By Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever
Since winning the ninth season of BET’s Sunday Best, Melvin Crispell, III has made waves as a solo artist who connects to the present generation of gospel music lovers while embracing a rich musical heritage passed down to him from his late parents, composer Melvin Crispell, Jr. and singer Tunesha Crispell. This year, in the spirit of the Yuletide season, the Grammy-nominated gospel artist delightedly released his latest holiday single, “The First Noel.”
In his heartfelt rendition, Melvin imbues the traditional Christmas carol with the spirit of a worship leader, softly and tenderly at first—as if serenading the Christ Child himself, before his tenor voice soars in adoration of the King of Israel. Melvin was intent on creating a seasonal piece that broke free from the monotony of recycled holiday music, and he teamed up with producer Chuck Butler to make it happen.
“There were a few song choices that came across for Christmas,” Melvin shared with GMF by phone recently. “There were a lot of different ones that had been done over and over again for years. And so we were trying to figure out a good one that not many people have done before, or not many people have redone recently. And so we came across ‘The First Noel’ and thought, this will be an amazing take on a Christmas classic.”
Melvin also had the privilege to perform the single on the “Stellar Tribute to the Holidays,” an experience he describes fondly.
“To be able to take [the single] and almost immediately [have] the opportunity to perform at the Stellar Christmas special, that was absolutely amazing. I got to see so many friends and familiar faces, and we all came together to have a good time and just do what we do best.”
“The First Noel” is available on all digital outlets. Additionally, you can catch Melvin’s performance on the “Stellar Tribute to the Holidays.” For TV airdates and times specific to your state, please visit stellarawards.com.
In an upcoming feature, Melvin talks to GMF about his current project (No Failure), Grammy award nomination, and legacy of faith.
Libra Nicole Boyd, PhD is a musician, award-winning author, gospel music aficionado, and the founder and editor of Gospel Music Fever™. Her commitment to journalistic integrity includes bringing you reliable gospel music content that uplifts and advances the art form. Libra is presently working on several scholarly projects about gospel music in the media as well as gospel music in social movements.