Gospel According to Mica - The Story of Gospel Music in Six Songs

Gospel According to Mica - The Story of Gospel Music in Six Songs
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Review

It’s been a long time coming, having first been slated for broadcast months ago, yet this doc has found its moment. As gospel singer turned soul star Mica Paris charts the history of gospel music through ground-breaking songs – from Amazing Grace to Stormzy’s Blinded by Your Grace Part II – its message of hope in troubled times and roots in slave spirituals resonate clearly with recent Black Lives Matter protests.

There’s a powerful moment when Paris stands in the darkened cellar of a house used to hide runaway slaves and the screen goes black and silence descends. The stillness contrasts with her emotions when she later sings Go Down Moses. It’s that spirit and emotion in gospel that rings clear throughout, including when it’s not so pure – Paris reveals she was told she’d go to hell when she made it big with soul music.

Summary

Soul singer Mica Paris examines the origins of the gospel songs she sang as a child in Lewisham, south London. She investigates why some of her contemporaries have returned to their gospel roots and reconsiders her earlier decision to embrace secular music. Mica meets the choir at Fisk University in Tennessee, who once sang for Queen Victoria, and finds out how the slavery freedom fighters used gospel to communicate. She recalls Sam Cooke and Thomas A Dorsey, who both encountered tragedy after leaving the Church, and hears of current artists, such as Stormzy, who happily embrace both church and secular music.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Mica Paris
Director Guy Evans
Executive Producer Angela Ferreira
Executive Producer Lenny Henry
Producer Guy Evans
Documentary Music