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Interview: TobyMac discusses new album ‘This is Not a Test’ (Includes interview)

This forthcoming studio effort will be released on August 7, and it garnered a rave review from Digital Journal. “I could not be much more excited about the release of my new CD. I really worked for a year and a half on it. I poured everything I had on it, and I almost called it ‘Blood, Sweat and Tears’ since that’s what it took to write it,” he said.

On the origin of its title, he said, “It was interesting. It was a late song I did with Capital Kings and I was trying to express that there are no practice runs in life and this is the real thing. Try to make every moment in your life count,” he said.

Regarding the song selection process for the album, he said, “We went through the songs that best made up this body of work. I love to write songs about life and experiences in life, whether struggles or victories. When I write from my own life, people relate to it more than if I write some fictional story in a song.”

A multi-Grammy winner, TobyMac listed “Move (Keep Walkin’)” and “Backseat Driver” as his two personal favorite songs on the album.

Throughout his career, he has sold over 11 million albums, and his previous album, Eye On It, went to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 all-genre charts. He took home the “Best Live Performance” at the fan-voted K-Love Awards. “That was quite an honor again. My band and I work very hard on our live shows. We all put ideas in a pot. It is us working together, trying our best, to come up with things that would move a crowd and turn people’s eyes to ‘The King’,” he said.

His headlining tours have resonated well with his listeners, filling up seats in the largest markets throughout the country including Houston, Minneapolis, Seattle and New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Each day, TobyMac is motivated by e-mails and Twitter posts. “I am motivated by stories that people tell me on the road, where they say that music is their medicine for their soul. My goal is to turn people’s eyes to ‘The King’ and that’s what I want to do,” he said.

TobyMac listed Lauryn Hill as his dream female duet choice. “I always dreamed about doing something with Lauryn Hill because I love her voice, passion and her rhyming ability,” he said.

He is an avid supporter of New Hope Academy in Franklin, Tennessee. “It is a faith-based, Christian school in the south but it is a little different than most schools. What makes it amazing is that it is available to different people. It is not just for the middle and upper middle classes. It is Christian music for all races and all socioeconomic levels. It makes the school immediately diverse and immediately beautiful, in my opinion. It is richer than most Christian school atmospheres because of its diversity,” he said.

TobyMac concluded by defining the word success as “Connecting with people’s lives.” “Record sales and radio airplay are nice, but at the end of the day, it means connecting with people’s lives through music. I love music and I love art, but I don’t look at art as self-indulgent. I look at art as serving people, and that’s the kind of art I want to make. When it does well, it tells me that it is connecting with people’s lives,” he concluded.

For more information on Christian music mega-star TobyMac and his new album, check out his official website.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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