Written by | Ray Cornelius 

I had the pleasure earlier this week of attending a preview party for Stellar Award nominated gospel singer and songwriter Pastor Marlon Lock. The event took place at Atlanta’s Paschals Restaurant in the Castleberry Hill district of Atlanta and was attended by a number of the city’s gospel music radio announcers, tastemakers and enthusiasts.

img_0625Lock’s new project is titled “Unleashed” and features seven diverse tracks infused with R&B, country, bluegrass, pop and hip hop. Lock often refers to the music as “gospel gumbo” and rightfully so. His songs “Be With Me” and “Running Back to You” could easily be played during an R&B station’s “Quiet Storm” as well as a Gospel station’s “contemporary” programming. His vocals on both of these tracks are reminiscent of R&B vocalists Joe, Carl Thomas and Mario.

The tune “Do” has the most crossover appeal of all the songs on the CD and features a playful mix of gospel, pop and country music. Everyone at the mixer agreed that this should be his first official release from the album and that he should consider collaborating with artists like Fantasia, Kandi Burruss and Florida Georgia Line for a remix.

img_0637Now if the R&B undertones and country music twang of the previous songs are a little too “worldly” for listeners, “Unleashed” does include more traditional lyrics and sounds in “Get Yo Praise On” and the praise and worship tune “You Covered Me“.  The album also includes a motivational “What’s Going On” type of song in “Hang On“. According to Lock, it was written around the time of Mike Brown‘s shooting death in Ferguson, Missouri and speaks to the current challenges we face as a nation.  It was also produced by nine-time Grammy winning producer Kevin Bond.  Check out more photos from the event below which was attended by media personalities Valerie Somerville, Rhodell Lewis, Pastor Juandolyn Stokes as well as gospel siren Monica Lisa Stevenson and “Sunday Best” contestant Zebulon Ellis. BonnerFideRadio.com host Gerard Bonner served as the event’s host and moderator.


Pastor Marlon Lock


Gerard Bonner and Valerie Somerville enjoying Paschal’s Southern Cuisine


Rhodell Lewis with Pastor Juandolyn Stokes 


Pastor Marlon Lock with singer Monica Lisa Stevenson 


Pastor Marvin Lock with Atlanta Gospel media personalities

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com