About

TobyMac: Eye On It

Since it’s release in August 2012, Eye On It has entered the Billboard 200 at No. 1, and won a GRAMMY® and Billboard Music Award, while TobyMac has received an American Music Award for Favorite Christian Artist and KLOVE’s Artist of the Year Award

With 11 million career albums sold and 6 GRAMMY® Awards to his credit, TobyMac refuses to settle on past accomplishments, as he delivers a diverse album built on honest struggle.  He remains passionate about his desire to write songs at the intersection where life and spirituality collide. He calls his new album, Eye On It, which he also calls a complete labor of love.

From his early days in influential group dcTalk to his very first solo album, Momentum, Toby has worked hard to inspire his audience with words of conviction, hope, empowerment and the redemption found in his faith in God.  He furthers that vision on the thrilling Eye On It, produced by Toby, Christopher Stevens, David Garcia and Jamie Moore.

“What is it like to live a life of faith? It doesn’t look perfect, I can promise you that,” Toby admits. “We’re all struggling. We’re struggling to mend relationships, to love people well, and to love God. But the gift of walking this life of faith is that you can make it right each day. You can turn and start over, determined, with your eye on it.”

The follow-up to 2010’s Tonight (which debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200), Eye On It, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, is an elevating collection of 12 tracks, all of them written or co-written by Toby—and many of them deeply personal.

The album’s first single, “Me Without You” looks at the importance of God in one’s life. Toby wrote the song from the perspective of who he might be without his faith, instead of who he is because of it. The result is an inspired bit of songwriting.  “I’d be a mess,” he says with a self-depreciating laugh. “I’d be insecure, self indulgent and probably doing all the wrong things.”

“Made For Me” chronicles the love-at-first-sight courtship of Toby and his wife Amanda, driven by a passionate but poppy vocal and a jangly beat. “I stand in awe that I have this amazing woman as my wife. “

Still, he admits the pair has their differences, and even sings about them. “We’re opposites in a way and see things very differently. She’s from a third-world country and I grew up just outside of Washington, D.C., in Virginia. She’s a morning person; I’m a night person,” he says. “But we are committed to laying down our minor differences and holding on to what brings us together.”

With five kids, family is a cornerstone of Toby’s life, so it’s fitting he titled a song as such on Eye On It. But “Family” isn’t an exaltation of his wife and children—instead, it’s a glimpse into the everyday disagreements between two people who love each other. “The song ‘Family’ comes from personal experience. There are many times my wife and I are sitting there, with a wall between us, trying to figure out how we can get back to being unified. Inevitably, what penetrates the wall is that we both want the same thing: preserving our love, our family and our faith in God. We are on the same side,” Toby says.

Yet each song on Eye On It—even those that deal with Toby’s home life—has universal appeal, speaking to the flawed human side in all of us.

“I want my music to depict what I’m going through. I want to write about the things that upset me, move me, hurt me and haunt me. The things that are real,” he says. “With Tonight, I was determined to live more passionately with God. I was throwing down the gauntlet. Eye On It is a continuation of that. It’s saying, ‘This is the person I want to be and I’m going to keep my eye on it, God willing!’ I am going to remain focused on what matters to me.”

The vulnerable “Forgiveness” (which features Lecrae) epitomizes that sentiment. With its unforgettable hook and yearning chorus—we all make mistakes some time, and we all steps across that line—the song is a plea for something we all crave: not only forgiveness from God, but forgiveness from others and from ourselves. “There are two sides to forgiveness. There’s asking for it and there’s offering it,” Toby explains. “But before you can be forgiven, you have to confess. In a lot of ways, this song is a confession. We’re all going to cross that line one time or another, but the important thing is recognizing it and turning around.”

Toby has clearly been taking all the right steps, moving through the often prideful music business with a sense of humility that belies his success: To date, he has sold more than 3 million albums as a solo artist and over 11 million overall. In “Thankful for You,” he details his ascent to the top of the Christian music charts—the Tonight single “City on Our Knees” spent a staggering 8 weeks at No. 1—giving a shout-out to the spare bedroom in which the aspiring hip-hop artist-producer first experimented with two turntables and a microphone. Sings Toby: It’s never been my dream to see my face in magazines, it’s always been about the music, hoping God would use it to set some people free.

“Every line I write, I’m thinking about how to serve humankind, whether they’re people who share in the faith I have or not,” he says, citing one of his chief influences, reggae icon Bob Marley.

