Asha Elia, Calledout Music and Reblah win awards

THE SECOND annual Step Forward Awards ceremony - the groundbreaking event which addresses the racial divisions in the British church by making awards to black and white music artists - took place in London on 25th November at the Ruach Church housed at Gaumont Cinema, London.

The 2022 winners of the awards were: Contemporary Worship: Celtic Worship - "Come Thou Fount"; Contemporary Gospel: Sarah Téibo ftg Volney Morgan - "Secure"; R&B/Soul: Shan Ako - "God's Best"; Electronic/Dance: LZ7 - "Back In Time"; Indie/Folk/Acoustic: Lion Of Judah - "Please You"; Pop: Martin Smith - "Fire In Your Eyes"; Rock/Metal: Amongst Wolves - "See You Instead"; Afrobeat: Annatoria - "Stay With Me"; Rap: Reblah ftg Shirlvin Desir, J1W - "Messiah"; Reggae: LaToyah Bless - "Light It Up"; Chillhop/Lo-Fi: Jonathan Ogden ftg Darla Baltazar - "Be Like You"; and Poetry/Spoken Word: Sharon - "Dead. A Living Word".

Other winners were: Male Artist Of The Year: Calledout Music; Female Artist Of The Year: Asha Elia ; Most Featured Artist Of The Year: Reblah; Duo/Group Of The Year: Gas Street Music; New Artist Of The Year: Manor Collective; Collaboration Of The Year: HOPE Together ftg Commonwealth Choir And Friends - "Rise Up And Serve"; Songwriter Of The Year: Jonathan Ogden; Music Video Of The Year: Soulbox - "Faith"; Media Platform Of The Year: TBN UK; International Artist Of The Year: Limoblaze; and International Duo/Group Of The Year: Maverick City Music.

Outstanding Contribution winners included: Steve Thompson (composer and producer); Mike Rimmer (broadcaster/journalist); Viv Broughton (author/studio owner); Sue Rinaldi (worship leader); The Lavine Hudson Award For Vocal Excellence: Becca Folkes (gospel singer); The John Paculabo Award For Industry Development: Loretta Andrews (broadcaster/manager); Lifetime Achievement: Dave Bilbrough (worship leader).

Commented journalist and broadcaster Tony Cummings, "The StepFWD Awards have already become the most significant thing in bringing together the horrendous divisions of 'black and white churches'. Though still in its embryonic stage, the phenomenon of Asha Elia receiving a deserved award followed by Amongst Wolves is effectively a prophetic statement which the whole Church in Britain needs to recognise." CR

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