A Higher Calling

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

Natasha Brown of Selma said she has been singing since she was able to form words.

Brown, then 4-years-old, would accompany her great-grandmother Eliza Pressley to church each Sunday. A young Brown fell in love with the melody and the energy of the church choir and proceeded to emulate each inspired note. Brown’s great-grandmother, who is now deceased, encouraged her to use her God-given talents.

“She taught me to use my voice,” Brown said. “She told me if I didn’t use it, God would give it away.”

Brown held tight to her great-grandmother’s advice. She will release her debut gospel album titled “I Found the Man” on April 2 during a free concert beginning at 5 p.m. at Second Baptist Missionary Church in East Selma.

The concert is titled “An Evening in His Presence: Praise Festival 2006.”

The Angelic Harmonizers, The Golden Voices of Newbern, Majestic Voices and the Second Baptist Combined Choir will also perform.

Brown encourages the community to attend and celebrate its many blessings.

If Brown looks familiar, her most recent performance was at the 41st annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee festival.

Brown is a triple threat – a singer, producer and songwriter. She recorded her debut CD in one year and helped produced five of the 11 songs alongside Frank Carter and Robert L. Simmons. She sang lead vocals and background vocals for the exception of one song.

Brown’s daughters, Miracle and Timeria, provided the background vocals on a song titled “Thank You Lord”.

Brown said she had to overcome many obstacles during the recording process, but her faith in God kept her strong.

“This was something that had to be done and I am determined,” Brown said. “I want to be a positive influence. I want people to see how God has blessed me through obedience.”

Brown previously released a blues album in 2000, but said she was called to sing strictly gospel in 2002.

Brown wrote the title track, “I Found the Man.” The song is an answer to a song on her blues album titled “It’s That Man.” She said both songs were penned from life experiences.

“There was point in my life when I had relationship problems…just coming out of it and finally realizing that I could do bad myself and I could do good by myself.”

Brown said she is not looking for fame and fortune. Her only hope is that her songs will resonate with audiences and prompt them to live better lives.

“It’s not about being an artist. It’s about praising God,” Brown said. “I don’t know where God will take me, but it’s bigger than I imagine.”