Sounds of Imani
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Sounds of Imani

Harper Woods, Michigan, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1996 | INDIE

Harper Woods, Michigan, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1996
Band Christian Gospel




"Come Praise the Lord - An Interview w Gerald Ervin & Carol Ervin"


Carol Ervin & Gerald Ervin – A duo group Sounds of Imani desired to make a music video that uplifted and encouraged people to get up on their feet, shake off their troubles, and have a moment to dance!

1.RSTMPA – Above of all, a big congratulation on your victory! How do you feel about winning the RSTMP Award on Music Video category?

Carol & Gerald – We are so excited to know that our music video “Come Praise the Lord” was selected as a winner in the monthly RSTMP awards. It encourages and motivates us to continue our creativity in film. We have always desired to make creative music videos that tell a story or share joy and happiness with others. RSTMP provides a wonderful platform to show all the talents and abilities of filmmakers around the world. This is our very first win in filmmaking, and we will never forget this wonderful experience. We are enjoying this blessing and sharing the good news with our family and friends. Big shout out to RSTMP!

2.RSTMPA – Why did you choose “Come Praise the Lord” as your title?

Carol & Gerald – Well, we are very spiritual people and since we both are Covid survivors (especially Gerald), we felt it would be a good idea to title the song as we give praise to our Lord Jesus. We would not be here today, if it had not been for our faith and consistent prayers. We wanted to invite people around the world to join us in dance and song as we celebrate life!

3.RSTMPA – Would you please tell us your story behind making this film on music?

Carol & Gerald – In March of 2020, my husband Gerald was very sick with the Covid virus and spent about a month in the hospital suffering with blood clots and breathing issues. I was not allowed to go in the hospital to see him due to the health mandates. The situation wasn’t looking good but with much prayer from our church, family and friends, he was able to come home where he further recuperated — eventually getting off the blood thinner medication and oxygen machine. I had Covid as well losing my sense of taste and smell which came back in a few days. A couple of months later, we decided to release a music video to show how important praise is when you are going though and when you come out of a bad situation. Covid had brought so much devastation, but we wanted to bring a spirit of joy and hope. We are happy that Gerald is alive and well to continue our filmmaking and music vision. We encourage people around the world to celebrate life; as the song says, “do your dance, clap your hands, get up out your seat and get your praise on!”

4.RSTMPA – What were the biggest challenges you faced in making the movie?

Carol & Gerald – One of the biggest challenges we faced when making this movie was finding the youth dancers. As mentioned earlier, we created the movie during 2020 when the pandemic had really hit hard and closed everything. It was hard to find dance studios that were still open – much less any dancers that were still performing. We called many dance studios looking for dancers that would fit the vision for our project but could not find any that were available. We left messages at various dance studios but received no calls back because of the closures. Through the recommendation of a fellow music artist, we contacted Fenton’s Dance Factory in Texas. The dance instructor Mr. Fenton called us back and expressed interest in being a part of the movie. He quickly gathered up some of his best youth dancers who he thought would fit our project and they were excited about participating.

5.RSTMPA – How much time did it take right from writing the song? Is there anyone you would like to mention who has helped and supported you throughout the project?

Carol & Gerald – Filming of the movie began after Gerald was well enough to move around and his breathing improved. In May 2020, we started working on the film and deciding what type of backdrop and look we wanted to create. We decided to use an urban background. The dancers were filmed at their location in an urban background in Texas. After completion, the movie was released in November 2020. We had no idea that the song would be where it is today and for that we thank God for these blessings.

We would like to thank our videographer Roland Pollard in Texas for believing in our vision. In addition, our music producers Gregory Pearson Sr. and Demetrius Nabors at Inner Court Music Studio in Southfield, MI for helping us with our music recording. We thank Executive producer Heaven-Wings Records and the Sounds of Imani band (Joshua, Frank, John Brandon, and Earl) who have been there with us every step of the way. Also, our wonderful church Acclaim Ministries International, our family and friends.

6.RSTMPA – What inspires you to make this movie?

Carol & Gerald – We are inspired by life and that we should never take it for granted. It is so important that we use our gifts and creative talents that we have been blessed with and share it with the world. Never be afraid to step out in faith. You never know whose life you will touch and inspire with positive creativity.

7.RSTMPA – What is your favourite genre? What do you prefer versatility or specialization?

Carol & Gerald – As music artists we love all kinds of music. Our favourite genre is contemporary gospel music because you can have a lot of expression within that genre. In contemporary gospel you can include a jazz or r&b feel and not lose the essence of your music creation. We prefer versatility because there is more room for artistic creativity to show various areas of individual talent. You are not boxed in to do one particular thing and you have room to move around and build on your ideas.

