A few days after Detroit Gospel.com launched, we received an encouraging email from Gospo Centric recording artist, Byron Cage, saying he was surfing the web and had stumbled across the site. Byron’s family moved to Detroit when he was 13, where he attended Greater Grace Temple and was very active in the music ministry. Byron’s formative years were spent entrenched in Detroit’s gospel music community alongside such gospel legends as Fred Hammond, The Clark Sisters, and Thomas Whitfield. So, one day in February 2004, he just happened to type in, www.detroitgospel.com, and he’s been one of our biggest supporters ever since. Byron’s new project, “An Invitation to Worship,” has an even deeper Detroit connection as it is produced by Detroit’s own P.A.J.A.M. The production team of Paul Allen, J. Moss, and Walt Kearney has a stream of hits to its credit and Paul and J are longtime friends of Byron’s from his Detroit days.
Since first contacting us, our reporters have crossed paths with Byron in Detroit and all over the country. He has always been gracious and had an encouraging word for us. Byron recently took time out of his busy schedule to speak with Detroit Gospel.com’s Keith Crosby about the new project, working with P.A.J.A.M. and how marriage has impacted his music ministry.
Detroit Gospel.com: What can we expect from your new Project “An Invitation to Worship?”
Byron Cage: What I’m really praying for, just from the natural side, is that if they really loved [the last project], that was the eleventh grade, but this current one is the twelfth grade. This is a “senior project,” if I can say it that way. I was very excited about my last record and I thank God for it. But this one is so incredibly inclusive, so incredibly churchy, it’s got so many elements that every single song can be done in church. It is the kind of music that people will want to sing in praise teams, choirs, they can sing them on Sunday mornings, in bible study, revivals, and they can listen to it while they are working out. It just has so much to it. The last one had a lot of music with it as well. But this one I really wanted the church, the gospel market especially, to have music for Sunday morning services. That’s what we accomplished, especially with the production team of Paul Allen and J. Moss.
PAJAM: Walt Kearney, Paul Allen, and J Moss
Detroit Gospel.com: What was it like to work with PAJAM?
Byron Cage: I teased them and told them when the project was finished that I am the fourth part of PAJAM. I know its Paul Allen, J. Moss, and Walt Kearney, but now they have to include me in it. So it’s PAJAM + B. That’s what it is. That’s the new team now, PAJAM + B. I know Paul and J have really had the reputation of being more urban for what they have done for Dorinda and Karen and all that kind of stuff. But what I’m really thankful for is that my record is so incredibly churchy. It’s just going to be a side of PAJAM that the industry hasn’t seen before, and I think Detroit is going to be pleasantly surprised because a lot of people were saying, “Why are you letting PAJAM do it?” “You needed to have Kurt Carr again.” No, I just needed to have God’s order. And I had God’s order on this one. I went back and got my homeboys and they did the “doggone thing.”
Detroit Gospel.com: What is your favorite song on the new project?
Byron Cage: Well, today’s date is November 23rd. Today my favorite is, “I Will Bless The Lord.” Tomorrow it will probably be, “This Is The Air I Breath.” When I listen to these songs they even minister to me. Because I’m not listening to any runs that I’m doing or anything like that. It’s just the whole corporate worship experience that makes your personal time when you listen to it so, very, very… what word can I use? You’re so, “thankful” to have that kind of outpouring that even when you’re in your car you can feel the anointing that we felt when we corporately recorded it. So I’m really looking forward to Detroit, because Detroit has been such a great market for me. Of course, me being from there and having my friends there who are in the industry, and people like Larry Robinson of God’s World and some of the other places, they have supported me tremendously. So I just find it a privilege and an honor to be able to move forward from this level on this record.
Byron with DG.com editor, Mary Crosby
Detroit Gospel.com: What was the inspiration behind an “Invitation to Worship?”
Byron Cage: Vicki Lataillade called me and said Byron, “What do you want the title of your new record to be? Your last one was ‘Prince of Praise’ or ‘Alive at New Birth.’” I said I wanted it to be “An Invitation to Worship,” and she said, “Oooh I love that.” Because I’m inviting people into this experience and anybody that worships in private, they are so comfortable with worship in public. I just looked at it and I said this time around I really want God’s people to receive such a level of ministry that they practice literally on the earth down here, what we know we will be doing once we get into heaven, and that’s worship. So I just invite them in because without the presence of the Lord being there we just have a religious experience, but we won’t have a life changing, power of God, and yoke-destroying kind of situation.
Detroit Gospel.com: Lastly, how is married life and what kind of impact has marriage had on your ministry?
Byron Cage: Well, my wife is here with me now. I’m going to let her tell you how married life is. (Laughing) I’m sure that’s what you really want to know. How is it being married to Byron Cage?
Sonya Cage: Married life has been wonderful. It’s been a whirlwind experience, but it’s been great.
Byron Cage: I think marriage is such an unbelievable covenant that God gives us. When you have two bridges in one. So, my wife has the ability to really cover me and support me. Most women could never do what she does. They couldn’t do it because it’s a calling, but she’s been called to be my wife. We were talking about that last night. That out of everything that I have to do (because I travel so much and I’m gone all the time), the trust that we have with one another. I take care of her here to make sure that everything is secure, that she is comfortable and that she doesn’t want for anything. But at the same time, she covers me when I’m away. She knows that I have to travel doing concerts and doing services. So, it has impacted my life tremendously and it has taught me how to really consider someone else first of all. I’ve been single for most of my life, so the transition to marriage was a transition for me at first. Because now I have to consider that it’s not just me anymore, but that I actually have my help-meet and I have the one that God created for me. He created a super help-meet for me.
An Invitation To Worship hit stores nationwide November 29.