|#||Release title||Total tracks||Type of release is||Imprint date||Label|
|1||That's The Way||8||Audio||1998||ForeFront Records|
|3||That's The Way||8||Audio||1998||ForeFront Records|
|5||I Need Your Love||4||Audio||1997||Movation|
Biography (courtesy of Forefront Records)
A vocal group has never displayed such unity and diversity as the members in Raze. Raze, comprised of members Ja'Marc, Mizzie, Donnie, and JD, is a power pop group that offers positive solutions to the challenging issues facing today's youth culture.
The group established a unique fan base through touring middle and junior high schools in the U.S. and Europe for over a year before their debut EP on Forefront, That's The Way, was released late last year. And now, after the #1 single and video "Always & Forever," a stamp of approval from Billboard magazine predicting mass consumer appeal, and Christian Retailing's claim that the group "fits comfortably in the speakers alongside any mainstream pop act," Raze is set to surpass all expectations with the release of their first album, Power. Following God's call has led Raze to expand their musical palate. The group's vocal strengths shine bright on songs like "Place In My Heart," "My Everything," and "Always & Forever" that brim with the crystalline pop influences of current bands like Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees, and B*Witched. "UBU" takes on R&B's current direction, and fans who first loved the group's energetic sound will be thrilled by the joy in the Spirit embodied on "All Around the World," "Say The Word," and "Brighter Day."
Naturally, since the group performs before school audiences of various ethnic, family, and socio-economic situations, a diversity of musical styles and personal backgrounds suits Raze very well. It's an aspect of the group that is noticed first in the characteristic differences between Ja'Marc, Mizzie, JD, and Donnie themselves.
Ja'Marc started singing on stage at age five in his native Detroit, where he first remembers absorbing the sounds of gospel and soul. "I started dancing when I was 13, around the time of MC Hammer. By the time I was 15, I began to teach hip-hop dance at my mom's community theatre in Tulsa, where we had moved a few years earlier."
The summer after my senior year in high school the opportunity arose for me to dance on tour with Carman, who is also from Tulsa. I was out for two years on the Raise the Standard tour. During that time I was exposed to ministry for the masses, because we were performing in stadiums and arenas. Through that experience, God started revealing His plan for me and some friends to go into schools using a group such as Raze. He gave me this whole master plan about how to do it. We'd like for millions of people, especially teenagers, to be exposed to the music because it's designed to help people make wise choices early in life."
Mizzie, a fashion enthusiast who designs all the group's stage apparel, is one of the first people Ja'Marc came to with the Raze plan. "We've known each other since we were 15 years old," she says. "We always had common interests like dance and music, and then when I was 16, I accepted Jesus. So when Ja'Marc shared the Raze mission with me a few years later, I was so excited." Today, Mizzie uses her experiences to educate and encourage teenagers, warning them against common youth dangers like drug use and eating disorders, advocating reliance of God as the only sure remedy. "If you put God first and obey His word, all your dreams will come true."
Donnie, a native of Tulsa, met Ja'Marc and Mizzie through local church and youth events. Inspired by such distinct vocalists as Aretha Franklin and CeCe Winans, the desire in Donnie to sing her heart out for God was met when she became the third member to join Raze. A single mother, Donnie speaks heart to heart with teenagers in schools today about the importance of sexual abstinence until marriage and about how she learned the hard way that sex does not equal love. "No matter what you've done in your life or how far away you feel from God, He is still there, and He still cares. He wants you to open your heart to Him," she says.
JD, a Texas born surfer who was raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, was the fourth member to join Raze. Ja'Marc, Mizzie, and Donnie hooked up with him in Nashville where he had relocated to pursue a singing career. JD enjoys sports, dancing, and hanging out. JD encourages school kids to believe in their abilities because they can do all things through Christ.
"We want all people to understand that they are unique individuals created by God for a specific purpose," says Ja'Marc. "Raze conveys this message through our music and our school programs. It's vital for us to communicate to teenagers within their comfort zone to tell them there is hope for a bright future." For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future —Jeremiah 29:11.