Ricky Dillard on how ‘Choirmaster’ can help us cope with COVID-19 crisis
The innovative musician and his choir, The New Generation Chorale, better known as New G, will release their eleventh album and their debut recording for Motown Gospel, Choirmaster, on May 1
Ricky Dillard has been helping people praise God through his music for more than 30 years. The award-winning artist who cultivated the use of choirs on the gospel music scene is ready to release his latest offering, Choirmaster, and it’s just what we need to get us through the terrifying times we’re living in.
TheGrio caught up with the Chicago-bred singer to find out how he’s coping with the coronavirus crisis that has claimed the lives of some of his closest friends.
“I’m processing this in many ways. Of course, I am constantly watching the news. I’m a big CNN and MSNBC supporter and watcher and I have been on the internet getting information. I have a lot of mixed emotions, about a lot of information that’s going out as well that the information coming from the government. It has been a little confusing and a little off. As a man of faith, we walk by faith and not by sight,” he says.
“I have not had any symptoms of COVID but there are a lot of people I am calling and checking in on. I have people very close to me who have been admitted to the hospital and are still there. Some have been released and some have died.”
Dillard hopes his music will inspire people to cling to their faith now more than ever.
“We are connected to the Holy Spirit, who gives us direction even when the enemy has deceived us. We have lost a lot of people. There are so many people still sick and getting infected, but I am keeping my faith alive. We want to keep our faith high and alive. We want to also have a sound mind and listen to the experts,” he continues.
“I saw a documentary on the 1918 Spanish Flu and it was a horrific time. It wiped out so many people and it looks like the enemy is looking for that to happen again in 2020. We serve a God that is faithful who brought us through in 1918 and before and He will bring us through now.”
The innovative musician and his choir, The New Generation Chorale, better known as New G, will release their eleventh album and their debut recording for Motown Gospel, Choirmaster, on May 1.
“The whole album speaks to the right now. It’s about God getting us through, having songs to sing in our hearts that will bring hope and faith to us. That will increase our faith and trust in God. It will build up our self-esteem. It will let us know that it will be alright,” he says.
“I think that this record is going to speak to everything we have going on in the world today. I have great songs such as “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” We know we need that with the Democratic and Republican parties fighting. Our president has a different spirit and it’s causing the nation to take on our evil place and the evil spirit. However, we know that we serve a God who is more mighty and more powerful than that. The warfare will bring us victory because He will fight our battles.”
Choirmaster comes at a time when fans need it most, especially when so many followers are unable to attend their churches.
“It’s horrific. It is a painful time because the church is one of our main resources. The church is a place where we go to get refueled and get revived and get re-energized to face spiritual warfare, and to get us on track and to direct and guide us into our future,” he continues.
“Without it, we sometimes can feel detached from our spiritual fuel station. A lot of people work for churches and that’s how we take care of our families and to live our lives. Gospel artists depend on the church to support the music. If we can’t have concerts and gather, that’s a hurtful place for artists. The industry is affected just as the church is impacted.
NEW MUSIC ALERT! Brand new single “Let There Be Peace On Earth” from @rickydillard available now! Plus three others when you pre-order ‘Choirmaster’ ? Y’all don’t want to miss this! Pre-Order 'Choirmaster' here: https://t.co/P1oCPzUttN pic.twitter.com/TnNDQVlQtT
— Motown Gospel (@MotownGospel) April 3, 2020
The two-time Grammy nominee has enjoyed years of success and his influence can be seen across genres and generations, inspiring the sounds of acts like Kirk Franklin and Kanye West. He has shared the stage with the likes of Patti LaBelle, Jennifer Hudson, Queen Latifah, Debbie Allen, Bonnie Raitt, and P. Diddy.
“You never know where your music will land and who’s watching or paying attention. There seems to be a new generation of musicians and singers that have found Ricky Dillard. I am so thankful to see my style or my influence on many other choirs, choir directors, singers, artists, musicians. It is a humbling place to be,” he says.
Three singles from the project are already available digitally including “Since He Came,” and “Release,” featuring Tiff Joy, who penned the group’s “Amazing” the song that held the No.1 spot on the gospel radio chart for six consecutive months.
“This is one of those albums that I’m grateful to deliver,” he says. “Souls are being saved now because people may have been put in fear. They are afraid and they need something to run to. We got somebody who is ready to receive them and his name is Jesus.”