BIOGRAPHY Crossover: Live From Music City
Growing up with a mother who was a minister and choir director, Travis Greene says that gospel music “was like oxygen in our house, always part of my life,” and no artist inspired him and strengthened his passion for God more than 12-time Grammy winning legend Kirk Franklin. Now an inspirational trailblazer in his own right, Greene’s masterful fusion of music and ministry these past few years prompted Franklin to anoint him as one of the artists who are the “future of gospel music.” Continuing on his global mission to “bring the cool back to the worship experience, and get people, especially the unchurched, excited,” the two time Grammy nominee debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart with his latest album Crossover: Live From Music City. Its lead single “You Waited” hit the Top 5 on the Hot Gospel Songs chart.
Much like Franklin in his early heyday, Greene’s meteoric rise has been chronicled everywhere fromBillboard, Rolling Stone, TMZ and the New York Times to prominent magazines like Rolling Out, JET, Ebony, ESSENCE and Vibe. At the 2017 Stellar Gospel Music Awards, he won in seven key categories, including “Song of the Year” (“Made A Way,” which also hit #1 on the Hot Gospel Songs chart), “Male Vocalist of the Year,” “CD of the Year (The Hill, which also reached #1 on the Top Gospel Albums chart),” “Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year,” “Contemporary CD of the Year,” “Recorded Music Packaging of the Year” and “Praise and Worship CD of the Year.” All told, he has been nominated for 13 Stellar Awards, 3 Dove Awards, 2 Billboard Music Award and a Soul Train Award. In 2016, Billboard named him “Gospel Airplay Artist of the Year.”
In 2016, the singer and his wife, Dr. Jackie Greene, launched Forward City Church in Columbia, South Carolina, which he describes as “a church for the unchurched and over-churched.” While pastoring the quickly growing congregation at home and extending scholarships and mission work to thousands of people in Africa, Greene also embarked on a world tour. He brought his cultural boundary crossing music to many African countries, including Nigeria and Ghana; the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica; Dubai; and to London, Montreal and Toronto. “I’ve been called to minister in many different ways,” Greene says, “but I see my gospel-centered activities not as finding a balance but as more of a rhythm, fully aware of what God has called me to do.”
With 13 of its tracks recorded in 2017 at Skyville Live in Nashville, Tennessee, Crossover: Live From Music City follows in the live recording tradition of The Hill, which also featured all original material. The new collection includes two studio tracks, “Love Will Always Win” (co-written and produced by Travis with Jason Ingram and Paul Mayberry) and “Finally Found” (co-produced with Bernie Herms). “The album title comes from the Biblical notion of being able to cross over and leave what was and embrace what is waiting for you, as the Ancient Israelites did after they were freed from bondage,” Greene says.
“That thread is interwoven into every song, reflecting on what crossing over looks like at different times. Some seasons, we have to be still and wait on God, but we also celebrate the fact that God waits on us as well. I want people to be encouraged in the midst of bondage and darkness, to know that the light, and your time to cross over out of darkness, is coming. I like to bring a blend of energy and thoughtfulness to my songs, and my goal with both the lyrics and rhythms and instrumentation is to make the music inviting. I want my music to allow people to let down their guard and be vulnerable enough to hear the voice of God.”