I Choose Gospel is PROUD to present to some and introduce to others, Gary Coleman! An up and coming christian rapper, from Laplace, Louisiana; Gary Coleman is hitting the urban gospel community with his newly released debut solo album entitled “The Discovery of Life” through Island Def Jam Music Group/ Thinking Out Loud Productions. “The album is centered around the decisions we are faced with in our teenage and young adulthood, that ultimately help shape us in the future once we realize that God was there all along. Touching on issues such as abortion, social issues and everyday hardships, we tried to bring a universal consciousness to the music.” I Choose Gospel had the esteemed pleasure of interviewing Gary and I must say, I loved being able to do this! Check it out below!
ICG: Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to interview you for I Choose Gospel! I Choose Gospel is just a simple blog that shares Gospel Music, News and Reviews from a fans perspective!! So let’s dig in shall we?!
ICG: You have been doing music for a while now, but there are folks who are still new to you, so tell us a little about who Gary Coleman is and why he should be on our radar?
GC: Gary Coleman is a child of the most high God whom after years of frustration in the underground music business, answered the calling God placed on my heart. I feel people can relate to me and my music because I’m not reaching beyond the truth. “The Discovery of Life” album is all fact and the Lord brought me from a very dark place and know I can tell the world about this awesome God that we serve. I am a lover of music. I prayed to the Lord a year ago just for the opportunity to do this. Not for fame, fortune, or a prize at the end of the road, just the ability to express myself musically like any other artist and he provided a pathway that has come to this chapter in my life. I am truly blessed to give this testimony to the world.
ICG: Who are some of your musical influences?
GC: I have a wide variety of musical influences. Some people believe that since I’m a Christian rapper I do not listen to other forms of music but I listen to all genres of music from gospel to jazz to rock. When you are born again, you are a new creature, however, God does not change your personality. But growing up my influences were Jay-Z, Nas, Kanye, Common, Mary J., the old No Limit records, and so many others. (nice list, I used to love No Limit!!-ICG)
GC: I went with the name the Discovery of Life because there is a point in every person’s life growing up when they discover that this life will be difficult. There are going to be ups and downs, obstacles, and pitfalls along the way. There is a time when a young man or woman realizes that their parents can not save them from the harsh realities of the world. That’s when Satan and his demons like to prey on our youth. Growing up, we all had some decisions we made that could have or probably changed our lives. The realization now is that the Lord was with us all along and that his salvation is the greatest gift of all.
ICG: During the recording process for “The Discovery of Life” you were struck with BELLS PALSY (PARALYSIS ON ONE SIDE OF THE FACE), you said you became discouraged at one point, what helped you continue to work on the album and how are you coping now?
GC: I knew it was simply an attack from Satan to purposely attempt to further delay what God had already set in motion and for a split second I fell into that mindset. I was having trouble pronouncing words so when I would go into the studio it was very difficult to project my words. Aside from the speech problems, the effects on your face would cause anyone to feel embarrassed. I am a very confident person but that moment when I knew people would focus on the fact that one side of my face did not move made me apprehensive about progressing with the entire music process. I did performances where you can hear slurring but I would hold the mic over my mouth so no one could see my face. But now I am making strides and the paralysis is not as extreme as it was. I fought through it during the recording of the album and it’s another victory for God’s kingdom and a testimony for others to gain inspiration from.
GC: LOL, what you know about “Bounce music”? Nah, it’s far from a bounce track but I can’t deny that bounce has a major influence on the music scene where I’m from, but if someone hears it I can understand how they may hear that tempo in the song and I won’t object to that.
ICG: Speaking of “I’m Not A Rapper” interesting that you would title the song that, it seems like there has been a lot of “christian rappers” who may be struggling with “identity” lately, they either want to be simply rappers first, then a christian second, and some say I’m a christian first, rapper second. It’s caused a lot of discussion amongst fans and artists. What are your thoughts on this and how do you prioritize and/or balance doing a ministry work, but also being in the music business?
GC: I feel that I’m a child of God (Christian) first of all. I enjoy being an artist, performing, producing, and all things music but I have two sons whom God granted me the awesome tasks of raising. I feel as though this is still my job but I choose to make a joyful noise and spread the gospel with my music. I have to keep what is the music business on one side and what is the Glory of the kingdom on the other side. We need to be shining stars for the Lord. Why should we take a back seat to other more popular music when our message and music is uplifting, encouraging, and positive. I know many older people in the church may be against Christian rap and believe it does not have a place in the church but this is the ministry God placed on my heart. You just have to know where you stand and stand firm on that.
ICG: With the release of “The Discovery of Life” being today (Jan. 9th), What are your goals/expectations for the album? What do you want the listener to come away with after hearing your album?
GC: The fact that after all I have been through (the album refers to many incidents) the thought of me releasing this album is an accomplishment in itself. I never could have imagined getting to this place in my life. I believe this album will move however the Lord needs it to. It will reach whomever it needs to. If I can help bring one soul closer to the Lord, that is a victory for the Kingdom. I believe after someone fully listens to “The Discovery of Life” they will come away with the understanding of the place God has brought them from but also a reminder of the trails our youth face today. There are many things that plague our society, and for any young Christian the encounter is unavoidable, but we have to gear our kids to be ready for battle with this world.
ICG: Well I want to THANK YOU again for taking the time out to answer these questions. Any finals thoughts you would like to share?
GC: I want to just acknowledge my beautiful wife Dionne, also Tyrae, Constance, and my producer/business partner Mr.Hayes, and all who supported me in this effort. I want everyone to know that love is the key to the ills of this world. We have to come to some type of understanding, gain knowledge, and make wiser decisions in our lives. I want to thank Ms. Tashia and the entire I Choose Gospel staff, May God continue to bless your ministry. (aww thanks! for right now, it’s just me-ICG!)
There you have it folks, I Choose Gospel’s first official artist interview!! I hope you enjoyed it! Make sure to #SupportGospelMusic and Pick Up “The Discovery of Life” by Gary Coleman on iTunes available NOW Just Click Here! Keep up with all things Gary Coleman hit up his Facebook Fan Page and Follow him on Twitter!