Proverbs 22:6 (NLT) sums up gospel singer-songwriter Ken Gober’s life’s journey: “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.”
The Gary, Indiana native grew up in a strong Christian home. But, like the prodigal son, that way of life wasn’t enough in his early years. And, like the prodigal son, at the age of 23, Ken hit rock bottom being addicted to drugs and alcohol. But, his journey back God started after he admitted himself into a rehab center for a month.
In search of a better way of life and a path back to God, music became that path back. He poured his heart out into his songs and shared his story with others. These actions built a connection between Ken and the Lord.
The artist appreciates his difficult experiences. They have led him to where he is today and for that, he is grateful. I connected with Ken to discuss his story, his music, and his newest single, “I Will Heal.”
Tell us about “I Will Heal," your new single.
“I Will Heal” is God’s answer to a prayer made by Solomon on behalf of Israel, which the same type of prayer should be cried out by believers today.
On an individual level, people are struggling with personal issues in life that affect their physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. As a nation, we're faced with cultural barriers, political struggles, and identity crisis that often create division. And, as a world, we struggle with a sense of connectedness and empathy.
“I Will Heal” is a plea to the believer that by coming together God can unleash His power to use us in changing our world and healing our land. However, we cannot do that divided or as separate denominations. It must be as the body of Christ. Only when God’s people come together as one, will we see His changing power and His healing hand in our world.
Your style pulls from many genres including contemporary, gospel, and soul. Talk about what music was like for you growing up and how that influenced your style today.
Being from Gary, Indiana, which is just outside of Chicago, I was exposed to a thriving Midwest music scene that was a focal point for gospel, soul, and blues.
My dad was also a well-known regional gospel artist, so I was always going to concerts with him and tagging along to his studio recording sessions. But, it wasn’t until I moved to Atlanta that I began to develop as a singer.
After moving to Atlanta in the '90s, I teamed up with an international touring show band called “Exotique.” And, I began developing my craft as a live performer, as well as crafting my own identity. We performed pop, reggae, country, jazz, soul/R&B and calypso music, which, with my gospel roots, has helped me become a well-rounded singer and performer.
The past year was long for all of us. What are you taking from this past year into 2021?
This past year has been a challenge for all of us, but through it all God has provided. In my own life, I saw God’s provision in 2020. My wife and I moved to Nashville in what I’m calling our personal famine. And, just like he did for Abraham when He sent him to Egypt during a famine, He has provided for us.
I started writing a blog, “Songz That Matter,” near the end of 2020. The blog's premise is to choose and write about songs that have encouraging messages. There’s a song I recently included in the blog from the Christian group MercyMe entitled “Even If,” which has a message of hope, faith, and encouragement.
God can take us out of the fiery furnace. But, if He chooses not to, will we still trust and believe in Him? So, if 2021 still has similar challenges as 2020, I still believe God is in control.
What is currently pushing you to continue to write and record gospel music?
I believe God is still speaking to the world. That He's still speaking to and through me. And let’s not forget that the gospel is the good news of Christ.
What’s next for you? How can we be praying for you?
I'm currently working on a forthcoming EP to be released in the fourth quarter of 2021. Please pray for direction and guidance and that my spiritual ears continue to hear from God.
Kevin McNeese started NRT in 2002 and has worked in the industry since 1999 in one form or another. He has been a fan of Christian music since 1991.
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