Shawn and Kevin Haynes, members of the group GR8FL, are working on their second CD as they continue spreading the message of Christ throughout their community and beyond.
The CD, titled “I Still Don’t Care, I’m Still Doing Christ,” exhibits the gratitude the group feels about God helping them overcome significant challenges, including the near fatal stroke Shawn had in February 2017.
The brothers’ stage names are “Grace” and “Mercy.” They mix rap, hip-hop and R&B into their music, along with poetry and spoken word, to get their own eclectic message across.
The brothers were to have had a free “Shades of Blue” concert last year to celebrate the release of their CD before being sidelined by Shawn’s stroke. They are now planning to have one for their upcoming CD, but have not yet set a release date.
In the meantime, Shawn, 37, said he is grateful for life and the continued ability to sing.
“To God be the glory. I feel stronger than ever,” he said, noting that he underwent months of rehabilitative therapy to get back to where he had been.
Kevin said while the brothers are back in the studio working on their new album, they currently have a free mix tape out, which is titled “Yahweh.” Its 18 tracks include “Fully Committed,” “Anointing” and “Highest Praise.”
“We decided to go ahead and just let the people hear the music,” Kevin said, noting that the group’s music is performed with purpose.
“We have done basically just about everything. It’s the way we affect people’s lives. We have really had people come up to the altar and get saved because they saw what we were doing. That’s powerful and means more than anything in the world,” he said.
Kevin added, “Someone wanting to receive God over what they see us doing is enough to keep us going. I just believe we go through all these trials to help people believe in him more. It’s hard for people to believe in things they can’t see so we’re put out there as symbols of God and proof that he’s still alive and working.”
“It’s just giving the people the hope, faith and belief that God is still in control," Shawn said. "We’re faced with our own set of temptations and with so many obstacles, but God allowed us to come through no matter what the devil threw at us.”
The brothers are Allendale natives who now reside in Bamberg. They started selling compact discs of their music out of the trunk of their car in Allendale and consider themselves blessed to now be performing on stages across the country.
GR8FL snagged a first-place win at the Prayze Factor People’s Choice Awards in Atlanta in 2015. The Prayze Factor Awards have been a platform specifically and strategically formatted to bring maximum exposure to the independent gospel artists movement.
“Our music is a mixture of what we’re going through. We want to invite the audience into our lives and show them the downs and the ups, how we have been back against the wall and God brought us out. Each song on our new album is explaining that. There are songs to cheer you up, songs to make you think and songs to make you believe," Kevin said.
“We’re still doing Christ.”
The group, which has established its own entertainment company called Anointed by Him (ABH) Entertainment, can be contacted at www.2gr8fl.com and on Facebook at Facebook/gracemercy.