GMA Update: Tuesday, April 24

It was another great day at GMA week. I started off by going to the “Backstage Pass” which
featured a forum with Phil Joel of the Newsboys, Michael W. Smith, Mark Stuart of Audio
Adrenaline. Marcia Ware from Way FM hosted the forum. Each artist shared their perspectives
on owning independent labels. Toby spoke about meeting Out Of Eden and how their sound was
closer to pop, but the larger Christian Labels would classify them as Black Gospel. He wanted to
help them get a record deal and it evolved into him starting Gotee Records. Michael W. Smith
shared that he aspired to take on a fatherly role of mentoring young artists with Rocketown
Records.
Mark Stuart (from Audio Adrenaline), spoke about Flicker Records, which is a young label that
Bob Herdman (from Audio Adrenaline)created. The guys in Audio Adrenaline had wanted to stay
involved with Christian music well after Audio Adrenaline. They also love the idea of mentoring
young artists as Eddie DeGarmo did with them. The idea of Flicker Records came from “Share a
Flicker of God’s light”. Peter Furler, who formed Inpop said that he wanted to “give groups an
opportunity to people around the world. He also noted that artists are creating much better demos.
Peter also noted that Superchic(k) had a demo that was, “better than anything the Newsboys ever
recorded”. I had a great lunch meeting with Will Hunt, the man behind Apt Core, which is
releasing a brand new electronic,trance oriented project with Rocketown Records. Will noted an
interesting point that, “I never really aspired for Apt Core to make it on a record label…it just kind
of landed in my lap.”
I later went to an interview with Lincoln Brewster, who has released his second album, “Live to
Worship” on Vertical Music. In talking about the feedback he receives about his music he said,
“Each day it always means something to you, that it’s making a difference.” Watch for full
interviews with Lincoln and Will in the near future.
In the evening I moved on to the Provident Evening Concert at the Ryman auditorium. The show
opened with a super video by Mary Mary and Kirk Franklin. Kirk also gave a dazzling
performance with Trin-i-tee 5:7, from the soundtrack of the new movie Kingdom Come, starring
LL Cool J and Whoopie Goldberg. He then brought the house to the feet dancing with “Lovely
Day”. Caedmon’s Call came out later and performed several of their biggest hits like; “Hope to
Carry On” and “God Of Wonders” from the City On A Hill worship project. They also
introduced a great new worship song, “The Dance” from their upcoming worship album on
Essential Records.
From the Provident concert I went to the event of the night. Forefront Records brought the house
down with their late night showcase at the ballroom at the Renaissance Hotel. A new group, The
Benjamin Gate, opened the show and rocked pretty hard. Before Michael, K-Max, and Toby Mac
each hit the stage the audience was treated to 10 minute video interludes called Baboon. This video
showed a group of 20-something guys going around in Ape suits & scaring the staff of Forefront
Records and EMI. The Baboon guys did some other amazingly gross things like having one guy
dress up in a yellow suit and have eggs shot at him. Also, there was the Baboon Call which
featured the guys drinking Cokes and burping loud and almost in rhythm.
Michael’s band Tait then came to the stage and previewed songs from the DC Talk Solo record
and Tait’s upcoming album. Tait explained using his last name for the band. He said that it was a
tribute to his father, who was a man of God and is now in heaven. Tait features Forefront Artist
Pete Stewart on guitars as well. Their sound was much more straightforward rock n’ roll, blended
with a little funk and r&b. The song “All You Got” was written from the perspective of facing the
“dark side of the moon in one’s life” and that there’s hope to get through any situation. The set
moved on to “Talk About Jesus” which was a basic evangelistic song about Michael’s heart. Tait
ended the set with “Spy” which was written about how the world perceives Christians and how we
are treated like outcasts at times.
K-Max came out next and was wearing a very ugly plastic sportcoat with a tan hat. He also
previewed new solo songs, with a full band that included legendary guitarist and producer, Adrian
Belew. Kevin mentioned that everyone has a little bit of Schizophrenia, being a Christian.
Toby Mac brought the house down with the final solo set. He came out with the funky hip-hop
chant of “Where My Freaks At” He noted that tonight was a first for him. He said, “Never once
have I sat in the audience and watched Michael and Kevin do a show”. Toby also noted that he
was nervous about doing his first solo show. He also spoke about DC Talk, “I pondered many
things this last year, including letting DC Talk go, for awhile” As we would later see, DC Talk is
still alive and well as Michael, Kevin and Toby came back out ast DC Talk to play several great
classics including; “Colored People”, “Jesus Freak” and “In the Light” During the set, Toby
screamed, “AND DC TALK IS NOT BREAKING UP!”

Check the Gospel Music Week section for more news, GMA activities and earlier Journal and Update entries.

Kurtis Kegley is a free-lance writer who wrote daily GMA updates and interviews for Christian Activities during Gospel Music Week. Kurtis sends in his daily report from the GMA media room.

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