In late 2012, TobyMac hit Baton Rouge with a contingent of singers performing their radio hits.
On Thursday, TobyMac will return with a new roster.
“It’s called Hits Deep cause I want people to enjoy the hits that they are hearing on the radio but also, hopefully, the songs are hitting them in a deeper way,” he said in a phone interview. “The goal of the night is just song after song that the audience knows cause they’ve heard them on either KLOVE or a radio station in their town.”
Music, TobyMac said, is really important to all of the artists, and “we each love our style of music, and each of our styles are a little bit different from each other.
“I tried to put together … some emerging artists, some artists that have been around for a while, artists with hits, artists with eight hits, artists with two hits or on their first hit song, which would be Hollyn. I tried to share with the audience not only the current faith-based music … but also what’s emerging.”
Hollyn is an R&B-type singer TobyMac has been helping develop.
Capitol Kings is an EDM group that performed in Baton Rouge just over a year ago when they opened for David Crowder.
Other artist on the tour include:
Britt Nicole: “One of my favorite artists,” TobyMac said. “She’s a girl who is kind of R&B/dance. A white girl who’s got a lot of soul. … She’s had a couple of songs cross over into mainstream pop music. We just love her style of music.”
Building 429: “Is a band that’s got a lot of tenure. They’ve been around for a long time and have stood the test of time as great songwriters and great players. When you can be around for several years and work through a huge hit and keep working and keep delivering hits, it says something about the band and their heart for people.”
Finding Favor: “Just a really great band. Kind of bubbling under and breaking out right now.”
Colton Dixon: “I just love what he is about and his music. He’s a great musician and a great vocalist.”
TobyMac said Dixon and Nicole were on his “This is Not a Test” tour, and both extended their time on the road during that tour.
Talking about traveling with so many artists, TobyMac said, “I just love the camaraderie of it. I love the collaboration of it. There’ll be several times in the night where we collaborate as artists, and that’s something you can’t get on the artist’s own tour. But when you are there together, you might as well collaborate and give everybody something special.”
He added that this tour is fun backstage as well as onstage.
A look back
TobyMac was a member of the band D.C. Talk. The group’s iconic album “Jesus Freak” celebrated its 20th anniversary at the end of 2015. Asked why it still speaks to people today, the musician said, “I think it was a time for change, a time for movement and a time people were looking for something.”
He said that at that point Christian music seemed to come to the forefront of the industry “and I think we got to play a role in that, and I am honored. And humbled that people are still interested in that record and what it did.”
He said the album was passionate and intense, representing their art and their hearts. “We stand unashamed but in a very real way, because we know we can stumble, we can fall, but at the same time we will stand as Jesus Freaks,” TobyMac said, quoting part of the album.
TobyMac said he puts out an album every three years.
“This is Not a Test” came out in August, and “I feel like it’s moving people as much as anything I’ve ever done, and I’m just grateful for that.”
He said he tried to be transparent in the writing and “it seems like that is striking a chord with people.
“I found that the songs from my own stories, the things I’ve been able to overcome” have resonated the most with listeners.
He said he’s received more emails about this album than any before.
“I’m one of those guys who wants to put everything I have into a record,” TobyMac said. “I don’t have any songs that I go ‘this one’s a dud, but I’ll put it on there.’ (The album) gets my undivided attention for at least two months, just heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears in each record. I am happy to say I left it all on the field. I gave it everything I had.”