Following on the heels of their 2013 Billboard chart topping single and album release, Pastor Hart Ramsey and the NCC Family Choir ready the release of their next installment, True Story on their Prayer Closet imprint distributed by eOne Entertainment. Recorded before a capacity crowd last October, the 14 song disc features Pastor Ramsey and the choir engaged in a praise celebration with artful production assistance from craft masters Terrence Vaughn (James Fortune, Zacardi Cortez, Sean McClemore) and Dana Sorey (Jason Nelson, L Spenser Smith).
Q: Congratulations on the forthcoming release of your live album "True Story." Why did you entitle the album "True Story"?
Thank you! We called this album True Story because we used actual life experiences as the basis for each song. When I assembled the writing team I let them know that I wanted us to be as transparent as possible about where we are in life & the transitions that my church & I had just walked through.
Q: What were some of the highlights when you and your team recorded the album live?
Every live recording has its "moments." And we had quite a few. On the song "Blown Away," Shawn Bigby (of John P. Kee & New Life) poured out his heart in a way that literally caused us to stop right there & enjoy the presence of the Lord. And on "Hold Me Steady" Bishop L. Spenser Smith delivered an old school preachy reprise that took us all the way in. Q: How many songs will there be on the record? Did you write most of the songs? Who else contribute to the songwriting?
True Story has 14 songs and a brief reprise that we decided was worth sharing. I collaborated on most of the 14 songs with an excellent team of writers including the incomparable Cheryl Fortune, Daniel Johnson, Terrence Vaughn, Dana Sorey, & Greg Johnson II.
Q: Has there been a single been selected yet from the set? If so, tell us more about the single.
Choosing a lead out single was a bit daunting. Lol! There were so many songs on the record that could've made a great initial statement for us. But after prayerful consideration & a lot of back & forth we chose "It Is So" -- a song that basically says, regardless of my circumstance, I will only say about myself what the Lord has already said about me.
Q: Speaking about worship, how do you normally prepare to lead a worship service?
I'm a Pastor at heart. I don't consider myself a vocalist. So worship for me is a team effort that centers on creating a space where people can encounter the Lord in an organic way. My job is to keep us focused on the realities of our GOD & His immeasurable worth. The goal is to have an authentic experience & not just be part of an emotional event.
Q: What kind of songs would you choose in leading worship?
I choose simple songs that allow the worshiper to be transparent & to speak sincerely to GOD from a place of complete vulnerability. Worship that's not vulnerable is just meaningless singing.
Q: What would you consider a "good" worship service?
A good worship service is one where we encounter JESUS in such a way that the entire room is engulfed His presence & He is free to move about to embrace, heal, & restore His people.
Q: When can we expect the release of "True Story"?
Right now the release is slated for August 19, 2016. We're running a bit behind because we had such a difficult time settling on a single. But we're ready now. We can't wait for the world to hear True Story!