Shawnte Floyd found purpose and balance as a wife, mother, singer, and musician, but when the songwriter was added to her to-do list, it came as a surprise even to her. The evolving songwriter hit the Zachary Gazebo stage to explain, “It’s personal.”
Floyd and The Floyd Family brought their musical flavor to Downtown Live at Gazebo Friday. The Zachary Band features Dad, Mom and their three eldest children performing gospel music with a strong leaning towards contemporary praise and worship tunes.
The family is joined by background vocalist Tessica Tucker and jazz bassist Harry Anderson, another Zachary resident and assistant professor of jazz studies at Southern University.
Downtown Live audiences were treated to a combination of gospel favorites and original music from Floyd’s album “It’s Personal.” The original material was the product of a journey, a trial and a deliverance, as the songwriter describes going from “frying pan to fire”.
The songs have their roots in hardship and tragedy. “It was literally just one thing after another — just life happening,” Floyd said. “And it made me feel things, spiritually, mentally, that I had never felt before. And it really made me think, ‘OK, God really wasn’t there.’ I know God is omnipresent, but just then I started thinking.
Floyd remembers being given not only the lyrics, but also the inspiration for the original music or songs that started with the song titled “You and Me”. The musical gift marked her so much that she sat down at the piano and began to teach it to her two daughters.
“You and Me” laid a heartwarming foundation for having another child around the time she was finishing her music program at Southern University and a traumatic series of family and loved one losses.
Music and messages have become a comforting support system. “There was a lot of pain and mourning during that time,” Floyd said. “The songs were always coming in and, to me, it said there was a plan and God knew what he was doing. I needed the ultimate encouragement, and it had to come from within. I am encouraged every time I listen to my songs.
Spreading the gospel and the musical message of encouragement has become the family affair of Floyd and her husband Jason Floyd Sr., who sings, produces and performs music. They met when they were both music students at Southern, and they’re grooming their kids to follow in their footsteps.
The three oldest Floyd children attend school in Zachary and have begun to become musicians. “Music is always played because that’s what we do in churches on Sundays,” Floyd said. “I always play some sort of classical music, so that’s what they’re used to.”
Floyd’s “It’s Personal” CD is available on streaming sites. For more information on CDs or booking, email Floyd at [email protected]
Downtown Live at The Gazebo is a family event planned and hosted by the City of Zachary. Upcoming schedules are available on the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Downtown-Live-at-The-Gazebo-247141879250465.