JD BarnesTasha Cobbs Leonard‘s latest visual album, Royalty: Live at the Ryman, was recorded at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee — in front of no audience.
The Grammy-winning gospel singer tells ABC Audio “it was difficult” filming the intended live event, which was originally scheduled for May but was pushed back due to the pandemic.
“It was so…difficult. My production team probably [has] a totally different story,” she says. “We could only have 25 people in the room at a time. So that was very challenging because there were moments where some people would have to leave the stage, go stand outside until the guests would leave.”
She said filming was “very intense” and “strategic[ally]” planned in response to COVID-19.
“I think everybody was watching from the beginning like it’s going to blow over, it’s going to go away,” she continued. “But when we realized, no, this is going to stay a little bit longer than we thought, we decided to push it back.”
After pushing the event back for months and talks with her label, Cobbs Leonard says she “prayed about” moving forward with the show’s release in September, understanding her bigger role as a “worship artist and leader.”
“I had the opportunity to literally do it for an audience of one: God and God alone. His presence was in the room,” she explained. “You can see I was very intentional about telling the team I wanted to capture the pews. I wanted people to see 10 years from now that the church was still relevant…that we were still worshipping…still getting music out and worship out to the people.”
For more details on Tasha’s audience-less performance, tune into the An Audience of One: The Making of Royalty documentary, available exclusively on Tidal.
By Rachel George
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