The Nevels Sisters
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The Nevels Sisters


Band Christian Gospel


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"The Vindicator"

The Gospel music group is planning a Youngstown show early next year.

Some members of the Nevels Sisters were a little leery about entering a talent competition back in 2006. The fee was $300 — a little steep for the struggling gospel music act from Youngstown.
Turns out, it was the best $300 they ever spent.

The Nevels Sisters — Veniece Andrews, Debra Jordan, Gail Nevels and April Wade — won The Word Network’s FOCUS (Find Out: Can U Sing?) contest, beating out thousands of other entries. As a result, they have become players on the national Gospel music scene.
The Nevels released their first nationally distributed album, “Beautiful,” on the MOLife label last month. It has received glowing reviews.

April, the youngest of the four biological sisters, was the one who entered that fateful contest.
“We had independently released our album ‘It’s About Time’ in 2005 and there was a lot of support for it,” she told The Vindicator. “But when I entered us in the contest, [my sisters] didn’t want to do it. It was a lot of money for us and they didn’t want to have to go all over to compete. But I told them ‘I already paid the $300. We’re going.’”
The Nevels cruised through the first two rounds, which were in Philadelphia and Cleveland, respectively, before the finals, which were in Detroit in 2007. Their prize included $5,000, a write-up in Gospel magazine and, most importantly, a two-record contract with MOLife Records, of Detroit.

“Winning that contest catapulted the group, made us a national name,” said April. “People everywhere have now heard about the Nevels Sisters. They want us to come and sing at their church.” The Nevels have recently returned from London, where they were invited to perform at Bishop John Francis’ Ruach Ministries Women’s Conference.

The girls now find themselves in a bit of a whirlwind, touring the country to promote “Beautiful.” Their songs are getting played constantly on The Word Network, which has a global reach. They also just recorded a segment on the “Bobby Jones Gospel” show, which will air on BET in January.

A Youngstown show is also in the works. The date and venue haven’t been nailed down yet, but April said it will probably be in January.

“Things blow up when you go national,” said April, who pointed out that everything changed after the FOCUS contest.

“Winning that competition was the best day of our lives,” she said. “It wasn’t easy going through it, and my sisters were pointing the finger at me, saying, ‘You got us into this,’ but now it looks like it was a pretty good idea!” she teasingly said.

Ironically, the sudden success was preceded by some hard times. The sisters’ mother was diagnosed with level 2 diabetes in 2007, a serious condition that affected the whole family. Their struggle became a source of inspiration for the album.
“These songs were birthed out of tears, trials and tribulations,” said April. “People will be able to relate to them.”

Most of the songs were written by Emmitt Nevels, their brother, including “Touched,” which is about their mother’s illness.

“She had to start taking insulin, and she couldn’t sleep at night, couldn’t eat, just couldn’t adjust. She said, ‘I need God to help me.’
The beginning of the song is an actual conversation between my mother and one of my sisters that was recorded when she was first diagnosed. She didn’t know she was being recorded at the time, but we left it on. She’s happy it’s on there now.”

The 17 songs on “Beautiful” are all designed to encourage and uplift. “It’s not real hard church songs,” said April. “Any listener can enjoy it, and get a positive message.”
Other songs include the title track, which was contributed by noted Gospel songwriter Pam English. “Beautiful” is about a woman who is living a street life. “But she was fearfully and wonderfully made by God, and he sees her as beautiful,” said April. “It’s a message to any human being. Poor decisions, bad choices ... Our struggles don’t define who we are. God sees as his creation.”

- Guy D’Astolfo


So, I have to admit that I hadn’t heard much about the Nevels Sisters until I read a press release yesterday, announcing the release of their new album, Beautiful. I thought it was a debut, but their bio indicates otherwise– they’ve been recording since 1984. Turns out, they were the first winners of Gospel F.O.C.U.S., a nationwide gospel talent competition airing on The Word Network. I didn’t have cable back then, so…
Anyway, a line in their bio caught my attention: “The four biological sisters are one of the hottest groups to hit Gospel in a long time. Easily drawing strong comparisons to The Clark Sisters…”

I could see that.

