Josh Singletary (baritone and pianist for Tribute Quartet) recently went into the studio finishing an upcoming piano project with producer/orchestrator, David T. Clydesdale, entitled, GRAND, (with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra). The album is now available for purchase HERE.
The first single to be released off the new record is "The Prayer" (written by David Foster and Carol Bayer Sager). You can listen HERE. Additionally, the official music video of the song debuted on his YouTube channel. You can watch it below.
Q: Josh, thanks for doing this interview with us. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in a small town in North Florida by the name of Raiford. Some may remember it for its elusive and strange fame due to the state prison that resides there, (i.e. where they had Ted Bundy) but that's a story for another day. It's a very tight knit community, likened to Mayberry. It's the source of many many happy memories.
Through my school years, I was a student of a couple of local private piano studios as well as a vocal student within the school's choral program.
As a teenager, I felt the call on my life for ministry. At nineteen, I moved to Nashville to join a family ministry by the name of The Wilburns, as pianist. They were a husband and wife team and when they retired, an alumni and I started a 17 year (to date) ministry in Gospel Music by the name of Tribute Quartet, where I serve as pianist and vocalist. I also find myself in other "side" occupations as producer, studio musician & voice over artist.
Q: I love your new album. From the first note, I was hooked. What is your vision for "Grand"?
Those are very kind words. This was a partially completed work when it came to me and was completely unforeseen; a bit of a surprise. The vision I have (which, I've spent many hours internally deliberating) would be for this work to not only magnify the name of the Lord but, help grow greater awareness to Gospel Music and the importance of worship.
We're in a place in history that I believe calls for a deeper place of worship than we've been residing. Many would see the title, hear the arrangements and possibly declare that it's a recording is contrary to that; a bit of a "show." I counter that opinion with the fact that I believe this effort (though, trifle of an effort it may be) inherently speaks to the Father's, well, grand and magnificent characteristics that we, as His children, are privileged to experience.
He is a grand Father. His love for us is much larger than we could ever try to emulate.
Q: Tell us about how you came to work with David T. Clydesdale and the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
Well, it's a bit of an unusual story. I wasn't anticipating creating an album, much less, working with the incomparable, David T. Clydesdale. His production of this work, for another musician, was unable to be seen through to fruition. In all actuality, he had already completed the orchestrations with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, with which he frequently works. All that was needed was to record the choir and the piano. So, a mutual friend inquired of me about the project. I, of course, said: "uh... yes."
After that, I began the grueling process of determining how I wanted the piano to approach and, ultimately, work with the orchestrations already in existence. Because I travel often with Tribute Quartet, time was very precious to utilize. I'm very thankful it came together the way it did.
Q: What criteria did you use to choose the songs for this record?
Well, I hit "play" and there they were. HAHA!!!
Q: This album sounds like a labor of love. What were some of the highlights for you in making this record?
Thank you for that recognition. It was a labor of love, energy, excitement, trepidation, and one of the greatest musical lessons of my life. I was trained classically but, in the recording industry (especially in Nashville), there is more aural application than notation application. So, in the last 20+ years of my career, I've applied more of aural than the latter. That being said, I had to plug back into my roots and that, in itself, was one of the biggest highlights for me; very reinvigorating to that part of my brain.
I would be remiss to neglect working with David T. Clydesdale and those gorgeous orchestrations as highlights. There is just no way to describe incorporating and collaborating your own ideas with such brilliant work.
Q: Will you play some of these songs live with the Tribute or on your own?
I've already injected a few of these songs within Tribute's presentations, over the last year. I've also presented a few full instrumental appearances of just this music. These songs will have a permanent place in any appearance that I am or will be a part of, for sure!
Q: What's happening with Tribute this year? Is there any new music on the horizon?
Much is on the horizon this year for Tribute. We will be starting our 4th annual "Living The Stories Retreat" in March, which is never without an appearance by the Holy Spirit. As far as new music is concerned, I cannot confirm nor deny that there will be new music, this year. There are murmurings of new Christmas music but, there is no solidified plan... yet. Of course, as long as Tribute is around, there will ALWAYS be new music "on the horizon."