Bringing the Brooklyn sound of music to the church, Melvin Crispell is one of the most sought after writers/producers in the gospel music industry. Melvin Crispell’s mixture of what some would call “Brooklyn Style” and “COGIC”, (Church of God In Christ) makes this unique style of music undeniably his own.
Born and raised in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, NY, Melvin was born into a family of musicians, singers and dancers. Coupled with being raised in the church, Melvin soon found out that his destiny had already been written and trying to escape the music that was within would be like trying to live without breathing. “Both sides of my family either sang, danced or played instruments,” states Melvin. “So being around music almost on a daily basis, at home and at church pretty much sealed what God had placed in me to do. My extreme love and passion for music and my love for God has truly shaped my destiny.” Influenced by such artists as Butch Heyward, Bishop JC Wright and Walter Hawkins, Stevie Wonder, Melvin realized that all of these possessed an originality that he admired. So, he decided to dedicate his music to diversity and rely on the leading of God to give each artist his/her own distinct sound, but at the same time maintaining his signature of originality. “I have a creative sound that works for many different artists,” states Melvin. “There’s a simplicity to my work, but it’s very effective, effective because I allow God to have His way in each session.”
Melvin Crispell has written and produced for individuals such as Grammy Award winner Hezekiah Walker & Love Fellowship Tabernacle Choir to Stellar Award nominee, James Hall & Worship and Praise. He’s shared the stage and collaborated with gospel greats such as Tye Tribbett, Bishop Albert Jamison, CEO of The Gospel Music Workshop of America, Stephen Ford, BeBe & Marvin Winans, Reverend Timothy Wright, Dottie Peoples, Tramaine Hawkins, Israel & New Breed, Kirk Frankin, Maurette Brown Clark, Dorothy Norwood, Mary Mary, Judith Christie McCalister, Kim Burrell, Dwayne Woods, Ricky Dillard, Marvin Sapp, Darwin Hobbs, Kurt Carr, Walter Hawkins, Yolanda Adams, Fred Hammond, David Fraizer, Cedric Thompson, Kevin Bond, Albertina Walker, Dr. Bobby Jones, Bishop J.C. White, Carl Williams Jr. & The Institutional Radio Choir and countless others. He has also written and produced for Canadian artist such as Juno Award nominee Sharon Riley & Faith Chorale and Cheryl James & Voices of Worship. Melvin’s theatrical accolades include the 1985 and 2002 run of the world famous “Gospel At Colonus” by playwright/director Lee Breuer, and composer Bob Telson, (featuring Morgan Freeman and James Earl Jones Sr.), the 2000 Alabama Shakespeare Festival run of A Night in Tunisia by Actor/Playwright Regina Taylor (featuring director Kent Gash, singer Tina Fabrique), the Off-Broadway performance of “Promises of Gold” by playwright/director Carol Hall and “Lord Just One More Chance” by playwright/director Nellie King. Traveling abroad, Melvin Crispell has had the honor of teaching and recording Japanese students at the Soul Bird Music School in both Osaka and Tokyo Japan. He has also ministered at various venues in places such as Greece, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Germany, London and the Bahamas proclaiming the Gospel through his music.
Melvin Crispell has completed his biggest project to date, Just as I Am, the solo debut project by his wife, Tunesha Crispell. “I’m very proud of this project,” says Melvin. “My wife and I are a team and operate with one accord. I was able to exercise creative control over the production and lyrical content of this project and she came in and flowed perfectly over each track.” Melvin’s most recent accreditations include the 2008 recipient of the CIGMA Award for “Gospel Producer of the Year” and his 2008 presentation of an honorary “Doctorate of Sacred Music” from the Anointed by God Ministries Alliance and Seminary.
In December 0f 2006 Melvin Crispell relocated to Charlotte, NC as the Minister of Music for the Life Center Ministries Inc., under the Leadership of Bishop Brian D. Moore. He has since implemented another musical task that is grasping nationwide attention. This development entails the resurfacing of archived and hit songs previously preformed by other renowned artist, but written by him behind the scenes. He released this assignment as a part of his testimony regarding his labor in the Gospel Music Industry. He inspirationally entitled this group “Testimony” based on the scriptural reference derived from Revelation 12:11 “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
After a July 2008 recording, Testimony is set to release their CD titled He’s Able in spring of 2009. Melvin is also the President and CEO of Potbelly Music, an independent Production Company in which his wife, Tunesha Crispell is the first artist to be released. “Potbelly is a company that caters to the fair treatment of artist,” exclaims Melvin. “When artists are signed to most major labels, they loose creative control of their projects in order to please the masses.
At Potbelly Music, our artists are seeking to please God through music that is made to reach the masses. Therefore, the creativity that goes forth is from the power of the Holy Spirit and that will not be quenched.” Overall, Melvin’s ultimate desire is to please the Lord, be a great asset to the body of Christ and to leave a legacy for his son, Melvin Crispell, III. Through the gift of music that has been implanted into the very being of Melvin Crispell, it is undeniable that he is well on his way to fulfilling his God ordained assignment.