“Marley was a writer who understood spirituality, society and music. We might not see things exactly alike when it comes to our faith, but I learned a lot about how to write socially and spiritually connecting songs to people’s lives,” Toby says. “That is the purpose of the music that I make.”

And nowhere is that purpose more evident than during Toby’s live performances. This year alone, he is projected to play to more than 2 million fans, and his on-stage energy has set the bar for what it means to be a touring Christian artist.

“I’m wired for the live show,” he says. “That’s the way you get your music out there and every year we’re doing 100 shows or more. The most amazing feeling for any artist/songwriter is to take a song that came from your heart and have the audience sing every word along with you. That is a sweet humbling moment.”  

“The music is a labor of love that I create for people to enjoy; and hopefully be inspired by, it’s not a self-indulgent thing. It’s my way of serving the listener he says. “I hope Eye On It, and all my albums, point people toward something deeper, something more hopeful.”

Toby believes that’s already happening.  The way he sees it, faith songs are breaking into the mainstream.

“The wall is coming down for sure. I’m watching bands that have these delicate, wonderful messages of hope and faith in their music. There is real purpose in that,” he says. “Gospel/Christian artists are an important part of society and our voice needs to be heard, for all the right reasons.”

Thus, TobyMac’s latest album.  With its messages of perseverance, determination and hope, the record is further proof that music can better lives, reassuring listeners that it is indeed possible to find grace, if only they keep their Eye On It.

Tim "Timmy Rose" Rosenau

How did you come to be a part of DiverseCity?
I auditioned ... God did the rest.
Describe what you do onstage at a TobyMac show.
I contribute to society by rocking (guitar, trumpet).
What is your all-time favorite TobyMac song to perform live?
"Made To Love" because it's easy to get in the right headspace to worship God.
List some other musical artists who inspire you.
Dave Grohl, Ryan Adams, Miles Davis, The Hillsong United dudes, and Michael Rogers
What do you do in your spare time when you're not on tour?
Time with family and fly fishing
List a few words that others often use to describe your personality.
Melancholy and super upbeat
What is something about you that we'd all be surprised to know?
If given the opportunity, I'll usually choose fly fishing over sleep, eating, and sometimes breathing.
What is a food or drink that you refuse to eat or drink?
Tomatoes
Tell us about your music aside from DiverseCity.
Alt country, folk, rock, and stuff
Endorsements or preferred equipment:
Paul Reed Smith Guitars, McPherson Guitars, DR Strings, Wampler Pedals, Mono Cases
Describe a memorable moment for you since being a part of DiverseCity.
Probably riding motorcycles, and fly fishing, and worship, and late night talks, and walks on the beach
Words of wisdom to live by:
He answered, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" -Luke 10:27 

 

Byron "Mr. Talkbox" Chambers

How did you come to be a part of DiverseCity?
In 2003, I met tobyMac at the House of Blues in Orlando, my hometown. I was playing a show there with my father's gospel group. I didn't know it but turns out that the I Have A Dream Tour(TobyMac and Kirk Franklin) was going on that night at the same venue! Dave and Toby caught the end of our gospel set and they heard me play the instrument called the talkbox. Later, Dave approached me and said that Toby wanted me to drop some Talkbox on a song called Diverse City! I met Toby, and heard the demo of Diverse City ,and he asked if I could do it. Of course I said YES! We kept in touch, and he called me back to do some more talkbox on his next record, Portable Sounds. Then, in August of 2009, I moved to Nashville and began working on my own album. Toby called me in October and asked me to go on tour with him ... here I am a year and a half later, still happily touring with Toby Mac and DCB!
Describe what you do onstage at a TobyMac show.
I play Aux Keyboards, Congas, 2nd Guitar, and Talkbox! I also jump around and smile all night.
What is your all-time favorite TobyMac song to perform live?
"Diverse City" of course because I get to play Talkbox on it ... And "Boomin'"! (I love this song's energy!)
List some other musical artists who inspire you.
The Chambers (my family), Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary, The Soul Seekers, Skillet, Israel Houghton & New Breed, Group 1 Crew, Beckah Shae
What do you do in your spare time when you're not on tour?
Full-time father/husband, taking out trash, washing dishes, washing vehicles, work in studio, some volunteer work, play basketball, watch sports with my son, bar-b-que whenever I can and go on dates with my wifey!!
List a few words that others often use to describe your personality.
Encouraging, fun, energetic, child-like...
What is something about you that we'd all be surprised to know?
I love to watch old-school cartoons like Scooby Doo, Jetsons, Flintstones, Space Ghost, The Smurfs, etc.
What is a food or drink that you refuse to eat or drink?
I absolutely hate mayo ... yuck!!
Tell us about your music aside from DiverseCity.
Learn all about it at www.mrtalkbox.com.
Endorsements or preferred equipment:
I'm endorsed by Yamaha.
Describe a memorable moment for you since being a part of DiverseCity.
A memorable moment for me was when we pranked Third Day on the last night of the Make A Difference Tour. During their song "Gone," we got Toby to ride out on the stage on his motorcycle, and we all ran out and totally wrecked their song!! It was crazy and fun!
Words of wisdom to live by:
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven!" -Matthew 5:16 Don't be afraid to "LET" your light shine so that God can be glorified through you. At your job, let it shine, at home, let it shine. In your marriage or friendships, let it shine! So ... SHINE! 

