Chazz Reese said it took about three years to complete the album, which was released in January. On Sunday, Reese will perform during morning services at the West Ridge Church off Hiram Acworth Highway right outside of Marietta.
The song “Faith” starts with a solid drum beat, followed by horns and keyboard, as background vocals crescendo repeating the word “faith.”
Reese said the song is scripture-based about moving mountains, specifically from Hebrews 11:1 which states, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Reese composed and co-produced all of the tracks on the debut project, including the line, “I must believe to receive the promise that He made to me … I believe in victory.”
Another song on the album, “My Soul” features Reese’s smooth voice and female background singers talking about how their souls are anchored in the Lord when life is rough.
Reese said faith is about trials and tribulations and how they are God’s way of providing a better life.
“When we submit to our weakness, we allow for the power of God to come in,” Reese said.
Reese’s album, he said, is a way to speak to people going through hard times.
“God has plans for the individual trying to make it,” Reese said.
Son of a preacher
Reese was born in Dallas, Texas, and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, by his father, Charles E. Reese Sr., who was a pastor for several years.
“I am a preacher’s kid,” Reese said.
As a child, Reese said he was heavily influenced by soul, R&B, folk, classical music, MTV videos during the 1980s and his father’s piano playing.
At a young age, Reese started writing songs and playing the piano, alto saxophone and drums.
While in college in Dayton, Ohio, Reese started an all-male quartet called Renaizzance that reached No. 94 on the Billboard R&B charts with a remake of the song “Slow-Jam” that was originally written by Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds in 1983.
“During that time, God was really working with me,” Reese said. “I was called, but I didn’t accept it.”
Twelve years ago, Reese moved to Acworth to pursue a career as an urban planner in the metro Atlanta area. In the corporate world, he goes by Charles Reese.
In 2008, Reese was laid off from a development company and his house almost went into foreclosure.
At that time, Reese had been serving as a deacon, then elder, then College Ministry Pastor at Grace Community Christian Church in Kennesaw east of Acworth Due West Road.
In-tune with God
During those years of struggle, Reese said God called him to minister through music, especially connecting with youth.
“My focus is really with young adults,” said Reese, who added today’s teens are surrounded by violence and peer pressure.
“It is about knowing that you are beautiful, knowing that you have a purpose,” Reese said.
As a soulful artist with R&B rhythm, Reese gives a twist to traditional gospel music, which is outside of the typical praise and worship genre.
Reese said it is a way to find people that are not weekly churchgoers, who will groove to the beats and then be surprised by the message in the lyrics.
“This album is definitely filled with Word,” Reese said. “But it has a live band type of feel.”
On Sunday, Reese said, he will be led by the Holy Spirit.
“As a minister first and professional artist second, you have to make sure what you are delivering is what is needed,” Reese said.
Reese said he hopes to film a video for his more traditional, repeating praise song “I Am” at the church in a few months.