TobyMac: There Is No Practice Run In Life
Rare is it today that you find a cd in which every song on it is just plain addictive. Leave it to TobyMac to accomplish the near impossible. Toby’s newest cd THIS IS NOT A TEST is one of those musical compositions that you just can’t stop listening to, as the immersion of sound and vulnerability pulls you in and keeps you there.
Eclectic and inspirational as the artist, himself, THIS IS NOT A TEST is a powerful collaboration that unfolds from the realization that each of us has been given only “one” life to live. It emphasizes the importance of living this life wisely and underscores Toby’s message through his core beliefs and musical roots -- diversity, love, and faith.
Having been given the opportunity to speak with Toby about his newest composition, it became immensely clear to me why THIS IS NOT A TEST grabs the listener by the heart as well as the ears. TobyMac remains “unjaded, real, and humble.” It’s this combination that comes out in his every word, which allows us to see ourselves in each song.
As Toby made sure that this cd was just as much ours as his, reading his interview below will only help to clarify the magnitude of the gift we’ve been given and the artist behind.
Enjoy getting to know TobyMac.
In The Words Of Toby:
What is your personal mantra?
“Stay soft-hearted and connected in life.” There is no doubt that it is very easy to become jaded and cynical in the challenging world we live in. Remaining untainted and aware of what is truly important in life is the key to living it well and in the manner in which God intended.
What were you looking to specifically accomplish through your newest cd - THIS IS NOT A TEST?
To remind people that there are no practice runs in life. That “this” is it. If I inspire people to use their time wisely, love and appreciate others fully, and honor, if not, worship God with conviction and grace, I will have accomplished what I set out to do through this cd.
You’ve noted, of late, the keen realization that “you don’t get a practice run at life.” What has brought this realization to the forefront of your life and cd?
I can’t fully explain to you why this realization has taken hold of me at present as I have yet to fully understand it myself. That said, the inability to relive precious moments in my life has impacted me greatly. In recapturing them through song, my hope is to help my listeners prioritize their lives in ways that will keep them from living in regret.
You are one of the few “Christian” artists that has the unique ability to cross music-industry boundaries successfully? What do you attribute this to?
Having grown up listening to mainstream music, I’ve used the influences of all different artists and sounds in combination with my faith to create the “pot of musical gumbo” I call my own. My music reflects my strong belief in the power of diversity as being a unifying force.
Explain your relationship with New Hope Academy and why you decided to invite some of their students to sing on your cd?
I believe New Hope Academy is what a school should look like -- rich in diversity. My children attended this program, and I’ve been an active participant in raising funds for the school due to the remarkable work that they do.
Being involved in my community is something very important to me. My inviting the students to participate in this cd is another way I wanted to show that involvement. It didn’t matter that the school doesn’t have a choir or that the students weren’t polished. What was important was the experience and joy it brought to everyone involved and the memories it left behind.
Why should someone who has never listened to your music before, listen to this cd?
The ultimate goal of my work is to “make art that serves all of humanity well.” I believe, THIS IS NOT A TEST is good medicine for everybody’s soul.
How do you want to be remembered?
Professionally...I want to be remembered as someone who did all that he could with the gifts that God gave him and then pushed that line even further out of trust and faith.
Personally...I want to be remembered as a dad and husband who “was there!” I never want my kids or wife to wake up saying, “he was never home.” For this reason, I work hard to stay involved, which includes leaving the studio every night at 6pm so that I can join my family for dinner and only touring on the weekends. Those are just some of the choices I’ve made to keep my family ‘alive and well’ and me in it. In my opinion, you shape your life according to what is important to you. Being a good father and husband is important to me and so I’ve made purposeful decisions to honor this.
Like I said, folks, TobyMac is as unjaded as unjaded could be. That, in itself, is UNDENIABLE!
Many thanks to TobyMac and the media collective for making this interview possible