8.RSTMPA – It is very difficult and challenging to be in the epidemic situation and continuing the work. What is your plan to take your efforts forward?

Carol & Gerald – Yes, it has been exceedingly difficult during this epidemic situation of 2020 and 2021. It is our hope that we will all get through these bad times that surround us. However, we plan to move forward by the grace of God to continue making short films that present situations we all face daily and showing how you can overcome even in the worst scenarios. We can find a way to work through life’s difficulties and barriers and must continue to encourage each other every chance that we get.

9.RSTMPA – Who is/are your favourite contemporary filmmaker’s?

Carol & Gerald – Our favourite contemporary filmmakers are: 1) Tyler Perry who started off with his impressive stage plays on a shoestring budget and (from his own testimonial) often living homeless in his car. He kept pushing forward until someone blessed him with the opportunity to create his own movies and now, he has his own movie studio in Atlanta, GA (USA). 2) Another filmmaker is Spike Lee who specializes in making films that are controversial but makes you think about situations such as the effects of racism in our communities. 3) Rising filmmakers such as Prakash Jha, who won an award for “Highway Nights” at the 2021 Best of India Short Film Festival. “Highway Nights” will be released in Hollywood Los Angeles, CA and will be up for nomination for an Oscar Award in 2023. We are excited to see new Bollywood filmmakers coming forth with musicals and action films. It is great to see so many opportunities now for filmmakers of various ethnicities.

10.RSTMPA – What are your upcoming projects that we should be excited for?

Carol & Gerald – We are working on a series of short films about relationships and faith. In addition, we are in the process of writing the film script about our personal musical journey, as the music artist Sounds of Imani, and our experiences in trying to further our music career. People need to see the reality you face when you are struggling to make it in the music industry, while facing all kinds of calamity and barriers along the way. This is going to be good when it is completed, so get ready! - Royal Society of Television & Motion Pictures - India

"Sounds of Imani 10 Questions Interview"

Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.

The catalyst for us in writing our music stems from the Motown era musicians and songwriting teams that we've admired over the years. These renowned musicians and songwriters sat down to write hit songs about their life experiences and various social issues. Back in the day our family had close interaction with some of the famous Motown family and we give kudos to all of them who went through difficulties but still managed to write hit song after hit song. Our relatives were music artists and songwriters back in the Motown days and they truly valued their gifts and talents and we are also inspired to do the same.

Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?

We had a concert to do at Belle Isle Park, the date was secured and all fees paid at the park office. Folks were rolling up in their cars and we were getting set up on stage. It was going to be an exciting day until we found out that the electricity on the stage wasn't working. We went back to the park office and found out from someone else that the electricity had not been working for couple of years. Our thoughts were, Why would someone schedule an event at that stage knowing there was no electricity? We went back to the stage to inform the band and audience of the issue. Then we decided to look under the stage only to find a brand new gas can and generator. What? The management office said they didn't know where it came from and it didn't belong to them. Needless to say our musicians went to get gas for the generator. We filled up the generator and from that point the performance was on and we did get partial refund back from the park office. The crowd was clapping and cheering that the concert moved forward and we all had a great time.

What has been the high point of your music path?

The high point of our music path has been to create our own Internet radio station and TV network: Right Now Praizz Radio and Right Now Praizz TV. We strategized and were compelled to get this vision started. It is our desire to do all we can to help indie artists gain more exposure. Additionally, winning some indie awards has certainly been encouraging seeing that our hard work is being recognized. It's a good feeling!

So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?

On many occasions, we would be getting ready to retire for the evening, then all of a sudden at 1am in the morning we get up because there is a song in our head. We sing the tune into our phone or recording device then go downstairs to our rehearsal space to get the basics of it before we forget the tune. So whether we are riding in our car, at home or wherever, we manage to get a tune on a device. Back in the day, we used to record the songs on a cassette tape (LOL). A friend of ours gave us some music tracks he wasn't using and we were able to put lyrics and arrangement to those tracks which turned out to be a blessing.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?

The biggest challenge facing indie artist today is trying to get airplay. Indie artist are asked all the time to make sure they have radio ready music, properly tagged with the correct metadata; as well as properly registering their songs etc. When all of the criteria is met many radio stations still won't play indie music no matter how well it is produced, packaged or sounds. This prevents the indie artist from having their music heard (besides locally and performing live). If the music can't be heard, how will anyone be able to buy it? In addition, without airplay, artists can't acquire the needed spins to meet criteria for certain awards platforms. Many major awards platforms do not include a division for indie artists. This definitely needs to change.

If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?

We would love to share the stage Earth Wind and Fire. These guys have perseverance and have kept pushing all these years. Excellent musicianship, songwriting skills and stage presence!

What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?

