open for and share the stage with a host of talent ranging from singers to writers to authors. Kirk Franklin and the Family Late Rev. James Moore Yolanda Adams Ben Tankard Donnie McClurkin John P. Kee Pastor Hezekiah Walker Monica Pollard Byron Cage Bis. William L. Bonner Bis. Frank Summerfield Debbie Henry Alicia Jones Bishop Donald Wright Bishop Michael Rogers Bishop Wayne Powell Bishop Andrew Merritt Dana Powell Bishop Wellington Boone Bishop Larry Jackson Lori El Lamont Coward Vickie Winans Tonex Rev. Jackie McCullough Bubby Fann Miguel Washington Rodney Johnson Steven Ford Pas. Brian Keith Williams Joye B. Moore Ebony Jackson Rob Mercer Pastor Bryan Crute.