When Zacardi Cortez sings, everybody listens. Whether it was fronting James Fortune & FIYA’s #1 hit “I Believe” in 2010 or his own breakthrough single “One More Time” with John P Kee in 2012, Cortez always delivers.
This was a whirlwind weekend for the singer who serneaded gospel legend Daryl Coley at this past Friday’s BMI Luncheon and then performed his latest hit “1 on 1” on the 29th annual Stellar Awards on Saturday evening. Although, he didn’t win the two Stellar Awards he was nominated for this past weekend, one could say he walked away with the big prize because “1 on 1” is now #1 on this week’s Mediabase Gospel chart and spends its sixth week at #2 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart.
The soulful song has been getting radio spins since this past July and anchors Cortez’ forthcoming CD “Reloaded” (World Wide Music, Inc.) that will be released in March. “The song is about spending one on one time with God,” says the Houston native. “We all go through those times when we just have to put everything else aside – turn off the TV, put the video game down, stop taking phone calls – and just concentrate on our relationship. It can be your relationship with your girlfriend or God. We all need that one on one time with the ones we love to let them know that we do love them.”
The primary songwriter Lucius Hoskins says that after a long day of working on music, he fell asleep in his recording studio and woke up around 2:00 a.m. “I prayed for God to give me a melody that would speak to all people not just the gospel community,” the Grand Rapids native recalls. “When I finished, I sat at my piano and began to play the melody. There were only a few words to what I played so I reached out to two of my writer friends, Traxx Sanders and Ike Jenkins. I told them of my prayer about a universal song that ,anyone could relate to and they put the finishing touches on it.”
“Zacardi is the best singer in America today,” says Worldwide Music, Inc. CEO Kerry Douglas. “I’ve been grooming him like I groomed James Fortune and Earnest Pugh. I have no doubt that he will be one of the biggest artists the gospel world has ever seen.”
The 28-year old rising star first sang with his family, The Cortez Singers, as a child. He first gained notice as the lead on James Fortune & FIYA’s 2008 breakthrough hit “The Blood” and their subsequent #1 smash, “I Believe.” He’s as well known for his intricate vocal gymnastics and fiery hoops as for his smooth tone. He can sing it all, from gutbucket blues to polished pieces.