We have weekly rehearsals with our band. When there is an upcoming show, we double up on rehearsals each week. Vocal rehearsals are conducted throughout the week and prior to the band arriving at rehearsal. Each band member is given a list of the songs and copies of music to perform by our music director ahead of time. When we get together it generally takes less time to tweak the songs at rehearsal. We love to create a family atmosphere at rehearsal because it's important that musicians and the lead vocalists gel together. Can't be on stage where the lead vocalists and musicians are battling each other.

Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!

One song that was the greatest challenge was 'Fly Away' because it was written when my husband's father passed away. It was difficult because we were going through so much at that time and it seemed like we just couldn't get the lyrics situated to say what we felt. But when we did get it together, it turned out to be one of our most requested songs.

What's coming up in the future?

We have a new EP coming out the Fall of 2021 and are super excited about it. In addition, we will have our first Christmas single forthcoming. It is our hope that the pandemic will soon pass over so that more doorways can open up for future live in-person performances as we love to perform live with our band.

Tell us where fans can access your music?

Our music can be found on iTunes, Apple Music, and other digital music platforms, as well as our main website. - BWH Music Group

"Song: Come Praise the Lord"

Overall Impression:
What a song! This instantly grabs the listener and lifts them up high, I couldn't help but tap my foot and nod my head to this infectiously catchy piece of songwriting. Expertly blending genres such as Funk, Gospel, and Soul together with both confidence and unbridled conviction, "Come Praise the Lord" is a wonderfully uplifting track that is steeped with heart and rhythmic bounce, Sounds of Imani demands you get up on your feet and join in with the good times, and you can't help but listen, great stuff!

Strongest Point(s):
Where to begin? Let's start with the incredibly strong vocal performances, the two leads have great chemistry, and both have excellent control over tone and dynamics. The interplay between the two lead vocalists is a real highlight of the song, and they provide a great contrast with one another. The backing vocals are superb and help strengthen the main vocalists tremendously well, adding further depth and diversity to the timbre. The instrumentation is marvelous and fits the style of the track superbly, there is a lot of variety here, the funky guitars and bass, the smooth synth and string sounds, and diverse percussion section all join together to create a tonally rich and musically fascinating backdrop to the vocals, as well as providing a solid melodic and rhythmic backbone to the song. I really like how different genres have been woven together seamlessly, there are elements of funk, gospel, R&B, and soul here, and it makes for an even more engaging listening experience. Lastly, the production is outstanding, all parts have great clarity and are easily distinguishable from one another, allowing all instruments to sit nicely in their own space in the mix and fill out the stereo field exceptionally well. This is an immersive experience and that's all due to the sheer creativity and professionalism on display, with its energetic rhythmic sensibilities, interesting melodic concepts, and soulful performances, this is a great piece of work.

Area(s) of Improvement:
In all honesty, I thought the track was polished from start to finish, it's easy to tell when the musicians and creative minds involved are ones of experience, and it really shows here, if there were any improvements to be made, I am sure they have undoubtedly already been applied, great work!

Target Audience Appeal:
This certainly will appeal to fans of Gospel/Christian-based music genres, but there are elements of funk, R&B, and soul here also, and it would be worth targeting fans of these styles as well.

Artist target suggestions:
Boyz II Men, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Merry Clayton, Kelly Price, Gene Moore, Tye Tribbett, The Clark Sisters, Kirk Franklin, Ricky Dillard, Lexi, Marvin Sapp, Jerard & Jovaun, Tim Bowman Jr, Smokie Norful, VaShawn Mitchel, Ken Reynolds, Trent Cory,
Joe Pace, Darwin Hobbs, Troy Sneed, Byron Cage

About the Reviewer:
Andre is a freelance session musician, composer, and sound engineer based in the U.K. Having studied music production and composition at a degree level, he has taken his passion for all things audio-related and strived to become a competent musician and performer. Being a self-confessed "Guitar Nerd" Andre has been continually studying the guitar, as well as teaching it, helping students both learn the instrument, develop their songwriting, and how to become proficient in home recording. - Radio Airplay

"Come Praise the Lord - Sounds of Imani"

There have been husband-and-wife singing duos in gospel music since the beginning of the genre. For nearly 25 years, Pastor Gerald and Lady Carol Irvin have maintained the tradition, with “Come Praise the Lord” their latest single.

Unlike the duo’s breezy, Hawkins-esque “Because of Who You Are,” the new song is a disco-driven piece that encourages everyone to dance while praising. “Move your feet to the beat,” the background vocalists chime, as Gerald and Carol weave their vocals together like a gospelized Yarborough and Peoples. Glad they didn’t include a Synare electronic drum; I would have had flashbacks to my flared jeans. - Journey of Gospel Music by Bob Marovich

"Sounds of Imani - Because of Who You Are"

Recording as the Sounds of Imani, Gerald and Carol Ervin have released their debut single, “Because of Who You Are,” a tuneful praiser that features the husband-wife team’s fine solo and duet vocalizing.

