Gospelcity talked with Motown Gospel multi-award winner recording artist Tasha Cobbs.
Interviewed by Richard Cox, Gospelcity.com.
Gospelcity: Tasha, tell me about your church background.
Tasha Cobbs: Well, my father started pasturing when I was ten years old. I’m been a PK (preacher’s kid) all of my life. Before that my father was the associated pastor of the church where we were raised. My grandfather is the Chairman Deacon of our church… I mean I have a rich church background. I was the worship leader at my Dad’s church. God spoke to me and said “It was time for me to move forward.” God told me to move to Atlanta. My Dad released me and I move to Atlanta 7 years ago. In Atlanta I partnered with the Dream Center Church with Pastor William Murphy. That’s how I got to the Dream Center. Pastor Murphy took me under his wing and mentored me.
GC: I wanted to talk about the song “Break Every Chain.” It has been a hit since the single has been released. What has been some of the personal feedback you’ve received about the song?
TC: The song “Break Every Chain” is a phenomenal ministry. I didn’t write the song. I have to tell this because the first time I heard it I believe I could relate to the effects with everybody else because it had the same effect on me. The first time I heard this song I repeated it over and over. I played it on repeat throughout the night. And the song had the same type of effect on me. There are chains that we deal with in our lives of bondage, oppression and depression. I dealt with rejection in my life. I was going through the process of God releasing me and freeing me from everything. You know “Break Every Chain” ministered to me. I knew after listening to it that night God spoke to me and said I want you to release this ministry to the world. But there’s no way you can be as effective in ministering something like this song unless you had the experience. And I had the break every chain experience myself. So when I received testimonies through Facebook and Twitter. Two powerful testimonies stood out to me. One was a pastor that I connected to his sister-in-law she was in the hospital. Actually she couldn’t move her body because she was paralyzed. They played “Break Every Chain” over and over in her hospital room and they just kept it on repeat. That’s what I’m saying I experienced having to play the song on repeat. So they repeated it in her room and literally every day they would see her changing and her body responding to the miracle that God was creating. And right now she’s mobile! She can move. She sent me a message on Facebook saying “Thank you so much for this ministry!” She typed it out herself. I haven’t spoken to them in the last few weeks. I believe they were getting ready to release her from the hospital. I mean this is a miracle! The other testimony is a girl I’m connected on Facebook. She played “Break Every Chain” to a guy to who practiced atheism for seven years of his life. He told her one day that one of the things that get to him is church music. She played “Break Every Chain” for him and it ministered to him. He received Jesus as his Savoir. Right there while “Break Every Chain” was playing. I’m talking about the miraculous power of Jesus that’s being birth through the song. It’s hard to talk about it without feeling the presence of God.
GC: Who are some of the artists you’ve sung background and written songs for on projects?
TC: Of course William Murphy I’ve toured with him for five years all over the country with him. So he just trained me. I did some songs on Full Gospel with Bishop Paul Morton. Actually the song “For Your Glory” I recorded that song four years ago on a Full Gospel project. I just love that song and I had to do it again. I did Myron Butler and then the song “Smile” and that was released on Jonathan Nelson project about two years ago. I worked with a lot of amazing artists. I just recently wrote a song for L. Spencer Smith. I wrote a song for them. They are getting ready to release a project soon. VaShawn Mitchell the song “Nobody Greater” nobody knows that I’m doing the oos and ahs in the background. A new artist Marica Chisolm I also wrote the song “Used” on her project.
GC: You’ve done a lot a preparation and received training from the church that has given you that maturity in your music ministry. You’ve been patient to wait for your time.
TC: One of the scriptures from of my mentors Dr. Bridget Hilliard she taught a lesson five years ago that that stuck with me. One of the things she talked about was the scripture that says “God rewards the faithful. “ I think throughout all of my life I submitted my life to my father’s ministry as well as Pastor William Murphy. I was faithful to what God called me to do. I believe and I tell my praise team all the time to be faithful and your submission and faithful isn’t going unseen. Even though man may not see it God has his eyes on you and in the right season and time God is going to reward you for your faithfulness.
GC: Who has been some of your mentors?
