Okay so what’s it all about? Why would a father of five in his 40’s just resign from his dream job to pursue a career in music? I mean there’s really nothing sensible about it. You don’t just quit your job to chase some impossible dream! Or do you? I remember when I was a boy, I always loved to sing and to write music. My grandmother was a mariachi , that’s a Mexican entertainer. She played the guitar and had a beautiful voice. My sister and I used to love to watch her sing and perform. I guess it was then that I knew that music would forever play a key role in my life. You see some people are born to fly planes, others to be teachers and others to be at home parents and raise the children. I knew then that I was born to do things that most people would consider un-reachable.
As I grew up I realized that I had a great passion for singing so I devoted myself to learning as much about it as I could. I remember listening to the Jackson 5 for hours trying to emulate Michel Jackson and learn how he would phrase his verses and breathe through them. It wasn’t enough to sing good, I had to be one of the best. In high school I joined the Jazz choir as a freshman and I began to excel. I played trumpet and sax but I wasn’t very good. I really needed to stick to singing. I didn’t have the kind of voice that was amazing, like some people but I think it was more the passion behind it. Little did I know then that this passion wasn’t earned by anything I did, it was instilled in me by God.
I didn’t have a clue that God was responsible for my ability or for the fire inside me. As I grew I became more and more self consumed and even arrogant, I really thought that I would be the next great rock star. As I look back I can only laugh. I was so young and full of myself. It wasn’t until I met my wife that I realized that I can’t take any credit for anything. I was saved in 1998 and it was like the scales fell from my eyes and I was able to see the truth for the first time.
Through my whole life I wanted to learn how to play the guitar like my grandmother but even though I had recorded several songs over the years I was never able to learn to play a single chord. One day after I had already committed my life to Jesus, I prayed and asked God to help me learn to play for His glory. It was crazy, that same day I learned 4 chords and I wrote my first song on the guitar to God! Now to this day I’m not a good guitarist by any means but I play.
Okay so what about the album?? How did it all come to be?? In 1998 I joined the worship team at my church, in that same year I knew God wanted me to begin the process of becoming a full-time minister. I was blown away, I mean if you knew me back in the day you would never think of me as a pastor. But God had other plans. I began learning about God and studying the Bible. In 2005 I began a 2 year group course that would enable me to become a licensed pastor. In 2005 I was hired as the full-time youth pastor and worship leader for my church.
During this whole time I was learning a lot about God, people and church. I loved leading worship but I always wanted to do it a little differently. As a worship leader the songs we would do were appealing to people who go to church but not very appealing to people who don’t go to church. I always wanted to share music to God and about God with the world, but in a sound and way that the world would embrace. I remember just before I resigned my position thinking about a new way to do this.
I remember 2 months after resigning asking God what He wanted me to do and his response was simple “music” and it all came to me. I was to write and record songs that would cross generational and cultural boundaries. Music that would inspire Christians and Non-Christians, music that would represent all ages, races and beliefs. Music that this culture in America could relate to. Using the sounds and tools of today’s modern culture. Even songs that said nothing about God or would be considered by the Christian audience as secular or worldly. You see for so many years I catered my musical style to “churched” people, but now it’s time to go to the world.
Aerophobia is the title of the album. The meaning is : fear or strong dislike of flying. You see when we fly we have to give up control to the pilot and have faith that he will take us to our destination safely. Even if we know how to fly a plane we still have to have faith that the plane itself will get us to our destination safely. Either way it takes faith to fly. So often we want to control everything and we refuse to let go. This is why we don’t fly and accomplish the things that God has created us to accomplish. We have a fear of flying a fear of letting God pilot our lives. Our church in America suffers from Aerophobia and that’s why it’s so weak today.
Aerophobia is all about being who God created you to be and doing things his way, because sometimes we think that we are doing it his way but in reality we’re doing the way man has taught us. If we only allowed songs on this album that were solely about God and nothing else, then we would only reach Christians. There are tons of great Christian artist out there for that. We choose to reach the unreachable with songs about everyday life and experiences, along with songs about our beliefs and great love for God. As we market the album the plan is to push both secular and Christian genres simultaneously. It’s defiantly going to be hard work but we know who has our back.
I guess for me the hardest part has been the transition from leading worship in a church setting to performing songs in front of people who expect a good show.
King David was rebuked by his wife for celebrating in a manner that she didn’t think was fitting for a king as he brought in the Ark of The Covenant. David’s response was I will become more undignified than this for the sake of his Lord. So as questions rise over the next few months about our album, just remember that whether you agree with it or not, whether you like the music or not or whether you think I have just gone mad!! I am doing this with the purpose of reaching people who the church today don’t really have a detailed plan to reach.
I just want to help people get close to God, and for now this is how God has me doing it. So now you know…This Is Why I Do This.
And oh yeah, for all my friends out there that are concerned that I’ve turned my back to organized ministry, don’t worry. I am also planting Generations Church in Pleasant Hill California, I’m the worship pastor. Love ya!