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TobyMac's Fulfillment Comes Through Servitude

TobyMac was 19 when he came on the Christian music scene. Thirty years later, he's a music legend and shares about his experiences in perfectionism, loss, and purpose. Read Transcript

HOST: Toby Mac was just 19 when he came on the Christian music

scene with the hip hop rock trio DC Talk.

Many songs he wrote, like "Jesus Freak" and "Love is a Verb,"

became crossover hits, breaking into mainstream radio

with a bold Christian message.

He has since become a solo artist

and is on tour with his sixth album, "This is Not a Test."

[SINGING] Don't look back cause I set my eyes,

cause there ain't no practice runs in life.

Life. this is not a test.

This is the real thing.

I want to be as transparent as I can be.

Sometimes I think people think that when

your music is coming from a Christian perspective,

that you're supposed to have all the answers

and you're supposed to have it all together.

And I think that day is long behind us,

like I don't have it all together.

I don't have all the answers.

I've got some things say that I got to get off my chest.


I'm a recovering perfectionist.

I want things to be right, and sometimes I

can drive people around me crazy.

And sometimes it gets better.

And sometimes it doesn't.

So now I kind of have a couple rules

that help me to not be a perfectionist.

One is, does the song make you feel something.

If the song makes you feel something, then it's good.

And the second one is, does the song have a unique perspective.

[SINGING] I did all that I could to undo me,

but you loved me enough to pursue me.

You can sing about love 100 times,

but is there a unique look on love this time?

Will people leave talking about that song,

talking about the concept?

[SINGING] When love broke through,

you found me in the darkness, wandering through the desert.

I was a hopeless fool.

Now I'm hopelessly devoted.

HOST: After over 30 years of touring and working

with artists like Lecrae, the Newsboys, Jamie

Grace, and others, he's also learned the significance

of collaboration.

It's easy for people to overlook

how much of a group effort putting out a record is

or writing a song can be.

I need co-writers and co-producers and guys that

help us put our show together.

And I definitely need a strong wife.

And I have that, and I'm thankful for her.

And I've just found that I'm not a one-man show.

There are people that have strengths that I don't have.

Ladies and Gentlemen, give it up for Hollyn.

[SINGING] Cause I don't want to be no backseat,

no backseat driver.

HOST: And with six Grammy awards and over 11 million units

in career sales, it's obviously working.

I'm honored to be surrounded by guys that will tell me

the truth about myself--

the good, the bad, and the ugly.

As a leader of an organization or a band or a tour,

you could totally seclude yourself and stay away

from people.

Or you can be in people's lives and let them be in your lives.

And that route, that path, is harder.

It's way harder, but it's richer.

HOST: There's no question Toby's passionate.

It's a trait he credits to his father, who died in 2015.

My dad was a driven man.

He definitely taught me to push myself

to be the best I could be.

Keep your eye on what you're trying to pursue.

Lock in and go hard.

It's kind of how my dad raised me.

HOST: While losing his dad was hard,

it was the three years Toby spent taking care of him that

changed his life.

Dementia and stuff is tough.

It's tough to watch.

Just to see a man that did everything I needed for me,

all of a sudden I'm meeting his needs.

I learned really what love was through caring for my dad.

When you're in the trenches on behalf of someone else,

it's the deepest love.

I've never really been there.

I mean, I love my children.

I love my wife.

But there's a deeper love when you

are doing everything for someone and they

can't do it for themselves.

HOST: In true Toby Mac fashion, that experience

inspired the lyrics to his latest song, "Love Feels Like."

[SINGING] This is what love feels like, poured out,

used up, still willing to fight for it.

HOST: It also showed Toby what his life in music

was about all along.

[SINGING] This is what it feels like.

God made me to serve.

Serving is the ultimate calling.

It's the most beautiful thing we can do.

[SINGING] But the greatest of these is love.

I've always viewed it as God breathed something

through me to serve people.

God breathed something through me

in the form of a song to serve humankind.

That's what I love about my job, is the very people that I

intended for this song to strike, to resonate with them,

we're singing this song together.

That is such a fulfilling moment as an artist.

And then you use that moment, not to bring it in to you,

but to turn their eyes to the King.

That's what I love to do.


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