American Idol alum Danny Gokey has signed with Capitol Christian Music Group, Billboard has learned exclusively. Gokey, whose album, Rise, recently earned him his first Grammy nomination, is prepping new music for his label debut.
“I had my first few writing sessions for this one in early January, but then I had to take a break to be out on the road for Hits Deep,” says Gokey, who is currently on the road with TobyMac’s Hit Deep tour. “We’ll get back to concentrated writing time after the tour ends. Every project’s process has been different and pulls things out of me in a different way. Sometimes it’s a timing thing and we only have a small window to create. It’s always interesting to see what God does in those times because I have to really press into what he’s saying and doing to write things that connect with people.”
Gokey placed third on the eighth season of American Idol, and debuted at No. 4 on the 200 with his 2010 debut album My Best Days, a country effort on 19 Recordings/RCA Nashville. Before his Idol experience, Gokey had been involved in church music in his native Milwaukee, WI and in 2014, he returned to faith-based music with the single “Hope in Front of Me” on BMG. His career has since flourished in Christian music. His second album, Hope in Front of Me, debuted at No. 1 on Top Christian Albums. He followed with a holiday collection, Christmas is Here. In January 2017, BMG released Rise, which hit No. 1 on Top Christian Albums and earned a Grammy nod.
“Danny Gokey is an artist we have admired since we heard his voice for the very first time,” says Peter York, Chairman/CEO
Capitol Christian Music Group. “We are genuinely honored to have him join our family of artists. Our team is highly motivated and excited to represent him in the marketplace. His songs encourage listeners with a message of hope and compassion, things this world could use a lot more of.”
When asked what he’s hoping to glean from his new association with Capitol CMG, Gokey says, “Growth in a lot of ways: creatively, musically, with my brand and with content creation for engaging fans and listeners. Capitol has an amazing team that are at the top of their game on so many levels, so I am looking forward to tapping into those resources to help me grow.”
Plans call for a new single to be released in the fall followed by an album in early 2019. “Sometimes I have a little more time to work on things and it pulls more out of me about things that are happening in my life and lessons that I’m learning,” he says. “This time, we’ve set aside some time where I’m off the road, for the most part, and able to really dig into the process. I can’t wait to see where it goes.”
Though they haven’t decided on every producer for the new set, Gokey says Bernie Herms will definitely be involved. “I do know that Bernie Herms will be in the mix in a big way. He’s worked on both of my last records and is just a phenomenal creative force. All of the singles I’ve released over the last two projects have been produced by him,” Gokey says of hits such as “Hope in Front of Me,” “More Than You Think I Am” and his current single “Masterpiece.”
“He pulls out something in me when we get in the studio that challenges me to go to a new level with my song interpretation and my vocal performance, so I know for sure he’ll be working on this one. There may be one or two others added to the mix. My last album had several producers, so we’ll see. It all depends on the songs.”