 

DJ Maj

How did you come to be a part of DiverseCity?
The journey for me started with a few studio sessions on the TMac Momentum record. When the Diverse City album dropped, there seemed to be a greater cause forming and the process simply morphed into the crew concept that it is today.
Describe what you do onstage at a TobyMac show.
My primary function is DJ with a few auxiliary percussion and horn parts.
What is your all-time favorite TobyMac song to perform live?
"Boomin'"
List some other musical artists who inspire you.
Bob Marley, Lupe Fiasco, U2, Skillet, The Roots, Tommy Sims, Mute Math, John Legend, Michael Jackson
What do you do in your spare time when you're not on tour?
I like hanging with my wife Anita, our new boy doggie Phoenix, teaching Timmy Rose how to fish like a man (he's gonna kill me for that), mentoring, working out, hitting the gym, playing with words, pondering, listening to new music, working in my yard (when it's not blazing hot outside) and laughing with my dudes.
List a few words that others often use to describe your personality.
Contemplative (to a fault probably), laid-back, silly, conversational
What is something about you that we'd all be surprised to know?
I get VERY nervous before show time, I write, I'm a little shy ...and I'm a grown man named Michael Allen :)
What is a food or drink that you refuse to eat or drink?
N/A
Tell us about your music aside from DiverseCity.
That's a tough one since we're constantly evolving. May be someone can tell me. Hear a few tunes on myspace.
Endorsements or preferred equipment:
Serato & Shure (White Label needles)
Describe a memorable moment for you since being a part of DiverseCity.
The most recent moment was receiving this new MacBookPro birthday gift I'm typing on right now.
Words of wisdom to live by:
Time & Eternity Are Connected...: It's like driving down a long road and then {BAM} it changes names. Are you in good hands? (That's a Maj original so don't bite.)

 

Brian "da Bomb" Haley

How did you come to be a part of DiverseCity?
Toby gave me a call through guitarist Mike Rupoll
Describe what you do onstage at a TobyMac show.
I play drums.
What is your all-time favorite TobyMac song to perform live?
"Funky Jesus Music"
List some other musical artists who inspire you.
SuperHeRose, SuperSarai, SuperB
What do you do in your spare time when you're not on tour?
Always trying to sharpen myself, whether it is in the studio, in the gym, or with my business ventures.
List a few words that others often use to describe your personality.
Determined, Inspiring, Encouraging
What is something about you that we'd all be surprised to know?
Every once in a while I might lose a basketball game lol
What is a food or drink that you refuse to eat or drink?
Liver
Tell us about your music aside from DiverseCity.
SuperHeRose - a mix of rock, pop and hip hop
Endorsements or preferred equipment:
B IT Clothing, Spaun Drums, Sabian Symbols
Describe a memorable moment for you since being a part of DiverseCity.
Our first trip overseas (Australia)
Words of wisdom to live by:
Great moments are born from great opportunities, so seize every opportunity!

 

