It appears that Detroit’s loss is Atlanta’s gain as decorated songwriter, producer and music director Derrick Starks relocates from the Motor City to Atlanta, Georgia. Starks steps into the minister of music position for the Berean Christian Church, pastored by Dr. Kerwin B. Lee. I am and forever will be a son of Detroit, nothing and no one can ever change that because Detroit is in my heart”, Starks states. “I love my city and a huge part of my family is there, God simply said it was time to enlarge my territory, and I admit I had to get there, I consulted with my prayer team and my spiritual leaders for wisdom and then I finally surrendered and told the Lord that I am willing to do and go wherever He wants me to go.”
2018 has been the year of God’s favor for Starks, who garnered multiple Stellar Award nominations for the Bishop J Drew Sheard presents GEI Live CD, which produced the runaway hit Hang On featuring Kierra Sheard. The album debuted at number 5 on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart while Hang On received over 250,000 views on YouTube and went on to bask in the number 1 spot on the BDS Radio Chart. WOW Gospel 2018 featured Hang On On its award winning compilation. Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) presented Starks with his second Most Performed Song of the Year Award. Billboard Magazine also took note naming GEI its Best New Artist. At the end of August, Starks was front and center playing an integral role in putting together the musical offerings during the week of celebration for the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.
“Words cannot express how I feel about everything that has happened this year”, Starks proclaims. “I have walked through various doors of opportunity that I never would have dreamed of, and its all because of God. I am truly grateful and have learned how to bless God in everything and for everything. This year brought the unexpected passing of my father, Elder CJ Starks, and it threw me for a loop, but I can say that in this season of life, I have personally come to know God as a comforter and restorer. It was a great honor to work with the incomparable Pastor Rudolph Stanfield, Jr. who did an outstanding job in putting together a fitting musical tribute to Ms. Franklin. It was a huge responsibility working with all of the singers and musicians and the time constraints that were placed on us, but I am grateful that we had our chance to pay our respects with some of the best music on this side of heaven. A highlight of my life was when Stevie Wonder asked if I would accompany him as he played the Lord’s Prayer. It was a humbling moment and one that I won’t soon forget. God is great”.
Starks is prepping for the release of his highly anticipated Family and Friends Choir project recorded live in Detroit last year in addition to work on several other projects. A Christmas single, Wonderful featuring Lena Starks will be serviced to radio in the coming weeks.