Cynthia Turner and Heartspeak
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Cynthia Turner and Heartspeak

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Cynthia Turner and Heartspeak bolster the level of excellence for independents this year. Turner and her mixed group hail from the Chicago area and deliver a solid effort titled Just Because that is musically diverse and vocally fervent.

The title track “Just Because”, a slow tempo song penned by Turner, features chorale members in a repetitive verse. The melodic worship tune features Turner’s verbal exhortation, as throughout the rest of the project. Though frequent, it is not contrived and provides a conscious element of continuity for the project. Members of Heartspeak take turns at the verse as accompanied by pretty piano from Tramaine Davis.

Jazz takes its turn on “In Your Will”. Natalie Hamler shapes her ample vocal around the musical ensemble of Chuck Webb on acoustic bass, Sekou Bunch on fretless bass and Dean Klinker with classic delicate jazz drums. The Whitfieldesque background vocal provides the perfect palette for Hamler’s expression.

“Excuse Me” and “Christian Soldier”, both contemporary grooves, are different from much of the diverse selection of songs on this project and are strongly reminiscent of SOUL (Trinity Records). “There’s Not Another” lets Hamler flex a bit on an uptempo jam. “No I Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody” is another highlight on the faster tempoed edge, a “stand right here” proclamation with a bounce.

A wonderful duet with Kimberly Keaton and Vince Elam, is “Offer” written by Turner and husband/co-producer Kevin Turner. Simple in structure but power-packed, it is a key cut on the project. Son Julien makes it a family affair by following mommy’s spoken word, covering the intro on “There’s Not Another”.

“Jesus Knows” features the alto vocal of Whitney Keaton along with some ambitious choral transitions. Heartspeak pulls them off.

Overall this is a well thought-out and well-executed project, with all the elements of a great premiere. Cynthia Turner and Heartspeak undoubtedly have more to offer and things will blossom for them.

Just Because has wonderful writing, substantial production, detail in the music and vocal delivery —and then there’s Turner with a sparkle in her eye and a Word in her heart.

Their debut cd consists of 10 original cuts that combine contemporary and urban elements of jazz/hip-hop/r&b music with a substantive lyrical message from the Gospel. The cd starts off with a contemporary worship track "Blessed Be The Name," that's very smooth, anointing and shows off their impressive vocal skills (Oh How I Love Jesus!). "There's Not Another," is an urban/hip-hop with a rap flava that will ultimately get all the young people tuning in for more. E-Dilla does a great job with the rap vocals. "Jesus Knows," is a smooth urban contemporary track that confirms that although Jesus knows everything about us He still loves us anyway! Whitney Keaton provides the jazzy voice that makes this track a keeper. One of the standout tracks is "No, I Ain't Gonna Let Nobody" which provides the uptempo that will make you want to bobb yo' head and praise Somebody! One of the prettiest songs I've heard in a while is "It'll Be Okay." The sopranos and altos gave me goose bumps with their vocal harmonizing. Tenors, ya' know I got madd props for y'all too! If you want to get yo' dance/praise on check out the urban contemporary track "Christian Soldier." With a pulsating beat and vibrant melody this has got to be my favorite track on the cd! Are you feelin' jazzy? Then check out the contemporary gospel/jazz cut "In Your Will" that features Natalie Hamler who is one of the smoothist vocalist around. Homegirl can blow y'all!! Oh but "Excuse Me," gotz to be one of the best urban contemporary gospel jams around. I think this one will qualify for my top 20 independent songs list. Finally, in "Just Because" we hear each member of the group singing different solo versus in their own unique way. I love the way they put this track together. Cynthia Turner and Heartspeak are very anointed and seem to be committed to their music ministry! -


I Need You Today-Single (August 2005)
Just Because (August 2002)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Gospel Superfest’s 2004 New Artist Showcase winner, Cynthia Turner and Heartspeak hail from Central Illinois. Formally created in 2000, this 10-voice ensemble is led by Dr. Cynthia Turner, a native of Portsmouth, VA who currently lives in Champaign, IL, and currently consists of: Scharema Daniels (Waukegan, IL), Vince Elam (Champaign, IL), sister vocalists, Natalie and Stephanie Hamler (Chicago, IL), Lawrence Haynes (East St. Louis, IL), mother-and-daughter vocalists, Kimberly and Whitney Keaton (Champaign, IL), Maritha Martin (Chicago, IL), and Raphael Smith (Chicago, IL). The group’s name, Heartspeak, was inspired by Luke 6:45, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good….for (out) of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” With music written and produced by husband-wife duo, Kevin and Cynthia Turner, the group independently released their debut project, “Just Because” in 2002. Currently finishing their sophomore project, Cynthia Turner and Heartspeak hope to garner further national attention with their upcoming release in January 2006 and continue as she puts it, “share the goodness of Jesus.”