If ever there was a more inspiring and uplifting genre of music then it has to be Gospel. Depending on where you live, this is either a staple in your community or the closest you get to hearing it is YouTube. Thankfully Voices Of Fire has focused all of its attention on Gospel music, in particular, the formation of a huge choir courtesy of Pharrell Williams and his uncle Bishop Ezekiel Williams.
Based in Virginia, Bishop Williams leads a community church and has long recognised that while some churches have really great choirs, none have combined the talents of people from all over the state. So in a bid to create the world's best Gospel choir, he decided to hold auditions. From 3,000 auditions via tape, the Bishop plus his three other panelists whittled that number down to just over 300.
The first three episodes of Voices Of Fire concentrates on those live auditions in the church. Young and old from all walks of life take to the microphone with one chance to impress the Bishop, choir singer Peggy Britt, choirmaster Patrick Riddick, and musician Larry George. And boy do they impress. The talent is simply phenomenal. From the most unassuming men and women come voices that could lift the roof of a house. And so now the task becomes whittling them down to just 75 choir members.
With intense rehearsals and a live show looming in a matter of weeks, these singers need to dig deep if they want to stay in the choir and fulfill their dreams. What Voices Of Fire does so well is take these every day people and create something truly beautiful. There are one of two small issues with the show, however. Not least the fact the solos went to those with good backstories rather than the best singers. And I understand that the message was about the belief that God had transformed their lives but I did think one or two amazing singers got overlooked in the search for a good story.
That aside, Voices Of Fire is such a positive and uplifting show that it's difficult to come away from it feeling anything other than pure joy and happiness. With just six episodes, it's an easy music documentary binge and one to watch if you're feeling a little down as it will pick you right back up again.