When one listens to his lyrics and feels the spirit which encompasses gospel performer Tye Tribbett, it’s easy to see that Tye is indeed anointed. A native of Camden, New Jersey, Tye — whose father was a preacher and mother was a choir director — heard his calling early on. “I always wanted to do something for the Lord,” he acknowledges.
On his third full-length album Stand Out (also available as a DVD), Tye Tribbett and his aptly named choir, Greater Anointing (G.A.), deliver a series of passionate gospel performances celebrating and sharing the glory of God’s Kingdom. Recorded live at Rock Church International in Virginia Beach, Virginia, in August 2007, Stand Out premieres a collection of spirit-filled musical testimonies to the power of the Living Word. With his new songs, Tye Tribbett is ready to stand up and Stand Out for the Rock of Ages. “It’s time,” he says, “for a new normal to be presented.”
Tye, who learned how to play keyboards before he could recite the alphabet, has been making bold declarations with his music for years prior to launching his gospel career.
In 1996, Tye founded a gospel choir, Greater Anointing (G.A.), consisting of a group of family and friends whose hearts were set simply on praising the Creator through the gift of great music. Tye knew from the beginning they’d tapped into something real and glorious. “That first rehearsal blew my mind,” he says. “The musicianship, the quality of the voices and the spirit of the choir, the character of everybody…I knew that this was it. I knew that this is what I was supposed to be doing.”
Today, Tye Tribbett and the members of Greater Anointing are a family united in ministry with everyone from Tye’s beloved wife of ten years to his brothers, sisters and cousins operating in varying capacities throughout G.A.
Tye Tribbett & Greater Anointing broke into the popular mainstream in 1998 with a group of performances on the The Prince of Egypt (Inspirational) album, one of three high profile soundtrack collections released for the Academy Award winning animated film from DreamWorks.
Following that success, Tye Tribbett & G.A. went on to tour and perform with some of the biggest names in the secular pop music world including Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Luther Vandross, Elton John, Don Henley and Jill Scott, among many others. A showcase with Philadelphia neo-soul performer Vivian Green propelled Tye to the forefront when his keyboard skills and buoyant showmanship were recognized by some key players in the music industry. Tye was signed soon thereafter to Columbia Records.
For Tye, the worlds of sacred and secular music were difficult to reconcile and the potential conflict tugged at his heart. During the years between his first two albums, Life (2004) and Victory Live! (2006), Tye suffered two dramatic losses in his life. Tye says that, among these periods of intense grief and deep reflection, he heard the still quiet voice of God state clearly, “Cleanse yourself of anything that could remotely not represent me.” Aware of a higher calling, Tye realized his path had been chosen for him. “A lot of times we don’t know what God wants us to do,” Tye says, “but we know what He doesn’t want us to do.”
Listening to the voice of faith within, Tye stepped out and challenged G.A. to consecrate themselves, forsaking any revenue from secular music for one year, relying solely on the Lord to provide. Everyone in G.A. accepted the challenge and the result was Victory Live! Released in May 2006, Victory Live! entered the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart at #1, generated the #1 Gospel Radio single, “Victory,” and earned Tribbett two Stellar Award wins and three Grammy nominations — Best Gospel Performance (“Victory”); Best Gospel Song (“Victory”); and Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album. Not even a doubting Thomas could dispute the results. Tye Tribbett & G.A. were doing the music the Lord wanted them to do.
“I want to offer the truth,” says Tye. “I want to offer what is superior. I want to present a standard. There is nothing more solid than Jesus Christ and His Word.” Stand Out is a project that delivers not only truth, but the standard that Tye hopes to bring to his audience. “An experience is over once the moment is gone,” he continues. “Once something is established, it will start when you hear it at that moment, but it will never stop. The standard of choosing right over wrong and light over darkness is, to me, the standard. God loves us so much but He is disappointed. I want to present Christ as the standard.”
Produced entirely by SoundCheck, the production entity consisting of Tye and his two brothers, Stand Out firmly establishes the unit as strong songwriters and state-of-the-art producers.
