CCM: We definitely agree. Compared to your last album, Rise incorporates more of an “onward and upward” tone, yet it still deals with some pretty heavy stuff.
DG: What is the gospel? Good news, and hope. That was the whole point of this album. It can be such a religious mindset to think that we’re supposed to have the name “Jesus” as every other word… [I think] we’re called to create music that entices the listener to want to grab on to the artist, listen to them more, and then investigate—”Why do they do what they do?”—which, hopefully, all points to Christ.
It’s funny, there always seems to be a bombardment of [all kinds of] messages out there. I know that I want to be a voice. I want my message to be pointed toward hope, toward unity, and toward redemption through Christ. I want to always point to that because there’s enough. There’s so much hate out there, and I just feel like it’s our responsibility as believers to go and take back that space that the enemy has grabbed. We’re supposed to go take authority over that and bring hope to people.
CCM: Were there any, what some may consider “hot button” issues, that helped inspire the writing on this project?
DG: I grew up in a very segregated, but also very mixed [area of] Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I’ve just seen a lot of racism all over the board, it has shaped [me personally], but I’ve never wanted to feed into that. You know, people react to what they see on television—like the police violence and presidential election—and a lot of times there was a lot of negative reacting, a lot of pointing fingers. You saw a lot of lies out there, and the problem is so many people buy into the lies and it divides us more.
But, it’s dumb to try and go back and convince people of the truth. You have to bring a message through love. I found that my connecting point was, “I’m not going to tell you you’re wrong, I’m just going to tell you what I feel is a better way.” When I introduce “Better Than I Found It” at my shows, I say, “Before we’re black, before we’re white, before we’re Hispanic, before we’re Asian…before we’re anything else…we are a part of the Kingdom of God, and the Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, love, joy…” If we’re not exhibiting those things, then we need to look at ourselves and figure out how.
CLICK “5” TO ADVANCE