In describing his musical background, Wright says, “Growing up, there was always music in our home. My mom was a singer. When she was in college, she auditioned and was selected from hundreds of others to headline a band for a summer television show based in Charlotte, North Carolina. I like telling this story since I think of her as the first American Idol! She has one of the best voices I’ve heard. My dad was self-taught on the piano, and my brother was in a band. So it was natural that music became a way for me to express my faith.”
Church was also an important part of Wright’s life growing up in Asheville. “We were members of a large church in Asheville for many years, and then started attending a smaller church in Swannanoa, North Carolina. The pastor and members of this church gave my sister and me so many opportunities to grow and develop our music ministry. I’ve always kept my membership there because of what the church meant to me all those years.”
In 2003, Wright was the grand-prize winning songwriter at Embassy Music’s Ultimate Talent Search in Nashville, Tennessee for the song “John, Jane, and All Things” from his first album, Something Much Higher, produced by Mitch Waddell of Majesty Productions. Wright’s second and latest project, Leap, was released in 2011, and was produced by Brandon “Swaff” Swafford (Family Force 5, Decemberadio, After Edmund, 7eventh Time Down) of Swaff Productions in Villa Rica, Georgia. Leap was inspired by the passage in the Song of Solomon where a girl sees her guy leaping on mountains because of the love they share. Wright explains, “If a person’s love can cause somebody to leap, what does knowing that the Creator of the Universe loves us more than anything make us want to do? God shows us love and blesses us with gifts every second we breathe. So Leap is about moving into that awareness and living it.”
Since the album’s release, Wright has received top honors at the 10th Annual Independent Music Awards for the song “Glorious Savior” (penned by Swaff, Carson Ray, and Wright). The song was also one of the three top winners in the International Songwriting Competition. The first releases from Leap, “Glorious Savior” and “Straight N Narrow”, began being added to radio station playlists this fall.
In describing the releases, Wright says, “A reporter for the Times-Georgian newspaper wrote that ‘Glorious Savior’ is a song about the narrator feeling he has lost his connection with God then being caught by God. There are times we may have those experiences of feeling disconnected, whether through loss, unwanted change, or simply becoming numbed by the daily routine. Those are the times that God can be even more powerful. He breaks through what feels like unbreakable pain and distraction and we are able to fully experience Him. He never leaves us. ‘Straight N Narrow’ is a rock-infused song inspired by Matthew 7:14 that says, ‘Straight is the gate, and narrow is the way that leads to life.’ Everything we do is based on a decision, and the song deals with staying on the road less traveled even when it seems all roads collide.”
Wright was recently confirmed to perform at the IMA Live! Showcase at The Living Room in New York City in December. The performance will precede the release of the single and video for “Abby May”, the third cut from Leap. “The video for ‘Abby May’ deals with a girl who has become merchandise for human traffickers. For reasons she does not understand, she becomes drawn to a church and wonders what would happen if she entered the building. The song and video address the church and how it is perceived by people like Abby May who feel like outsiders.”
Wright is working with Swaff on a new project set for release in early 2013. For more information about J. Douglas Wright and his music, visit www.jdouglaswright.com.