Carol’s soprano is so reminiscent of Stylistics lead singer Russell Thompkins Jr. that this song sounds decidedly Philly, although the Ervins are from Detroit.

The single also has an early Hawkins Family feel in its soft R&B tones, light tempo, and breezy ensemble harmonies. This all makes sense when one considers that Gerald was a vocalist with the famous soul group, the Detroit Emeralds, and the single’s producer, Michael J. Powell, counts quiet storm artist Anita Baker in his credits. Good cool down gospel. - Journal of Gospel Music by Bob Marovich

"Angelic Sounds"

THE SOUNDS OF IMANI are a husband/wife soul duo – GERALD and CAROL ERVIN. CAROL’S music background is in the Church, directing several successful church choirs, while GERALD comes from a musical family. His cousin JAMES MITCHELL is in the DETROIT EMERALDS while another cousin, PAUL MITCHELL, is a mainstay in THE FLOATERS. GERALD has augmented the vocals for both groups and he was also featured front man in THE FLAMING EMERALDS.

The couple formed THE SOUNDS OF IMANI (“Imani” is the Swahili word for “faith” by the way) in 1996 and began building up a solid reputation on the Detroit gospel circuit – singing in churches throughout the area and featuring in fund raisers for worthy local projects.

They released their début album, ‘Revelation’, in 2002 and are currently working on a second long player, ‘The New Project’. Resourceful UK label, SOUL JUNCTION RECORDS have licensed two new songs from that set and have just released them as two sides of a vinyl 45. Top side is a very contemporary, mid-tempo gospel beater, ‘Must Be An Angel,’ while the flip is a tad more upbeat – ‘It’s Alright’. Both prove that soul is alive and well – albeit residing within the Gospel community.

THE SOUNDS OF IMANI “Must Be An Angel’/’It’s Alright’ is out on SOUL JUNCTION RECORDS on February 4th. - Soul, Jazz & Funk - U.K.

"The Sounds Of Imani: Must Be An Angel"

The Sounds Of Imani (with Imani being the Swahili word for faith) was created in 1996 by the versatile husband and wife team of Gerald and Carol Ervin. Carol a keyboard player, vocalist and songwriter in her own right, her background has always been within the gospel genre. She was a choir directress with several Church ensembles before forming in 1995 the Gospel/Jazz group, The Sounds Of J.U.T.O.C.A, with two of her co-workers from the Detroit East Community Mental Health Service: Thomas Lawrence and Julia Shabazz; they were later joined by Selena Rowe. - Soul Source Rare and Northern Soul Music - UK



Celebrate It's Christmas Time (Single) 2021
Come Praise the Lord  (Single)  2020
Because of Who You Are  (Single) 2016
Must Be An Angel  (Mini-cd)  2014
It's Alright  (Mini-cd)  2014
Must Be An Angel  (UK-Vinyl Only) 2013
Revelation 2002
Praises II  (Mini-cd1996)
Praises  (Limited Edition 1996)

Sounds of Imani Live at the Mag
Come Praise the Lord  (Official Music Video)
It's Alright  (Official Music Video)
Must Be An Angel  (Official Music Video)



Emerging from the Motor City, is the soothing, jazzy and soulful music of Sounds of Imani. The dynamic musical duo, Gerald & Carol Ervin, bring a rejuvenating essence to their music. Imani's fusion of jazz, Christian, and R&B genres has garnered them a dedicated fan base and accolades in gospel music. The name "Imani" carries the profound meaning of "faith," serving as the cornerstone of the band's music and the message they convey.

Since 1996, Sounds of Imani has been combining faith and music to uplift communities in Detroit and beyond. Their music has been a source of inspiration, spreading love and hope to those in need. When questioned about the distinctive qualities of their music, they expressed, "Our music stands out because we are driven to craft lyrics that resonate with the emotions and essence of individuals. The songs we create are born from our genuine personal experiences, making our music relatable, accessible, and authentic."

Sounds of Imani seamlessly merges spirituality and funk, along with a mix of house music in their most recent release, "Come Praise the Lord Remix. The single exudes a spirited and upbeat dance and praise atmosphere, offering a poignant reminder of the multitude of reasons to be thankful. During times of adversity and when challenges seem insurmountable, a miraculous twist of fate occurs, bringing about a transformative change in our circumstances. Imani's musical collection is inclusive and caters to a diverse audience, mirroring the familial connection within the band that extends to their devoted fan base.

Imani persists in crafting music that is both innovative and distinct, with intentions to expand its brand and create various income avenues. The objective is to offer independent artists opportunities to showcase their music ministries on a global scale.