Left to right: GG Founder Aliya Faust; mBarc Marketing Founders Jo Rochford, Jamel Clarke, John MacArthur
Brooklyn’s Milk River restaurant was transformed into a place of worship on Sept. 20 during mBarc Marketing and Wilpen‘s “NEXT 2.0” event (hosted by Ronald Cummings and Melissa Bell-Bethea) showcasing emerging inspirational artists that included Jermaine Dolly, Phillip Bryant, Jay White, Livre and Jules Bartholomew & JudaCamp.
All were familiar faces, but they were recognized as next-up for ways they’ve branched out and are gearing up to elevate their ministry and calling to pursue God’s music.
“Tonight’s roster was strategically chosen as they are making a great footprint in the music industry. Each artist has accomplished things on their own, independently, which is really crucial,” songwriter, producer, RCA Inspiration A&R and Wilpen Music founder Kenyan Penceal said about the bunch. “We’re in an era and day where it’s not only being signed to a major label that makes you successful, but it takes a lot of work and these people have shown initiative.”
That was definitely evident in their performances. And neither had the same sound. The artists’ unique style and stage presence spoke to the individuality of our personal relationships with God, which was amazing to witness.
“We came to Milk River to let people know that everything is not going to be in church; we can still take the gospel to the outside world,” mBarc co-founder John MacArthur said. “NEXT is really just letting people know what gospel artists you’re going to be hearing in the next two or three years. We’re kind of like the taste testers for the gospel music industry.”
In the interview below, mBarc Marketing founders (Jo Rochford, Jamel Clarke, John MacArthur) and WilPen’s Kenyan Penceal further discuss why they collaborated to create the NEXT platform, how artists are selected, and they also reveal what’s on their gospel playlist.
Check back in a bit for exclusive interviews with the NEXT 2.0 artists!