CYPRESS, Texas (WordNews.org) Oct. 6, 2012 – tobyMac kicked off his latest tour in Arlington, Texas, playing to a sold out crowd in College Park Center. Last night, the Billboard-topping hip hop artist was in Siloam Springs, Arkansas and tonight he’s in Cypress, Texas, where he sold out his VIP package – the best seats in the house – back in August.
This is tobyMac’s first headlining tour since releasing Eye On It in September.
The album jumped to No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart, the first Christian album to do so in 15 years.
Touring with tobyMac are Chris August, who released his latest album, The Upside of Down, in August, and Jamie Grace, who is hoping to release her second album next year, if Toby lets her.
Word News caught up with both August and Grace to talk about life on tour with Toby and what God is doing in their lives.
“He’s been doing this for a year,” August said tongue-in-cheek of Toby. “”He’s been doing it for awhile so I think a lot of us younger artists can learn a thing or two from him.”
August and Toby are good friends off the stage.
“We play basketball together so I figured, why not play some music together,” August said. “He plays golf and basketball like he’s 20 or something, I don’t even know. We play some full-court five-on-five basketball. It’s a pretty fun time. Gets us some exercise.”
Is he tough under the boards?
“He’s a smaller guy like me but he’ll take you right to the hole,” August said. “He’s not scared, that’s for sure.”
Jamie Grace said you have to be in good shape to tour with tobyMac and his band Diverse City, which she has in the past.
“They’re so energetic,” she said. “There’s no doubt that they all have to work out or something.”
Grace credits Toby with discovering her.
“It’s like five years of doing YouTube videos with 500 hits … In 2010 he found my YouTube videos and he was like, ‘Hey kid, I got a record label. Let’s talk about music” and life has never been the same.”
Grace likes to watch the crowd react at tobyMac concerts.
“It never gets old,” she said. “It’s so amazing. You see 7-year-olds break dancing and 40-year-olds dancing with their kids. And then you see 65-year-olds with their eyes lighting up. This show, I can honestly say, I’ve never seen anything like it before in Christian music or—I don’t think I’ve seen it in music in general. This new show is going to be a big deal. We’ve got to do a good job.”
Grace has a song on Toby’s new album.
“I remember six or seven months ago Toby called and said, “Hey kid, do you want to sing on my new album?”
“I was like, ‘Duh. No problem.” The song, Favorite Song. Now she has a song on a Billboard hit album.
“When I heard the news of the new album I was so blown away, I was so blessed by it that a Christian album did that,” she said.
It shines a light on Contemporary Christian Music.
“So many people don’t know about Christian music. I know that sounds insane but Christian music is kind of a culture that a lot of people are not aware of,” she said. “And I think it’s really exciting that Christian music is getting this kind of exposure, that Toby’s getting this kind of exposure. Now, when people click on his album on iTunes and click Christian Gospel, they’re going to be led to Chris August … they’re going to be led to Kirk Franklin. They’re going to hear about music they never would have known about before, and ultimately, prayerfully, I think it’s going to lead them to Christ. That is what’s particularly exciting.”