Nirva "Nirvessence" Dorsaint Ready

How did you come to be a part of DiverseCity?
I auditioned for Toby back in 2001(I think). I was introduced to Toby on an airplane. Dan Pitts, his manager told me about auditions while we were flying home to Nashville.
Describe what you do onstage at a TobyMac show.
I am a vocalist, singing along with all the background parts with occasional step-outs.
What is your all-time favorite TobyMac song to perform live?
It was "Ignititon" but we don't do that song much anymore.
List some other musical artists who inspire you.
Brooke Frasier, Cece Winans, Christy Nockels, Lauryn Hill.
What do you do in your spare time when you're not on tour?
I'm home with my hubby!!!! My husband Seth works at South Eastern University. He works with a group of college kids that I have fallen in love with. I also mentor young ladies and give private voice lessons.
List a few words that others often use to describe your personality.
I'm not sure. My name means quiet calm strength. Some of my buddies would call me crazy and fun yet peaceful at times.
What is something about you that we'd all be surprised to know?
I absolutely love Jane Austen movies :) ...as well as Anne of Green Gables.
What is a food or drink that you refuse to eat or drink?
Sour cream! Loathe it.
Describe a memorable moment for you since being a part of DiverseCity.
Any night when the crowd really worships. Also one day when Isreal Houghton called his daughter on the phone so I could say hi to her. She is a huge fan. Sort of reminds me that we are making a difference.
Words of wisdom to live by:
Outside of a relationship with Jesus, everything loses its luster after awhile. He is the only inexhaustible treasure.

 

Dave Wyatt (aka dDubb)

How did you come to be a part of DiverseCity?
I came straight from dcTalk to join Toby in his solo adventure.
Describe what you do onstage at a TobyMac show.
Shake it while playing keys. Anything awesome that happens comes from me. I am the wizard.
What is your all-time favorite TobyMac song to perform live?
"Burn for You" or "Somebody's Watchin' Me"
List some other musical artists who inspire you.
Currently, Lupe Fiasco, Adele, and JohnnySwim.
List a few words that others often use to describe your personality.
People tell me that I often think humility is my greatest strength.
What is something about you that we'd all be surprised to know?
I can run faster than anyone in Diverse City.
What is a food or drink that you refuse to eat or drink?
Fried twinkies
Tell us about your music aside from DiverseCity.
Gabe and I have a band called Arch Nemesiz
Endorsements or preferred equipment:
Any NORD product. the KORG m361, ROLAND Phantom, or the YAMAHA Motif. Most Apple products.
Describe a memorable moment for you since being a part of DiverseCity.
Too many....
Words of wisdom to live by:
Be honest. Say what you mean and mean what you say because half-truths and flattery eventually catch up to you. 

 

Gabe Real

How did you come to be a part of DiverseCity?
I've known Toby for a LONG time! I had the opportunity to be a dancer for DC Talk back in '92 at 10 years old! Also got the chance to work at Gotee Records at 16 and kept in contact with Toby ever since.
Describe what you do onstage at a TobyMac show.
I'm a hype man... holdin' down vocals and sweatin' a lot.
What is your all-time favorite TobyMac song to perform live?
One of my favorite songs to do with Toby we actually don't do anymore - "Atmosphere" from the Welcome to Diverse City album. On the DVD it's the only song in black and white. I love that 'cause it makes the song stand out.
List some other musical artists who inspire you.
I love a lot of different music. I think Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole were amazing singers, especially since they didn't have auto-tune and things like that to correct their pitch. Love Jasmine Sullivan and John Legend. And if I didn't say that I spent many days in my room dancin' to Will Smith back in the day ... I'd be a liar ...lol.
What do you do in your spare time when you're not on tour?
I love driving around with my wife on a sunny day. Also I LOVE video games. If you can't find me, look for the closest PS3 or arcade.
What is something about you that we'd all be surprised to know?
I think a lot of people don't know that I'm on a show called The Lads on TBN. It's a show directed at young kids, teaching them how to treat each other and love God with all their hearts.
What is a food or drink that you refuse to eat or drink?
V8! I mean, vegetables are bad already... there's no need to put them all in liquid form together.
Tell us about your music aside from DiverseCity.
Arch Nemesiz is me and Dave's group. We want to offer music that you can sing along to, have fun with, sing to your lady, and drive to on a sunny day.
Describe a memorable moment for you since being a part of DiverseCity.
I have to say my most memerable moment has to be meeting my wife. She was actually Toby's nanny!! I guess seein' her with all those kids caught my heart.
Words of wisdom to live by:
I've always loved 1 Timothy 4:12- "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity." I think the young are overlooked a lot, but this verse talks about how they can be an example in certain aspects. 

