By Eliza Marie Somers
TobyMac sheds the image of someone who is approaching 50 by continuing to speak life into his music. One of today’s most influential contemporary Christian musicians, TMac brings his high-energy sold-out show to Red Rocks Amphitheater this Sunday, May 4, with support from Lecrae and Skillet.
TobyMac turned Christian music on its ear as a founding member of the groundbreaking group dcTalk with Michael Tait and Kevin Max in the late 1980s when they stretched the genre with hip-hop beats encompassed in a hard rock wrapper. But instead of resting on past accomplishments, TMac remains focused on the task ahead, and that’s creating music that speaks to the listener’s heart.
“I feel like I’m just pushing the music,” said TobyMac, a six-time Grammy Award winner. “I’m climbing the mountain with my team. I don’t look back too often. I’m enjoying the climb, and focusing our energy on reaching the top. That’s what moves me. I’ve been with the same group of (musicians) longer than when I was with Michael and Kevin.
“But when I do look back it was very fast paced. I see three young guys with a lot of vision, who liked to debate and argue and dream and explore creativity. It was a nice mix. We all came from different backgrounds musically. It was the perfect storm. We stretched the boundaries of what was considered the frame of music with God and faith. It was an interesting sort of blend.”
That blend is a mixture of hip-hop, hard rock with a pop melody. It may be hard to describe, but it’s a combination that has unlocked doors for many genres to the Christian music scene.
“It’s still what I do,” TobyMac said. “I’m hip-hop with a hard guitar base combined with melodic pop. By no means am I doing true hip-hop like Lecrae or hard rock like Skillet.”