Tuesday, August 3, 2010

En Sound Music Awards Come to Houston to Honor Independent Gospel Artists & DaSouth.com


It’s a story that celebrates both “The Underdog” and “The Comeback.”

After taking a two-year hiatus to regroup and reprioritize, the East Coast-based En Sound Music Awards and Conference (ESMAC) regains its public profile with a schedule of events taking place this weekend at Houston’s Greater St. Matthews Baptist Church.

The ESMAC was started in 2006 by Delroy Souden to recognize independent gospel artists – a community he felt was often ignored by other awards shows that tend to cater to major-label acts. After several years of personally bankrolling the event and struggling as an indie gospel music performer in his own right, Souden almost called it quits.

“I had reached a point where I wanted to shut the doors of En Sound and came very close to doing so last October. After many prayers and the advice of close friends, here we are energized with a new sense of purpose, outlook and an awesome team of hard-working people, all of whom are focused and ready to make it a huge success,” Souden said.

Part of En Sound’s restructuring involved asking the Houston-based DaSouth.com website to oversee its nomination and selection process for the awards in the Christian hip hop categories.

DaSouth.com co-owner Bobby “Tre9” Herring said his organization accepted fan nominations and voting in order to determine the night’s biggest rap winners.

“This way we reflect artists who truly have credentials that deserve recognition and those that know how to mobilize their fanbase to action,” Herring said. “I think the fair and balanced approach En Sound took here should be commended.”

Christian rapper Pettidee at a previous En Sound Music Award Show

On Saturday night, Herring’s DaSouth.com company will also be presented with the “En Sound Trailblazer Award” for their contributions to the advancement of Christian hip hop.

“Even after 13 years in this genre, guys like us rarely get honored this way,” Herring said. “It’s a big deal for us.”

Trophies will also be handed out in 18 other categories including reggae, urban contemporary and traditional gospel. Performers include the Still Trill Christians and Chozen (two groups from Houston) along with artists like Lisa McClendon, Deanna Ransom, Earnest Pugh, Chiquita Green, and Jumbo from across the United States and abroad.

The En Sound Music Awards & Conference will take place from August 6-8 at Houston’s Greater St. Matthews Baptist Church – 14919 South Main Street. For more information on this event, visit ensoundmusicawards.org.

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