New Music – FOREVER YOURS
FOREVER YOURS sounds like a love letter. It is exactly that – it is Smokie Norful’s ultimate love letter to God and as with all classic love letters, it is an unabashed outpouring of his feelings thoughts and affections towards God. It is a musical composition of all styles and sentiments from Smokie’s heart shared with you. It has been 5 years since Smokie’s last full length new album and while it has been a long journey for Norful, FOREVER YOURS points to his grateful and love-filled heart.
In today’s fast paced music industry, five years is a long time for top tier artists to release a new album. Taking his time, Smokie went through different phases with the album but it is the evolution of FOREVER YOURS that has been the most rewarding for Norful. He has seen God direct and appoint this project to be exactly what it is supposed to be. “That’s how it’s come together, God has given me certain creative people … all of them coming together to make this a phenomenal compilation of music,” he said. “I have enjoyed this process more than any other album I’ve ever done,” Smokie continued. “I was able to take my time and just create music … I was uninhibited with no tight deadlines, no pressure from the label. None of the usual hurry up or rushing and honestly was the most amazing place to be in my career.”
As is Norful’s trademark, FOREVER YOURS offers great versatility in a seamless way. A clear result of working with a number of talented and accomplished producers including Aaron Lindsey, Tony Dixon, Derek D.O.A. Allen, Elvis Williams (Blac Elvis) and Warryn Campbell. From ballads, the strongest weapon in Norful’s arsenal, to dance tracks and contemporary R&B styled songs to upbeat praise and worship, FOREVER YOURS has literally something for everyone.
Norful’s resonant vocals are at their peak right now and are beautifully matched with the range of musicality of the album. A perfect example is the first radio single “No Greater Love,” a stately sounding ballad with the simplest of messages, there is no greater love than that of Jesus’s transcendent love. It was Norful’s first time working with super producer, Aaron Lindsey who Smokie calls “a masterful musician.” “When Aaron first played the song, I thought I have to have that,” said Norful. “It fits me … my style of singing, my presentation … we worked on it together and I contributed lyrics to infuse my own voice.”
Working with long time producer Tony Dixon, Norful says their musical chemistry is evident. “Nothing is forced or contrived,” said Norful. “All of that comes across in the music – it happened beautifully and powerfully.” One such example is the album’s title track “Forever Yours.” The embodiment of the love letter that is this entire project, Norful wrote the song as a declaration of his commitment to God. “The tone of the song speaks of solemnity, of the absolute reverence I have for God. I called the album ‘Forever Yours’ because I am here to be used by Him [forever] … that I’m nothing without Him in my life. This is the season where I stand now, literally ‘here I stand’ and I will never leave Him again.”
Another product of the pair working together is “Imperfect Me,” a reflective, expressive and soulful tune that everyone can connect to. “It moves people and causes them to think … could we have excelled if it were up to our own abilities … None of us would have ever made it because we are all unqualified in some way – who hasn’t fallen?; who hasn’t made a mistake?,” said Smokie. “I felt something just from hearing the music. Then I was hit with writer’s block … I couldn’t come up with the right thing. We brought in Harold Lily (one of the industry’s most prolific writers). He came in, wrote the first verse and it snowballed from there. It’s an incredible song.”
With influences of soft rock and pop, the mid tempo ballad, “In The Meantime,” is another personal song for Norful that speaks to total reliance on God. Originally the title cut, the song communicates specifically the place where Norful has been over the last 5 years. “In the season between the last album and this album I’ve gone through much internal growth,” said Norful “It was a dark place but the hope of what I knew God was capable of doing is what kept me moving. It literally talks about that place where you ask God for something and believe in your heart that HE is God and He’s faithful to do what He promised He would do. The song was born out of being in the place between asked and answered.”
Livening things up are “Love,” a bouncy, rhythmic track from Warryn Campbell and the ambling, cheery reggae song “Nothing Is Impossible” contributed by A-list producer Blac Elvis. Another clear-cut winner is the-soon-to-be Sunday morning staple, “Mighty God,” an upbeat, infectious song produced and written by the Aaron Lindsey and Israel Houghton. “I told them I wanted a praise and worship song, something that can get the service started and when I heard this song it was exactly what I needed,” Norful said.
A Smokie-Norful album would not be a Smokie-Norful album if he wasn’t playing the piano somewhere. “I Need A Word,” finds Norful back at the piano where his rich, clear tenor matches perfectly with his exceptional playing ability.
Norful’s hope for the album: “My prayer is that the world will get to hear it and experience it with me … to take the journey with me. I hope it accomplishes meeting people at the point of their need.” “I don’t want anyone to leave my music or my ministry without receiving hope, healing and empowerment. I think this album has that for people at all different points and seasons in their lives.”
Smokie closes his love letter as anyone would to the love of their life: Forever Yours.
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Preview the New CD Below
No Greater Love
I Need A Word
I’ve Got What You Need
In The Meantime
Nothing is Impossible
He Loves Me
Deluxe Edition - Bonus content
I Feel Good