Grammy artist nominated for Best Gospel Album calls Chicago his creative home

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Grammys will be presented this weekend, and one man who produces and performs right here in Chicago is up for Best Gospel Album.

Donald Lawrence is up for his 15th nomination and could possibly earn with another Grammy with his production "Goshen."

The message "Deliver Me - This Is My Exodus" - move beyond oppression to new freedom.

"Goshan is a supernatural zip code, and those who reside there body, mind and soul achieve against all odds," Lawrence said.

The artist reunited with his longtime choir, the Tri City Singers, after 25 years.

"I brought them out of retirement and we went straight to the studio, and literally I taught them the entire album in the studio," Lawrence said, "from 5 minutes, the sound just kicked in."

The North Carolina native has made Chicago his creative home.

"I've been in Chicago for almost 20 years," he said. "I can't believe it went by so fast, I used to come here quietly and work in the studios. It was my alternative to New York and I liked Chicago because it was more aesthetic."

It wasn't just the city views Lawrence was drawn to. Chicago has a thousand choirs, and those choirs are never leaving Chicago.

"Luckily in the last couple of years, of course, Kanye came around with his choir and he's brought choirs back to mind," he said. "Every time I look on an awards show -- the Oscars got a choir, the Grammys got a choir."

Lawrence has also turned "Goshen" into a theatrical piece, which Broadway In Chicago has picked up.

The artist blends his passion for musical theater with gospel, along with the Deeply Rooted Dance Theater.

"Just to be considered in a list of great talent. That your work has been appreciated and that some people went into a room, and they listened to it and they viewed it and felt it should be honored and nominated," he said "So it's definitely a great, great accomplishment."

You'll be able to see the theatrical dance presentation of "Goshen" at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower in May.
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