I am constantly hunting for new and relevant Christian music to keep kids engaged in Christian arts at home and at church. Recently I was delightfully surprised to discover British hip-hop band LZ7, led by Lindz West. LZ7 is also referred to as a “Christian rap and dance group,” and this is how their own website describes the band: “LZ7 are a Manchester [England] based band bringin the party hip hop and electro beats to force you to throw shapes you didn’t know you had.” The band has been together since 2005, so I am sad to just now find them.
MUSIC THAT MAKES YOU SMILE
LZ7’s Twitter description very well sums up what the band hopes its listeners will get out of its music: “Hopefully you’ll walk away from a show with a smile.” That is exactly how I felt the first time I watched their music video (see below) for “This Little Light,” an incredibly fresh take on a classic kids’ worship song.
WHY HAVE I NEVER HEARD OF LZ7?
It is a British band that is just now gaining traction on this side of the Atlantic. I call them the British TobyMac because of the pure energy and joy that they bring to their music. TobyMac has been around a long time, since his early days in DC Talk, but his greatest success has come as a well-adjusted artist has come in recent years. He surrounds himself with up-and-coming talents like Jamie Grace and Mandisa. LZ7 does the same thing on the British scene, and that is one of the beautiful things about rap and hip hop artists: they help each other out and work together on projects, finding creative strength in numbers.
In its newest album Aftershow, which was just released in October 2013, LZ7 combines forces with a number of other artists, but a couple names you may recognize are Matt Redman, writer and singer of #1 smash hit “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord),” and American hip-hop band Family Force 5 (who shares a similar sound to many of LZ7‘s songs).
This is not the first time LZ7 has teamed up with Matt Redman. In 2012, they released “Twenty Seven Million” (see video below), a song aimed at spreading international awareness of the harsh, sad reality of human-trafficking and sex slavery in today’s world.
Songs like “Twenty Seven Million” show how versatile LZ7 is as an artist, but the key to LZ7 is that they make music with a purpose. Sometimes that music comes at breakneck pace, and other times they slow down to bring across a clear message. LZ7 plays for packed arenas in England, and the band should soon be a constant on the American Christian music scene, as soon as people here know who they are.
FUN MUSIC WITH A PURPOSE
Meanwhile, if you want some fresh music to share with your kids and teens, LZ7 brings just the right blend to appeal to young people with fun, upbeat songs that also share the great news about a loving God. Like TobyMac, LZ7 has music that appeals to multiple generations, so if you are a fan of TobyMac, Jamie Grace or Family Force 5, then give LZ7 a try!
LZ7 has released 4 albums to date: Aftershow (2013), Light (2010), Gasoline EP (2008), and Ruckus (2005) (unavailable in the US). Sample the albums here, and click the links below to buy them on iTunes.