G.I., one of Essence.com’s Top 15 Gospel Artist to Watch, welcomed uGospel.com to the next dimension for an exclusive interview discussing their new release, The Next Dimension. Presenting a more diverse offering for both Gospel and Contemporary Christian Music fans alike, the music on The Next Dimension is a powerful array of songs that share messages of praise, love and hope as well as demonstrating the group’s various talents as vocalists, musicians and songwriters.
G.I., also known as God’s Image, is one of today’s rising gospel star groups. They are singers, dancers, actors, songwriters, producers, and musicians. The group consists of three anointed and appointed young gentlemen, Branden Anderson, Curtis Langley, and Lamonte Harris. Having been together for 13 years, the guys are not only group members, but brothers. It is a rare thing to find a group that lasts over a decade in the music industry.
G.I. has undeniably proved that they will emerge as a force to be reckoned with in the Gospel Music Industry. Where does your intense passion for Contemporary Christian Music come from? “Growing up, I listened to groups like Dawkins and Dawkins, T57, Mary Mary, Kirk Franklin, and 5 Young Men just to name a few. They delivered gospel music in a way that was relevant, giving listeners an alternative to mainstream music. That’s what we hope to do, carry on the legacy of gospel music, spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Branden.
We can only assume by taking us into “The Next Dimension” G.I. will deliver something new, specifically artistic growth. However, what does “The Next Dimension” actually mean? “On this album, everything was not only taken to the next level, but the song lyrics were written from a higher place, the vocal performance came from life’s deep experiences, the themes of the songs will cause listeners to search for the deeper things of God, and the album as a whole reaches a broader audience. Everything is expanded 3-dimensionally, hence the album title “The Next Dimension,” clarified Branden.
After listening to The Next Dimension, we noticed some of the musical influences present on the album. Two things that stuck out were the electro-dance, Pop Music sound, and the sprinkle of Hip Hop. Is today’s Pop Music an inspiration for G.I. and are you inspired by Hip Hop artists? Regarding Pop Music, Curtis answered, “Of course, as artists attempting to captivate the attention of today’s generation, we must deliver music that is relevant. Thus, we keep our ears to the ground for the latest trends in the music industry. However, most of the time we just allow God to flow in our recording sessions, being creative in Him.” As for Hip Hop, Lamonte added, “We weren’t really inspired by Hip Hop artists on this album. However, there are Hip-Hop artists that we like such as Lecrae, T-Bone, and Tedashii.”
Lyrically, the content of The Next Dimension is very commendable, especially considering you write the majority, if not all, of your songs. What inspires G.I.’s lyrics? “We get our lyrical content from personal life experiences, as well as the experiences of others. Dreams have also been great fuel for penning songs,” said Curtis, elaborating on their lyrical inspiration.
An artist should always strive to put out an album that surpasses the previous one. Enthusiasts don’t look forward to purchasing an album that sounds similar to previous work. What’s the distinction between G.I.’s debut album, God’s Image and your new release, The Next Dimension? “The Next Dimension offers a wider range of musical styles, reaching a broader audience. It has pop, rock, soul, R&B, Hip-Hop, and Praise and Worship,” explained Lamonte. It appears they must’ve already got the memo.
The sound on The Next Dimension is pioneering and revolutionary for today’s Contemporary Christian Music movement. The overall production of the album is diverse, providing something for everyone. This includes teenagers, young adults, mature audiences and even fans of Tradition Gospel Music. Was this G.I.’s goal when you were creating The Next Dimension? “Yes, but our main goal was to create a sound that didn’t reproduce what we’ve already heard but create a new sound by keeping our ears opened to what the Lord is speaking,” said Lamonte.
The Next Dimension will have listeners engulfed in worship, pouring their hearts out to the Lord. Yet, it’s still guaranteed to have audiences on their feet dancing and chanting the powerful message it contains. However, what’s the overall message that G.I. wants to communicate through The Next Dimension? “We want fans to know that there are no limits in God. We want them to dream bigger, think higher, work harder, and never give up on their destiny in God. We always testify at concerts that if God can do it for us, He can do it for anyone. He is no respecter of persons,” said Branden.
Fans, as well as uGospel.com noticed a transition from four to three group members within G.I. Would you mind briefly explaining the change in your roster? “Marlon Anderson, which is Branden’s brother, is now pursuing full-time ministry. He is pastor of THE CHURCH in Richmond, VA, where Branden and I are members,” explained Curtis. Congratulations to Brother Marlon, uGospel.com wishes him the best of luck on his future endeavors.
Finally, after an awesome interview, how can fans stay in touch with G.I., and what can we expect from the group in the future? “We have a few television tapings and a fall tour coming up. Fans can stay connected to GI by following us on twitter.com/giforever, facebook.com/giforever, and our website www.giforever.com. Please go out and get the new album at Walmart today!” an excited Lamonte answered.
Interview by Michael Jones for uGospel.com