Singing solo: Steven Curtis Chapman to bring unique tour to Edmond church
EDMOND — Grammy Award-winning recording artist Steven Curtis Chapman will share his musical journey with fans during a concert on Friday at a metro-area church.
Chapman, known for numerous contemporary Christian music hits, is bringing his tour "SCC Solo: Hits, History and Influence" to First Presbyterian Church of Edmond.
As the tour's title suggests, the Grammy Award-winner will appear by himself to sing and share stories from his more than 30 years on the music scene. Along the way, he amassed 58 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, five Grammy Awards, an American Music Award, 48 No. 1 singles and sold more than 11 million albums.
In a recent telephone interview, he discussed the "solo" concert tour and other aspects of his journey.
Q: Where did the idea for the "Solo" tour come from?
A: I wrote a book called "Between Heaven & The Real World (Revell Publishing), and it was just a really powerful experience for me, just going back and retracing my steps. When we look back and really take the time to unpack our own story, for me and I think for any of us, you're amazed when you see how many times through your journey that God directed your steps. You start looking at all these different places in the journey that are what I call these "mile markers" — something either really amazing, incredible or something really hard but in all that, you see God working in it to tell this story. As I did that with my journey, I thought my songs really mark out my journey so I would really love to tell my story in concert with my audience, with the people, many who have been on this journey with me for 30-plus years now. My first album came out in 1987 so I've been telling that story with music all these years. That was kind of the idea behind this tour. The night is full of me singing what people would know as the hits, songs that they're familiar with. Also, I get to talk about the people who really influenced my life spiritually and musically, like my Dad who taught me how to play guitar. I even play the first song I learned on the guitar, an old Johnny Cash song my Dad taught me when I was 6 years old. I talk about the first song I performed in front of a crowd with my older brother. It's kind of all of that wrapped into this night of music and fun. There's a lot of laughter and some tears shed together because the journey has been amazing mountaintops and some very, very dark valleys. That's what's really connected me with my friends all these years, telling my story through these songs.
Q: What do you like most about the "Solo" tour? Fans have continued to ask for it.
A: I will say I love having a band with me. I miss that when they're not there. What I had the freedom to do with this type of concert is really unique. I have more freedom to be one-on-one with the audience. Sometimes, if you have a band up there on stage, I feel like I need to keep it moving, keep the songs coming because they're standing up there waiting while I'm telling a story, which my band has always had to do because I love to tell stories in between the songs. I think this just gives me more freedom to do that, and it feels like a conversation with the audience, like we're sitting together in a living room, just me telling them the story. Plus, people have been commenting that they love hearing these songs in their purest form. It's just me and the guitar, me at the piano, and there's just something about that intimacy that I think an audience really enjoys.
Q: What have you most enjoyed about your career?
A: It's hard to separate one part out. I love writing songs. That's where it kind of began for me and that's where I found my voice, really as a kid in middle school and high school. Performing the songs and sharing them with an audience, that part of it is kind of the completion of the process of writing the song. It all works together.
Q: What is the premise behind your album "Remember to Remember"?A: The real remembering part of my journey these last few years is really what this concert has been built on. It's a process of remembering my journey, my story, but more than that, it's about the importance of looking back on your journey of faith. God told the Israelites to remember and go back and build memorials, stones of remembrance. You retell the story: "God did this here." Also, as believers, as pilgrims on this journey, we have to remember where it is we're going because we're in process. We're not home yet but we are going home. God has promised that He's going to wipe every tear from our eyes and He's going to finish the work that He started. That's been so important for me and my family in our journey because we walked through a great loss almost 11 years ago with losing our youngest daughter in a tragedy. We hold on to that hope that hey, the story is not over until we get to heaven. We've got to keep remembering where we're going.
What: "SCC: Solo"
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Where: First Presbyterian Church of Edmond, 1001 S Rankin, Edmond.