Many are gifted with a talent for music. But there are some who have been anointed from birth to sing God’s praises. One of those blessed individuals is Charlin Neal. With a throat made of gold and a passion for God, this young woman is set to release a new sound to the body of Christ. Her exceptional vocal skills have made the Gospel music industry sit up and take notice, placing her in the company of the greats of Gospel and Christian music including Karen Clark Sheard, Beverly Crawford, Michael W. Smith, Mary Mary, Marvin Sapp, Lee Williams and The Spiritual QC's and Martha Munizzi. Since 2007, she’s best known as a member of the multiple award-winning ensemble Israel & New Breed. Now this songstress is stepping from the shadows into the spotlight as she introduces her debut recording, an EP entitled More Of You.
Charlin is excited to share her sound with the world and the world won’t have to wait much longer. More Of You is set to release on April 1, 2016. Although some may say that she flaunts a sultry sound and piercing tone similar to Yolanda Adams and mid-tempo rhythms comparable to BeBe and CeCe Winans, she is forging a sound that’s truly her own. She says, "My lyrics are simple love songs to our Father, and Him speaking directly to us. I feel that these lyrics are exactly what the world needs to hear today. I pray it touches the heart of someone who has never heard of the name Jesus Christ. I pray that lives would be changed dramatically, hearts would be so vulnerable that God can intervene and heal, restore, renew, use, and strengthen, ultimately with souls drawn to Christ. That is ‘My Prayer’ and desire."
On More Of You Charlin takes on the role of principal songwriter with each song coming from her pen and her heart. The five-track EP’s title tune, “More Of You”, is a groove-laden jam which finds the listener desiring more of God. “My Prayer” is one of the riveting ballads on the record. Other memorable tracks are the CCM-flavored “You Are Invited” and the moving “Yours Forever”. Clearly shining on slow songs, she provides a cherished performance on “Trust Me”. Each song captures the clarity and brilliance of Charlin’s pure vocals. But much more than the beautiful musicality of the EP, the project is a true declaration of love to God. She shares the love by keeping it all in the family; Charlin’s siblings play and sing on the EP.
It’s no surprise that her family joins in the musical celebration. A Bakersfield, Californian native and one of ten children, Charlin was born to a singer and musician. She grew up surrounded by tasteful music and pristine musical gifts, amongst her talented siblings. She began honing her craft at the tender age of 12, singing in her local church youth and evangelical choirs, where she served as one of the lead vocalists for both choirs. Her professional music career started at the age of 14, when she was given the opportunity to sing background for 90's Christian artist Carmen. She recounts, "I can remember clearly at nine years old, all I desired to do was sing. I did not understand the calling on my life until I was in my early 20's. All I knew was that I loved music and thought how cool it could be if I could sing background for people for a living," states Charlin.
Since then, Charlin has sung background for many including Karen Clark Sheard, Daniel Johnson, Beverly Crawford, Michael W. Smith, Shervonne Wells, Crystal Aikin, Crystal Rucker and has opened for Mary Mary, Marvin Sapp, Tonex, Lee Williams and The Spiritual QC's, and Martha Munizzi. In 2007, a 22 year-old Charlin was asked to be a part of Gospel/Christian group Israel Houghton and New Breed. She said “yes” and has never looked back. Numerous doors have opened for Charlin as a result of joining this amazing group of people. She credits the family, and leadership of Israel Houghton and Meleasa Houghton as being a significant influence in her life musically and spiritually. In February 2008, Charlin along with her New Breed family were afforded the opportunity to perform at the GRAMMY Awards where she shared the stage with musical icons Aretha Franklin, BeBe Winans, The Clark Sisters and Trin-i-tee 5:7. The opportunity almost left Charlin speechless. "What an experience, to say the least,” says Charlin. “I was in shock to even be able to be apart."
For the past several years, Charlin has toured with Israel and New Breed. She performed on their popular album New Breed Live: Generation Love on which she sang "We Must Tell It", "Love Medley", and "We Must Tell It (Reprise)". Her voice can be heard on the album Love God, Love People where she performed background soprano vocals on tracks "Yahweh (The Lifter)", "You Hold My World", and "Hosanna". She was also blessed to sing on Jesus At the Center Live where she ministered lead vocals on "Church Medley" and on Alive in Asia where she was featured on the worship tune "First Loved Me". In addition, while in New Breed, she toured with Chris Tomlin, Kierra Sheard, I'm In Love With A Church Girl Movie Tour, Jason Nelson, Rapper T-Bone, Ja-Rule, Adrienne Bailon, Stephen Baldwin, Galley Molina and Michael Rivera.
Her powerful soprano has afforded her the opportunity to share on recordings with other artists as well including Jason Nelson, Michael Gungor, L. Spencer Smith, Daniel Johnson, and other notable artists. She states, "It has been such an amazing journey; I do not take it for granted. I know God has more for me to do, and I am ready for the challenge. I have been so fortunate to meet such beautiful people along the way."
Recently, Charlin tapped into her gifts of vocal arranging, vocal coaching and vocal producing. She was afforded the opportunity to vocal produce the latest project of Israel and New Breed entitled Covered: Alive In Asia. She recently vocal arranged renowned worship leader BJ Putnam's latest live CD, Love Like Fire, slated to release in 2016. She is currently vocal producing tracks for a number of artists including up-and-coming Gospel artist Richard Davis, Latin sensation Lucia Parker, Worship Leader Adam Ranney, Trinidad’s Gates Praise Choir and Latin worship leader Alma Rivera. Charlin also has quite the schedule as a vocal coach with several singers as clients.
Her first single release was a cover tune of "Somebody Bigger Than You and I", a song she released on Christmas Day of 2015. Known as a classic, the holiday track has been performed by Mahalia Jackson, Elvis Presley and many others. She released another Christmas song as well, this time with her family. The song, "Merry Christmas, A Moore Family Christmas Carol", was inspired by the family’s ritual of calling family and friends every Christmas and singing the Merry Christmas Carol to them. Her family decided to record it and share it with the world.
Charlin Neal, a wife, mother, and a lover of music, has been raised up for such a time as this. Her unique vocal gifting has enabled her to travel abroad, spreading God's love to the world through song. It’s clearly just the beginning for this gifted songbird.