Marcus McFarlin has just released his first offering on Dream Gospel, "More." The album bridges the gap between young and old. About Gospel music Marcus says "sometimes we get so caught up in the latest sound that we forget about the songs that encouraged us in our greatest trials; songs that our parents and grandparents grew up on". It is with this focus that Marcus deftly moves between the traditional and the cutting edge of Gospel music while retaining his hallmark vocal delivery. So what would all of these traits rolled into one CD sound you might ask? Marcus says: "You'll just have to wait and hear it for yourself!"
Hallels: Thanks so much for doing this interview with us. Many of your fans and friends know you as Elder Mac. How did you get to be called "Elder Mac"?
Growing as a preacher's son, my late Bishop and other preachers would often refer to my pops as "Elder Mac" instead of Elder McFarlin. In my early teens, my dad began pastoring and the shortened name of "Elder Mac" kind of faded since he was now, Pastor McFarlin. When I began to preaching and was later ordained as an Elder in the Churches of God in Christ, people started to call me Elder Mac as well. Ironically, Mac is also short for Marcus, which made it equally fitting. I didn't think much of it until I was recording a song in the studio and yelled out "Elder Mac on the track...". At that point, I fully adopted the name as a young preacher/artist.
Hallels: Tell us a little about your journey. How did you feel God's calling to sing for Him?
I've been raised in the church. For as long as I can remember, it's been Sunday School, vacation bible school, children's choir, youth choir, praise & worship ministry, playing drums, organ, alto sax, the list goes on! I was always involved in something musically. School plays, orchestra, band, the whole nine! My parents kept my brother and I near the cross, whether we wanted to be there or not! LOL. All my parents ever played was gospel music. They were very careful to what we were exposed to. I heard tons of The Clark Sisters, James Moore, Shirley Caesar, The Winans, John P. Kee, & Commissioned. So the gospel message in music was always very inspiring to me. It did something that other genres of music didn't do for me and I noticed the effect it had on others as well.
The most pivotal point of hearing God's calling to sing for Him was around the age of 14 when I was called to sing a solo at my dad's church, which was only a few months old. I sang "Blessed Assurance" and all I remember was totally forgetting the fact that it was just another solo and put every thought towards God's faithfulness to me. I can remember blocking everything out and meditating on the words. Before I knew it, tears were flowing and I felt a strength like no other. I knew then that it wasn't just an experience, but something God was preparing me for.
Hallels: How did you get to work with Dream Gospel Records for the release of "More"?
Honestly, I have no clue (LOL)! No, seriously...I was minding my own business, heading to church and doing what I had been doing for years, when I got a phone call from one of the A&R reps at Dream Gospel. The rep said that my information had come across their desk and wanted to speak about the possibility of making Dream Gospel my label home. Needless to say, I was honored that someone had noticed my gift in this capacity. After a few conference calls and some heart to heart conversations, it was very confirming to me that our relationship was one of divine destiny. I'm excited to see what God is going to do through our partnership.
Hallels: Why did you call this album "More"?
I was led to title the album "More" because that's exactly where I am in my walk with Christ right now. I started to examine myself and consider all of the many blessings God has given me and couldn't help but acknowledge how great this season. On the other hand, I kind of felt like I was on cruise control. One thing I never want to become is religious; just going to church because it's scheduled or just singing a song because it was rehearsed. I came to the conclusion that God needed to get "More" of ME! My private time with Him, my prayer life, my fasting, my thoughts; they all needed to increase. I don't ever want to just be caught on "chill mode" when it comes to God. Spiritual warfare is real and I always want to be in position to hear from God and move the way He wants me to. In order to do that, I've got to make sure that I'm doing my part and that's what I wanted to share with the rest of the world. My prayer is that others will also feel the desire to cut the religious cycle in their life and give God more of what He requires of His people.
Hallels: On your press release, you said you wanted to incorporate both traditional Gospel as well as cutting edge music in your new album. Why do you think both the traditional and contemporary are important?
Well I'm old school myself, but with a new school swag. When it's all said and done, we cannot create new music without reflecting on the old. What I've seen lately is a lack of appreciating from the younger generation of where music has evolved from. We can't forget the old landmark, but our traditional gospel lovers must also remember that the music they loved wasn't always the music their parents and grandparents loved. I believe God has giving me a ministry in bridging the gap between young and old. This generation appeals to a different sound than my parents, just like my parents appealed to a different sound than theirs. My prayer is that the young can appreciate and be aware of the traditional songs that brought us through our toughest trials and that the old can equally enjoy a similar yet progressive style of music without compromising the anointing or the message that God is real. Lastly, I just love making music that the entire family can enjoy together, whether it be in a live concert or in the car on a family trip!
Hallels: Can you choose two favorite songs off the album and tell us why you love them?
WOW! That is a tough decision. First, I'd have to say "I Ain't Goin". That song is really my testimony. It was also one of the first songs that set the tone for the album. The song is a declaration to anyone or anything that tries to pull you in a negative space. The hook is a bit of an anthem for those who have vowed to themselves that they won't return to the things that kept them bound. "Been there! Done that! Moved on! Never goin' back!" Secondly, "When We Worship" always touches my heart. I love to boast on the Lord so that song just takes me there.
Hallels: For our readers who would like to find out more about you, your touring dates and purchase your new album, where can they go?
They can simply find all of the above by going to WWW.MARCUSELDERMAC.COM . Also, be sure to click the social network links at the top of my website so that you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
Thank You and God Bless!
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