HOUSTON- One of the most talked about voices in gospel music today belongs to 25-year-old singer, Zacardi Cortez. Over the last half dozen years, Cortez’ big voice and spine-tingling vocal gymnastics have distinguished James Fortune & FIYA’s radio smashes “I Believe” and “The Blood,” and made him one of the most sought-after singers in the business today for concerts and work in touring musical plays in this age of auto-tune stars. Now, he’s stepping into the spotlight with his own Top Ten radio smash, “One More Time,” a rousing duet with his mentor, Pastor John P. Kee.
Born September 17, 1985 in Houston, TX, Cortez, who lived in the Acres Homes community, hails from a singing family of faith, The Cortez Singers. He began singing at the age of five in church and worked the Texas gospel circuit with his family. Blacksmoke Media Worldwide debuted Cortez’s CD debut, Zacardi Cortez: The Introduction. The first single, “One More Time,” is currently #5 on Billboard’s gospel chart. The set features both new and old school gospel tracks with cameos by Donnie McClurkin, Lalah Hathaway and Kierra Sheard. “Zacardi is one of the best singers on this planet,” says Blacksmoke Media CEO Kerry Douglas. “When people hear this album, they will understand why Zacardi is gospel’s next big superstar.” He has gained a reputation in music circles as a singer’s singer as much for his intricate vocal gymnastics and fiery hoops as for his smooth tone. In spite of the awe-inspiring duets, the set is equally impressive for Cortez’ nuanced solo performances. He brings a little Isley Brothers vibe to the R&B-styled groove “Living For You” and demonstrates sophistication and class on the tune, “It Was Love.” It’s just Cortez and a cheerleading organist on the riveting “Hymn Medley” that shows him riffing like a Pentecostal storefront preacher. On the up-tempo “Come Bless The Lord” and “Mighty God” Cortez proves that he can even lead praise and worship tunes. The iTunes deluxe edition of the CD features a digital booklet and two additional songs, “All That I Need” and “The Blood.”
Douglas said, “I’ve been grooming him like I groomed James Fortune and Earnest Pugh. Zacardi is my next superstar and I have no doubt that he will be one of the biggest artists the gospel world has ever seen. He can sing it all, from gutbucket blues to polished symphonic pieces and he displays it all on his forthcoming debut solo CD, Zacardi Cortez: The Introduction.” For more information, visit www.mrkerrydouglas.com or www.zacardicortez.com.