Music

Mykal Coles

Standing Up

by Mykal

Released 2015
Swagger Family Records
Released 2015
Swagger Family Records
One of the best-known and respected industry professionals, Mykal has earned a reputation for his work as a songwriter, singer, and worship leader who is currently shaping today's modern worship landscape. Anticipating platinum-selling status, his newest release, "STANDING UP", has become his most personal project to date.

STANDING UP is the next chapter, a new season that comes in the midst of what has been a decade long career for this inspirational songwriter who has performed alongside of such worship classics as John P. Kee, James Bignon, Ernie Saunders, Shirley Ceasar, Dorothy Norwood, Daryl Coley, and the Wilmington Mass Choir. For Mykal, it all began in the late 90's singing traditional hymns with the suburban Philadelphia's "Youth Delegation Mass Choir. Being recognized for his resonating, powerful and soulful voice, Mykal quickly moved forward with a music career in the forefront and behind the scenes.
NOTES
Mykal is an artist whose sound has assured you that you are hearing music from the heart and not the head. He sings about his faith and employs a Godly theme which carries with it a powerful meaning in the life of worship and praise.

One of the best-known and respected industry professionals, Mykal has earned a reputation for his work as a songwriter, singer, and worship leader who is currently shaping today's modern worship landscape. Anticipating platinum-selling status, his newest release, "STANDING UP", has become his most personal project to date.

STANDING UP is the next chapter, a new season that comes in the midst of what has been a decade long career for this inspirational songwriter who has performed alongside of such worship classics as John P. Kee, James Bignon, Ernie Saunders, Shirley Ceasar, Dorothy Norwood, Daryl Coley, and the Wilmington Mass Choir. For Mykal, it all began in the late 90's singing traditional hymns with the suburban Philadelphia's "Youth Delegation Mass Choir. Being recognized for his resonating, powerful and soulful voice, Mykal quickly moved forward with a music career in the forefront and behind the scenes.

Mykal's collaborative landmark recording "When they let me in the Club" inspired the soundtrack to the most popular Shakespeare modern story and movie "O" (Othello). Mykal's passion for music caught the attention of several artists and event coordinators who regularly solicited his participation. He was first choice to perform with Hip Hop icons Jay Z, Memphis Bleek, Beanie Sigel, Fabulous, Cam'ron, Lil Mo, and Freeway during Philadelphia's hit radio station Power 99 hosted events, events held at the Philadelphia Spectrum, and during the Spring Hip Hop Explosion in 2002.

Mykal's undeniable talent earned him his first Vice President career opportunity with Takedown Records in Philadelphia. During his tenure, with Takedown Records, Mykal promoted some of Philadelphia's largest events including the major sold out concert performance by Jay Z, State Property, and a host of other well-known artists. Mykal also became well-known for his all night after parties which regularly attracted stars, including, Allen Iverson, Rock-a-Fella & Cash Money artists, Beanie Sigal, Lil Wayne, and others. Moreover, Mykal and other Takedown Record executives secured the Viacom movie deal for "Streetz Incorporated", a reality series about life in the inner city. Thereafter, he continued to work with artists, such as, Dr. Dre, Kurupt of Dogg Pound, and Stephanie Mills.

In 2009, Mykal began his own independent label, "Swagger Family Records", and secured a joint venture deal with Nu Groove Records and Red (Sony) Distribution. He enjoyed great success in the promotion of a new artists, Philly Swain and his debut album. Still pursing and reaching new heights, Mykal starred in the drama/comedy "Swagger Family Show", depicting the struggles of the industry, family, and many experiences faced with over a period of time. The talent that Mykal possess hits a target that no one can hit. However, his ingenious ideas hit targets that no one could see.

With STANDING UP, Mykal declares a clear reversal back to gospel music in execution of a major shift to implement one worship style for all walks of life. This shift can be in one’s attitude, perception, actions or all of the above. It’s about transformation like that of a butterfly — life is birthed through a process (from an egg to a caterpillar to a cocoon to a beautiful, brightly colored two winged insect). This is the core of Standing Up and Mykal's music theme. While contemporary music has been around, in some form, for awhile, Mykal recognizes a clear distinction with worship music between our youth and older individuals. This split provides contemporary worship music for our youth, and traditional worship music for older individuals. However, STANDING UP and Mykal's music wraps both styles together to create upbeat and lively worship music and praise.

For Mykal, his music supports "New life", "Transitions", and "Change". These concepts are essentially, the birth and growth of gospel music. Gospel music, according to Mykal, has never been a “set in stone” genre. It is a genre that has had steady growth since its early inception in the 17th century and has always surged fresh new ideas. “Too often, when it comes to the art of gospel music, we only want to hear or sing what is familiar to us. The hymns. The spirituals. The steady beat and hand clap rhythm. The repetitious call and respond. But gospel music is so much more and when we think about it, the growth of gospel music has not stopped," said Mykal.

Mykal's music will not just enhance church congregation members --- but will also reach communities nationwide; exposing them to different ways of praise and worship. Mykal's sound is not this strange aberration it once was to many. And, many individuals who did not grow up on traditional worship music are hearing those hymns in new and meaningful ways. Simply stated, Mykal has created a much greater appreciation for this form of "church music" than in the past. The style and the beat may have changed, but the message remains the same. According to Mykal, too often some people fail to accept the presentation of contemporary gospel music, not because of unfamiliarity, but also because the art of it — instrumentation — appears to be secular, forgetting that other genres such as the blues grew out of gospel music.

Mykal opines Gospel music has transformed to make sure that no one is left behind. The message of Standing Up has not changed gospel music. It is more open or relatable to assure that it reaches as many people as it can, especially the younger generation. "The lyrics of Standing Up are still the words of God. It is more than just a beat — it is still about the goodness of God,” stated Mykal.

Many times we hear ‘you’ve heard the singing and watched the dancing; now it’s time for the word.’ That statement suggests that the praise and worship given through the God-given talents of those who love to sing about the blessings and goodness of God or those who are able to articulate through the act of movement is not as worthy to give an understanding of God’s words. Mykal believes that is not true. "God blessed us with so many talents, and we can use any of those talents to creatively express His goodness, grace, and mercy. Doing so allows for us to yes, give Him praise, but also reach others,” added Mykal.
Furthermore, according to Mykal, when considering exposing people to God’s word, it is important to consider that experiences can determine a person’s desire to attend, to build a relationship with both God and the church.

Mykal firmly contends that if we are stagnant and not able to be adaptable and flexible, then we miss the opportunity to reach the needs of people — to help them grow spiritually. Gospel music, like many other aspects of life, has transitioned. And Mykal, through Standing Up and more amazing music forthcoming, continues to do the same as it aims to preserve the art of praise — through exposure of many styles and expressions but also in its own organizational structure.

For Mykal, to continue to preserve the art of praise and to educate, to enhance, to expose others to the evolution of gospel music it must be open and align with Ephesians 4:1, “walk worthy of your calling.” As people do so they understand the importance of always sharpening their skills and gifts. When writing with a pencil, you realize at some point you can’t continue to write with a dull pencil. At some point you must sharpen it again or even replace it. With either step, you are refreshing the usefulness of that pencil. Gospel music is the same and Mykal aims to foster the spirituality of others by being aligned with the transition of new ideas and expressions.

Standing Up is about openness and also assuring the needs and hunger of the younger generations are met. Growth is change. Change is a process. Process is a transition. It is about doing what is needed to continue to reach as many through the art of praise.