Mortimer Harvey

South African artist Brenton Brown nominated for a 2016 Grammy Award

A Cape Town boy's dream comes true.
Cape Town-born and raised singer/songwriter Brenton Brown has been nominated for a 2016 Grammy Award in the Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song category for his song, Soul on Fire. After having previously been nominated for two US Dove Awards for his songs, Everlasting God and Soul on Fire, this is Brown’s first Grammy nomination.

South African artist Brenton Brown nominated for a 2016 Grammy Award
Soul on Fire was recorded by US southern roots rock group Third Day on their latest album, Lead Us Back. According to the US Billboard Charts, Soul on Fire was the most played Christian song in the USA in 2015, propelling album sales of Lead Us Back to peak at number one on the US Billboard Christian album chart and number twenty on the overall US Billboard Top 200 Chart.

A former head boy of SACS in Cape Town, Brenton Brown studied for four years at UCT before being awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, where he studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics, before going on to complete a diploma in Theology at the prestigious Wycliff Hall.

From Oxford, Brown graduated into work life as a worship leader at the Oxford Vineyard Church, where he began to write worship songs with song writing mentors Paul Baloche and Brian Doerksen. Some of those songs were picked up for the Vineyard UK worship series, which subsequently took Brown’s songs around the world.

Apart from recording his own albums, Brenton Brown has also had his songs covered by leading USA Christian artists like Chris Tomlin, Third Day, Jeremy Camp and Amy Grant. His song Undo was picked up for then South African Idols winner Heinz Winckler’s second album and Blow Me Away was used in the movie, Pride featuring Terrance Howard, which was directed by fellow South African and longtime friend, Sunu Gonera. To date, Brown’s songs have appeared on over two hundred albums.

“It’s been an incredible year. I’m still in shock,” says Brown. “As a young musician, my goal was just to make a living playing the music I love. To have that music recognised at the Grammy’s is crazy! After calling my parents, the first person I got in touch with was my high school music teacher, Sandee Grieve (who now teaches music at Bishops). I guess practicing scales really does pay off! It takes a lot of people to get a monkey into space, and I’m grateful to every one of the large group of people who have helped me pursue music!

“Growing up in Cape Town, I dreamed of writing songs that people would one day sing. I’m amazed to see that dream beginning to come true, particularly with Soul on Fire, which is a deeply personal reflection on a very pivotal time in my life.”

With five songs on the US CCLI Top 500 Chart (the 500 most sung worship songs in the USA) and two songs in the CCLI Top 100, according to his publishers many millions of people around the globe now sing a Brenton Brown song in church every week. It seems as if the dreams of the boy from the southern suburbs of Cape Town are indeed beginning to come true!

11 Feb 2016 10:36


Mortimer Harvey