In New York, it's often said that artists are a dime a dozen. While that may be true, no one can say that all artists are the same. In fact it is diversity in New York City that makes it such a fascinating place to live and for any artist of any genre to create. New York City is a great place for an artist to lose their perceived sense of self and to find their true self later on....if they want to.
Such is the case of Noreen Crayton. She's another artist from New York with a whole lot to sing....and say. When Crayton was just six years old, she accepted Jesus Christ as her personal savior and her father, a Baptist minister, baptized her. This was also the age that she began singing in the church choir. Many artists get their start in the church and Noreen was no exception. Because of this start, she has always had a relationship with Jesus Christ and seeks continually to understand and nurture the musical call God placed on her life.
She was a child performer performing with a children's theater company. As an adult, she has spent the most of her life touring and singing for many productions in musical theater and in the music industry. Journeying to Europe, she further honed her musical talent by aligning herself with with RCA Hansa recording artist La Bouche (with Lane McCray and the late Melanie Thornton), Frank Farian, Sony recording artist Culture Beat (with Kim Sanders) and Frank Fenslau. She also toured with La Bouche throughout Europe and the United States as a background singer. Other recording credits include the European based group, The Golden Gospel Singers (with the late Bob Singleton) where she is featured on three albums in addition to touring with them for five years.
However, Noreen Crayton wasn't satisfied with the artistic path she was on. She appreciated the experience of working with such phenomenal talents, however, she also felt a stirring within her soul and needed to "get lost in New York City."
In 2004, Noreen began working with songwriter/musician Greg Tornquist as one of the vocalists recording songs for a play he was writing. Producer Rob Galbraith was working on this project as well. Both Tornquist and Galbraith felt Noreen had something special as a songwriter and encouraged her to write. Bolstered by this encouragement, Noreen decided not to just "dabble" in songwriting anymore, she got serious with it and now there is no stopping the flow within her.
This decision has been a blessing in many ways. The Billboard World Music Contest awarded one song Noreen wrote, 'There's Nobody Like Jesus' an honorable mention nod.
'Up To Zion,' a song co-written by Noreen Crayton and Gregory James Tornquist was the stand out track on Grammy award winning artist, Ronnie Milsap's gospel project "Then Sings My Soul."
Additionally, the song 'Walking In The Faith' has won an Independent Music Award in the gospel song category for 2009.
So to those who've known Noreen for years, it comes as no surprise for her to spread her musical wings with an endeavor like the cd, "a diary of deliverance."
However, as she embarks on producing her sophomore effort 'sanctuary,' those same people may be surprised to hear the honest and poignant flavor of each lyric written. There is an urgency within each song she writes that is undeniable. It is not just about her singing voice. It is what she is singing about that makes Noreen who she is and makes the message in the song she's singing worth listening to.
You see, songwriting has been Noreen Crayton's deliverance and ultimately her sanctuary in that she finally has a voice in which to relate how her relationship with God has affected her walk, her talk and her entire way of life. She aspires to write for not only those who never even entertained the thought of living a spiritual life before but also, her prayer is that the songs she writes will help those who've turned away...and ignored their own call...to find their way back.