 

Toddiefunk

How did you come to be a part of DiverseCity?
I've been with TobyMac since the last part of the dc talk solo tour and when he began his solo career. I was with him at the time the concept of DiverseCity came about, so it was a natural progression.
Describe what you do onstage at a TobyMac show.
My primary responsibility to the live TobyMac show is to play bass.
What is your all-time favorite TobyMac song to perform live?
My favorite song to perform live is "I'm For You."
List some other musical artists who inspire you.
Switchfoot, all of the DiverseCity artists (Nirva Ready, Tim Rosenau, Arch Nemesiz, DJ Maj, SuperHeRose)
What do you do in your spare time when you’re not on tour?
Write and record music, run, basketball ... and I'm a vinyl record aficionado so, shopping for records at cool mom & pop stores around the country.
List a few words that others often use to describe your personality.
Cordial, upbeat, super funky baby!
What is something about you that we’d all be surprised to know?
My age
What is a food or drink that you refuse to eat or drink?
Liver
Tell us about your music aside from DiverseCity.
Usually listed as Electric Church or Toddiefunk & Electric Church ... listen on myspace.
Endorsements or preferred equipment:
I'm endorsed by Fender Musical Instruments. Bluesman Vintage Guitars is currently building my custom vintage "Toddiefunk" signature Jazz basses; Ampeg & Loud Technologies supply my bass amplification; Levy's Leathers provide straps and cases for my guitars; DR Strings are what I play on all my basses; I use Westone in-ear monitors for the live situation.
Describe a memorable moment for you since being a part of DiverseCity.
Tim performing his song for the first time on the Tobymac HipRockFunkSoul tour and the crowd going totally wild.
Words of wisdom to live by:
You are as beautiful as your thoughts. -Maurice White

Gotee Records is the record label that was started by TobyMac, Joey Elwood, and Todd Collins in 1994. Everything Gotee releases has TobyMac's stamp of approval on it. Gotee's newest artist Finding Favour recently released their debut, self-titled EP which features the hit single "Slip On By" (lyric video below). It can be purchased via iTunes.

A bit of history... Todd Collins‚ a percussionist and hands-on producer with a bent toward hip-hop. Joey Elwood‚ producer focused on melody and concept. And the third ... Toby McKeehan, aka TobyMac, who also happened to be one third of the breakout group dc Talk. Back in 1992, the company took shape around their shared love of music. Though they had diverse tastes, they sported the same cropped beards and were together enough that people started calling them the "goatee brothers."

"At that time, there were very few labels, if any, focusing on music that will affect our generation," tobyMac told Billboard magazine. "I wanted to do a label that focused on a generation."

Together they formed a production team and started working with a young R&B trio called Out of Eden. When shopping for a label was unsuccessful, the three decided to form their own.

Elwood recalls, "We all collectively said, 'Let's just give this a shot.' At the risk of sounding unprofessional, it was a very naive entry into the business. We basically learned every day, on the job, because we had no training for what we were doing, other than we loved music and we produced music. That was the entry point. Three naive guys, a willing band, and some really good songs."

Thus Gotee Records was born, the name intentionally misspelled ("We didn't want to be known as "the facial hair guys," says Elwood). The early days were challenging, and the three men struggled at times to figure out the nuts and bolts of the business.

"Oh man, there were so many things we didn't have a clue about," Elwood recalls. Mostly the operational stuff, like how to set up a record in order for it to be sold in stores, with things like UPC codes and ISRC codes, or knowing the Soundscan numbers and how to pay royalties‚ all the things that people just don't really know."

As their on-the-job training continued, the new label expanded to reflect the diverse interests of the founders. Within 12 months, three other acts were signed: Christafari, GRITS, and Johnny Q. Public.

Elwood notes that the first four bands filled four different music categories. "We looked at is as four legs of a chair: reggae, R&B, rock, and rap. It was very unintentional. They all came to us in different ways, and we loved the music of all four."

The 15 years since Gotee's founding has naturally seen many artists come and go, some of them major hits, including Jennifer Knapp, SonicFlood, and still on their roster, Relient K.

Elwood states that artists are almost always found through some established contact. "Honestly, it just comes out of relationship. Relationship with new artists, promoters, agents, publishers. I'd say 9.9 times out of 10 that's where all the new artists come from‚ it's relational."

New production and distribution models are guiding the Gotee of today. For the forseeable future, Gotee introduces newer artists digitally, reserving the traditional CD-based distribution model for established artists. The idea is to create demand through radio and the Internet sufficient for the release of a physical CD in retail outlets later on. Through all the changes in a tumultuous industry, Gotee maintains a steady focus.

McKeehan declares, "Gotee was born of an artist heart, so we will continue to be an entity focused on arts and artists. We feel confident in our ability to bring relevant and moving art to the people."

