Forrest Wakeman – Alive in Us
ARTIST NAME: Forrest Wakeman
SONG TITLE: Alive in Us
ALBUM TITLE: Messes to Miracles
RELEASE DATE: May 2017
GENRE: Praise and Worship
Forrest began his journey into the world of music at the age of six, when his parents could always find him at one of several pianos in his church after the service every Sunday. Seeing an opportunity to foster his interest in music, they purchased a $75 rehabbed player piano and got him started on lessons. He has never looked back!
In his college days, he had his first experience in Christian music, playing keyboards with a band called The Innocence.
Upon graduation, he spent the next twelve years as part of the two-man writing and performing duo Felix Culpa, a group that shared the stage with Jars of Clay in 1994 at the GMA New Artist Spotlight competition in Nashville (Jars of Clay won the competition and pretty much launched their career from that event).
During those years, a negative experience turned him away from Christian music and toward the world of academia. With that turn, he stopped writing. Two graduate degrees and a fourteen-year career in higher education later, Forrest found himself at a crossroads in life, both spiritually and vocationally, and landed in one of the last places he expected to be working part-time as a music director for his church.
It was there, in that in-between place, that Forrest truly began to struggle with his faith and his calling. It took two significant events – the loss of his father and the loss of his marriage – to force him to finally come face to face with the question of whether God was real, and whether his faith truly mattered.
The songs represented in his new project, Messes to Miracles, are the outworking of that process. The songs reflect lament, struggle, and the questions that so often come when things in life don’t turn out the way we expect. They reflect the desire to find out if God is really there, and they reflect the peace from God – in the midst of intense pain – that cannot be explained. They reflect the fact that there are no easy answers when it comes to faith and understanding God’s sovereignty and grace, but also offer a picture of the hope and strength that can only come through faith. And they offer a clear declaration of praise for who God is and the way He works in our lives.
It is Forrest’s desire moving forward to help the church body in its worship of the God who grants peace in the midst of struggle. He plans to continue writing new worship music and striving to help churches across the country more fully worship their Creator in Spirit and in truth.
Tell us your real names, country of birth, and childhood experience.
My real name is Forrest Wakeman. Born in West Michigan, grew up on a farm, and started music at the age of seven.
Tell us your academic qualification.
I have a bachelor of music degree in piano performance (Cornerstone University), a master’s degree in composition (Western Michigan University), and a doctorate in piano performance (from Michigan State University).
Elaborate on your music career, band name, experience, and skills.
My music career has been varied. I spent four years in college with a band called The Innocence, then spent twelve years as part of the singer-songwriter duo Felix Culpa. During that time, I played over 150 shows and performed for the Gospel Music Association’s new artist competition in 1994. I released my first solo worship CD in 2017 after two years of writing. I also write and produce for other artists, teach music for Calvin College, and can be found regularly playing with the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra and national Broadway tour productions that come through West Michigan.
Tell us your genre and idea behind your music video or song and the song.
My genre is contemporary worship music. The song Alive in Us is based on Galatians 2:20, which reads “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Tell us how you are promoting your music.
I am promoting my music through several websites and blogs, and have had one song released for national radio airplay; it was aired on over 700 Christian radio stations nationwide last summer.
Share your press release and reviews with us.
Press and reviews can be found here:
Explain the story behind the song.
There is not necessarily a story behind the song; I wanted to capture the ideas contained in the scripture passage mentioned in Galatians 2:20.
List the radio stations, television stations, and blogs that have aired or featured your new song.
Radio stations include KSTO, WVMM, and WDAC in Pennsylvania, WHHR and WJEP in Georgia, KCHP, KWLK, and KWPB on the west coast, Freedom Radio in Idaho, KGPS and KROZ in the southwest, and many more. Blogs include Solid Rock Reviews, Indie Heaven, Jesus Freak Hideout, and New Music Review.
State the names of other members of your band, music producer, crew, or music video director.
I’m a solo artist; my producer for my project was Andy Ferris. The project was mixed by Shane Wilson in Nashville TN and mastered by Mike Cervantes of Foxboro Studios.
Elaborate on the song and music video.
The video is simply a lyric video for my song. No real story or anything else of significance.
Tell us how long you have been in the music business, your experience, and your future goal.
I’ve been in the music business in various capacities since 1989.
Tell us what makes you unique from others.
I am unique in that I perform and write both classical and pop styles and work a lot with Broadway musicals. That combination of influences generates a unique sound.
Tell us your weakness and strength pertaining to music.
I’m a great finisher. I do a lot of co-writing with other artists and typically will take a partly done idea and complete it for them.
List your five favorite songs including the artists.
Five favorite songs:
Sting – Fields of Gold
U2 – Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own
Steve Taylor – Harder To Believe Than Not To
Crowder – Forgiven
Billy Joel – And So It Goes
Tell us your position on “Do It Yourself” and signing to a major label.
I would never sign with a label. I’d prefer to have less national exposure and be in control of my own vision as an artist and creative.
Tell us other activities you are pursuing apart from music.
I’m an avid reader, hiker, and teacher.
List your various works.
I’ve released two full-length CDs – Messes to Miracles (2017) and Instrumental Hymns (2012). I’ve also written two full-length musicals and a variety of other smaller projects.
State the official date of release.
The official date of release for Alive in Us is May 15, 2017.
State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.
It’s my name. 🙂
State the title of the album and the reason for choosing the title.
The album title is Messes to Miracles; I chose this title because it reflected a lot of what was going on in my life and my belief that God can take a messy situation and turn it around and use it for good.