Still riding the success of his 2017 release Rise, Danny Gokey is preparing to head out on the road for his first-ever headlining tour this fall. With an impressive lineup that consists of chart-topper Tauren Wells and new breakout artist Riley Clemmons, the Hope Encounter Tour is heading your way later this month.
We recently talked with Danny to hear more about his heart behind the tour, how the stellar lineup came to be, what he's most looking forward to about these nights, and the new music in the works.
Let's talk about your upcoming tour, the Hope Encounter Tour. This is your first headlining tour—that's a pretty big deal! Tell us about your vision for this tour, specifically about the name because I know hope has always been a significant theme for you. What can fans can expect from these nights?
The Hope Encounter Tour is exactly what it says—we want people to encounter hope when they come to this tour. We want people to be able to get away from the realities that they've been facing in life. Things seem to be tough for a lot of people at this time, so we want people to encounter God and the BIble says that God is the God of all hope.
We have a lady named Laurieann Gibson who has her own TV show on Lifetime called Beyond The Spotlight, and she is the show designer and puts everything together. It's one of those things where we're designing a show that is top level and we're investing as much as we can into this show to create an experience for people so that they can come in and encounter hope in such a fresh way through entertainment, through music, through the songs that we sing as artists, but also through the words that we're going to speak. We want to put Jesus at the center of it all because He's the one that matters. I'm hoping that there's a paradigm shift in people's lives—that they encounter new beginnings and new moments with God that will change their life.
The lineup for this tour is so strong—Tauren Wells and Riley Clemmons. How did you go about picking a lineup for your first headlining tour? What made these artists a great fit?
I think Tauren has something about him that's just so special. Not only is he on fire for God, but his music is on fire, so he's for sure one person I knew I wanted to have on this tour and thought would be a great fit. Riley Clemmons—man, she just has something about her. She's the next big thing. Her voice, her lyrics, her character, her personality. It all just creates a really special moment that I think we're going to have and share together on this tour. I'm really looking forward to some really big things happening on this tour.
More than anything else, it's trying to start a fire in people to get them to make a difference right where they're at with what they have. Mother Teresa said it's not about doing great big things, but it's about doing small things with great love. That's what we're doing. We're trying to inspire people with this promotion to submit stories and nominate people who are leaving this world better than they found it.
That's awesome! I know that will be a big part of the night for you, but is there another part of the night that you're really looking forward to? Maybe some new music?
Oh yeah! I'm debuting two new songs on this tour that I've been working on with my new album. I have those, and I'm just really excited about the show.
I know the hardest part of touring and being on the road all the time is being away from your family so much, but what would you say is the most rewarding part of all the traveling?
I think the most rewarding part is fulfilling the call and the plan that God has on my life. It's one of those things where it's just such an honor to be a spokesman for the King through music, and He really gives me a lot of leeway in my shows to create and to make things the way I want to design it. I think it's fulfilling the will and the call God has for your life, knowing that you're walking in the call.
When you're going out on the road for a long time, what's something you have to have with you—your tour must-have?
Coffee is definitely one of those things I have to have. I also like good books because I like to read when I'm on the road. That's a big thing for me.
Obviously, we want to be praying for the upcoming tour and that lives would be changed through that, but other than that, how can people be praying for you right now?
On a personal level, I just want to fulfill everything that God has for me. When you're getting ready to step out and do things, the enemy's not just going to roll out the red carpet and let it happen, so I can feel the tension in the spiritual realm. I can feel the attack and the opposition, so just pray that I would keep a heart humbled before the Lord, fully submitted unto Him and that my faith would be strengthened. I just want to keep a strong faith and keep running after the prize. I don't want anything to slow me down.
Caitlin Lassiter is a worship leader, songwriter and journalist with a deep passion for Christian music. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee, where she attends Trevecca Nazarene University and can frequently be found loving life at a concert.
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