Award-winning Christian singer Danny Gokey released his new full-length studio album, Jesus People, last week and hopes that his music will charge believers to reflect Christ in these “End Times.”
"For me, it starts with a prayer. I do this every record. And I feel like ... as I keep growing, [God's] downloading more. I pray, 'Lord, You're the greatest lyricist of all time. I want to say what You're saying. I want to speak what You're speaking,'” Gokey told The Christian Post in a video interview that can be viewed below.
“By faith, I get ready to receive. I don't hear audible voices. I just, by faith, receive that God's going to speak and write through me, and I start paying attention.”
Gokey, a beloved voice in contemporary Christian music and an "American Idol" alum, said he pays attention to what he is picking up in "the Spirit" and that his "songs are birthed that way.”
The 41-year-old Milwaukee native said his favorite song on the album is the self-titled track, "Jesus People” because "we need Jesus people to stand up."
“We need Jesus people to let it be known. We need Jesus people to start walking in the freedom that's been paid for and walking in the knowledge of the truth because there's a broken world. And really, we should start doing more with our hands and feet than our mouth,” the father of four continued.
“Most people have heard about Jesus in our world. Our country was founded upon Christ and Christian values. The thing is, there's a cognitive dissonance. They hear Christianity, and they're seeing Christianity. It just looks like the world. It looks like everyone else except that you just slap a label on yourself,” Gokey shared. "People who not just talk about it, but live it sacrificially, they're the ones that grab people's attention. So we need Jesus people to do that.”
Gokey described that his new worship song “All are Welcome” was birthed out of Revelation 22, which was given to him one morning as he awoke. The verse that really stood out to him states: “Even so come Lord Jesus.”
“I remember when that was spoken to me Dec. 29, 2019, right before 2020 hit. I remember that morning waking up and just being like, ‘Even so come Lord Jesus, even so come.’ I look at the scriptures and right before that, it says the Spirit and the bride said, 'Come, come all who are hungry, all who are thirsty,” Gokey explained.
"COVID hits, and I'm like, 'Alright, we're living in some End Times.' So, I begin to just start seeing the signs, and I'm like, 'I need to write a song about how God is calling to His daughters and sons.'”
Gokey, who actively shares on social and political matters on Instagram and Twitter, said God gave him music to address some of the issues currently facing the United States after a contentious year.
"’We all need Jesus’ was written during the pandemic when the uproar in the streets started happening,” Gokey revealed.
“This is the hand of the enemy," he said. "Anytime you can see stealing, killing, destroying, you can already know who's there.”
Gokey emphasized the importance of having a relationship Christ in these dark times.
"I think that having Christ means having peace,” Gokey noted. “What's interesting about having peace, and a sound mind and sound heart is that it could be chaos all around you, but if you have peace on the inside of you — Christ on the inside — the hope of glory, glory on the inside of you, that is stronger.”
“That's why greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world. People who don't have the He that is in you, they're going to crumble through anxiety because that chaos gets on the inside of them, and you can't withstand that,” he added. "Being in Christ gives you access, so that's a key and you need that; otherwise, you will be overcome.”
Jesus People includes features with other artists such as Koryn Hawthorne on "We All Need Jesus," Christine D'Clario on the Spanish song "Cristo Es Necesario" and Angie Rose on "Do For Love."
Gokey said the Latin fusion in his music has “been so easy."
"I love Latin culture. I know I'm an American boy, but when I first met my first wife when I was 17, it changed everything. And I was introduced to a whole new world that I fell in love with," he detailed. "Now I've spent more years in Latin culture than I have in my own culture because I'm in it every day. My in-laws are with me [and] they only speak Spanish. It's just a beautiful thing."
The singer said he recorded his "He Believes In You" and "Do for Love" videos in the Dominican Republic. He recorded his "Agradecideo" in Puerto Rico.
"I love the DR and I love PR," he told CP. "I just told my wife, 'I want to buy a house in one of these countries.’”
Gokey married his second wife, Leyicet Peralta, in 2012. The singer tragically lost his first wife, Sophia Martinez, in 2008 from congenital heart disease. During the interview, Gokey recalled something his second wife said to him at the beginning of their marriage.
"She was not raised in church. Leyicet was born in Miami. She lived a Miami lifestyle, got saved at 22 years old. And I remember, she told me this, 'You're the first man I've ever loved,'” he recalled. “I knew she had boyfriends before, and I said, 'Well, why?' She said, 'Because you're the first person to ever put my needs before yours. And I started understanding like, 'Oh my gosh, that is what real love is.'”
Gokey said that the "American culture has this picture of what real love is." He added that picture is really an "infatuation" or "obsession."
"But if you notice, that's all based on a feeling that you get," he said. "So when someone's infatuated, you're obsessed with the feeling you feel that they give you in that moment. And it's about you."
“So it was a real paradigm shift [for me] because I grew up in church [where] it was all about doing if you want to get something: you do this and you get this," he continued. "But here we go, my wife was showing me a love that she wasn't trying to get anything. She was just doing because she loved me in spite of anything I had to give her.”
Gokey said that is the kind of love Jesus people should give to others.
Gokey continues to give back to the community with his foundation, Better Than I Found It, a nonprofit organization established to support and encourage other nonprofits making a difference in the world.
Jesus People is now available to stream.