Andy Garcia brings forth a CCM Worship album full of organic instrumentation and a powerful voice. This worship leader has performed on tour all over the world. You will find this music perfect for encouragement and hope. Andy Garcia's new album Forever We Sing comes out on DREAM Worship on July 14th.
Q: Andy, thank you for doing this interview with us. I was reading your bio and I was saddened by how your dad left you and your mother when you were very little. You were practically raised by your uncle who was also a musician. Talk to us about your uncle and his influence on your life.
My uncle is great man and has always been good to me. He has treated me as his own son and even calls me "son" when I am around him. He always believed in me and encouraged me to be a good man, worker, husband, father and Christian. I saw him work hard, endure trials, and not give up. I am so very thankful God sent him and my grandfather to fill a father place in my life that was so needed.
Q: In the bio, it was mentioned that a youth pastor, your praying mother, and Gospel music that brought you to Christ. Tell us more about these three influences.
As a child and teenager without a father and living in poverty, I was searching for anything to give me identity. I was even offered to lead a gang as a teenager. I had a close friend who was shot by gang and didn't want to go down that road. I know my mother's prayers and example are what kept my head above water and put me in places where I would grow and experience Jesus. Her and my grandfather kept me in church and paid a high price to take me to youth events.
I also had a youth pastor who came in and loved me as I was. He would actually hug me like a father and pour value into me. He saw something in me of purpose and would put me in leadership positions. Through him, I gave my life back to Jesus and began to help with the church as much as I could. During this time my love for gospel music increased and I knew something in me came alive when I would listen to it. I always had a great love for music, but this was beyond just a normal love of music, it was a calling. And, out of a small prayer meeting me and three friends had every Thursday night, God began to show up in such an amazing way. Now I have a passion for worship and for His presence. Once you experience His presence, you are forever changed.
Q: How then did you become a worship leader?
From the story just mentioned, I gained a huge heart to bring God's presence to people everywhere. I wanted people to know their Loving Father, especially for those who had never experienced one. I now had a Father and it changed my life. I wanted everyone to experience His love for them and His adoption of them. While driving in a car one night with my cousin when we were young, he heard me singing and asked if I would like to sing at our youth group. I thought he was being funny because I had never sung in front of people by myself. But, something in me took the challenge and began to help out with the youth worship. Once I knew I could sing God began to open more and more doors for me to lead worship all over the nation. I was told by some people I could not sing or was not good enough to do this but God always made a way for doors to open and for lives to be changed. It was not me, it was all Him.
Q: I love your new album. How did you get to partner with DREAM Records for this release?
Speaking of doors, God opened the doors for me to meet an artist already with Dream who was also friends with the leadership. During a meeting I was having with some people regarding a city event, the topic came up about me coming on with Dream and the wheels began to move from there. I then met with the President and then the team and now I am signed with them. Pretty crazy adventure.
Q: How would you describe your style of worship music? Which artists would you say were influential in helping you shape your sound?
I have various styles of worship since I lead music in all types of churches and events. So, at times I love long and meaningful worship but at other times I just love bringing the joy to people through upbeat praise. Growing up I was influenced by Fred Hammond, gospel music, Kent Henry, Hillsong, Lindell Cooley, Jason Upton and Matt Redman. So, I have a very diverse influence but all of them had so much passion for Jesus. I must say, that is my goal, no matter what style I may be playing.
Q: With "All Hail," I love how you put new music to the hymn "All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name." Why did you decide to re-write a hymn?
Well, me and my producer loved this version of the song and the hymn itself but wanted to do something more upbeat. Our goal was we wanted it to move people, but move people to want to dance and laugh. Sometimes we get stuck in slow worship times during our time with the Lord but I believe He also wants us to dance and jump and smile. I know Heaven is a celebration as well!
Q: I also love your rendition of "Death was Arrested." What led you to want to sing this gorgeous song?
This song speaks to my heart. There were many times in my life where death could have taken me over. I grew up in a bad area of town where guns and drugs were seen often. I have been in a few bad car accidents, I have been shot at and worst, I could have died just in my sin alone. This song is such a declaration and joyous song of being free and Jesus cancelling the assignment of death off of us, spiritual death and at times, physical death.
Q: What were some of the highlights for you in the making of this new record?
This record has been a dream of mine for so long. I was privileged to create it with some very talented guys in Nashville which I also call my friends. They didn't make this CD with me as just producers, they put so much heart into it as well. I also am honored to feature the song, Forever We Sing, which my son Sam wrote with me, along with my wife, my son Moses and my producers. We wrote this song late one night as God was stirring in him a heart for music. So, this song has special memories for me. It has also been a theme of what God continues to tell us.....to magnify Him above all else and to forever sing of His greatness.
Q: How do you wish this new record could impact the lives of your listeners?
Our heart for this CD is that one thing, we want to bring people to Jesus. We have prayed over this CD since before it ever was created. We chose songs that even people who may not enter a church would still love to hear and be moved by them. We know that God is able to do anything and our prayer is that this CD would go into remote places, corporate places, movies and TV and even into schools. We want people to receive joy and laughter. We want them to feel heaviness lift off of them and even be healed of hurt and pain. We want to reach as many as we can with His love and message.