The album’s title song, a reflection of the album’s overall philosophy, is an intentional up-tempo track that delivers a powerful message. “It’s the militant approach to doing things,” says Tye, referring to the punchy drums and brazen horns in the track’s arrangement. “We gonna get in a lot of trouble, but I’m ready,” Tye admits. “This song is about issues that are going on. I’m not lying. My point is I’m going to make it a little uncomfortable, that’s what Jesus did. This word is uncomfortable. Everybody is not going to love it. Somebody got to do it and I’m just bringing up topics.”
Tye isn’t alone on his journey. Throughout the album, you can hear the crowd’s welling enthusiasm as Tye is joined on-stage by some very special guests. Gospel great Kim Burrell lends her jazzy vocal talents to “He Has Made Me Glad,” an updated reimagining of a old church song with Tye creating a unique new arrangement, as if to prove that he can do a “churchy song,” he states laughing.
“Look Up” features gospel singer Kiki Sheard and presents, for the first time, a full-length version of a song that was originally a snippet on Tye & G.A.’s Gospel chart topping album, Victory Live! The public called for extended version and according to Tye, “I felt the pressure to write it as a full song.” Giving all praises to the One who supplies all of our needs, the song emphatically urges us to look above for direction.
One of Tye’s personal favorites is a song originally created during a session for another gospel singer. “The keyboardist played and I started crying,” Tye explains. “I just couldn’t give it away.” “I Need You” is a euphoric worship song with light rock guitar influences that simply acknowledges the Father’s place in Tye & G.A.’s ministry and life.
“Chasing After You,” with its airy guitar strums, is, as Tye explains, for the members of the church. Co-written with one of his fellow SoundCheck band members, the song eloquently expresses, “I’ll forever be chasin’ after You because I’m going to go from faith to faith and glory to glory. I’m not going to get settled or complacent. I don’t want to grow stale. I want more of Him.” The song “All Hail The King” has a high energy intensity that jumps out of the speakers in true Tye Tribbett & G.A. fashion. “God said, ‘Point the song to Me,’” Tye explains. “He’s strong and mighty in battle and there’s nothing He can’t handle. I am braggin’ on Him the whole song. I love that song.”
“Good In The Hood,” a groovy, inspirational track with an R&B/hip-hop feel is, according to Tye, “not a song for the church at all.” The track couples a self-explanatory title with an emphatic synthesizer and horn arrangement underscoring a song Tye was inspired to write after spending 21 days in a New Jersey jail, orange jumpsuit and all, for a stack of unpaid parking tickets. “I chose to shine my light on the good in the inner city and urban communities and for the people who have made the bad choices, but there is still some good in them,” Tye offers. “At the end of the song, I say that maybe you’ve made some bad decisions, but you’ve got another chance, and if I see y’all, God sees y’all. Keep it up, your works will not go unnoticed, you will be rewarded. There is a better way.”
Among the many stand outs on Stand Out is the spiritually uplifting medley of “Hallelujah / Let Us Worship / So Amazing.” After attending the Battle Cry youth movement and witnessing 35,000 young people of different nationalities respond to the Word of God and worship songs, Tye’s bold fervor increased. “Part of me said I wanted songs that related to them and that experience,” he says, “and the other part is I needed to bring this experience into the urban community.”
Sonically, Stand Out commands your attention. Visually, the DVD version of the concert rivets viewer with high energy, dramatic performances and choreography and a selection of additional Tye Tribbett & G.A. classics. “I love what I’m doing. I know this is my job and my heavenly assignment. I love the music and everything about it,” Tye emphatically states and it is clear that he is doing God’s will.
Tye Tribbett — husband, father of two, Gospel singer, songwriter, producer, preacher and business man — has touched many with his message. Recognizing that it is all the “anointing of God,” Tye stands out not only on what believes, but what he wants people to understand about his calling. “I love the Lord and above all I just want everybody to realize how much better it is to do things God’s way,” Tye testifies. “You have to actually have to try it for yourself. You can see how God has blessed me, but I would love for you to experience how much better it is to do things God’s way. That’s what Stand Out is about. Try God’s Way, y’all!”