TC: Drs. I.V and Bridget Hilliard, I love to talk about them. When it coming to mentoring I pray attention to talent and gifting of a person. There are people who I deem as mentors now. CeCe Winans, Kim Burrell, Donald Lawrence and these are people who I’ve watched for years before I ever met them. The same anointing I felt through their ministry is the same anointing they have on their personalities. I love to be mentored by people who live what they sing about and live what they preach about.
GC: Tasha, what’s your personal definition of worship?
TC: I will say really simple worship is the submission of all of me… all that I am to glorifying God and magnifying His name. Just to make Him famous with everything that I have.
Interviewed by Richard Cox, GospelCity.com
Gospelcity Interviewed with Tyscott Recording Artist Anthony Brown from Group Therapy
Gospelcity: Thanks Anthony for interviewing with me. I would like to start by asking you about your gospel music background since this is your debut CD project.
Anthony Brown: I’ve been in gospel music all of my life. My Mom sings and my Dad plays the keyboard. I grew up in church and doing gospel music all of my life. Professional I was introduced in to the industry by gospel artist Maureen Brown Clark. A met her years ago GMWA (Gospel Music Workshop of America) musical when it was in Detroit. I asked her 2:00 o’clock in the morning if I could sing for her. I had my singers with me. It was really, really late but I’ll give it a try. We sung a little bit of Richard Smallwood’s Total Praise. He’s an artist I really, really love. We sung a few lines of Total Praise and Maureen said who are you and what are you doing tomorrow night? She had a showcase to do and so we ended up singing for her in her showcase.
GC: I read in your bio that you went to school at Morgan State. Tell me about that experience.
AB: I did go to Morgan State. I studied under Dr. Carter. Dr. Nathan Carter was incredible. He helped me with every genre of music that has shaped me with my music style today.
GC: How did thing go from meeting Maureen Brown Clark and getting your label deal with Tyscot Records?
AB: Well from Maureen she asked is our group could sing on her Dream project and I did that. I wrote the songs God’s timing and the song It Ain’t Over. It was the starting of my writing and it branched out from that. I took a position about the First Baptist of Gleneden Church to work with gospel artist Stephen Hurd as Minister of Music. That opened another avenue for me. I worked with Stephen Hurd with two of his projects. I produced and co-produced and then I produced another project with Maureen. I believe working behind the scenes help lay the ground work for my project. I just like help people realize their dreams and help see their visions come to pass. I think God has given me a gift to be a servant. I was really Okay with that. A chance meeting I had with Vashawn Mitchell. I called Vashawn one day when I was working on some music for myself I let him hear it my single Testimony. I was going to put out myself of a tester. Vashawn called me back and Anthony you can not put this out Independent you’ve got to let this be heard by more people. I told Vashawn I’ve tried this and that… I said I’m good just being a servant and putting it out and blessing the people it blesses. VaShawn said what if I can get you a situation that you’ll like and I said okay then try. That night Bryant Scott from Tyscott Records was on the phone with me. Sometimes we know what we want to do but God sometimes has a different plan.
GC: Could you talk about the group your formed called Group Therapy?
AB: My current group Group Therapy is family to me. And literally the name behind it that really therapy with incredibly, talented and could really stand on their own vocally and musically. They are incredible people to work with. We came together because I was singling out certain people that God put on my heart. For me having that level of talent in one group without fighting and bickering, murmuring and complaining. It’s probably a rarity but we literally spend more time loving one another and laughing together and really in each other’s lives through our singing. You can hear the harmonies and they are not just harmonies but you can tell that we love each other. We are one accord.
GC: What’s the vision for your music ministry?
AB: My vision is to use the music that God has given me to really touch people’s heart. I want people to understand the depth of God’s love. That’s what my project is all of about… therapy the name on this album it’s not to make us look like we are assaulted. It’s really to illuminate that scripture that says “If I be lifted up I’ll draw all men.” God wants me to be a willing vessel. We are not completely cleaned up but God didn’t ask us that but God wants us to be available from a Yes. We are group of people that try to make the mark and encourage people. Some days we do well and some days we don’t do as well. The God that we serve is so gracious and he uses our trials and things we don’t live so much as uses every platform to ultimate give Himself the glory. That’s what Group Therapy is all of about. I want people to have a sense of hope. If God can use this jacked up dude from Maryland... God can use anybody. There is no respect of persons. God can get the glory and you can get the victory.
