Hype Kingdom Powerhouse Fellowship Soul Choir - God Is Good - cover art

Published on April 22nd, 2024 | by Dr. Jerry Doby


Powerhouse Fellowship Soul Choir feat. Shawn Cotterell on “God Is Good”

In 1986, the people of Scarborough of Toronto gathered together to create the Powerhouse Fellowship Soul Choir, an age-diverse group of men and women looking to sing together. Since then, they have thrived together and have perfected a true community of voices for the world to hear. Under the direction of Shawn Cotterell, the award-winning choir has performed around the country for multiple venues and with other well-known singers and ensembles such as Grammy Award winner Stevie Wonder, Chrisette Michelle, David Foster, and the Clark Sisters. Their newest album REFLECTIONS is set to release soon on Impact Gospel Recordings and IndieBlu Music a division of the MNRK Nashville label, with their single looking towards why they get up to sing together. “God is Good” encompassed what the Powerhouse Fellowship Soul Choir is all about; thanking God for what they have given them.

Powerhouse Fellowship Soul Choir - God Is Good - cover art

The Powerhouse Fellowship Soul Choir proclaims their faith through song, and their song “God is Good” is the ultimate anthem to what they believe in. They recognize all the good that God has put into their lives, and their gift to return to him is praising his work through song. Just saying his name collectively acts as a prayer full of love and hope. Through layered harmonies between multiple voice groups, the male and female voices join forces to create one voice, one family serving God. “God is Good” is a celebration of being children of God and thanking him for bringing life to them.

Showcasing the district of Scarborough of Toronto, Ontario, the Powerhouse Fellowship Soul Choir takes listeners on a spiritual journey as they sing in the wonderful world God has given them. The choral group is seen singing and moving in sync; each singing with their arms open to the sky and smiles on their faces. Shawn Cotterell and each member of the group and their church, from the past and present, are highlighted throughout the video as disciples of God. They are living proof that He lives in each of them and they are blessed to live next to one another and sing together.

The Powerhouse Fellowship Soul Choir Weighs in!

Could you tell us about the formation of the Powerhouse Fellowship Soul Choir back in 1986?

The choir was formed in 1986 for a building fund program for our church. We were a children’s choir called the Scarborough Church Youth Choir and was under the leadership of Jackie Nelson-Burke (the pastor’s daughter). We were a hit performing 3 songs at West End Church of God of Prophecy 1780 St Clair Ave West in Toronto. Soon after that performance, we began singing at various churches, concerts, and conventions. Macella Freeman (Sister Pat) who was the head of the Children’s ministry of our church was responsible for providing opportunities for the choir to sing at such events. By 1989-1990 the choir roster was no longer a local one but began to be more of a community choir. We were growing into our teens and the name was changed from the Scarborough Church Youth Choir to the Powerhouse Fellowship Soul Choir.

How does each member of the group contribute with their creative style?

As a collective our personal experiences, our backgrounds, life and personal relationships with God are strong contributors to our choir’s overall style and themes in each song we sing or select. As a choir, we are also a diverse group of singers, ages ranging from 18 years old to 60 years old. Some are 1st generation or 2nd generation Canadians. We have choir members whose backgrounds came from Ghana, Haiti, Paris, France, The UK, Jamaica, and other parts of the Caribbean. As for me, I am a 1st generation Canadian born to parents who migrated from Jamaica to Canada 50-plus years ago. I am also a church kid born and raised in the church during the 70s 80s and 90s. The music, the sounds, and my culture (Canadian and Caribbean) are also contributing factors that influence my choir’s sound and themes for our project. All of those experiences and influences will be present in our upcoming recording project “Reflections”

Do you find it difficult managing such a large group of musicians; or have you found a rhythm after all of this time?

Yes, I do find it difficult managing a large group of singers and musicians as well as managing a record label all at the same time. But I am passionate about music and there is a joy in bringing people together to sing.

Where did the idea for “God Is Good” come from?

What did the songwriting process look like? The song “God is Good” came out of time when I was dealing with an illness during the pandemic. As I reflected on life, I Thanked God for it all, the good and bad. Coming out of the sickness, I woke up early one morning and got an idea for the chorus and concept for the song. I shared the idea with my record label rep from MNRK Nashville and he connected me with the right producer to produce the track. It took a few months to get the lyrics and melody together.

What is the main message you want your audience to take away from “God Is Good”?

The main message I want the audience to take away from God is Good is that whatever your situation or circumstance you may be facing. God is still Good through it all.

What was the inspiration behind the “God Is Good” music video?

I wanted to showcase the city of Scarborough (a suburb of Toronto) as Scarborough is where the choir hails from and over the years the city has had a negative rap. Growing up in Scarborough has been a great experience for me and I have so many wonderful memories. I wanted to use this video to promote my city and showcase Toronto as Toronto is a great city. I also wanted to visually say Thank You and honor those individuals who have made a positive and lasting impression on my choir and myself. Going back to places where the choir first got started, or places where I grew and developed as the person who I am today.

Honorees include Bishop Hubert L Martin and First Lady Bonnie Martin of West End Church of God of Prophecy (my birth church). Pastor Jasper Nelson and sister Erma Nelson pastors the Scarborough Church of God of Prophecy (the birthplace of the Powerhouse Fellowship Soul Choir). Bishop Dr. Audley James Senior Pastor and founder of Revivaltime Tabernacle Downsview (RTT) They provided many performance opportunities for the choir, rehearsal space and helped me develop as a praise and worship leader. Marcella Freeman, director of children’s ministries and the late Amoy Levy, one of my first choir directors where I learned about directing and stage presence.

I also wanted to use this music video to honor the memory of choir member Suewane Harris. Suewane had been battling with Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) disease and died in 2019. She was the most decided choir member who would never miss a rehearsal or gig. During my difficult times, Suewane prayed with me and encouraged me, even while she was in the hospital after her many surgeries. She would be so proud of the music video and where the choir is today. We wore purple ribbons which are the colors of HS. We wanted to bring awareness of this condition.

I also added some recent photos of some OG choir members at the top of the video and added some Toronto Gospel artist cameos. some music groups from my church from the 1970s and 1980s and old vinyl records of US Gospel artists who helped define the choir’s sound throughout the years.

I wanted to share my narrative and my community on a global stage and say THANK YOU to my city. That was the intention of the concept.

What has been your proudest moment as a group so far?

One of our proudest moments so far was sharing the stage with GRAMMY award-winning legend Stevie Wonder back in 2015 at David Foster’s Charity fundraiser in Toronto. Recording our Christmas single entitled “The Manger” with guest lead vocalist GRAMMY Award-winning songstress Chrisette Michele and charting on Billboard Gospel Airplay in the top 100 back in 2018

What can fans expect next from you?

The Powerhouse Fellowship Soul Choir is preparing to record new music for our upcoming full-length project entitled “Reflections”. In a few weeks, we will be filming our second music video.

We will be releasing two singles this summer. “More” is an original song written by our very own choir member Chevon Gilzene as well as “Ahead By A Century” We put a gospel choir spin on a Canadian Rock classic from Juno Award-winning band “The Tragically Hip”. The track is produced by multi-talented Juno Award-winning producer Tim Abraham.

Follow Powerhouse Fellowship Soul Choir Everywhere from Right Here!


Tags: ,

About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, Media and SEO Consultant, Journalist, Ph.D. and retired combat vet. 2023 recipient of The President's Lifetime Achievement Award. Partner at THM Media Group. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, the United States Press Agency and ForbesBLK.

Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