Three years on from the release of her chart-topping worship anthem “Fall Afresh”, worship artist Juanita Francis is back with her highly anticipated heartfelt ballad “Surrounded”.
Penned in 2018 during a season of deep personal despair, “Surrounded” was birthed from a word given to Juanita by God from Exodus 13:21. Hope was reborn, and faith stirred as God carried her through her “wilderness experience” just as He had done with the Israelites.
Leveraging technology to record with the singers, band and producer across different geographical locations during the COVID-19 pandemic was a challenge that saw Juanita stretched as an artist.
Following in the footsteps of notable artists such as; the Beatles, Israel Houghton, Kanye West and Adele, who have recorded at the prestigious Abbey Road studios, Juanita fulfilled a personal 2020 goal by recording ‘Surrounded’ at the same iconic location.
Recounting the experience in her “Dear Diary” Instagram series she said “…. I didn’t think I would be able to afford it and God led someone to sow money for me to record. God exceeded my expectations. It was amazing, it was mind-blowing I was so excited, there is so much history in Abbey Road studios. I discovered that I recorded 51 years to the exact date that the Beatles recorded in Abbey Road. It’s just a testament that if you write the vision down and make it plain, God will do exactly what He said…”
“Surrounded” sees Juanita take listeners on a dynamic vocal journey, seamlessly flowing between her alto and mezzo soprano range. The heart stirring song starts off tender and breathy with a gradual build-up to the climax which reacquaints us with the full-voiced powerhouse minister that Juanita is known to be. It then tapers off with Juanita tenderly declaring her unwavering trust and confidence in God.
Prior to its release, the song was first publicly introduced at a woman’s conference organised by Pastor Penny Francis, and then at the “All Out Worship” conference Juanita hosted with Maranda Curtis in January 2020. After “All Out Worship” Juanita’s inbox and social media feeds were flooded with requests for a recorded version of the song and God finally gave her the go ahead in September.
Juanita is no stranger to ministry, having grown up under the loving watch of her parents Bishop John Francis and Pastor Penny Francis – founders of Ruach City Church, one of London’s largest megachurches. She is fondly remembered as the cute 7-year old who joined Donnie McClurkin on stage to dance and sing the last word of his Caribbean medley during his historic “Live in London” recording. She has since blossomed into a psalmist and international preacher of the gospel and has shared platforms with several world-renowned artists such as Maranda Curtis, JJ Hairston, Ntokozo Mbambo, Volney Morgan & New-Ye – to name a few.
Juanita currently serves as an Elder, Youth Pastor and Praise and Worship leader at Ruach City Church. She believes her calling is not confined to the ‘four walls of the church’ but is also to Nations. Her desire is that through her ministry she will see signs and wonders and lives changed, people healed and delivered, set free and fulfilling their purpose and that God will use “Surrounded” to that end.
“Surrounded” is available on all digital platforms.