Every gospel quartet fan loves a great bass singer. If you were to stop an ordinary gospel concert attendee, most will mention the lows of George Younce, and J.D Sumner, to modern day bass singers such as Matt Fouch of Legacy Five and Paul Harkey of Ernie Haase and Signature Sound.
Recently, I had the chance to sit down with Colet Selwyn, whom many of you will be familiar with from the Gaither Homecoming Videos, to talk about his career in Gospel music.
â€œIt all began for me at a young age, from listening to the Psalty, the singing songbook, as a toddler hiding under the covers, or watching my first ever quartet on a DVD performance (while I was living) in India– I canâ€™t remember a time when this music hasnâ€™t been enveloping my growth as a person, and for that Iâ€™m so thankful for my parents for that environment.â€ Selwyn was raised in India and now lives in Scotland.
â€œAs a child, my parents called me the ‘absent-minded professor’ while I grew up. I had a scientist lab coat on and played my air guitar while singing along. As I mouthed along to the music I started unconsciously memorising aspects of the gospel, that Jesus died for my sins and then rose again! What else could help me as a teen when I was confronted by the world and my own failures? Thank God for music that reminded me! My desire, if God permits, is to help make music that helps us remember Godâ€™s grace to us in creative and harmonious. â€ Selwyn shares.
â€œAt the age of 17, I had just done a local talent show for a church family out of Scotland. Ernie Haase saw it and invited me to sing during Signature Soundâ€™s European tour– and honestly if he hadnâ€™t done that, Iâ€™m not sure what my music would have looked like today.” Selwyn adds, “Thank God for Ernie!â€Â
This young bass singer cites several influences that helped shape his rich and resonant voice: â€œThere are three of them: Bill Gaither, George Younce, and Tim Duncan for different reasons. Bill Gaither influenced me through his videos that introduced me to the variety of personalities, and enthusiasm of the gospel music world. George Younce influenced me as he was in the first Gaither DVD I ever saw at a young age, with Old Friends Quartet; he makes old age look good! And lastly, as a teenager I saw Tim Duncan with Signature Sound, and it was then I knew that this music was for young people as well.â€
Selwyn has had many opportunities to share the stage with national Southern gospel acts such as Gaither Vocal Band, Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, along with many others. Recalling this awesome experience, Selwyn shares: â€œWhile actually singing with them– I was sort of in a daze, my body in auto-pilot, and my brain freaking out. In retrospect, I was just blown away by the love and the team-focused nature of the guys, they were so encouraging to me, and thatâ€™s the type of heart I aspire to nurture.â€
When asked about the memorable moments in Selwynâ€™s career in Gospel music so far, he shared: â€œHearing Bill Gaitherâ€™s heartfelt laugh and Gloria Gaitherâ€™s wise words as we listened, learned, and worshipped together during the Gaither Songwriting Intensive. That was a very special memorable moment for me.â€
Funny moments come for everyone, whether itâ€™s a stage mishap or just a good ole road story. â€œA funny story that I would love to share with you is a number of us from the U.K. had come near the end of a long string of concerts abroad. We had experienced the thrill of singing before a vast audience and were still on a buzz after meeting some celebrities. During the opening song, the roar of the crowd turned into a cacophony of wingbeats as an enormous swarm of mosquitoes decided to envelope the stage. Well, the show must go on! We sang our hearts out while being bitten all over â€“ the officials also came and doused the stage with some sort of insecticide. Iâ€™m sure the audience thought it was a new fog machine or something!Â
Selwyn says that if there was one message that he would want fans to convey from listening to his music or seeing him in concert, it would be this: â€œI hope the music encourages, excites, and provides great words of wisdom for people to remember the great words of Christ.â€
The next time you see that Colet Selwyn may be featured in a Gaither Homecoming Tour in your area, whether youâ€™re in the grand state of South Carolina, or in the country of Scotland, be sure to go and listen to this awesome talent. You can find out more about him by going to his website (www.coletselwyn.com) or by following him on Instagram @coletselwyn.
By Andrew Brunet
Andrew Brunet is a gospel music social media figure who has a live radio program, as well as being a booking agent and concert promoter. He is currently on the management team at WOTG radio. Andrew can be reached at