William Prince: Gospel First Nation

That signature warm bearhug of a voice shines on a gentle country gospel tune.

William Prince: Gospel First Nation

By Kerry Doole

William Prince -Gospel First Nation (Six Shooter Records): With scarcely any advance fanfare, William Prince's new album, Gospel First Nation, arrives tomorrow (Oct. 23). It comes hot on the heels of his critically-acclaimed and award-winning sophomore release, Reliever, one that brought the Indigenous roots singer/songwriter the 2020 SOCAN Songwriting Prize (for the track The Spark), and the German Record Critics’ Award for Album of the Year, and should have made the Polaris Prize shortlist. Prince also won a 2017 Juno Award for Best Contemporary Roots Album for his debut record, Earthly Days.

A label press release describes Gospel First Nation as "a 21st Century Northern-Interlake-Country-Gospel collection that tells stories of family and faith in an age of grief." This is clearly an album of great personal resonance for Prince, who grew up in a faith-based family in Manitoba. In fact, the album cover depicts The Prince Memorial Chapel, a one-room, wood-sided building, that has stood in Peguis First Nation in Manitoba since 1929. 


The press release also notes that "on Gospel First Nation, William Prince tells his story through the music of his childhood, songs of faith, struggle and grace. These are songs he learned and sang with his father in that chapel named for his great grandfathers, all preachers." Prince's preacher father actually put out three albums, and a young William would accompany his dad on guitar as they travelled through First Nations communities.

The title track and first single sets the tone neatly. This is not the rousing massed voices type of gospel, but rather takes a soulful and meditative country/gospel approach, one that perfectly suits Prince's signature warm bearhug of a voice.

It is one of three Prince originals on the album that was written earlier this year.  “We are living through an age of grief; grieving our lives, routines and families at the hand of a pandemic. I found myself wishing to return to this place of comfort amidst all the chaos," Prince explains.


Check out Prince's eloquent artist statement about the album here.  Season 2 of The Sunday Verse, Prince’s companion audio cast, launches on Nov. 1.






Publicity: Emily Smart, Six Shooter

Management: Shauna de Cartier, Six Shooter

Booking agent: Jeremy Giacomin @ Paquin

Shaq’s Classic Song ‘You Can’t Stop the Reign’ Featuring Biggie Is Finally on Streaming Services
Rb Hip Hop

Shaq’s Classic Song ‘You Can’t Stop the Reign’ Featuring Biggie Is Finally on Streaming Services

There's a more explicit Biggie verse in the vault, according to the NBA legend.

Shaq’s classic with Biggie is finally available on streaming services. The news was broken by FakeShoreDrive on X earlier this week, and the Hall of Fame big man confirmed the news Thursday afternoon (June 13).

The year is 1996 and Shaquille O’Neal and the Notorious B.I.G. are two of the biggest figures in their respective fields. Shaq was entering the last year of his deal with the Orlando Magic before he headed west to the Los Angeles Lakers at the end of the 1995-1996 season. Biggie was getting ready to release his sophomore album, Life After Death, while in the throws of a beef with 2Pac. Big name-dropped the NBA player on the song “Gimme the Loot” off his debut album, Ready to Die, and the two had a mutual respect for each other ever since.

keep readingShow less