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article imageDanny Gokey talks new holiday album, digital age and future plans Special

By Markos Papadatos     Nov 26, 2019 in Music
Singer-songwriter Danny Gokey (of "American Idol" fame) chatted with Digital Journal about his new album, "The Greatest Gift: A Christmas Collection."
On his song selection approach for The Greatest Gift: A Christmas Collection, he said, "Naturally, I just went towards my favorite songs. I've done a Christmas record before in the past so I had to give those a break, but I chose the songs that mean the most to me. Luckily, most Christmas songs are great so it's not that hard to pick songs to put on it."
When asked about his personal favorite song, he said, "I don't have any favorite song, but when it comes to a cover it would be 'Angels We Have Heard On High' and I also love the 'The Prayer' that I did with Natalie Grant and my favorite original on the album would be 'Until You'."
On being an artist in the digital age, he said, "Man, it's been really a tough run and I think it's because there's been such a scramble to try to figure it out on the industry side. Financially it's hard for lots of artists, and it's made it really difficult for us to do what we do. I think that's the biggest struggle of it all, of trying to figure out, 'How do we do this and make a living?' It's not easy when there are so many hands in it now splitting it up now."
Regarding his future plans, he said, "I am actually producing a TV show right now called 'Better Than I Found It.' I've been really focused on that. We've done three episodes. I'm going to Las Vegas literally next week to film the fourth episode. I used to have an organization that took homeless families off the street and housed them, and I had a building in Nashville that -long story short - couldn't keep up with funding."
"It was very difficult to do what we did, and we had to shut it down. Now my mission is to find other organizations who are like myself, people who are making a difference and finding their needs, telling their stories, resourcing them. We have incredible stories. I'm hoping on launching this TV series next year so keep an eye out," he elaborated.
On his music and songwriting inspirations, Gokey said, "My faith, my children, my family. Also some of the greatest artists out there, music revolutionaries, Motown, '90s country. These are revolutions that I got to live— well, not Motown, of course. But my dad helped me listen and buy new albums and they've been so inspirational towards my sound and my music. I love disco too. Even though I wasn't born in the disco era, but I love listening to disco and the sound of the '70s and '80s and the '60s. They were just such great eras of music."
In his tour, he had rising singer-songwriter Coby James serve as his opening act. "Coby was great," Gokey said. "I love Coby James. He has such a great voice and he's such a great guitarist at only 17 years old. One of my favorite things about him is his intentionality towards relationship just recently, he sent me a text like, 'Hey, I know we've been busy on this tour, but we haven't had the ability to go sit down and really get to know each other. Can I take you out to coffee?' I just thought that was the sweetest thing. It's a kid who gets it. He's not solely focused on himself and I just love that about him."
On his dream female duet choices, he said, "There are so many great artists coming up. I don't have a dream but I would have loved to sing with Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood several years ago. Now, the music landscape has changed and more people are getting inside. Of course, it would always be an honor to do music with those two, don't get me wrong, but now there are all these up and coming artists that I'm catching on Spotify."
Regarding the recent passage of the Music Modernization Act, which protects songwriters and creators in this digital age, he said, "I think it's great. Not only is just great for all of us as a whole, but the Grammy foundation brought me out to the hill to go do lobbying with Congress members. So not only do I receive the benefit of that one, but I get to say that I was one of the people who went out there and got to talk to senators and congresspeople and tell them how important it was to make a change. That to me was a very, very big deal, that I got to be a part of history being made."
For his fans, Gokey concluded about his new Christmas album, "I would say I'm excited for them to listen to it. I'm grateful for the years of support they’ve given me and I can't wait to hear what they have to say. I hope that this record really puts them in a posture of Christmas spirit and puts them in awe and wonder of who our God is and that Christmas is only Christmas because it started with God's idea."
To learn more about singer-songwriter Danny Gokey, check out his official homepage.
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