Artists|August 24, 2018 12:42 EDT
Tori Kelly Releases First Single, Video "Never Alone (Feat. Kirk Franklin)" From Upcoming Gospel Album 'Hiding Place'
Today, Grammy-nominated recording artist Tori Kelly releases the first single, "Never Alone (feat. Kirk Franklin)," from her upcoming new gospel album, Hiding Place, releasing on Sept. 14 on Capitol Records and available for pre-order today. The new song is described as a soulful, transcendent track that finds hope in the midst of personal struggles.
Tori's new album also features guest performances by Jonathan McReynolds and Lecrae. Tori co-wrote and featured on Lecrae's Gold-certified hit "I'll Find You," which won a BET Award earlier in 2018, and is nominated for two Dove Awards, Song of the Year, and Short Form Video of the Year.
While working on the follow-up to her 2015 debut pop album, Unbreakable Smile, which entered the Billboard 200 at No. 2 and contained the Gold-certified singles "Nobody Love," "Should've Been Us," and "Hollow," Tori wanted to honor her musical roots by recording a gospel song. After realizing that one of her musical heroes was twelve-time Grammy Award-winning gospel artist Kirk Franklin, Tori's manager arranged a meeting.
"I flew out to Dallas and Kirk showed me a few songs he'd written, and I fell in love with all of them," recalls Tori, who received the Billboard Women in Music Breakthrough Artist award in 2015. "Next thing you know, one song turned into us doing a whole project together. I grew up on gospel music, so the fact that a legend like Kirk Franklin would take me under his wing was just a dream come true."
As it turns out, most of the new album ended up being recorded at Franklin's studio just outside Dallas. In fact, half of the songs are penned by Franklin, with the remaining tracks the result of a collaboration between the two artists; marking a first for Franklin as the first time having co-written in a decades-long career, remarkable for someone who has seen his songs performed by music legends such as Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston.
"I've never seen anyone that's a monster behind the microphone like Tori Kelly. She'd nail one song in three takes, and all those takes were amazing. It set the bar higher for my whole career," says Kirk Franklin. "A lot of artists out there will rely on Auto-Tune or studio tricks, but there's no button you can push for emotion, and there's no button for skill. Tori is excellent in everything she does, because she's a real, pure artist."
In choosing a title for her latest project, Tori drew inspiration from chapter 32 verse seven of the Book of Psalms: "You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with songs of deliverance."
"That always stuck with me: this idea of God being a place of safety, a place where you can hide from all the crazy things that this world can throw at us," explains Tori. "I want people to feel uplifted and encouraged when they listen. I want them to know that, no matter what they're going through, there's a God who loves them so much and so unconditionally, and there's always a reason to feel hope, even when you're in a dark place. That's what I really believe in, and I want everyone out there to hear my heart."
Hiding Place is available for pre-order and pre-save everywhere now, with links to most digital music platforms available here. Fans who pre-order will also instantly receive the new single "Never Alone" as well as "Help Us To Love" featuring The Hamiltones, the official background vocalists for Grammy-winner Anthony Hamilton.
Click below to watch the official live music video for "Never Alone (feat. Kirk Franklin)," or click here to watch it on YouTube:
Hiding Place Track Listing:
1. Masterpiece (feat. Lecrae)
2. Help Us To Love (feat. The Hamiltones)
4. Just As Sure (feat. Jonathan McReynolds)
5. Psalm 42
7. Never Alone (feat. Kirk Franklin)
8. Soul's Anthem (It Is Well)