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Web Chat Update with Fred Hammond

  • Updated Feb 01, 2002
Web Chat Update with Fred Hammond
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the live web chat with Fred Hammond, originally scheduled for October 24th, was cancelled. We apologize for this last-minute change, and hope it didn't inconvenience you in any way. Sound and Spirit is committed to bringing you web chats with our top Christian artists. Please check back for details of upcoming web chats.

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A pioneer of urban praise and worship music, award-winning recording artist and producer Fred Hammond exudes the fresh, exploding spirit of the Lord. From the moment he walks on stage to the instant he opens his mouth to sing, no one can doubt that Hammond's passion is to bring people into the presence of God. Hammond invites you to join him in lifting up the mighty name of Jesus in a groove-filled celebration of praise.

Hammond and his immensely talented and energetic vocal ensemble, Radical For Christ, dominated the gospel music world by winning a number of awards with his critically acclaimed project, "Pages Of Life: Chapter I & II." The album has been certified platinum (1,000,000 or more sales), as well as garnering several Stellar Awards including Artist, Song, Male Vocalist and Album Of The Year, among others.

Hammond continues in his quest to set new standards in gospel music with his latest collection, "Purpose By Design."

Looking back, Hammond says he came to understand his calling with the church at age 12. He remembers that his mother, who was active as an organist and choir director in several local churches in Detroit, was the catalyst behind him embracing the faith. Hammond sang in his choir and in local vocal groups, and soon picked up the bass guitar. But he wasn't too keen on the idea of performing solo.

His mother, along with a number of friends, convinced him that his voice was a gift. But it wasn't until Hammond joined The Winans (as their bassist) that he considered a career in music.

Hammond later formed and headed up the popular urban gospel group Commissioned, with whom he spent over a decade. Although he had released two solo albums while still with Commissioned, his retirement in 1995 from the group he founded marked a drastic change in his life and career. "Well, it was just an urging in the spirit to change," says Hammond. "God was calling me to step outside of the boat. He was calling me to leave the safety of Commissioned and trust Him for the next step."

That next step was the birth of Radical For Christ. RFC, as they are affectionately known, came together in 1994 through a radio interview Hammond gave in Detroit announcing his desire to form a city-wide choir. "To be honest, praise and worship is the place where I needed to be," says Hammond. "Different people had prophesied to that fact, but I had known beforehand. They just confirmed what the Lord had already shown me. My forming RFC was just following the new move God had for my ministry."

On "Purpose By Design," Hammond and crew continue to take their music to new levels of excellence.

Featuring an eclectic mix of both studio and live tracks, the album kicks off on a high note with the beat-driven I Want My Destiny. "This song is a fight song and a battle song," says Hammond. "The song helps us to remember the things that God has done for us and [challenges] us because we refuse to settle for anything less than God's goal and purpose for us."

Next up is the equally funky Let Me Praise You Now. "This is a strong, forceful song reminding us that when we are down, feeling discouraged, or that we're not going to reach our destiny, it is then that we should praise him," shares Hammond.

Another song guaranteed to become a favorite is Hammond's "new millennium" arrangement of the gospel standard Jesus Be A Fence. The high energy that Hammond and RFC generate on this track will have each listener moving and grooving to the beat.

One of Fred's favorites on this gem is the smooth-flowing, melodic ballad My Father Was/Is. "Everyone can relate to this song whether their father was present or active in their lives [or not]," says Hammond. "For me, the song also puts a strong emphasis on our heavenly Father and on who he is to us."

Other noteworthy tracks include I Know It Was The Blood, I Press, When You Praise and You Are The Living Word.

Throughout his musical journey, Fred Hammond says that he has asked God to guide his creativity and talent. He is certain that the work he is doing is exactly what he should be doing at this point, and that God has shaped his vision.

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