GC: What do you want the listeners to take away from your project?
AB: This project is conceptual. It kind of tells a story. I wanted it to be methodical on how I put the project together. From the beginning on the first song it’s very introspective to me up in my face about my life like the first song is about how it feels to be young and have a sense of purpose and being trapped by your own stuff. And the last called Deep Enough saying whatever you think you are bound by God’s love is enough to forgive the unforgivable. He can hold you up when you’re falling down. I think all in all with the project it’s really about identifying everybody wherever they are. Like in the word that says I become all things for man for I might save someone. I want to identify with everybody.. I’m Anthony I’m a gospel artist , I’m Anthony a regular dude striving everyday just like you are … with the same struggles with the same issues but I’ve come to the knowledge and fact that God loves me so much that every day when I get up and lay back down that God’s grace begins. I ultimately want to give people hope and a message of redemption where ever you are you can pick back up. You can keep going… you can keep moving.
GC: Who has been some of your influences in the Gospel Music industry?
AB: Richard Smallwood his ability to craft vocals and stuff and his songs are unparallel. Donald Lawrence favorite one for this project because I thought I would put this project out three years ago, Donald gave me the best advise that crushed my feelings but gave me the project I currently have. Everybody should have a mentor who they can call give you the aludrtreeaded truth in love and want to best in you. Now I’m so glad Donald stopped me from putting out project when I thought I was going to put it out. Donald wanted me to make sure it was the best I had in me. And Donald was right. He hurt my little feelings. Donnie McClurkin who is an amazing guy period. He gave me an opportunity to go on TBN not long ago. Just see all of these forefathers in gospel taken to what I’m doing. And of course Maureen Brown Clark. Vashawn Mitchell who has supported what I do in my music ministry.
GC: How can people get your information about your project?
AB: Well, I’m a Twitter junkie ABJLive and Facebook junkie under Anthony J. Brown. The website is AJBlive.com Anthony jbrown Facebook fan page. The project is available everywhere in Walmart , Target , on line Amazon and ITunes . Where every you buy your music.
WILLIAM MURPHY III
Interviewed by Richard Cox, GospelCity.com
Gospelcity talked to RCA Inspiration Artist William Murray about his latest project, which is currently holding at #3 on Billboard's Gospel Music Charts and his insights about worship and his preaching ministry.
Gospelcity: Let me start by congratulating you on your latest project "God Chaser." I know you’re excited about it. It’s an exciting time when you’re getting ready to birth something new to the body of Christ.
William Murphy: I’m excited about a couple of things. This is my first album which was on Verity which is now changed over to RCA Inspiration which is a major change there.
That’s exciting because we are merging resources and teams that will help the overall effort with promoting the record. I’m excited about this record, "God Chaser" on this label.
The album is a result of just the times that we had in prayer and worship in our church. God just gave us these 15 songs and we knew it was time to make another record. We started gathering our resources and talking with folks and saying we are ready to make another record. We ended up with the relationship with Verity (now called RCA Inspiration).
This collection of songs...I call them a collection of prophetic songs. There are songs that literally meet the people where they are. Every time we sing them it’s like God present comes. You can sense God’s presence when we sing these songs. Churches all over the world are going to be singing the songs. Some of the songs are already out like ”God Chaser.” People have been singing that song for over a year. With the phenomenon of YouTube and the digital platforms somebody got a hold of “God Chaser” and people started singing it in their churches. We had not even recorded the song yet. People were already grabbing the music and singing it. People were like, "when we can get it?" These songs are what I call Sunday morning songs. It is songs people are going to be able to use to access God’s presence.
GC: I know, even in my church, the praise teams
have been already singing the songs.
It’s something fresh to bring to the worship experience.
William, how many CD projects have you done?
WM: Technically, this will be my fourth solo project. It’s funny. I was talking about this on the radio today. My first project was called "Changes" that I made about 15 years ago. I borrowed $8,000.00 from my grandfather to make it. It was one of those records. The funny thing, I was in Japan a few months ago and somebody walked up to me with that CD. I was going, Wow!! I was like, people are still listening to those songs. God has given me that grace to record and write those kinds of songs that kind of stay in people’s hearts.
GC: William, even when you are singing on other CD projects you bring this intensity to the worship experience. I was wondering, where does that intensity come from?