Elwood concurs, and offers a perspective on this chapter in the Gotee story. "I'm confident in our future. I'm confident in the future of Gotee but I'm even more confident in the future of music. I think there's a wonderful, wonderful road ahead for people who love this business, love communicating with people through music. God doesn't need a song or a record company or an artist for His perfect will to get done, but He sure can use us. It's an exciting time."

www.gotee.com

Tim "Timmy Rose" Rosenau

How did you come to be a part of DiverseCity?
I auditioned ... God did the rest.
Describe what you do onstage at a TobyMac show.
I contribute to society by rocking (guitar, trumpet).
What is your all-time favorite TobyMac song to perform live?
"Made To Love" because it's easy to get in the right headspace to worship God.
List some other musical artists who inspire you.
Dave Grohl, Ryan Adams, Miles Davis, The Hillsong United dudes, and Michael Rogers
What do you do in your spare time when you're not on tour?
Time with family and fly fishing
List a few words that others often use to describe your personality.
Melancholy and super upbeat
What is something about you that we'd all be surprised to know?
If given the opportunity, I'll usually choose fly fishing over sleep, eating, and sometimes breathing.
What is a food or drink that you refuse to eat or drink?
Tomatoes
Tell us about your music aside from DiverseCity.
Alt country, folk, rock, and stuff
Endorsements or preferred equipment:
Paul Reed Smith Guitars, McPherson Guitars, DR Strings, Wampler Pedals, Mono Cases
Describe a memorable moment for you since being a part of DiverseCity.
Probably riding motorcycles, and fly fishing, and worship, and late night talks, and walks on the beach
Words of wisdom to live by:
He answered, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" -Luke 10:27 

 

Byron "Mr. Talkbox" Chambers

How did you come to be a part of DiverseCity?
In 2003, I met tobyMac at the House of Blues in Orlando, my hometown. I was playing a show there with my father's gospel group. I didn't know it but turns out that the I Have A Dream Tour(TobyMac and Kirk Franklin) was going on that night at the same venue! Dave and Toby caught the end of our gospel set and they heard me play the instrument called the talkbox. Later, Dave approached me and said that Toby wanted me to drop some Talkbox on a song called Diverse City! I met Toby, and heard the demo of Diverse City ,and he asked if I could do it. Of course I said YES! We kept in touch, and he called me back to do some more talkbox on his next record, Portable Sounds. Then, in August of 2009, I moved to Nashville and began working on my own album. Toby called me in October and asked me to go on tour with him ... here I am a year and a half later, still happily touring with Toby Mac and DCB!
Describe what you do onstage at a TobyMac show.
I play Aux Keyboards, Congas, 2nd Guitar, and Talkbox! I also jump around and smile all night.
What is your all-time favorite TobyMac song to perform live?
"Diverse City" of course because I get to play Talkbox on it ... And "Boomin'"! (I love this song's energy!)
List some other musical artists who inspire you.
The Chambers (my family), Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary, The Soul Seekers, Skillet, Israel Houghton & New Breed, Group 1 Crew, Beckah Shae
What do you do in your spare time when you're not on tour?
Full-time father/husband, taking out trash, washing dishes, washing vehicles, work in studio, some volunteer work, play basketball, watch sports with my son, bar-b-que whenever I can and go on dates with my wifey!!
List a few words that others often use to describe your personality.
Encouraging, fun, energetic, child-like...
What is something about you that we'd all be surprised to know?
I love to watch old-school cartoons like Scooby Doo, Jetsons, Flintstones, Space Ghost, The Smurfs, etc.
What is a food or drink that you refuse to eat or drink?
I absolutely hate mayo ... yuck!!
Tell us about your music aside from DiverseCity.
Learn all about it at www.mrtalkbox.com.
Endorsements or preferred equipment:
I'm endorsed by Yamaha.
Describe a memorable moment for you since being a part of DiverseCity.
A memorable moment for me was when we pranked Third Day on the last night of the Make A Difference Tour. During their song "Gone," we got Toby to ride out on the stage on his motorcycle, and we all ran out and totally wrecked their song!! It was crazy and fun!
Words of wisdom to live by:
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven!" -Matthew 5:16 Don't be afraid to "LET" your light shine so that God can be glorified through you. At your job, let it shine, at home, let it shine. In your marriage or friendships, let it shine! So ... SHINE! 

