Chlöe Bailey is starring in a new cinematic musical event set in the world of Atlanta’s competitive gospel youth choir praise teams, and she and director Tina Gordon sat down with BLACK ENTERPRISE to tease what viewers can expect from the new gospel comedy film.
Praise This, staring Bailey, releases exclusively on Peacock on April 7th. The powerhouse cast, led by Music Supervisor Harvey Mason Jr., works together to blend pop hits with gospel classics to bring a modern twist to praise competitions.
From director Tina Gordon, the film follows aspiring musical superstar Sam (Chlöe Bailey), a young woman driven, at almost any cost, to break into the music business. After a move from Los Angeles to Atlanta to live with Sam’s sunny cousin, Jess (Anjelika Washington), Sam is forced to join her cousin’s struggling, underdog gospel praise team just ahead of a national championship competition.
When Sam sees an opportunity to finally make her dreams of becoming a superstar singer come true, she joins the choir and quickly learns that praise is not about glory, but gratitude. Gordon teamed up with famed director Will Packer to create the film.
“if you are not familiar with praise teams, it’s like a gospel choir, but like their edgier, more energetic, younger cousin,” Gordon told BLACK ENTERPRISE.
While Bailey is no stranger to the big screen, appearing in shows like Grown-ish, it’s the first time she’s taking the lead in a feature film. The movie shows resemblances to other gospel-based films like Sister Act 2 and The Fighting Temptations.
But Bailey said she didn’t pull from anyone else when preparing for her role – she made sure to stay true to her natural talent and true art form.
“I always find things within myself that I can bring into that role so that it feels completely authentic and not fake,” Bailey said.
“And I never want someone to look at the character and feel like it’s a made up facade or this is what we want you to see when you watch this film.”
Others in the film include Grammy nominee Tristan Mack Wilds, hip-hop sensation Quavo, Birgundi Baker, Crystal Renee Hayslett, Loren Lott, Grammy-nominated gospel stars Jekalyn Carr and Koryn Hawthorne, and comedian Drew “Druski” Desbordes.
Press play below to hear more from Tina Gordon and Chlöe Bailey about their new film.