|Connell Cruise - iShine SA presenter|
Influenced greatly by the legendary Michael W Smith and Israel Houghton, Connell is now a multitalented 23 year old, with an incredible singing voice.
His pool of talents has now culminated in him fulfilling his dream of becoming a worship artist signed to a music label. “We welcome Connell Cruise to Christian Art Media with open arms!” says Nurden Cross, Managing Director of Christian Art Media. “He has already made such a name for himself amongst the youth of Gauteng, and indeed wider since his exposure on Idols in 2010. We see a great future for this multi-talented young man”.
Signing as a singer and songwriter with Integrity Africa brought with it Connell’s first project, iShine Southern Starz, where joined two new young Integrity artist signings, Courtney Jonas, and Shanna* as they performed to the youth around South Africa, and continue to do so. This division of America’s enormous tween ministry iShine, is reached South African shores, and already in its second season. iShine Southern Starz is hosted by Connell Cruise and flights on Dstv’s ONE Gospel every Monday at 5pm. iShine is a healthy alternative for children to experience media in a way that is safe for their minds and hearts. Media is the language of our time, central to kids and the emerging pop culture found in every sphere of life.
Though Connell has a comical nature, an incredible depth of heartfelt truths is evident in his song lyrics. His Bible knowledge and reverence for God quickly shows another exciting side to Connell.
When commenting on his song writing process, Connell says “For me, the music and the melody come quickly, it’s the lyrics I spend days and weeks wrestling with. I desperately want the words to be Biblically true and meaningful. I hate compromising truth for a quick cliché or a mindless one-liner.”
2010 brought with it a new season of South African Idols, and Connell along with his keyboard made it to Round 30 in Sun City, creating a stir with the South African public. As a part time piano teacher, Connell has also held the position as a youth pastor, theologically aided by his studies at BTC (Baptist Theological College). Connell is now the worship leader at Gracepoint Church in Sandton, Johannesburg. Most recently he has started touring campuses around Gauteng as part of the We Will Worship Campaign (WWW) and he features on a compilation album of the same name which won a Metro FM Award in 2011.
Connell describes success as he would faithfulness, “If knowing God and enjoying Him forever is our highest calling, then that is what I want to sing and write about”. He has been putting passion and pen to paper for over 10 years now, his first album with carefully crafted songs is due for release in late 2011.
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