Though Contemporary Christian music legend Steven Curtis Chapman and singer-songwriter radio darling Jason Gray released their major label jumpstarts twenty years apart – Chapman’s First Hand (Sparrow) debuted in 1987; Gray’s All the Lovely Losers (Centricity) in 2007 – the thoughtful-pop fan favorites are matched by best-selling discographies, strings of radio hits and humanitarian hearts, investing in the lives of families worldwide through Chapman’s Show Hope adoption advocacy organization and Gray’s personalized partnership with child sponsorship mainstays, World Vision. In an exclusive conversation for the GMA, Steven and Jason talk songs, each other, and joining forces on tour this fall to celebrate Chapman’s eighteenth studio recording – The Glorious Unfolding – releasing October 1 (Reunion/Provident).
She is an independent music darling. Her songs have received Top 20 radioplay, landing her discography on the Christian and folk music sales charts and placements on multiple television shows, including a celebrity cover of her song, “When I’m With You,” by Jennifer Love Hewitt’s “Riley Parks” character on Lifetime’s The Client List. And her latest LP, Dream of You, is nominated for a 2014 Dove Award for Inspirational Album of the Year, alongside gospel music legends Michael W. Smith and Sandi Patty.
Ten years ago, Building 429 released its major label debut, spawning a string of high-proﬁle tours, a GMA Dove Award for New Artist of the Year, and BMI’s Christian Song of the Year for their multi-format number one track, “Glory Deﬁned”. Last year, new Centricity band, Unspoken, debuted a Top 10 radio single, earned Top Christian Song of the Year honors from iTunes, and performed alongside industry staples like Sanctus Real and Big Daddy Weave.
The worlds of rap and rock have long been intertwined. A mutual admiration society of sorts, cross-collaborations and blended musical incorporations blur genre lines. And the past decade has produced watershed industry and fan recognition, transforming gospel rap and rock platforms from faith-based niches to mainstream successes. On the heels of Seventh Day Slumber’s latest LP release, We are the Broken (VSR Music Group), band frontman Joseph Rojas joins Grammy-nominated gospel hip-hop artist/songwriter/ professor FLAME for a conversation about the opportunity of artists of Christian faith in both genres to proclaim a message to the masses through music.
Since his debut record released on Capitol CMG ten years ago, 2013 American Music Award winner Matthew West has steadily nurtured a captivated following through his storytelling brand of songwriting. A tribute to his main craft, West’s songs have been recorded by legendary Country music acts like Rascal Flatts and Diamond Rio. Since MIKESCHAIR made its dorm debut ten years ago, writing and recording songs from their Belmont University perch, Mike Grayson and crew have cultivated a national fanbase and widespread industry acclaim for their songwriter pop/rock – garnering the band numerous Dove Award nominations and hit singles. Recording together for the ﬁrst time on MIKESCHAIR’s recent release, All or Nothing (Curb), Matthew and Mike chat about music past and present in this exclusive Full Circle conversation.
As the lead singer for the Diamond-selling alternative rock band Creed, Scott Stapp catapulted to worldwide musical celebrity. But in the peak of his career, Stapp found himself on the brink of disaster. Resurrecting his spirit and career through a deep spiritual conversion and faith-based solo discography, the Grammy-winning rocker topped the Christian Rock charts last fall with the autobiographical lead single, “Slow Suicide,” from his latest LP – Proof of Life (Wind-up Records).
Montell Jordan became a household name in 1995 with his smash R&B single, “This is How We Do It,” resulting in a slew of gold and platinum records and international tours. Two years later, Ross King requested the song be played for his ﬁrst date dance with the woman who would become his wife. Nearly two decades later the R&B star-turnedworship leader sang one of King’s songs as a benediction to his sermon resulting in a face-to-face cowrite with the independent Texas singer-songwriter and a musical friendship in the making. For this exclusive Full Circle conversation the mutual admirers chat about songwriting, worship music and their respective musical journeys.
Having just celebrated her ﬁrst Grammy nomination, ten Stellar nominations and multiple Dove Award wins for her watershed record, Best Days (TillyMann Music), while prepping her upcoming television venture with husband and comedian, David Mann – a cooking show called Hanging with the Manns, Tamela Mann juggles her professional roles of singer, songwriter, speaker and actress with seeming ease. Bryan Popin wears his own share of hats, having written songs for celebrity acts like ‘NSYNC, collaborated with a diverse roster of artists like Chaka Kahn and Martha Munizzi, and now releasing his debut artist-driven urban-worship project, You Can Make It (eOne Worship) – featuring vocal guesting by none other than Mrs. Mann.