At 52, TobyMac Is Still Going Strong and Has No Plans to Retire

Contemporary Christian music superstar TobyMac knows that he’s not 25 anymore and hasn’t been for a while.

The singer, songwriter and record producer, who brings his Hits Deep tour to the Charleston Civic Center Saturday night, has been in music for over 30 years.

That’s a long time to be in any line of work. In a skit on his most recent studio record, “This Is Not a Test,” the 52-year-old was asked how much longer he could go on.

TobyMac included his response at the start of his song “Til the Day I Die.”

“But it’s a fair question,” the singer said. “I’m writing for a lot of other people these days, but I still have things I want to say through my music. I still absolutely love touring. I love crafting songs in the studio.

“It moves me.”

TobyMac added, “I’m honored to do it and I look at getting to play music as not an indulgence, like I get to get my art out. My whole life I’ve looked at this as a gift I get to serve people with. So, when I think about it going away, it’s painful.”

So, as long as he can, TobyMac will keep making music, though he agreed how he does that is very different than when he first started out.

“I’m a family man now,” he said. “When I first started out, I wasn’t, and we would stay gone on tour for a few months. Now, [on] a typical weekend, we play Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and I’m home Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with my wife and kids.”

Even when he’s home, TobyMac records differently than he used to. He’ll go to work in his studio at 10 a.m. but is home by 6 to have dinner with his family.

“We stay connected,” he said.

In the old days, TobyMac said he used to record until 2 or 3 in the morning.

Keeping regular hours and balancing a home life with life on a tour bus might not sound all that rock ’n’ roll, but TobyMac said he stays current — but not because he has to.

He described music as a kind of river that was always flowing forward, though it might veer in one direction or another.

The singer and rapper said, “Most people that are era-based sort of get out of the river of music at some point and say, ‘This is bank of the river where I want to live.’”

TobyMac just refuses to get out of the water.

“I’ve tried to move with the music and stay in touch with what’s going on,” he said. “I enjoy that. It’s not trying to work at it. I’m just rolling with it and finding the beauty in it year by year.”

Finding new music or following musical trends isn’t all that hard. He said he gravitates toward mainstream pop music, as he always has.

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SOURCE: Charleston Gazette-Mail