Antonio P. Rolle is being thrust onto the international stage in a big way – not only is he in contention for some of the biggest gospel awards to be meted out this year at the Rhythm of Gospel Music Awards, but he has been tapped to perform in the artist showcase. And he won’t be the lone Bahamian in the spotlight either as brothers Don and Chaz Major, who comprise the Chosen Soldiers duo, have also been tapped to perform in the event’s artist showcase. Rolle and Chosen Soldiers will also perform during the youth explosion and dance showcase.
Orlando “Landlord” Miller and Clifford “Big Bruh” Riley are also in contention for some of the biggest gospel awards behind the Stellar Awards and Dove Awards.
The youthful members of Chosen Soldiers garnered seven nominations. Riley has five nominations. Rolle received four nominations. Miller was nominated twice.
And they are all looking to walk away with hardware when the winners are announced at the 12th Annual Rhythm of Gospel Music Awards which takes place June 24-27 in Birmingham, Alabama.
The show recognizes outstanding churches/pastors, choirs and independent gospel music artists of all genres for their contributions toward the betterment and advancement of their communities.
Miller has been nominated in the Internet Radio/Media Outlet of the Year for Positive TV Bahamas as well as Internet Radio Announcer of the Year for Positive TV Bahamas. He’s hoping this year to at least win one award. He said winning would mean a lot to him because for him it’s about breaking barriers outside of The Bahamas and recognition on the international market.
“It’s a big thing in the United States behind Stellar and Dove, so I’m really excited,” Miller previously told The Nassau Guardian.
Miller is no stranger to the Rhythm of Gospel Music Awards, having received nine nominations last year. He didn’t win in any of the categories, but was still honored to have just been nominated.
“I would really love to bring one home because I understand the significance of it,” he said.
Miller believes he has a good chance this year even though he’s up against stiff competition.
Riley’s nominations for his song “Yes I Have a Dream” are in the categories Holy Hip Hop Song of the Year, Urban Contemporary Song of the Year and Rhythm of Gospel Music Video of the Year. He’s also been nominated for International Gospel Artist of the Year and Best Performance by Holy Hip Hop Artist.
Unlike Miller, Riley has had his first international nomination – something he’s excited about.
“I was like wow! This dream is really coming through. ‘Yes I Have a Dream’ is a song of mine and I’m watching that dream come to fruition internationally at the third largest awards show,” said Riley.
Chosen Soldiers’ nominations for “Giving It Back” are in the categories of Special Event CD of the Year, Alternative Christian Gospel CD of the Year, Holy Hip Hop/Instrumental/Alternative Gospel CD of the Year, Urban Contemporary/R&P CD of the Year. They were also nominated for International Gospel Artist of the Year with Riley. Chosen Soldiers also received nominations in the Youth/Young Adult Artist of the Year category; as well as Rhythm of Gospel Music Video of the Year for “I Might Be Young” featuring Landlord and Shaddai.
Rolle was nominated for Urban Contemporary Song of the Year for “Another Level”; International Gospel Artist of the Year for “Another Level”; Special Event/Instrumental Artist of the Year; and Best Performance by Male Artist.
The Rhythm of Gospel Awards is an annual event hosted by the National and Independent Gospel Music Association (NIGMA), but produced by Dr. Mark Rogers, CEO and executive director.
The award show offers a platform for independent gospel artists and gives them the opportunity to network formally while congratulating trailblazers of various sectors in all communities in a positive collaboration towards bringing all ethnicities together.
The process begins with board members and record companies submitting entries which are then screened for eligibility and category placement. The NIGMA voting members participate in the nominating process that determines the seven finalists in each category and the final voting process which determines the Rhythm of Gospel Award winners.
In the first round, before any name is released to the media, or the final voting/selection panel, the nominee must accept their nomination by or before the required due date. After the nominee has accepted their nomination, the name is then released to the media and the selection panel for the final voting process.
Internet voting allows the public to vote on their favorite independent artist. This method of voting serves as one quarter of the final selection process and also helps the voting panel make accurate decisions on the final selections of potential winners.
For the final voting, lists of the finalists are sent to voting members in ballot format. In the final round, NIGMA members deliberate and make all final selections based upon submitted, verified and researched material.
Results of members are not known until the Rhythm of Gospel Awards presentation ceremony when names of the winners are delivered by Deloitte in sealed envelopes. All winners are revealed during the Rhythm of Gospel Awards telecast and weekend of events.