 

DJ Maj

How did you come to be a part of DiverseCity?
The journey for me started with a few studio sessions on the TMac Momentum record. When the Diverse City album dropped, there seemed to be a greater cause forming and the process simply morphed into the crew concept that it is today.
Describe what you do onstage at a TobyMac show.
My primary function is DJ with a few auxiliary percussion and horn parts.
What is your all-time favorite TobyMac song to perform live?
"Boomin'"
List some other musical artists who inspire you.
Bob Marley, Lupe Fiasco, U2, Skillet, The Roots, Tommy Sims, Mute Math, John Legend, Michael Jackson
What do you do in your spare time when you're not on tour?
I like hanging with my wife Anita, our new boy doggie Phoenix, teaching Timmy Rose how to fish like a man (he's gonna kill me for that), mentoring, working out, hitting the gym, playing with words, pondering, listening to new music, working in my yard (when it's not blazing hot outside) and laughing with my dudes.
List a few words that others often use to describe your personality.
Contemplative (to a fault probably), laid-back, silly, conversational
What is something about you that we'd all be surprised to know?
I get VERY nervous before show time, I write, I'm a little shy ...and I'm a grown man named Michael Allen :)
What is a food or drink that you refuse to eat or drink?
N/A
Tell us about your music aside from DiverseCity.
That's a tough one since we're constantly evolving. May be someone can tell me. Hear a few tunes on myspace.
Endorsements or preferred equipment:
Serato & Shure (White Label needles)
Describe a memorable moment for you since being a part of DiverseCity.
The most recent moment was receiving this new MacBookPro birthday gift I'm typing on right now.
Words of wisdom to live by:
Time & Eternity Are Connected...: It's like driving down a long road and then {BAM} it changes names. Are you in good hands? (That's a Maj original so don't bite.)

 

Brian "da Bomb" Haley

How did you come to be a part of DiverseCity?
Toby gave me a call through guitarist Mike Rupoll
Describe what you do onstage at a TobyMac show.
I play drums.
What is your all-time favorite TobyMac song to perform live?
"Funky Jesus Music"
List some other musical artists who inspire you.
SuperHeRose, SuperSarai, SuperB
What do you do in your spare time when you're not on tour?
Always trying to sharpen myself, whether it is in the studio, in the gym, or with my business ventures.
List a few words that others often use to describe your personality.
Determined, Inspiring, Encouraging
What is something about you that we'd all be surprised to know?
Every once in a while I might lose a basketball game lol
What is a food or drink that you refuse to eat or drink?
Liver
Tell us about your music aside from DiverseCity.
SuperHeRose - a mix of rock, pop and hip hop
Endorsements or preferred equipment:
B IT Clothing, Spaun Drums, Sabian Symbols
Describe a memorable moment for you since being a part of DiverseCity.
Our first trip overseas (Australia)
Words of wisdom to live by:
Great moments are born from great opportunities, so seize every opportunity!

 

Nirva "Nirvessence" Dorsaint Ready

How did you come to be a part of DiverseCity?
I auditioned for Toby back in 2001(I think). I was introduced to Toby on an airplane. Dan Pitts, his manager told me about auditions while we were flying home to Nashville.
Describe what you do onstage at a TobyMac show.
I am a vocalist, singing along with all the background parts with occasional step-outs.
What is your all-time favorite TobyMac song to perform live?
It was "Ignititon" but we don't do that song much anymore.
List some other musical artists who inspire you.
Brooke Frasier, Cece Winans, Christy Nockels, Lauryn Hill.
What do you do in your spare time when you're not on tour?
I'm home with my hubby!!!! My husband Seth works at South Eastern University. He works with a group of college kids that I have fallen in love with. I also mentor young ladies and give private voice lessons.
List a few words that others often use to describe your personality.
I'm not sure. My name means quiet calm strength. Some of my buddies would call me crazy and fun yet peaceful at times.
What is something about you that we'd all be surprised to know?
I absolutely love Jane Austen movies :) ...as well as Anne of Green Gables.
What is a food or drink that you refuse to eat or drink?
Sour cream! Loathe it.
Describe a memorable moment for you since being a part of DiverseCity.
Any night when the crowd really worships. Also one day when Isreal Houghton called his daughter on the phone so I could say hi to her. She is a huge fan. Sort of reminds me that we are making a difference.
Words of wisdom to live by:
Outside of a relationship with Jesus, everything loses its luster after awhile. He is the only inexhaustible treasure.

