Amazing Grace is one of the most popular and famous hymns of all time. Written by John Newton over two hundred years ago, it can both be the holy grail or the poisoned chalice for artists to cover and remix, a chance to shine or to come up short. Next to step up to the altar? EDM and Hip-Hop group LZ7.
Hailing from Manchester UK and known for their high energy live shows, LZ7 have built up quite the cult following worldwide. Switching effortlessly between mainstream pushes with massive radio bops and their Illuminate schools tours, the largest mission to young people in the UK and beyond in our generation connecting millions of young people to Jesus, LZ7 have one main mission, to see a shift back to Jesus in young people in our nation and beyond.
Now, enlisting the help of frontman Lindz West’s former The World Wide Message Tribe bandmate and BEC Recordings artist George Mhondera, and producer JimmyJames, they’re turning their hands to Amazing Grace in the midst of a global pandemic.
George’s soft soulful vocals anchor the track with sweet sweet worship, while Lindz’s harsh and forceful raps rock the boat with passion, both contrasting each other and working together in perfect harmony. JimmyJames’ production lends a helping hand on deck here, easing us in and out of each phase smoothly. It’s a perfect storm.
One minute you’re lost in worship, the next you’re bopping and rapping your heart out, and the next you’re preaching for people to “know that there’s hope and know that you’re worth it” alongside Lindz. In fact, there’s a centralised theme of contrasts running throughout. The choruses are desperate, yet worshipful, the raps are rough, but with polished edges and the contrast between the choruses and verses themselves is huge, and yet they effortlessly flow in and out of each other; much like the Christian life.
Not only have LZ7 given Amazing Grace an amazingly drastic facelift, they’ve done so with a graceful ease and have still managed to pay tribute to the original hymn in the meantime. And if there was ever a song which encapsulated LZ7’s mission, it’s Amazing Grace. Mixing the gospel with today’s culture, the biblically sound with the funky, the sweet sounds of worship with the forcefully honest sounds of hip-hop, and shining a light in the darkness to offer hope and make the darkness scatter.
Created in quarantine between two continents, Amazing Grace is also the perfect example of the church reaching out beyond its four walls. We may be locked down right now but God’s Amazing Grace can never be contained.
Amazing Grace is LZ7’s best song to date and maybe, just maybe, the best version of Amazing Grace I’ve ever heard. The single is out today, in honour of Dave Clark, a close friend of the band, and it’s a must buy. Now, all together now…
I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind but now I see…