UK-based singer, songwriter and worship leader Belinda Adu has released her new Homegrown Worship single "Try." This new worship song is a powerful invitation to lay aside our pride and opinions in order to taste the goodness of our God.
Adu is a singer/songwriter living in East London. Over the years she has sung in gospel choirs, such as Liverpool Lighthouse and a gospel group she formed called RenBelinda is a singer/songwriter living in East London.She has led worship in a church which she was part of for 4 years. This year 2 of her worship songs reached the semi-finals in the UKSC competition.
Q: Belinda, thanks for doing this interview with us. Let's start with yourself: you are both a solicitor as well as a singer-songwriter. These are two very different professions, tell us more about yourself.
Well, when I was 18 years of age, I was really uncertain about what I wanted to pursue as a career but with some guidance from my family I ended up studying law at the University of Liverpool in the north of England.
By the time I graduated from university I knew I wanted to practise in an area which enabled me to advocate for the rights of vulnerable people. So the first legal job which I secured entailed helping people who were compulsorily detained in mental health hospitals to appeal against their detention.
When I qualified as a solicitor in 2008, I began to specialise in community care and mental capacity law representing and assisting vulnerable disabled adults in relation to care package disputes and best interests related issues.
I believe that my creativity helps me to come up with innovative ways to resolve disputes and find solutions for my clients. Plus, I find song writing to be a therapeutic way to escape from the pressures and challenges which my legal career can often present. Although, my ultimate desire is to pursue singing and song writing full time, I am pleased that for the past 15 years I have been able to advocate for people who are often defenceless and without a voice.
Interestingly, a dear colleague of mine whom I worked alongside for the past three years, called Matthew Seligman who sadly passed away from Covid 19 on 17 April 2020, was both an outstanding human rights lawyer and a famous bass guitarist. So there are a few lawyers out there who straddle between the law and music.
Q: When did you first feel the call to sing and write? What sort of songs do you usually write and sing?
Ever since I was little, I have always had a strong passion for music and singing and when I approached my teenage years, I started writing and singing songs which were primarily centred around my naïve view of love. However, after I came to Christ, my focus shifted to writing and singing songs which sought to exalt him and who he is and to lead others to worship him.
Over the years, I have written many corporate worship songs as well as songs which reflect on my new identity in Christ. However, I have started to include in my repertoire of songs, dance/gospel and RnB songs which are more targeted at those beyond the church walls so as to entice them into pursuing a relationship with Christ.
Q: You were also a part of the Gospel Group called Renewed. Tell us a little about this season of ministry.
This season of ministry took place after I had graduated from university and was training to become a solicitor. Essentially, the gospel group Renewed, which was made up of close friends who were involved in leading worship at our church in Anfield, Liverpool, came together to record a song which I wrote called "Rock of Ages" for an album entitled "Worship in the City", which was a collection of songs from churches across Liverpool.
This season of ministry was extremely special because there was an incredible bond of unity between us and we would often meet to fellowship with each other as well as to work on each other's songs, some of which we performed at Christian Union events and church venues in Liverpool.
Q: Are you currently leading worship now? If not, where do you get to perform your songs?
I am not currently leading worship because life has been quite full on in our household what with me working, home-schooling two children under the age of 10, plus being married to a medic whose hours during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic were crazy.
However, I would very much like to become involved in leading worship again, if and when things normalise as this should hopefully create opportunities for me to be able to perform my own songs. Going forward, one of my aspirations is to perform my songs at Christian and secular music events.
Q: How did you get to work with Homegrown Worship?
It was through connecting with Amanda Roche, the winner within the Christian Category of the UK song writing competition (UKSC) 2019, that I came to learn about Andy Baker and the team at Homegrown Worship.
Although, 2 of the songs which I entered into the competition did not progress beyond the semi-finals, I am pleased that I still entered the competition because had I not done so, I might never have been introduced to the Homegrown Worship team, who deliver an exceptional, supportive service to emerging Christian artists.
Q: What's the story behind your song "Try"?
For many years my focus as a Christian song writer has been to write songs to edify the body of Christ. However, last summer at a gospel song writing workshop in Hackney in East London which was led by Gospel producer Niky Brown, I felt the Holy Spirit birthing in me a desire to write songs not simply for church congregations but for those beyond the church walls.
I recall when being asked by Niky, what songs I would write if I were to shift focus and write more specifically for non-church attenders, my response was "music which has a dance/garage feel" because this is the sort of music that I gravitated towards before I came to Christ.
So, I believe that "Try", which is an upbeat gospel/dance song, was birthed out of a desire to fulfil a mandate, to make the love of Christ known through music, to those who would not ordinarily go to church.
The song aims to dispel the lies about who Jesus is, invite people to try Jesus for themselves (or as the psalmist puts it in psalm 34:8 to "taste and see that the Lord is good") and it also declares the truth about the love of Christ being far greater than any other love we could ever know, which we do not have to work hard to receive.
Q: Are you currently working on more songs leading to an EP or album? What can we be looking forward to in the near future?
Thankfully, just before the whole of the United Kingdom went into lockdown I managed to travel to Gloucestershire to record two more songs with Andy Baker. What you can expect from my next song "I'm Yours" which is to be released on 3 August 2020, is something completely different to my first release as it is slower paced and more on the Adele spectrum.
In terms of my other song, "I will go", which will be released in October, again this is different to "Try" and falls within the pop/RnB/worship category. I am hoping to record at least one other song this year with Homegrown Worship, with a view to it being released later in the year, which will revisit the gospel/dance vibe reflected in "Try".
So in summary, what people can expect from my future releases is music which is joy inducing, faith inspiring, hope filling, praiseworthy, catchy, clever and creative.
Q: How do you wish your songs would impact your listeners and the church?
It is my desire that my songs would cause my listeners to encounter the deep love of Christ and discover their purpose and true identity in Him. My prayer is also to win souls for the kingdom and to see the kingdom of heaven advanced through my music.
I am also trusting and believing that my music ministry will help to support my husband in his ambition to undertake further medical missions in under developed African countries.