WM: Really, it’s a passion to be not so much in God’s presence as much as it’s my desire to please God. There’s difference. Some people, they want to be in God’s presence because they feel better, to get healed. But my desire and my passion when you hear my worship is to please God. I was saying this to someone yesterday...the reason that I worship to God with such a passion is because I’ve messed up. I’ve messed up and I need God. That’s what you hear in “Praise Is What I Do,” when you hear “God Chaser,” or “You Reign.” That’s what comes across in the music. I think that’s why it’s been a blessing to people because they are able to sense my heart and know that my passion is really for God and not just about His presence.
GC: You answered my question because I know you’re singing from a real place. You’re drawing from experiences with God when you needed Him and
you are reaching and touching others.
WM: You get to a place and realize all of this other stuff I’ve been trying...they are all counterfeits. Let me just find God for real. You get to that place and figure out what really matters and God blesses you. Man, I’m excited about this record. One of the lines says “I chase God. I want God.”
We are making a distinction between just again being in a place of need where I need something from God but making the transition to the place I just want God. I think you’ll see that transition in this record. We’re ministering to a place not just, "Hey God, help me," but to a place of, "Hey God, I just want to be with you."
GC: You are known for singing worship songs. What is your definition of worship?
WM: It’s a simple question, but it’s not. My definition is complete devotion to your relationship with God. I worship God because I’m devoted to my relationship. Not because I’m scared to go to Hell. You see the difference.
GC: I see the difference.
WM: I’m not worshipping out of fear of God. I’m worshipping God because I tried this other stuff and I’m still not fulfilled and I’m realizing that really God is what I really need. It births another type of hunger in a man’s soul when you finally get to that place when you really realize its God who I really need. I believe you’re going to see this in this record. There’s a song on the project that says “My life is in your hand” and another song that says “You Reign.”
There’s another song “It Works.” But the lyric says “this is my season of grace and faith.” It is sort of a culmination of my relationship with God. Once you get to a place with your relationship with God and He can trust you with some things, then some things can turn in your favor.
GC: When people are listening to your project God Chaser, what do you want the listener to take away from the project?
WM: My prayer is, when people finish listening to the "God Chaser" record, that they will have renewed hunger to deepen their relationship with Jesus. That’s my prayer that the music would impact their lives to want to go back to the project to have the experience and encounter every day. That’s my prayer, not to just sell some records or for people to say “Oh we love that song,” but to really create this hunger for God’s presence. People just want to have this experience daily that they experiencing God’s presence becomes a part of their daily bread.
GC: William, how do you balance being the pastor, family man and artist?
WM: Man to be honest with you, I’m juggling a little bit here. I find balance because I look for it. Some guys are so committed to the ministry that they become uncommitted to their families. I’m able to find some kind of balance because I look for it. I tell the church sometimes, I’m not coming to church or an event because my daughter has a basketball game. There are some days I have to tell my daughter, this is really important and daddy’s going to miss this game. But I’m going to be at the next 3 games. You’ve got to find that balance. There are some invitations I’m not able to accept because I’ve got something going on at my church or I’ve got things going on with my children or my wife. Balance has to be intentional.
GC: William, since you get to travel and preach around the world you get a perspective about what’s going on in the Body of Christ, hw would you describe this time we are in currently the Body of Christ?
WM: I really see the Body of Christ coming out of a season of demonic depression. I really see the Body of Christ really going into our finest hour. We’ve had some difficult days man. We’ve had some bad days. I see the Body of Christ emerging in this season. We are coming forward.
How I see this happening is because the focus is moving away from the pulpit and now the focus is moving to the pew. The concept of church is evolving and people are understanding now that it’s not just about me going sitting and listening to someone talk to you but it’s really about a need for me to develop my relationship with God.
The point is, if the pastor quits, the Body of Christ is still moving forward. It’s not just about one person or one personality. Literally, the soldiers are getting into position. I think people are being empowered on a personal level. I see the Body of Christ advancing.
The theme at our church (The Dream Center Church in Atlanta) is “Developing a Better Me.” One of the things that God keeps saying to me is, if we can focus on getting better personally, that the corporate man will automatically be better because we have everybody’s focus on developing themselves. Instead of everyone saying “Let the preacher do it,” we are all working together. Now we understand that the kingdom agenda is all of our assignment, not just pastor's.
