Former child gospel star Bryan Wilson is headlining the annual youth conference Thursday through July 18 at Bread of Life Christian Center, where he will introduce a music form called Bapolstogic.
It’s a rhythmic mix of Baptist, Apostolic and Church of God In Christ influences from Wilson’s upbringing.
Wilson’s latest release, “A Second Coming,” was his first project in more than a decade.
In 1994, the then-12-yearold’s rendition of “His Eye on the Sparrow” with the Mississippi Children’s Choir made him a gospel sensation. Dove and Stellar award nominations, two solo CDs and tours gospel artists followed. After a voice change and time off for college at Princeton University, Wilson is returning to his musical roots.
Wilson’s childhood music was traditional, old-school gospel; his new sound is urban contemporary. The project features tracks by the Washington, D.C. area’s 1 Up Entertainment production team that has produced hits on Keyshia Cole, Usher and Ciara. There are also tracks by up and coming producer Kris “Doc Sizzle” Bell, who has collaborated with contemporary gospel legend John P. Kee and rapper B.B. Jay. It’s the first time Wilson had a hand in writing, coproducing and arranging all of the songs.
“My manager had asked some known songwriters to submit songs for the project and nothing came through,” Wilson said in a statement. “So, I just started writing what the Lord placed on my heart and this is the result.”
Drawing from his own life experiences and faith, Wilson wrote or co-wrote the 12 songs, covering everything from a soured romance on “Smile” and an absentee dad on “Still, My Father” to a bad day at work on “Just Do Something.”
“It has a really raw sound,” Wilson said. “The way the vocals are mixed is especially raw, but I like it. It’s a little different but I think people will like it. However, all music theory aside, my main mission for these songs is to encourage and save souls for Christ.”
The youth conference is 9 a.m. Thursday and Friday; and 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. A trip to Water World in Dothan, Ala., is planned for July 18. Youth directors Joritta and Jeffrey Fiveash made contact with Wilson through Bishop L.D. Skinner of Bread of Life, who has known Wilson for years.
The speakers for the conference are: Elder Jerome Baker of Carrollton, Ga., on Wednesday night; Evangelist Joritta Fiveash on Thursday; and Wilson, who will sing and preach on Friday.
Call 706-571-0111 for more information.