As he prepares to launch his third solo project, “Portable Sounds,” on February 20, 2007, one of the most successful artists in Christian music history, TobyMac celebrated the RIAA Gold certification of his first two solo endeavors, “Momentum” (2001) and “Welcome to Diverse City” (2004) at BMI in Nashville last night.
Thanking the team around him including management, record company personnel, his band and more, he left his biggest salute to his wife of 14 years, Amanda, commenting, “all of this is impossible without you.”
With solid radio success, sales power and critical acclaim ever present over his career with DC Talk as well as a solo artist, TobyMac is also universally recognized as a creative force, artistic maverick, prophetic voice for racial reconciliation, social justice and a fierce devotion to faith and family. His rampant eclecticism and consistent excellence have set the bar very high, and on “Portable Sounds”, he delivers an increased commitment to melody and soulful singing, while his now trademarked rock/funk/hip-hop side hits deeper grooves and catchier hooks than ever before.
“Working with TobyMac is always an incredible pleasure for all of us at Forefront Records/EMI CMG,” remarked Peter York, President of EMI CMG Label Group. “He consistently delivers culturally relevant songs that challenge us with compelling lyrics and haunt us with contagious musical hooks. Like his previous gold selling records, TobyMac’s new project “Portable Sounds” has all of those same elements only I believe it is destined for even greater success. We look forward to introducing this record to the public and feel honored to work with an artist of Toby’s caliber.”
The man Christianity Today called “one of the fifty most influential evangelical leaders in America” sets a new standard with the release of “Portable Sounds.” His solo career took off from the first notes, with two GOLD albums, six number one singles, two Grammy® nominations and widespread critical acclaim, but to hear TobyMac talk about the passion and drive he has for “Portable Sounds”, he has nothing left to prove, and a lot more to say. “As I approached this project,” he offers, “the main pressure I put on myself was a commitment to make a record that was true to what God is breathing through my life. What’s going on? Am I struggling with my human relationships? Are my friends struggling with me? What’s going on socially? Where are the conflicts? Where are the struggles? Where are we overcoming? Where are we getting the victories? That’s what I like my writing to be about.”
As a result, a new lyrical flavor developed on a few of Portable’s tracks. “I wanted to write a few songs that would be like prayers,” he adds. “There have been a few prayers that I have been very consistent with over the years; like ‘Help me to remember what this is all about.’ I really believe that this record can touch peoples lives....not because of me, but because God is breathing through me on this project – that was my prayer every day in the studio.”
The resulting album is the most dynamically diverse collection of TobyMac songs yet. “Made to Love” opens the set up with its inspirational lyric and irresistible melody and then there’s “Boomin’”, a huge rock / funk spectacle in the tradition of his best jams. The diversity continues with generous helpings of edgy funk-rock driven tracks, (“Suddenly,” “I’m For You,” “Fly,”) groovy disco / reggae pop (“One World,” “No Ordinary Love,”) and richly textured pop “All In,” “Face of the Earth,” and “Soul.”
With the holidays approaching as he finishes up his second WinterWonderSlam tour, TobyMac is taking time off to spend time with his family before into full album promo mode, which includes a headline tour beginning March 8th featuring Thousand Foot Krutch, Building 429 and Family Force 5.
For more information on “Portable Sounds,” TobyMac, his 2007 tour and more, go to http://www.tobymac.com.
Author: Alan Mayor
Date: 18 December 2006