GC: That’s why I like asking pastors this question about the season we are living in the Body of Christ. I personally definitely sense that myself as you were talking. Share with me information about your church.
WM: I’ve had the honor of leading the Dream Center Church. I’ve pastured for seven years now. We are in North Atlanta and now recently at South Atlanta. You can find us on the website www.thedreamcenterchurch.org or you can find us on Facebook at thedreamchurchofatlanta or on Twitter at dreamcenteratl.
GC: How can people find out about your
CD project God Chaser?
WM: You can go RCA Inspiration website www rcainspirition. You can find me on Twitter at PastorMurphy and Facebook at WilliamMurphyiii.
Also find it in our online Christian Bookstore
for 17% off at just $9.99.
GC: What do you do in your spare time for fun?
WM: Man, during my wind down time I’m a movie buff. I like to bowl. I enjoy doing regular stuff.
WILLIE MOORE JR.
Interviewed by Richard Cox, GospelCity.com
Gospelcity talked with Gospel artist, comedian, actor, Radio personality and TV personality Willie Moore Jr. about his music and new TV show Willie Moore Jr. Live Flat Out TV show.
Gospelcity: Willie, I wanted to thank you for this opportunity for this interview today.
Willie Moore Jr.: Indeed, the honor is truly all mines.
GC: I would like to start by asking you to share with us about your church background.
WM: Well I’m a licensed minister. I was licensed back in Saint Louis Missouri at Shalom Church City of Peace. I’ve been doing ministry now since 2007. Wow! How times flies when you’re on the ground for the King of Kings. I’m just a young man who loves God. I’m excited about what He’s doing in this season of my life bridging the gap between the streets and the church. That gap is just communication. I was adopted when I was three years old. My parents are extremely mature. My Dad right now is 82 years old. My Mom has been 35 years old for the last 35 years. So I have no idea how old she is. But I grew up and understood with the wisdom that comes from growing up with mature parents. And by growing up in the neighborhood where I was raised by Hip Hop and I understand that too. So making the Gospel make sense to both worlds is my ultimate mission.
GC: Willie, what was the draw for you to get saved?
WM: I also tell people that it has to be something personal. A lot of times we can get so knowledge based. The Bible says “knowledge puffs us up” but love builds up man. My thing man, I wasn’t trying to become this Christian guy. I was just really thinking to myself man I’m just going to do God a favor and kind of offset all of the bad stuff I was doing at the time. I was living in Los Angeles. I was signed to Warner Bros Records as an artist named Pretty Willie. But if you see my pictures nowadays you’ll know that most of the kids took all of my pretty away from me. I had a new song that was just about to blow up called “Love in the Daytime” with an artist that many of us know now days as Tank. During that time man, I started going to church with Pastor Kenneth Ulmer at the Great Western Forum. I was going to offset all of the bad stuff I was doing but I was sitting under that Word. It started changing me. I always tell people the Word does the work. I still went right back to those clubs. I went right back to my concerts. I wasn’t trying to do this Gospel until my manager pulled me to the side and said”that new music you’re doing is Christian music you know.” I just really dived in head first and heard the Lord say “your way or My way.” I chose His Way and started running for Him.
GC: Do you feel when you went away to college that was your wilderness experience?
WM: Yeah! I would say that man. My parents were not like pushing church on me. We were not going to church every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. They had a lot of wisdom. On Sundays we would go to church. But on Monday we were back to our normal lives. I remember it was something that my family did and they weren’t pushing me with church.
GC: Willie, how did you get your first record deal?
WM: My first deal was with Universal Records. I was fresh out the University of Mississippi. I finished my tenure there. At that time there was a guy named Nellie from St. Louis who was really big at that time. He had the number one song in the world and I had the number one song in St. Louis. Nellie sold about 10 million records and I sold about 10 in total. They got me off of that label man and I started my own label. We came up with songs like “Lay your Body Down” … “Four Walls” and another record call “Good Thang.” They did about 25 millions hits on the site called MySpace. It caught the attention of Warner Brothers and I moved to Los Angeles to start with their label.
GC: When did you do your “The Best of Both Worlds” project?
