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AN NRT EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
Jason Crabb Talks New Label, New Music and Going it Alone
In one of his first interviews since singing with Provident Label Group's Reunion Records, the member of the Crabb Family catches us up on his life and career.
 


With a new record label, plenty of new written and musical material coming, singer Jason Crabb has a lot going on right now. Before a recent show in the Southeast, NRT's Caitlin Lassiter took time to find out about his current and future pursuits.

Jason, you recently made a big announcement: you've signed with Provident Records.  Tell us how that came about.

I truthfully thought that after being finished with Spring Hill [former label] that I was going to be independent. And then I met Terry Hemmings and Jordan, some of the other people from Provident out at an event and we just got to talking. They asked what I was going to do and this and that.

I truthfully didn't know, except I thought I was going to be independent. We talked some more and we talked about writing. Provident has a great writing program there. They've got a great publishing company.

So I loved that part of it and then also I've got this kids book series that they're very interested in and want to talk about that. They're into movies, which I'm loving doing more of that kind of thing, acting and things like that.

So we just got to talking and made it just look right, all of those things. They wanted to set me up with some writers and different things. I don't know. I finally just kind of said OK. We'll put independent off--maybe forever. I'm excited about being with Provident.

It's been a year since you put out Love Is Stronger. What are you working on, and what's next?

I've been writing with a lot of wonderful people. Mia Fieldes, who is a great, great writer. I love Mia. Jonathan Smith, he's just a young savvy cat there in Nashville. Also been doing writing Tuesday or Wednesday with Jason Ingram and some others. We've been really just tackling the writing thing right now, concentrating on that, whether it's going to be that's what my record is or not. That's kind of what we're doing right now. So I'm ready, ready to get started. Working on a little Christmas thing with Provident. It's going to be maybe a part of a Christmas movie they're going to put out.
 

What's it like to perform by yourself now after you've been with your family singing for so long?

There are some good things and there's some rough things about it. One of the rough things about it is I have to do all the singing. You go and do the two hours of concert, you do that about four or five times a week, and whew! Before you know it you need some good rest, but then again the wonderful thing about it is you walk out there and it doesn't matter. If you want to do whatever [set] you want to go with, you do it. I was emcee and I had to make sure everybody did enough songs and juggle all that and then make sure everybody felt comfortable.

Crabb Family things are phenomenal. We're going to do that again in January. We're going to tour about 10 dates and all of us get together, so that'll be fun, but you're a little more free when you're by yourself.

How does that affect the way that you make music, doing it by yourself?

I can kind of go a couple more directions. Like if I want to do a different feel, that's OK. With the family you had--maybe you got two songs on a record, so you kind of made sure that you got the right thing for the right market that you were in and that's kind of where you stopped, but now you can kind of experiment a little more, which is wonderful.

Jay Demarcus from Rascal Flatts produced your last album. How did that kind of come along?

Jay Demarcus is really great. He's a wonderful musician--just knows music inside and out. He was in a band called East and West, which was a contemporary Christian band. He actually in a band before that--a Southern Gospel group called The Paynes. He filled in a couple of times for them, a band I grew up listening to when I was a kid. One of my favorite records was this record called Fire on Stage that they did. 

So we got a lot of going back and just grabbing a hold of history and listening to some things and he brought me the song called "Love is Stronger" and he played it for me and just I could not believe that I was going to have the opportunity to sing that.

Then I told him, I said, you need to hear this girl sing and I was talked about Kari Jobe because I love her voice. I think she's phenomenal. I just love the anointing that she has on her singing. She don't have to do all these vocal acrobats and tricks and all that kind of stuff. She just opens her mouth and it's just powerful.

The funny thing was I was in there with Jay and he goes, "I was listening to the radio the other day and listening to some of the stuff and I wanted to get a feel for what we were going to do. I heard this girl sing. She's phenomenal." He played it for me. I said, "That's who I've been trying to tell you about!" So she came in and sang on that record too. He got to produce that, which was very exciting.
 

A few months ago you were featured in a Nancy comic strip. How does that happen?

Speaking of Rascal Flats, country music, the whole thing, I love all different styles of music. I really do. I love country. I love the Southern rock. I love AC. I love the easy listening. I love classical music, bluegrass. Even some rap with these cowboy boots, certain things.

Anyways, country music is really close a lot to the Southern feel of music, which I grew up in. My dad raised me up on country music, like George Jones and the old country stuff. That said, we've been invited many times to sing at the Opry. I probably sang at the Opry 25, 30 times. We were at the Opry one night and Guy Gilcrist was there, who is the creator or the actual artist for Nancy comic strips. He also did a lot of the Muppet Babies back in the day and all that kind of stuff. 

So we made friends. He came back and said I've got a surprise for you and there's a whole series that this guy did for Love Is Stronger. I could not believe it. Are you kidding? So thanks to Guy; that was really cool.

What's your favorite part about touring?

You know what? Meeting people. Also walking out on stage and trying to introduce new music to people and trying to make everyone in the audience feel loved and comfortable and feel like they came to an experience more than just music. They came to hear somebody that actually really cares about their wellbeing and who they are and that really wants them to enjoy life and those types of things.

Now with that you get everybody's prayer requests and their life story and where they've been and what's going on with them. You want them to feel close to you and when they do, get ready, because they'll start pouring out to you. Sometimes that's pretty heavy, but one thing I've learned over the 22 years of traveling, we all face life. Life is crazy sometimes.
 

How do you balance the tour and it being on the road with spending time with your family?

You know what? That's pretty difficult. This week, my family is with me, which is great. I love that my babies are with me. They're just phenomenal. They're good kids. I've got a gorgeous wife. She's good to me. She's good for me. Very good for me. All this trying to balance it all out.

She helps me, but every day I'm home I'm writing. I come home, when I come home, I try to make it all work. I learned it's the quality of time that you spend versus the quantity that's more important. If you're there and you're just not spending any time together, then it's not anything, but it's the quality of time.

I had a wise man tell me that one day. I was getting ready to get married and he said it's not the quantity of time you spend with your wife. It's the quality of time and that's the truth.

How can your fans pray for you?

Pray for my family, that I don't drive them crazy. Truthfully there's a lot going on and I love that. That's what makes me tick. We're doing a little small hymns record right now for just -- it's a specialty record for just a specific thing. It's not like before, this is who I am and blah, blah. It's just a specific thing, so we've got that going on. We've got the kids book thing. We're writing music for the kids books. We're writing music for a brand new record.

We're touring. We're getting ready to go on tour with the Martins and Mark Lowery and then we're getting ready to go on tour with Shonda Pierce, so we've got all of that. I've got 22 days booked in October, just in one month, and all of my dates are booked up all the way through December and then January starts the Crabb Family. We just shot a sizzle for maybe even a reality TV show, the Crabb Family.

I love all that, but more than anything I really want God's direction. If that reality show is not right, I don't want it. Just pray for a lot of strength, that people should be touched more than anything.

Caitlin Lassiter is a North Carolina girl that loves Jesus, music, concerts, writing, C.S. Lewis, and sweet tea... She's also a worship leader dreaming of traveling the world to share God's love.

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