George Moss III has learned that ministry – even music ministry – is about serving people.
“Give your music to people who care,” said the Grand Rapids singer-songwriter during a recent interview. “Great music is music that’s gonna serve people.”
Moss, 31, has been performing since his freshman year at East Kentwood High School when his youth leader at Messiah Missionary Baptist Church invited him to be part of a Christian hip-hop group.
Now he’s a music veteran: two full length albums, a Christian radio gig, his own record label and music videos. Moss has logged countless road miles as a solo and group artist, and nabbed slots on major music festivals and tours, including several with the award-winning artist KJ-52.
He’s performed at both of Michigan’s largest Christian music festivals - Big Ticket and Unity, and will again this summer.
But now comes his next step. Moss is working on his third solo CD to be released this fall. He started a fan-funding effort through “indiegogo” (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/george-moss-3rd-album#home), hoping to raise $30 thousand to cover the complete costs of the project.
MUSIC MINISTRY PATHS
Moss is actually quite subdued and soft-spoken in person. But on stage he personifies several of his song titles such as “Go Hard or Go Home” and “Loud.”
During his elementary school days a young George struggled to find himself, recalling his academic challenges. “I just didn’t fit into the box of what was given,” he said.
But music was his muse and eventually he knew he wanted to work in the music industry. A high school internship at a local radio station gave him some hands-on audio experience that would serve him well.
“I eventually got my own show on Sundays and I got to play gospel songs for 30 minutes,” he smiled.
He teamed up with fellow artist Michael Fugit to form Union, a hip-hop duo which sought out places to play from youth groups to festivals and other special events. They stayed so busy (more than a hundred shows per year) that they didn’t even complete their first CD until three years after they started.
“We got shows and did OK, but we weren’t building a career, we were doing ministry. And God had to teach me how to do ministry before he allowed me to have a career,” Moss said.
Moss came off the road but kept working on his music. In 2007 he had a demo of a new song “Whoa!” that he sent out to radio stations, including the local Christian hit radio outlet, the former WAY-FM.
Not only did the station begin airing the infectious tune, but Moss ended up on the staff with an air shift of his own.
Various other stations around the country also picked up “Whoa!” It took a full year before Moss completed enough songs to place it on his debut solo album, “All or Nothing.”
“That first song created a buzz with fans, but it was a bummer that it took a whole year before I had any new songs for them,” he noted.
As a solo artist he went back on the road, touring across the country. Included was an extended run as an on-stage “hype man” with KJ-52. When the duo joined the huge “Winter Jam” tour in 2011, a highlight came when they played before 10 thousand fans in Van Andel Arena.
Meanwhile he was still working on the radio and writing new songs which ended up on his sophomore effort, “It’s Time.”
COMING TO THE PRESENT
Now the artist is readying his new music, working with producers in various parts of the country (including Solomon Olds of the band Family Force 5).
“It’ll be a more mature sound, for sure,” he said. “It will reflect a lot of my new season in life – including marriage – but it will still have that lighthearted George Moss feel.”
Yes, George married Michelle Cummings last March, in a fun-filled ceremony in a Grand Rapids church hall.
“We did a wedding ‘party’ and got married under a disco ball,” he smiled.
When the groom kissed the bride, jet blasts went off, everyone threw confetti and the “Harlem Shake” started playing on the sound system.
The couple attends Revolution Christian Ministries in Cascade.
Looking back over his musical journey, Moss says he wishes that at the beginning he would have spent more time crafting even better songs – songs that will serve others.
Moss continues to follow his musical calling, not worried about whether or not he has “made it” in the music business.
“My goals are a moving target so wherever I am, I will always want to go farther,” he said. “But I’m getting to do what I love full time.”
“It’s like the parable of the seed and the sower,” he said. “The seed that grows is what gets sowed in the fertile soil. And I want to be the one who makes the soil fertile, so that the Holy Spirit can do His work.”