Summarized by Kent Larsen
LDS Group From London Updates Hymns
BYU NewsNet 17Feb00 A4
By Jennifer Stathis: NewsNet Lifestyle Editor
PROVO, UTAH -- The London-based LDS group Soul Saints will perform in
Provo Saturday night, bringing its brand of "ghetto-hip-hop-R&B"
music, and LDS singer/composer Michael McLean says their music "can't
help but make you smile." The group sings LDS Hymns in R&B and
hip-hop arrangements, "They're not taking the words or meaning out of
its context," said McLean. "But because it's to different music, it
has the potential to reach those who can't be reached in any other
The group consists of LDS Church members Alex Boye, Fiona Smith and
Harriet Petherick Bushman. Boye says that he didn't want to leave
behind his music when he joined the Church, and instead decided the
gospel and his music are compatible, "I chose to mix the two. What
I've realized is that you can't stop kids from listening to their
music -- whatever it may be. But you can give them a purer form. You
can't throw away their CD's, but you can offer them this."
Soul Saints Manager Wayne Scholes agrees. He says the group is trying
to reach kids that wouldn't be reached by traditional arrangements of
LDS Hymns, "Try reaching a kid on the street by singing a hymn --
yeah, good luck," said Scholes. He sees the music as having a
universal appeal, "Kids don't like things that are fixed. They want
it to grow with them," he said. "It develops as it goes. It has
flexibility to the environment. My Dad's favorite track is 'Pray,'
and he's 77-years old. The point is that it appeals to everybody."
Scholes traces the universal appeal to the variety of the group's
backgrounds. Boye is "as R&B as R&B gets," Smith is "mainstream pop
all about mellowness and soul," and arranger/producer Bushman is
"just completely classical." The result is a really talented
combination, "It's magic when they get together. They're all
dedicated in their faith, and that makes all the difference because
they are wanting to portray something more than just the fresh beat,
says Excel Entertainment's Public Relations Director Mary Jones.
Excel is acting as a consultant for the group in the U.S."