||Release Date: 2012
|Industry Label: Music World Gospel
||Official Site: https://www.facebook.com/justlovenow
The CD cover of So Proud, the highly-anticipated new project from gospel sensation Brian Courtney Wilson, features a picture of Wilson as a baby wearing headphones. For Wilson, that serves as a reminder of both the theme of his album and the driving force of his career.
"Before my mom and dad knew I was going to be a singer, God had given them a promise to nurture into the person that I am today,” he says. “We are all given some promise, some vision for our future that we have to nurture, endure hard times for, and always believe in.” Wilson has nurtured his promise into a remarkable career in music ministry. Since the release of his debut CD, Just Love, Wilson has been touted as one of gospel music’s contemporary break-through artists of 2010 and 2011. The three-time Gospel Music Association Dove Award nominee will release So Proud on the Music World Gospel label on February 7, 2012.
The inspiration for this project came three years ago when Wilson penned “So Proud,” the title song and the CD project’s first single. The song is about remembering... remembering the reasons why you should keep going when the days seem the hardest... remembering your value when people cast you aside...remembering the people who did not give up on you when you feel like giving up on yourself... and most of all, it's about remembering that the reason we have so much to remember is because God has always been there to make a way through the people in our lives.”
Wilson believes God gave him “So Proud” when he was feeling especially discouraged and needed to remember the way to go. He knew then that the song would anchor his next project, and his goal for the rest of the album was to assemble a group of songs that would convey what it means to live in God’s promise. Wilson wrote or collaborated on most of the songs, and served as co-producer for all of the tracks on the CD. “It’s important to me that people see this as a body of work,” says Wilson. “We’re really trying to tell a story about believing in the promise, pressing through to realize the promise and protecting the promise.”
Several months after writing “So Proud,” Wilson played it for the multiple GRAMMY®, Dove and Stellar Award winning producer Aaron Lindsey (Israel Haughton, Marvin Sapp), who caught the vision of the tune and agreed to produce it. The result is a feel good blend of inspiration, heart and soul rooted in the church paradigm that has always been a cornerstone in his life.
Most of the other songs on the CD were produced by GRAMMY-nominated and multiple award-winning producer and songwriter Stan Jones, including “Right Back To You,” a prayer that God will let you be the greatest at whatever it is that he’s calling you to be, but even if you aren’t, whatever you do will be worthy of giving right back to God; “Closer,” a song about faith and endurance that reassures the listener that no matter how things may look, God has not forgotten you and that every promise He made, every plan that he has for you, he’s going to see it through with you, but you’ve got to keep holding on because you’re closer than you think; and “Grab And Hold,” which reminds us that Jesus has everything we need, and that we need to make sure that nothing stops us from grabbing His hand and holding on. The song has what Wilson describes as an “old school church feel” to it that reinforces the meaning of the song.
“He Still Cares,” the second single from the CD project, was written by Stan Jones, who considers this song an extension of “All I Need,” the mega hit that he penned for Wilson’s first album. The message is that even when you’ve had a touch from the Master, you still may go through trials and tribulation. But you must believe that God still cares for you, and He will give you what you need, when you need it, to make it through. Jones also contributes “Keep Pressing On,” an uptempo song that encourages the listener to keep pressing on even in the darkest of days, because things are going to get better. Wilson wanted to include in this project a song that considers the promise of marriage. He wrote “One Day At A Time,” in collaboration with award-winning producer P.J. Morton, who produced the song. “I’ve been married 11 years and we do it one day at a time,” says Wilson.
“We make the decision every day to be faithful to each other, to forgive one another to keep showing up, to work as hard as we can and to keep believing that God is going to work out whatever problems we may have. It’s important to tie marriage to worship because a good marriage is a model for the way God wants to be in relationship with us.” “Perfect,” another collaboration between Wilson and P.J. Morton, gives the good news that even though we are not perfect, God sees us as perfect for the plans He has for us and the dreams He put in our hearts. Morton also serves as producer for “Perfect.”
“Obey Anyway,” was written several years ago by Toby Hill. Wilson wanted to include it in this project because the message of the song – that when times are tough and we are looking for an answer, we just have to keep going and following the instructions that God has already given us – fit with the theme of the project. The celebratory, feel-good “Storm In Mind” was inspired by a conversation Wilson saw on a program on the Trinity Broadcast Network (TBN).
