With one listen to Tye Tribbett, it's obvious God has blessed him with many gifts. The New Jersey native is a songwriter of considerable depth and insight as well as a spirit-filled vocalist who knows how to get worshippers on their feet rejoicing. And that's just what he does on his latest album Greater Than, Tribbett's debut on the Motown Gospel label. It's more than new music, it's the start of a movement, and Tribbett is happy to lead the way.
"The whole theme is to celebrate our God who is greater than anything," Tribbett says, his voice teeming with a passion for the gospel that infuses everything he does. "Things in the world can come against us so aggressively. Whether it's bills or health or personal struggles, it can get harsh, but hold on! Hold on! We've got to sing louder for the God who is stronger. These songs are a reminder to the body of Christ to keep your heads up, and it's a notice to everyone who is not on this side saying, 'Hey, why don't you choose a better side?' I hope that's what people walk away with after hearing this record."
The lead single, "If He Did It Before...Same God" entered the iTunes chart at No. 1, serving as a powerful introduction to Tribbett's latest collection. Recorded in both Miami and Los Angeles, Greater Than is classic Tye Tribbett from the ear-grabbing chants that get audiences on their feet to the soulful ballads that inspire and encourage believers to get closer to their Creator.
Over the years, God has opened doors for Tribbett to spread the gospel through a variety of different avenues. He's toured with numerous artists including Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and Don Henley and has sung on recordings for Justin Timberlake, Missy Elliott, Sting and many others. His music has graced radio airwaves, television shows and movie soundtracks. Tribbett is a well-respected and highly anointed artist, yet when his name is mentioned, people are also quick to say how much fun and how joyful his music is, and it's a combination that really led someone to proclaim Tribbett as "fun-nointed."
In the opening line of "You Are Everything," Tribbett proclaims, "I just want to tell you what I think about you!" and then he proceeds to praise God with an attitude that is absolutely joyful and completely infectious. That same celebratory spirit echoes throughout Greater Than. Tribbett re-imagines and revives one of George Harrison's most enduring pop songs and turns it into the buoyant God-loving anthem "Stayed on You." "I use to hear that song when I was growing up," Tribbett says. "Three or four years ago, I took time and went away to shut down and realign myself with the Lord. Every day I had music playing that would keep my mind close to the Lord, and every day George Harrison would sneak into my devotions. I thought, 'that's weird,' but I decided to record it. Hopefully young people and old alike will be singing these words and realizing that they are making a declaration to the Lord: 'I've got my mind stayed on you.'"
The title track boasts a smooth, soulful groove and a potent lyric that reminds believers that our God is greater than anything that can come against us. "Overcome" is a beautiful ballad originally recorded by Jeremy Camp that gets a fresh treatment in Tribbett's capable hands. "He Turned It" is another celebration of God's power and constant faithfulness. Throughout the album, each song resonates with encouragement as Tribbett testifies to what God has done in his life.
A native of Camden, New Jersey, Tribbett's music ministry is the continuation of a powerful family legacy. "Our church was right there in Camden. My father was a pastor, but before that my grandmother was the pastor," he shares. "My father played the organ so I started picking on the piano a little. My first song was 'Lean On Me' with one finger. I added a little harmony to it and the next thing I knew I was playing with both hands by ear, so I started playing in church and I loved it. That was my passion."
Young Tye would invite other aspiring singers and musicians to his home, and the family garage became the place to jam. "Then every Sunday I would stand in front of the choir and eventually the music that we were playing in the garage became full instrumentals," Tribbett recalls. "I started putting words to some of the music and I was like, 'Oh my goodness! I think we're writing here.' So we'd get together on a Saturday and teach the songs and perform them in church the next day."
Tribbett's skill as a songwriter, musician and choir director began generating a buzz in the area. He and his choir began winning national talent competitions. Dreamworks recruited Tribbett and his group Greater Anointing for several tracks on the inspirational album that accompanied the animated film The Prince of Egypt film, including "Let Go, Let God," a collaboration with Mary Mary. Tribbett's career further gained momentum when he accompanied a friend who was auditioning for Sony Music chief Tommy Mottola. Tye's friend, Vivian Green, landed a deal and Mottola asked about her talented keyboard player. Soon after, Tribbett also had a deal. Tye Tribbett and Greater Anointing debuted with the 2004 project Life and became one of the most acclaimed new acts in gospel music. Their 2006 sophomore album, Victory, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Gospel chart, earning three GRAMMY® nominations and winning three Stellar Awards. He followed that with another chart-topping album, 2008's Standout. Tribbett stepped out solo in 2010 with the album Fresh, a groundbreaking effort for which he wrote or co-wrote every song. It also debuted at No. 1 on the gospel album chart.
On Greater Than, Tribbett once again offers a collection of songs that simmer with memorable melodies and are anchored in truth-driven lyrics. "With this album I feel like the backbone is the same, but the expression is different," he says. "I'm still me. The expression from CD to CD has been really vast and really different, but that core backbone is still who I am."
Tye Tribbett is more than a talented musician. He's a husband, father of two beautiful daughters and a multi-faceted minister. He and his wife have been leading Bible study for two years. "It's every Wednesday night at 7:30. It's called The Word On The Street," says Tribbett of the meetings in his native Camden. "We seat about 200 people. It's amazing what God is doing. It is really mind blowing to see people respond."
Tribbett is excited about the season the Lord has him in right now, and that enthusiasm is contagious. "I've never been more fortified. I've never been more full of grace," he says with a warm smile. "I can think of more reasons why I don't deserve this platform than reasons why I do, yet, He's fortified me so strongly in this season. I've never been more grateful. I've never been more strengthened than in this season. It's the Lord and I'm standing in His grace. I smile more now than I ever have in my life, not because I have more, but because I realize I am more because I'm in Him."