He may not be your “traditional contemporary Christian artist,” but then again, who are we to put God inside of a box? Rise, fall, and now Rise (buy)—his January 13, 2017 BMG release—CCM Magazine sits down with Danny Gokey to discuss the new album, a clearer voice, and where God now has him.
CCM Magazine: We’ve recently heard you talk about “victories” in your life and career, what are some “wins” that can be attributed to the release of Rise?
Danny Gokey: Let me tell you, [one of] the biggest that I can say right now is that we got to make this follow-up album to Hope In Front Of Me. From the perspective of coming off of a big [opportunity like American Idol], the odds were for us in that moment. Then my career took a dip for several years. I went quiet and didn’t release music. When I released Hope In Front Of Me, the odds had been turned against us.
To look back and see that it did way better than the expected projections—the way it connected with radio and with the listeners—and that I got to make a second record, a follow-up to Hope In Front Of Me, that is why it’s a huge victory. Comparatively when we released the first album, My Best Days (buy), there wasn’t a whole lot of faith in us. We tried to get on all of these different tours, no one was biting, and we had to trudge through that. Now, we have tours lined up right out the gate, we have great media lined up—it’s just a testament. But I can’t take the credit. I just say, “Lord, thank you.” You know? That’s the victory.
Before American Idol I always thought it was, “Us versus them,” but once I got on the show, I learned that there’s a lot of people who are finding God through this experience. I heard things like, “I’ve never gone to church, but I feel like you make me want to go…” or, “You make me want to give God a chance.” That’s where this was birthed. Of course, it’s been an evolving process since then, but that’s why I want to say things that will reach the church, but also appeal to those outside of the church. I love the fact that my last album was being licensed and synced on television shows like So You Think You Can Dance and America’s Got Talent, that was a massive victory in the sense that it allowed exposure to people who wouldn’t choose to listen to Christian music.
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