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8/9/2012 - Freddy Washington Preps Release of Debut CD, The Jesus Record
Popular producer and songwriter Freddy Washington, who has earned Grammy, Stellar and Dove Award nominations with the likes of hip hop luminary Da' T.R.U.T.H. and Gospel Dream winner Melinda Watts, has stepped in front of the microphone to record his debut, double-disc project, The Jesus Record. Washington will release the CD independently on October 2.
"Freddy Washington has found an amazingly authentic way to fuse genres while producing a distinct sound that masterfully declares the name of Jesus to the nations," says Gerard Bonner of Bonnerfield Radio. "He is one of the industry's best kept secrets and is ready to be unleashed to the world."
Skirting the edges of Gospel, Hip Hop and R&B and pop, with hints of Washington's early influences Phil Collins, Andrae Crouch, Michael W. Smith and Kirk Franklin, the songs on The Jesus Record feel right at home on both contemporary Christian and Gospel radio formats. While the music will move your feet, Washington's rich, compelling vocals will lift your spirit.
Although both of Washington's parents were heavily involved in the music ministry — his father, who guests on the CD, is the famous Gospel pianist Freddy Washington, Sr. — he says he felt no compulsion to get involved with either music or the ministry.
"I've seen kids who had parents in ministry who either embraced the ministry out of a sense of obligation, or who turned their back on ministry out of a sense of frustration or rebellion. That wasn't my experience." Washington explains. "Both of my parents were really great examples of serving in ministry. They didn't force me into it. I was involved in sports and all the other things that teenage boys are interested in, and they were very supportive of that. I started playing piano just because I wanted to learn music. I wasn't ministry minded at the time. But at a certain point during my teenage years, the Lord used the music to draw me into a closer relationship with Him. As a result, I developed a deep passion to serve God in the ministry and it's been going strong ever since."
Lyrically, The Jesus Record underscores Washington's desire for leading believers in worship. Every song on the project is designed to point listeners back to the Gospel."It's about the perfect love, peace and hope that is the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ," Washington says of his unwaveringly intentional approach. "It's the greatest story of redemption and salvation that the world will ever know."
With his Gospel music pedigree and production experience in both the Hip Hop and Gospel genres, one might have a preconceived notion about what a Freddy Washington solo project will sound like. Any preconceived notion would likely be wrong.
"I begged my father to teach me to play, and every once and a while he would show me a few things on the piano, but he wanted me to develop my own style," Washington recalls. "I started out playing by ear, then I went to the University of the Arts and studied classical and jazz piano. Of course I picked up some of my father's technique just because I watched him all the time. I grew up listening to a combination of modern Gospel, like the Hawkins Family and Kirk Franklin, and 80s pop, like Phil Collins and Michael W. Smith. The result is that I make the music that inspires me. My music has become something of a hybrid, a melding, if you will, of both the Gospel and CCM genres, two categories of music that continue to greatly influence me and my songwriting."
The Jesus Record gives Washington the opportunity to fully express his passion for worship and exhortation, while exploring a plethora of upbeat, alt-pop rhythms to accentuate his encouraging, Christ-focused lyrics. He launches the project with swaying Latin cadences to accentuate his joyful declaration hymn, "Traded," then exponentially cranks up the joy factor on the happy urban-pop anthem, "Just Wanna." Lush synths, peace-evoking piano and meditative strings accompany Washington's encouraging exhortation ballad, "316," which draws on the classic verse from the Gospel of John for inspiration.
Washington displays remarkable stylistic range on the soaring, orchestral, multi-layered radio single, "Jesus." It is impossible to not get happy on the bouncy pop anthem, "He Understands." Washington gets a little funky on the jazzy "Because of You," then gets downright militant on the declaratory battle hymn, "We Are The City."
Although Washington wrote all 17 songs and produced The Jesus Record himself, he has never considered himself a one-man show. He shares the studio with his father, Bishop Freddy Washington, Sr., on the Gospel barnburner, "I Love You." Melinda Watts lends her stellar vocals to the peaceful ballad, "The Master's Hand," and Chrystal Rucker joins Washington on lovely and encouraging, "There is a Place." Bryon "Mr. Talkbox" Chambers is featured on Washington's "I Need You."
For more information about Washington or The Jesus Record, visit freddywashington.com.
© 2013 HEAR IT FIRST