Detroit-based artist on the rise, SEMAJE, is enjoying a flagship year that introduced the world to his neo-soul take on Bill Withers’ classic “Lovely Day” and the uptown bop “You.” In a few short months, he’s amassed over 1.1 million digital streams and generated incredible buzz as the next big thing on the gospel music scene. He’s closing this banner year with a heart-wrenching, career-defining ballad entitled, “I Rely” (Maje Entertainment / Tyscot).
“I Rely” has received great attention from major digital music service providers. TIDAL highlighted the song on three playlists and featured SEMAJE on the cover of its Rising: Gospel & Christian playlist. Apple Music added it to its ever-popular Gospel Flow playlist. Spotify included it on its Fresh Gospel and New Music Friday Christian playlists. Amazon Music spotlighted the track on its Feel-Good Gospel and Gospel Now playlists. Also, the suave new monochrome music video (produced by Huxl Republic Films) had its broadcast premiere on BET.com and BET Gospel’s 24-hour television network last week. Listen: https://li.sten.to/irely
The success that is finally within the 30-year-old singer’s reach has been over a decade in the making. After years of dues-paying and false starts, SEMAJE’s new track reminds him of the lowest point on his journey to center stage. “I had gotten to a mental place where I was asking God, do you see me? Do you hear me, are you ignoring me? I want to do this career,” he recalls. “I said I guess this isn’t what God wanted me to do because I didn’t see anything moving. I didn’t see anything happening. Then, one year, God showed His hand and said, ` I move when I want to move, and you’ve got to rely on me.’ The Bible says first seek the kingdom and its righteousness and the rest will be added on to you and once I relied on him everything else started to work out.”
Those thoughts were on SEMAJE’s mind when his producer BBearded first played him the instrumental track for what would become, “I Reply.” He recalls, “When the violins began to play, he asked me what I wanted to sing, and I said I want to sing about relying on God. There are decisions you’ll try to make on your own. You try to live life your way, your family’s way, the world’s way but you’ve got to rely on God in everything you do. Whether it’s a business decision, a relationship decision, anything. No matter what it is, I must rely on God, and we came up with this incredible song.” With a mix of soft strings and acoustic piano, the young crooner’s tremulous tenor cushions the track with another layer of dramatic impact that makes this an inspiring future classic that lives in the realm of million-selling gospel ballads such as Tamela Mann’s “Take Me to the King” and Anthony Brown & group therAPy’s “Worth.”