Roger Moore Gospel interview

Roger Moore | On Her Majesty's Gospel Service

You have a very interesting name, I’m sure you’ve heard all the 007 Jokes.
I get jokes all the time about my name, especially because I’m a 70’s baby. From James Bond & The Saint to Roger Rabbit, I’ve heard it all.  But I’ve embraced the name, it’s a great icebreaker.
Tell us about Gospel Link 360
Well GL360 is a creative arts company that aims to develop creative skill and character in young people wanting to take part in urban gospel music. It was originally a vision that came to me while managing my wife, Dee Moore, under the previous name of Divine Intervention. From the experiences of touring and releasing music with my wife, I collaborated with over 25 local urban acts to create over 4 compilation albums (Gospel 4 U series & Not Ashamed). 
At the same time, I started a magazine called Gospel Link and the print publication grew quickly. Before I knew it, it developed into the GL store (retail shop), GL Live (live tours), and then GL Records (label), all helping to bring UK urban music to the forefront. And now, our passion for the next generation brings together all these areas to create Gospel Link 360 and its current brands GL Live, Manifest, Affinity & Lift.
Why 360?
360 represents our holistic approach to event management. This extends to trying to create a village mentally in the Gospel music community, with the focus on higher professional standards for all involved, not just the artist or musicians on the stage. Behind the scenes, 360 trains and provides a platform for sound and video engineers, stage managers, hospitality and more. Without each other the 360 platform just wouldn’t work. 
You have a big event coming up in April involving Faith Child, tell us about it.
Yes, GL Live is back for the 10th time, GL Live X.  The successful franchise of Gospel Link will combine incredible US acts with the best up-and-coming UK acts, resulting in an unforgettable night. One thing which is key in regards to GL Live events is that it consciously targets talented, emerging acts from the US who we think are about to blow up. Past events were headlined by the multi-Grammy award-winner Lecrae and heavily acclaimed artist Mali Music. This time, we are bringing over three US acts, including Slave Da 9th Inning, C.H.R.I.S., and Richard Dauphin. They are edgy, raw and pumped up for the showcase. The UK, as always, will be represented with artists like Presha J & Leke, as well as Faith Child hosting the night. 
We also don’t just target artists from London. From Manchester, we have the latest sensation David, and from Birmingham, we have amazing talent from guys like Possible P, Entitled, and Ropa. 
Is there a difference between Birmingham and London Gospel music?
It’s similar in most areas but there is a difference, especially in the area of UK rap.  London has developed far more than other cities but I hope to change that soon.
Do you read the MOBO Gospel features?MOBO Gospel features?
Yes, I do. I must say I wish it was more regular but I can imagine how hard it is to find serious acts in the UK gospel scene. It’s so small compared to America.
Pardon the 007 pun but are you on a mission?
[Laughs] Yes, I am.  This was put in my heart over 20 years ago. I’ve seen a lot of changes in music but it’s only in the past few years that I actually see what was in my heart. The moral of the story is that perseverance pays for any young visionary.  
Who do you think are the most influential British Gospel artists?
This is going to get me in trouble but I think UK rap is better. The bar has been raised in regards to quality and quantity of releases in comparison to British Gospel singers. I would say the circle of rappers I always see doing something are Guvna B, Faith Child and AStar. As someone who grew up listening to great singers, I’ve been disappointed in the lack of consistency of singers since the rise and eventual decline of big hitters like Raymond & Co.
Where do you see British Gospel music in five years time?
I must say that I’m anxious. Two years ago it was looking disastrous but, thanks to the emergence of media hubs like AStepFwd and Vinejuice, new life has been breathed into British Gospel music. So, for me, I have hope with people being inspired to do innovative projects to help grow British Gospel in the future. 
What advice can you give to young British Gospel artists hoping to follow in the footsteps of 2015 MOBO Award-Winner Faith Child?
Faith Child has been in the game for 15 years. When a lot of his friends and colleagues fell off for different reasons, he stayed on course no matter what people thought of him. Also, I have to commend Faith Child for his conduct on and off stage.  Wherever you are in life, the way you treat people will either come back to bless you or come back to haunt you. Always remember that. 
Gospel Link 360


Steve Alexander Smith