WM: That’s an album once we have transition to what we coined as Kingdom Music. That was on my label Kingdom Music LLC. We also did the project “Turning Point.” We have a lot of things planned for 2015 as well.
GC: Willie, I like your concept of reaching the hearts and mind of the youth. Tell me how you developed that concept using the combination of humor and music.
WM: Understand the culture number one. Of course, you need to seek the Lord for some cool strategies on how to give the youth the Word in their terms. I know people who give people the Bible and I know people who like to give the Bible to people. I one of those people who like to give people the Bible. I mean I’ll go that extra mile to understand the culture. I’ll go the extra mile to understand what you’re listening to. I’ll go the extra mile to see what places you go to. I’ll go the extra mile to see the way you dress. I’ll figure that out and go in deeply so I can build that Word around what you already know and make sure they come. I make the bridge between the street and the church. It’s been an amazing ride!
GC: How did the deal come about for the Flat Out T.V. show?
WM: We started with YouTube. YouTube to date has about 2.3 million people who have viewed our stuff so far. The Lord placed on my heart to go to television. I believe God was pulling me in that direction. So we brought more computers and more cameras. We had an awesome concept. We put it on paper and we didn’t know exactly where it would go. The NRB Network (DISH) was the first to pick up the show. Then KTV (Direct TV) picked it up. We just licensed 13 episodes to JUCE TV (TBN ).
GC: What has been some of the feedback you’ve received about your FlatOut TV show?
WM: It’s so cool to see Moms, Dads and children to have some healthy shows they can all watch in one room and still have fun. I hear a lot of family testimonies because you know in this age everybody is in the social media and texting and sometime that quality time isn’t spent. I think the thing that tugs my heart the most is to see families sitting down on Saturday night. I want families to say we all watched and we all enjoyed and we all understood the show. Because some shows are a little bit off the chain for the kids to watch so you don’t watch the show with the kids and some shows are a little to kiddie for Moms to watch. But just to be able to be that agent where everyone can watch and everybody can understand the show. They can have fun and everybody can get a good Word from the Lord. That’s like one of my biggest testimonies. Other people get on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with their personal stories and let us know how they like the show. One young lady was like I was on the verge of death. I didn’t even know it. You know sometimes you think you’re doing the right thing but God weighs on your heart. Most people can feel and say there are some things I need to change in my life. I’m excited to see regular people know that the Lord has a plan for their lives.
GC: What do you want viewers to take away from your TV show?
WM: That Christianity is not a body of perfection. We are a body of process and if you want to be a part of the process God does the perfecting. That’s what we show. We don’t try to hide the things we’re going through. We suppose to bring a lot of celebrity guests that are extremely transparent. They help as a change agent. They help so much to shift the projectory of this generation. We you see a Towanda Braxton on the show sharing her faith. You’ve seen her on her Bravo show. Also, Kel Mitchell is on the show from Nickelodeon sharing his faith. It just gives a little more validity to the points we’re already made on our Instragram, Facebook and YouTube channels. You’ll say, “Hey man, I’m not the only one who thinks like this.” You’ll get a chance to see people in a different light where you might not think they know as much as they know. You’ll get a chance to get into their minds and hearts to believe what the Lord is doing in their lives. You’ll see that type of change happening. The first thing we do is change people minds. I know a picture is worth a thousand words and a great TV show is worth 10 thousand.
GC: Do you have any plans on taking your show to different places throughout the country?
WM: That’s so amazing you brought that up. You must be prophetic!! We were in creative meetings this morning with my partner and I. Someone donated a $150,000 RV to us. So we are going to be getting on the road. We are going to be going to some speaking engagements to show what we’re doing on the ground level. We were at Troy State University in Alabama on a Wednesday. There were 1,000 people from ages I would say 8 to 80 years old. They came to meet us. This guy with a tee shirt on with cut off shorts with funny socks and red shoes preach the Word of God. Out of 1,000 people in attendance 140 people gave their lives to the Lord. We’re letting people know you can have fun in the Kingdom… to smile… to laugh. We’re going to show that on the road.
GC: Willie, how can people find out more about your TV show and your music ministry?
WM: My website is www.williemoorejr.org. My Facebook page is wiliemoorejrlive. My Twitter account is @pwillie1. My Instagram is williemoorejrlive. They can also search on YouTube for FlatOut TV show clips and my music.