G.I. has just launched their second new single at radio single, "We Win," a lilting conversation with God that builds into a rousing congregational sing-a-long. In the song, the fellas serenade the listener with testimonies of winning life's battles because of God's able defense. "You're the king, you are strong, you are mighty and we win," they sing passionately on the catchy refrain.
The 13-track set of Winning showcases G.I.'s groundbreaking contemporary gospel sound that encompasses 21st century R&B, Trap, Hip Hop rhythms and even a little old school soul flavor. G.I. fans have come to expect the trio's fusion of youthful urban music instrumentation with uplifting faith-based messages and Winning continues that legacy.
Since its formation in 1997 as God's Image (aka G.I.), the group has endured enough ups and downs to have abandoned its musical aspirations a long time ago but they have persevered. The passion began with Branden and his brother, Marlon Anderson, who were raised on gospel music. They loved it so much that they decided to form a gospel group with their buddy, Avon "AC" White.
They began to perform regionally. White left the group in 1998 and was replaced by Curtis Langley. Then, in 2003, Curtis's high school classmate, Lamonte Harris, joined and they operated as a foursome for almost a decade, building a solid reputation on the East Coast. Eventually, Marlon left the group and in 2014, Curtis left too and was replaced by Rufus Johnson, a high school choir teacher working in North Carolina, whom Branden had known since they were in the third grade. "Growing up, Rufus was the man," Lamonte says of the group's newest member who had a stellar reputation as both an R&B and gospel singer even during his teens. "We all went to Henrico High School. Back then, Rufus was the person everyone wanted to sing like. I was kind of a fan of Rufus before he ever joined the group." There's a brotherhood uniting these three mellow, respectful but determined personalities who always buoy one another when doubt creeps into the picture.
Q: Thank you for doing this interview with us. Let's start with yourselves, who is G.I.?
(Branden) G.I. consists of 3 guys who love the Lord, love music, and love ministry. We've been at this for 19 years. And through all the ups and
downs, we wouldn't redo anything over again. We are enjoying the ride.
Q: Why is it significance of your group name "God's Image" for you? What does it mean to be made in God's image?
(Lamonte) *We are all made in God's image and we strive to walk in that authority. We are the representation of God in the earth. When I think of
being made in God's Image, I think of the characteristics of God like love,creativity, authority, wisdom, understanding, forgiveness and righteousness
just to name a few.
Q: How do you try to reflect "God's image" in your music?
(Rufus) We try to give people a clear view of God's true identity for His people. We do that by teaching people to be confident and bold about where
you are supposed to be in your life.
Q: As a group you have had some disappointments, what are some of them? How did you find hope in God during these times?
(Branden) Wow, well you can imagine in 19 years the ups and downs we've experienced. Some of the downs....multiple record deals that fell through....bad contracts.....broken promises...you name it. But we pressed on every time we read our vision. A long time ago, we wrote our vision, typed it out, and put it in a frame. During the difficult times, we would read the vision to remind us what God promised.
Q: Talk to us about your new album "Winning." Why did you entitle it "winning"?
(Lamonte) The name of the album came about 5 songs in after we released the EP. We realized that all the songs were geared towards having a winning mindset and lifestyle and we continued to write along that theme.
Q: How would you describe the sound of this record? Do you think your sound have changed over the years?
(Lamonte) The overall sound of the album is Urban Contemporary Gospel, but you also get Worship, a little Traditional, Acoustic and R & B. Our sound
has definitely matured over the years, but we have always been Urban Contemporary. Some would say in our earlier years that we were "ahead of
Q: What are some of most memorable moments while you were making this record?
(Branden) I remember when we were recording "Pray and Don't Worry" there was just an energy, a vibe, and to be honest an anointing that was present
in the room. I also remember our producer Daniel Bryant coming into town and us sitting down discussing what we wanted to say on this project.
Q: For our readers who have not heard your new single "We Win," what is the song about? Why are you excited over this new song?
(Branden) "We Win" is a worship anthem for ever believer, every soldier of Christ. We know that in this life, we will go through some things, but we know that our King is strong and mighty, and so We Win! I'm excited about this song because God literally gave me this song in about 10 minutes. I was going through some things and I said "God, I refuse to be defeated. What would you have me to say on this song." And instantly the music and lyrics came. At that moment I knew that God was trying to get a message to his people.