Chaplain and choristers make a "Christmas rap" for a new twist on the traditional carol...

The Westmorland Gazette: Rap duo Beat Convention featuring Andy Dykes and Jon Wilcox Rap duo Beat Convention featuring Andy Dykes and Jon Wilcox

A traditional Christmas carol has been remixed with rap and hip hop to help spread the Gospel message.

Andy Dykes, 22, collaborated with a group of friends and choristers on the re-working of ‘O Come, O come Emmanuel’.

Calling their version 'Immanuel', it features hip hop and rap sections.

The video has been posted on social media sites and also featured at a carol service.

Andy said: “I did it partly for fun and partly to help spread the true message of Christmas.

“Christmas can be contemporary but we can still hold true to its values too and that’s what the song speaks about; both of Jesus and of Christmas. Now we want as many people as possible to see it.”

Mr Dykes is on a one-year internship with the chaplaincy from the University of Cumbria.

It’s the fourth year he has worked on a Christmas song and he performed the rap in the latest video.

As rap duo "Beat Convention", he worked with lyricist and co-producer Jon Wilcox, a past winner of ‘Young Poet of the Year’ who works with Andy on all their tracks.

Musician friends from the University of Durham travelled over to help, while choristers from Carlisle Cathedral were also involved.

The Rev Matthew Firth, chaplain to the University of Cumbria, also helped arrange a score for a string section in the re-mix.

He said: “We were able to show it at our chaplaincy carol service and it made a big impact.

“After that we put it on Facebook and Twitter. It means that people are still able to connect with the carol service through the video.

“It’s certainly hit a sweet spot and we now just want it to create as big an impact as possible. The message is certainly not compromised at all and it remains a clear and direct one.”

Since being uploaded onto social media sites, the video has received praise and has also been retweeted by the Dean of Westminster.

To view the video go to: http://vimeo.com/81699963

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