Detroit-native Jerel Paul Bland, who you will get to know as Rel Paul, is the definition of eclectic. His album “Spoiler Alert” is a sound that has been sitting inside of him for over a decade now, ripe for the listeners ears. The journey getting here hasn't been easy but we are definitely grateful for what the journey has produced.
The Lead Pastor of the diverse metro Detroit area church, Pavilion Towers, just released their debut worship project “Crisis Worship” to rave reviews. An album that features Rel Paul as the key writer and Worship Pastor Cortney Joi as the lead worshiper. Now he wouldn't be out of the ordinary if he were just the Pastor of a church that put out an album inspired from his vision. What makes him out of the ordinary is that the worship project is primary a Contemporary Christian project. What makes him extraordinary is that he also released his own debut album which is a Christian Hip Hop project. To add to everything, he runs the label that released both projects, with two more albums scheduled for the 1st quarter coming from different genres as well.
Brought up in the church by parents who are now pastors, Rel experienced the same pressures as most young adults being raised in the church. The identity issues caused by pressure from peers to be a follower, and pressure from the church to be a leader, helped start a self indulged rebellion that began to cause him to be someone he didn't even recognize anymore. After his parents made a life changing decision to enroll him in a christian school for his freshmen year of high school, things slowly began to become clear. He still did not live a life exemplifying that of a christian; however, the people instrumental to helping get him to that place where now in place.
Always having a secret passion for music he begin to do a few christian rap songs with a friend his senior year in high school. He had been listening to the genre of music since his 1st CHH album at 12 years old. Still dealing with identity issues, he figured this would help to bridge the gap between the neighborhood and the school. The neighborhood would see rapping as cool and the church would see he was rapping about Jesus. Not expecting the duo to become more than just a fun experience they would continue to do shows, while opening for national acts, traveling, and expanding the duo to a much bigger group all while Rel continued to say one thing but live another.
It was the summer of 1996, that everything for Rel would begin to change. While going to a service that his group was scheduled to perform at, the preacher began to speak and canceled the performances for the night. He begin to speak about how someone with a great call on their life was living a double life and that God had brought them there and canceled the planned service to get their attention. Rel knew that message was for him. Hiding his face, now full of tears, in the back row to be sure that no one knew that the person he was talking to was one of the people who was scheduled to minister in song that night, Rel quickly drove home, only to find his mother and aunt were already praying. On that night he accepted everything God had for him to do and hasn't looked backed since.