But after listening to the album, produced by Tommie Walker (Fred Hammond, CeCe Winans), I believe the similarities are much more subtle than one might assume. Sure, they’re four ladies who sing a lot in unison before breaking into unique harmonies. But, the style of music is not Clark-esque. They’re not really doing traditional gospel, or even modernized traditional gospel. They’re more like an urban praise & worship– some of the songs have a sound that could easily translate to a Men of Standard, Virtue or Trinitee 5:7 album, in terms of style.
- EJ


MOLife Records
Release Date: 11/25/08

It’s About Time

Seek The Lord

Hold To His Hand



Sister groups have been interwoven throughout the history of gospel music. The Clark Sisters, The Anointed Pace Sisters, and Mary Mary have provided hit after hit for the church and beyond. With a harmonic sound and vocal symmetry that only families can deliver, sisters have been ministering the gospel for years. The Nevels Sisters are no exception. Four sisters from Youngstown, Ohio – Veniece Andrews, Debra Jordan, Gail Nevels and April Wade – burst onto the gospel music scene as the winners of The Word Network’s National Talent Competition. Chosen from over 1,500 candidates, they not only won the contest, but the hearts of gospel music lovers nationally. Having performed with artists like Israel & New Breed, Mary Mary, and Vickie Winans, The Nevels Sisters have positioned themselves as a force to be reckoned with in gospel music. The female quartet further seals the deal with the November 25, 2008 release of their new MOLife Entertainment release, Beautiful.

The new project, a 17-track musical masterpiece, is a celebration of God’s love and favor and is certain to perk up the ears of inspirational music fans everywhere. With lush orchestration and unmatched vocal excellence, The Nevels Sisters single-handedly have raised the bar of gospel music with this long-awaited CD. “Beautiful”, the title tune, is one of the project’s highlights. With a theme surrounding true beauty, the track is sure to encourage those felt discarded by the world. “‘Beautiful’ was written by Pam English (Virtue, Take 6),” says Veniece. She continues, “It’s for a man or a woman, a boy or a girl; it’s a song that says anyone who God has created is styled as beautiful. Anyone who God creates is beautiful”.

“Company” was written by Emmitt Nevels, III, brother to The Nevels Sisters. It’s a favorite of the group and one of their signature songs. Taken from Psalm 23, the song reminds the listener that they can always count on company keepers, grace and mercy. And the live performance of the cut has fans continuously raving. Another treasure is the riveting “It’s About Time”, an uplifting groove about walking in your season.

Another amazing track is the stirring “Unbelievable”, also from the pen of Emmett Nevels, III. Speaking of the mind-boggling nature of the Lord, the seven-minute song captures the essence of the ministry of the foursome: well-penned songs, brilliant execution, fabulous production and an undeniable anointing. “Touch” features the mother of the Nevels Sisters. The cut has a special meaning to the group because it was written during a time when their mother was deathly ill. With lyrics centering around the healing power of Jesus, it’s pure inspiration. Flowing with that same premise is the mesmerizing track, “Healer”.

The wayward saint will feel a tug to go home with the mellow rhythms and beckoning lyrics of “Too Long”. For those waiting to get their praise in, “I Wanna Bless You”, will be worth the wait. With its percussive styling and infectious feel, listeners will want to clap along with the group on this up-tempo live cut. But the Nevels Sisters make sure to provide plenty of worship as well. “There’s Only One” is sung to the King of Kings with a remarkable fervor and passion.

Not afraid to deal with real life situations, the sisters tackle the tough topic of broken relationships with the emotionally-charged “Used To Be”. The heart-wrenching track ends with a contemporary version of the popular church tune, “I Need Thee”. Choosing just one favorite track on this album will be a difficult task. In the running would certainly be “He Said Nothing”, “God Can” and “The Way”, all potent songs. Rarely has there been one project that includes such a diverse and complete collection of powerful, spirit-filled gospel music.

The Nevels Sisters are grateful to MOLife Entertainment for embracing their ministry. “With this recording that MOLife Entertainment afforded us to do, we were given our first opportunity to work with professionals including Pam English and Tommy Walker (Fred Hammond, CeCe Winans),” Debra says. “We weren’t used to working with anyone except our brother. We appreciated their patience and the ability they had to pull the best out of us,” shares Debra.

April says, “The project was birthed out of much suffering and trials. I think I heard Kirk Franklin say once that you have to live a project before you can record one. That’s what we did. We were recording and life started happening and eating us up. These songs were birthed out of much pain and you can hear what we went through during the delivery of these songs.”

The songs the Nevels Sisters sing come from not just a musical talent, but from a real relationship with Jesus Christ which was fostered from their youth. The girls were practically born between the pews with a pastor for a father, Emmitt Nevels, Jr., and a first lady, Frances Nevels, for a mother. Both of their parents made sure that each