Concert Rundown | James Fortune & FIYA Album Release Concert
By: Brian McCoy
James Fortune began his music ministry in Houston, TX, the Rocket City. This may be the name of the city of his birth, but it took years to get Fortune to the place of owning his own record label and recording with gospel music’s greatest artists. His work in the music department at Fountain of Praise (South Post Oak Baptist) and Higher Dimension Church in Houston prepared him for what was to come. He left Higher D to concentrate on his music career full-time in 2010.
His single “You Survived” was released in 2004. This song is what began dominance of radio throughout the following years. It was followed in 2008 by “I’ll Trust You,” a song that won ASCAP Writers Award. In 2010, “I Believe” secured their star status in gospel music. It garnered one Soul Train Music Award nomination and three Stellar Award nominations. Stepping out on faith in 2011, he set to release “Identity” on his own label “FIYA World Music.”
All of this led to the album release at his stomping ground, Higher Dimension Church in Houston, Texas. James Fortune & FIYA has held a series of album release concerts around the country to promote “Identity,” which debuted nationally Jan. 17.
The concert in Houston began with praise & worship by Higher D’s praise team. The team led songs that everyone knew but me. LOL I was with a fellow Higher D member though. She knew every move and every word to every song. I just clapped and smiled. Following praise & worship, an offering was led by Pastor Terrence Johnson, who also looks like he should be an actor on General Hospital or something. lol
Before the concert, we were hoping to get an interview, but could not. My TV news teaching almost came out and I was about to run up to James Fortune (with mic in hand) when I saw him in a back room, but I complied. LOL The staff at the church was very nice and accommodating though.
Then, James Fortune & FIYA came forth with a concert in their home town. Everyone seemed genuinely excited. Cheryl Fortune’s voice began the concert and led the crowd into worship. The song “Never Again’s” steady groove had the audience on their feet as FIYA moved energetically during their performance. The band was astounding. As they began their different “changes” and chords, music buffs were jumping up and down, excited about the skillfulness of its members.
“Identity” had the crowd in worship as the group began exclaiming, “Lord please search me again!” “With You” continued the worship moment and spoke to the hearts of the concert’s visitors.
A high moment during the concert was when LeAndria Johnson and Zacardi Cortez took to the stage to perform “It Could Be Worse.” Her voice skyrocketed while Zacardi’s preachy voice complemented the song and led people into deeper praise. Last year’s hit song, “I Believe” was sang to take the crowd home. They left us wanting more! I guess that’s how you are suppose to leave your crowd!
Nikki Ross was spotted at the concert, as well as the Walls Group and Terence Vaughn. I was hoping that a Houston pass the mic moment would’ve taken place, but to my chagrin that took place in the VIP room following the concert. Not really, but that video is below.
The concert was packed. That meant, “please get to the nearest exit” for me. I don’t like large crowds. lol
The concert was a testament to the great talent in Houston, TX and to the persistence of one of Houston’s own, MR. JAMES FORTUNE & FIYA.
I also want to try out for FIYA, but I can’t do all of those runs and things. LOL