Artist Spotlight: Christafari

August 20, 2007 by  
Filed under Music, Music Interviews

Song/CD Compilation: To the Foundation
Genre: Reggae
By Andre Mullen
When most people look for urban gospel music, they find Kirk Franklin or groups like Mary Mary. But, when they look for gospel Reggae, they will find the trail-blazing group Christafari.  The group has continually pioneered the genre of Gospel Reggae in the U.S. and throughout the world.  They refuse to be limited to one musical market, with their compositions appealing to listeners in the Reggae, CCM, Gospel/Urban, World, and Latin markets alike. 

Christafari (pronounced CHRIST-AH-FAR-EYE), in the Greek, the original language of the New Testament, is a name given to “a group of people who collectively represent Christ.”  The group, fronted by its founder Mark Mohr, comes with its latest offering entitled To The Foundation.  Mohr’s intent was to take the band back to their roots and record an album that he felt was “timely and timeless”.

To the Foundation boasts serious Reggae “riddims” as well as dancehall and ska, along with a host of special guests. On Never Give In, featuring Mr. Lynx, the message is clear: Don’t let the distractions of the world and the naysayers stop you from leaning on the strength of The Lord.  The song is laced with subtle, yet prominent horns and a thick bass line, all of which drive home the seriousness of the song.  My Defender features Mohr’s wife Avion Blackman (herself a 3 time Marlin Award winner and bassist for the group) singing the hook.  Over a steady beat, Mohr makes the following proclamation: “God is my defender/I won’t surrender to the gossip and slander…” – powerful song with a powerful message.  Taking Over, featuring Koen Duncan, declares that we as Christians are taking over – stepping up to the war and reclaiming those things for Christ.  Sherwin Gardner and Mr. Lynx team up Mohr on Triumphal Entry, a celebration of what happens when we let loose and allow Christ to really reign in our lives.  With this album, it’s clear that Mark Mohr and Christafari are truly about going back To the Foundation. 

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