Known compassionately by his friends and fans as Praiz’ or V’land, Vance L. Watt II is an accomplished songwriter, vocalist, pianist, producer and worship leader. Vance began writing at age 13 and taught himself to play piano at age 16. Vance has performed in several St. Louis based R&B groups and gospel choirs building a reputation of excellence, leading him to open up for artists like 112, Dru Hill, Kirk Franklin and Outkast. Closing the chapters of his life which lead him to produce for multi-platinum Capitol Records recording artist Chingy, his work with Parking Lot Praiz’ Beats LLC, the company for which he is both founder and CEO, has earned him the title the “Nelly” of gospel.
Raised on the streets of St. Louis, MO, Vance had several run ins with the law. In 1998 while attending a Kirk Franklin concert in Chicago, Vance heard and received the Gospel and vowed to leave his sinful nature at the alter. Since turning from a life of crime and giving his heart to the Lord, Praiz is dedicated to the Great Commission Christ has left with the Church and reaching today’s youth. Watt adapted his producer name V’land and produced more than 20 full albums for various independent recording artists. V’land’s recordings began to hit big in sells and held down the top 1-3 spots on several internet websites. In 2005, lead by the Holy Spirit V’land began to write and produce songs his solo album now known as “The Take Over” and introduced himself to the world as Praiz’. Weeks later his song entitled “Deliver Me” became highly requested on Clear Channels Majic 104.9FM and Gospel 1600AM leading the song to become #1 for several weeks and remained in the top 10 for more than a year. Chris King, Chief Editor of the St. Louis American wrote a detailed review of the album with front page cover stating “The devil must be mad a hell and the new Prince of Praiz’.” The combined support from the media, radio, and spirit filled performances, helped launch Praiz’ to having the #1 Gospel CD in the city.
In addition to Praiz’s studio career, he has continued to take his special brand of gospel to audiences around the world. Praiz’ has headlined hundreds of concert dates with an average audience attendance of 1,000 or more, and shared the stage with both gospel and secular artists such as: Brian McKnight, the late Gerald Lavert, New Addition, Stellar Award winner Myron Butler and Levi, Chris and Kyle with True Spirit, R & B sensation Joe, R & B legend Charlie Wilson and American Idol finalist Nikko Smith. Praiz’ has also made television appearances on TBN, KETC 9, KMOV Fox 2, and UPN46 late night talk show The Mike and Jeannie Show which is produced by Cedric the Entertainer and Eric Rhone.
Vance Watt and Parking Lot Praiz’ Beats rising success has helped him follow through on his vow to give back to the community that supported him in his youth and career. In 2005 Praiz’ held a free, filled to capacity, concert at Harris Stowe State University titled St. Louis Appreciation featuring several up and coming gospel artists from the area. Praiz’ also participated in the 2005 Joe Tory Foundations Gospel Explosion, the Marshal Faulk Foundations 2005 Little League Fund Raiser, 2005 Youth for Survival benefit concert for Hurricane Katrina Survivors.
Vance “Praiz” Watt’s career continues on the road of tireless and indomitable creativity. In ten years, he has used every minute to build, inspire, create and share the success of an independent Christian artist. Vance’s knack not only to create his own music, but his intrinsic ability to discover and nurture talent is what will send him to the top of the industry.
Vance’s calling from God and innate talent will continue to impress upon the church, entertainment industry, fans and society to closely follow his future.