 

Dave Wyatt (aka dDubb)

How did you come to be a part of DiverseCity?
I came straight from dcTalk to join Toby in his solo adventure.
Describe what you do onstage at a TobyMac show.
Shake it while playing keys. Anything awesome that happens comes from me. I am the wizard.
What is your all-time favorite TobyMac song to perform live?
"Burn for You" or "Somebody's Watchin' Me"
List some other musical artists who inspire you.
Currently, Lupe Fiasco, Adele, and JohnnySwim.
List a few words that others often use to describe your personality.
People tell me that I often think humility is my greatest strength.
What is something about you that we'd all be surprised to know?
I can run faster than anyone in Diverse City.
What is a food or drink that you refuse to eat or drink?
Fried twinkies
Tell us about your music aside from DiverseCity.
Gabe and I have a band called Arch Nemesiz
Endorsements or preferred equipment:
Any NORD product. the KORG m361, ROLAND Phantom, or the YAMAHA Motif. Most Apple products.
Describe a memorable moment for you since being a part of DiverseCity.
Too many....
Words of wisdom to live by:
Be honest. Say what you mean and mean what you say because half-truths and flattery eventually catch up to you. 

 

Gabe Real

How did you come to be a part of DiverseCity?
I've known Toby for a LONG time! I had the opportunity to be a dancer for DC Talk back in '92 at 10 years old! Also got the chance to work at Gotee Records at 16 and kept in contact with Toby ever since.
Describe what you do onstage at a TobyMac show.
I'm a hype man... holdin' down vocals and sweatin' a lot.
What is your all-time favorite TobyMac song to perform live?
One of my favorite songs to do with Toby we actually don't do anymore - "Atmosphere" from the Welcome to Diverse City album. On the DVD it's the only song in black and white. I love that 'cause it makes the song stand out.
List some other musical artists who inspire you.
I love a lot of different music. I think Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole were amazing singers, especially since they didn't have auto-tune and things like that to correct their pitch. Love Jasmine Sullivan and John Legend. And if I didn't say that I spent many days in my room dancin' to Will Smith back in the day ... I'd be a liar ...lol.
What do you do in your spare time when you're not on tour?
I love driving around with my wife on a sunny day. Also I LOVE video games. If you can't find me, look for the closest PS3 or arcade.
What is something about you that we'd all be surprised to know?
I think a lot of people don't know that I'm on a show called The Lads on TBN. It's a show directed at young kids, teaching them how to treat each other and love God with all their hearts.
What is a food or drink that you refuse to eat or drink?
V8! I mean, vegetables are bad already... there's no need to put them all in liquid form together.
Tell us about your music aside from DiverseCity.
Arch Nemesiz is me and Dave's group. We want to offer music that you can sing along to, have fun with, sing to your lady, and drive to on a sunny day.
Describe a memorable moment for you since being a part of DiverseCity.
I have to say my most memerable moment has to be meeting my wife. She was actually Toby's nanny!! I guess seein' her with all those kids caught my heart.
Words of wisdom to live by:
I've always loved 1 Timothy 4:12- "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity." I think the young are overlooked a lot, but this verse talks about how they can be an example in certain aspects. 

 

Toddiefunk

How did you come to be a part of DiverseCity?
I've been with TobyMac since the last part of the dc talk solo tour and when he began his solo career. I was with him at the time the concept of DiverseCity came about, so it was a natural progression.
Describe what you do onstage at a TobyMac show.
My primary responsibility to the live TobyMac show is to play bass.
What is your all-time favorite TobyMac song to perform live?
My favorite song to perform live is "I'm For You."
List some other musical artists who inspire you.
Switchfoot, all of the DiverseCity artists (Nirva Ready, Tim Rosenau, Arch Nemesiz, DJ Maj, SuperHeRose)
What do you do in your spare time when you’re not on tour?
Write and record music, run, basketball ... and I'm a vinyl record aficionado so, shopping for records at cool mom & pop stores around the country.
List a few words that others often use to describe your personality.
Cordial, upbeat, super funky baby!
What is something about you that we’d all be surprised to know?
My age
What is a food or drink that you refuse to eat or drink?
Liver
Tell us about your music aside from DiverseCity.
Usually listed as Electric Church or Toddiefunk & Electric Church ... listen on myspace.
Endorsements or preferred equipment:
I'm endorsed by Fender Musical Instruments. Bluesman Vintage Guitars is currently building my custom vintage "Toddiefunk" signature Jazz basses; Ampeg & Loud Technologies supply my bass amplification; Levy's Leathers provide straps and cases for my guitars; DR Strings are what I play on all my basses; I use Westone in-ear monitors for the live situation.
Describe a memorable moment for you since being a part of DiverseCity.
Tim performing his song for the first time on the Tobymac HipRockFunkSoul tour and the crowd going totally wild.
Words of wisdom to live by:
You are as beautiful as your thoughts. -Maurice White