Its interesting timing in the sense that the times are forcing people back to a different understanding of what prosperity and personal peace really mean
Houston, TX (PRWEB) April 21, 2009
Award winning singer/songwriter John Mandeville has just struck a partnership to have his IPO Records debut "We Belong To Heaven" released in conjunction with Thompkins Media Group. Mandeville is of course no stranger to the charts, topping the adult contemporary, Christian and gospel categories numerous times after penning tracks for the likes of Avalon, 4HIM, Point of Grace, Tammy Trent and a slew of other superstars. His partner at Thompkins Media Group (T.C. Thompkins) has a legendary resume as well, logging in top executive positions at Stax Records, Capitol Records, ABC Records and CBS/Epic Records (where he served Regional Director, National Director and Vice President of Promotions, developing the esteemed likes of Sade, Luther Van dross and Michael Jackson across his blockbusters "Off the Wall" and "Thriller", the latter of which is the largest selling CD in history topping 40 million units).
Not only does the pairing provide a creative renaissance for both industry heavy-hitters, but also a personal rebirth. In a strictly artistic sense, "We Belong To Heaven" is an ambitious inspirational pop undertaking, that's just as likely to resonate with fans of Sting as Steven Curtis Chapman, characterized by stirring instrumentation and an even more empowering lyrical undercurrent. And Mandeville certainly means every word of his life changing story that began with an attainment of industry accolades and notoriety, followed by a major label record deal opportunity at the tip of the 2000s that eventually fizzled with corporate restructuring and sent the artist's life into a tailspin of addiction and marital problems.
"This project really wrote itself as a result of what I was living through, it was meant to be a monument of change for my family, sort of like David wrote the Psalms," he recalls of those initial sessions. "This was the turning point, the line in the sand, to see all the drama come to a close". It was my chance to find my heart and return to a place of hope, while also returning to the heart of who I am as an artist."
Though it may have originally started as a private lament turned proclamation, "We Belong To Heaven" soon caught the ears of the veteran Thompkins, who was so moved by what he heard that he reached out to Mandeville via MySpace, struck up an immediate friendship and eventually offered his professional support of the project.
"I was immediately attracted to his music for the sake of the art and message, even though my background wasn't in Christian music," Thompkins confirms. "But I know artistry when I see it, and between the style of his arrangements and the message, I was hooked."
Thompkins can also relate to finding his faith once again after ascending the music industry elevator to the very top, but suffering from a period of wandering and financial indiscretion. But after re-aligning his priorities from both personal and professional perspectives, the entrepreneur set out on an individual course that proved to be his most prosperous to date.
"The same thing that happened to John happened to me in the sense that the industry passed me by for a second and then I had to build my own house from scratch," he contends, citing his formation of his firms Thompkins Marketing LLC in 1991 and Thompkins Media Group in 2008. "But the tough times made me work all that harder and there's no pride here! That used to be my biggest sin when I was deep off in the industry, but God can strip you of that real quickly!"
Besides both Mandeville and Thompkins' extraordinary opportunities to share their real-world stories of redemption, the timing couldn't be more applicable for We Belong To Heaven to find a widespread national release, which in light of the country's current economic crisis, is a rock solid reminder that themes of hope and harmony are all the more alive and thriving.
"Its interesting timing in the sense that the times are forcing people back to a different understanding of what prosperity and personal peace really mean," notices Mandeville. "This record is a message of total surrender to whatever God has in store for your life, as opposed to building all your treasures around material wealth."
But more than any past or present music industry accolade, Mandeville's primary sense of pride surrounds his family life. He hopes that these songs will be just as empowering to those in need of reconciliation right now as they were when he wrote them from the lowest point of his own existence.
"It's been a process of walking step by step to put my marriage back together, coming out of an addictive life, and giving my family vision and purpose," he adds. "I didn't really intend to get back into the music business, but after a long detox from the industry, over a period of about 18 months I picked up my guitar, wrote and sang about 35 songs that came down to these, while pulling a few from a catalog I had written previously. For the most part, the songs on this project were all written in response to impossible circumstances in my life, but God showed up for me and I have no doubt He will for listeners as well." John's debut project with Thompkins Media Group "We Belong To Heaven" is to be released May 26th, 2009.
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