BY Alexandra Loukeris
On Friday Oct. 18, the Edgerton Center at Sacred Heart University hosted Gospel singer Zabbai. He stopped at Sacred Heart in the midst of his tour, Into the Depths.
Zabbai is a 25-year-old gospel singer from Stamford, CT. He started writing music in high school and wrote over 100 songs during those years. He was originally signed as a hip-hop artist until he had a change of heart and decided he wanted to make music that would change the way people spread the word of Jesus.
“And when the Lord called out to me, it was such a profound and impactful way that I couldn’t resist, and I couldn’t say no,” said Zabbai.
The audience at the concert was mostly filled with members of the general public and a handful of Sacred Heart students. Justin Lee, the graduate assistant at Campus Ministry, hosted the event. He started off by introducing the opening act, Garrick.
“I knew Zabbai before coming to this concert,” said junior Emily Tobin. I was first introduced to him my freshman year during a praise and worship night that Campus Ministry sponsored.”
After they performed, Lee came back out to share a sermon. He talked about identity and shared his own personal stories and triumphs with the crowd before introducing Zabbai.
He started out with his song, “Pot of Gold.” Zabbai had two dancers with him on stage helping to bring the energy to the crowd.
After this song, he started to connect with the crowd more, telling them to “be prepared for the unexpected.”
Zabbai then introduced Kenny Sullivan, a friend and mentor of his, to join him for his next song ‘Into the Depths”, which he describes as talking about his life story.
He then went into his set, playing songs like “Mount Up”, “Power Movez”, “Kingdom Rydaz” and “Purpose”.
“My favorite song was ‘Purpose’,”said Tobin. “This song has three different perspectives, first from a man, then a woman, and then God. It shows us that wherever we are, God will always be there and love us.”
Just like he did with ‘Pot of Gold’, Zabbai brought up a couple friends to perform with him in different songs.
“I think I definitely would listen to his music again,” said sophomore Jenna Calabrese. “The energy of the performance and Christian beliefs and values I share definitely make me much more interested in the style of rap music, compared to more generic pop culture rappers.”
While not many students were in attendance, those that were created energy throughout the show and reciprocated the energy that Zabbai portrayed on stage.
“I liked how the performers included the audience and got them involved. I like how the theme of the entire night was that you are loved by God and He has created a specific purpose for you,” said Tobin.
After a ten-minute intermission, Zabbai returned to the stage to finish off his set. After a couple more songs, he decided to end the night with his song “Purpose”.
“I am always reminded the power of the arts in connecting and transforming people,” said Calabrese “It doesn’t always have to be a huge realization, however helping someone recognize who they are or remind themselves of their true nature, especially as a child of God, is made possible through means of communication like music.”