One man told of being on a cruise ship when a storm came up. Everyone started to panic except the captain, who explained to the passengers that he knew there was no need for panic because he was there when the ship was built, and he knew that it was made to endure the storm that they were going through. The message of this song is that if we’re going through a
storm in our life, we’ve got to believe that we can make it through because God has made us to endure it. Wilson performs “Unspeakable Joy” as a duet with gospel legend and label mate Vanessa Bell Armstrong. Wilson was inspired to write the song because he believes that if you understand that you are perfect for God and perfect for whatever plan God has for you, then it should bring you a sense of joy. “You Are My King” is a simple, straight forward song that says no matter who you are or what your station is in life – rich or poor, with many friends or alone, God is our King and He can help us get through.
So Proud follows Wilson’s debut CD, Just Love, which entered at #2 on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart and #6 on Billboard’s Top Christian Albums chart. The CD has remained at #1 on Christian Music Trade Association’s (CMTA) Inspirational Albums chart for 52 weeks. Since its release in June 2009, the CD held steady in the Top 20 on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart for over 90 weeks – longer than any other CD title on Billboard’s Top 50 that year .
As a fitting follow-up, the Music World Gospel relaunch of Just Love Deluxe Edition, reentered on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart at #3. Just Love made music chart history, Wilson was the only artist to have four active singles [“All I Need,” “Already Here,” “Just Love,” and “Awesome God”] on Billboard’s Gospel charts, and all have peaked in the Top 5, 10 and 15 positions [2009/2010]. His first single release, “All I Need,” was then, the longestrunning current single, charting 92 weeks on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart.
In 2009, “All I Need” was named Song of the Year at the Mississippi Gospel Music Awards, which also saluted producer Stan Jones as Producer of the Year for his work on the project. In 2010, Wilson received two Gospel Music Association’s Dove Award nominations for New Artist of the Year and Urban Recorded Song of the Year for “Just Love,” which was followed in 2011 with his third nomination for Urban Recorded Song of the Year for “All I Need.” Also in 2010, he was nominated by the Atlanta Gospel Music Choice Awards for Song of the Year for “All I Need” and he was also included in the The Root.com list of 100 Young Achievers and Pace Setters. In September 2010, Wilson received the Gospel Music Heritage Month Rising
Artist Award. In early 2011, Wilson received a nomination for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Gospel Album of the Year (Traditional and Contemporary).
Wilson was raised in the Chicago area, where, as a young boy he sang with the adult male chorus at the Rock of Ages Baptist Church. Wilson attended the University of Illinois, where he sang in the black chorus while working toward a degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences, with an emphasis in Economics. After graduating from college, Wilson took a job as a pharmaceutical salesman, and eventually moved to Houston, Texas to work for Johnson & Johnson.
Despite having been raised in the church, Wilson says he was confused and adrift in his early post college years. “God had a plan for my life, but I got off track,” says Wilson. What got him back in the right lane was a friend’s invitation for Wilson to visit the Windsor Village Church in Houston. At Windsor, Wilson came to fully understand who he was and what was calling. Wilson was invited to write music for their services, and some of his songs received airplay at local radio stations.
Upon first meeting Wilson and listening to his single, “Already Here,” Music World Gospel founder and CEO, Mathew Knowles, was immediately sold on Wilson’s singularly stylized music, and signed him to the label. Wilson says Music World Gospel has become the perfect home for his sacred art: “It’s a place where I can do more than just church music. I can do music for the world that’s rooted in the church.”
Wilson’s faith is evident not only in his music and in his church life, but in his community activities. Wilson is a member of the board of directors of Bethel’s Heavenly Hands, a not-for-profit organization that supports individuals and families in Houston, Texas by providing vital resources such as food, clothing, and shelter assistance. The organization operates on the principal that by creating stability and promoting economic self-sufficiency for individuals, you can empower entire communities. He is also continuing to work with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.
God is real to Brian Courtney Wilson. “Every good thing that’s happened to me has happened because of God’s favor and grace in my life,” he says. “Even the stuff that He’s calling me to do, I can’t do it on my own. I can work as hard as I can, but ultimately God provides the increase.”
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