Christopher Dykes
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Christopher Dykes

Atlanta, Georgia, United States | INDIE

Atlanta, Georgia, United States | INDIE
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"WVOA - FM Radio New York"

RONNY D RADIO SHOW
WVOAFM 103.9 FM

January 7th 2005


Dear Christopher,

Thank you for sending me your recent project “Cross Reference” It has been getting a lot of air time with positive response. Listeners seem to request you “Light Of The World, You’ve Opened My Eyes, and Here For You”. I enjoy listening to “The Ocean”. I’ve also had 20-30 people call in for The CD Giveaways we have her at “Love Radio WVOA-FM” here in East Syracuse NY.

I have also put it in, The “Ronny D Radio Network web stream. I look forward to your next project.

Please, feel free to use this letter as promotion. You or anyone can contact at the address above or at the signature below.

In Him,

Ron “Ronny D” Hallenbeck
WVOA-FM “Love Radio”
103.9, 101.5, 98.1, 96.5, 95.3 FM
Website: http://www.rdrs.org
Webstream Address: http://rs4.radiostreamer.com:8170/listeners.pls
Email: ronnydradio@earthlink.net
- Ron Hallenbeck


"Christopher Dykes Hits The Ground Running!"

Long Awaited CD Release from Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Christopher Dykes, Hits the Ground Running
Atlanta based singer/songwriter, Christopher Dykes has released his first Contemporary Christian CD, "Cross Reference".

(PRWEB) November 25, 2004 -- After almost two decades of playing the Atlanta music scene, the tides have turned for veteran (ex) rocker, Christopher Dykes. His debut release, "Cross Reference", is a tell-tale compilation of well written and produced songs which chronicle the transformation from the secular to the spiritual. Unlike the majority of Contemporary Christian music geared for a younger crowd, Christopher's "Cross Reference" CD is well suited for a wide ranged audience with something for just about everyone, but is perfectly aimed for those who have struggled through their youth and are seeking word, or have found, that the grass is actually "greener on the other side". "Cross Reference" has it all; from slow ballads to high-tempo rockers to jazzy instrumentals, this is one CCM release you will not want to miss. "Cross Reference" is available at http://www.christopherdykes.com with a preview listening area.

- PRWeb


"KPRR Radio Interview"

Praise Report Radio interviewed music veteran Christopher Dykes. We wanted to get some more insight on his freshly established Christian music career.


KPRR: How would you categorize your style of music within the Christian music genre?

CD: That’s always somewhat tricky to do because my sound and style are influenced by many different genres of music - so I’ll try not to go off on a tangent here and just say that it is mostly a contemporary pop sound that is not limited to guitar, bass, drums, and vocals. There are a few tracks on the release, “Cross Reference’, such as “Psalm 33” and “You’ve Opened My Eyes” that may give that impression, but as the listener goes through the tracks they will quickly see it’s much more than that.

KPRR: You’ve been playing music for a while. Were there ups and downs during your Christian music career? If so, what kept you going until now?

CD: Though most of my career has been centered on secular rock/alternative rock, my Christian music career is still only but a few years old but there have been plenty of ups and downs to this point. It seems as though the music has been the easy part. Hearing your own songs on radio while driving down the highway is always a thrill as well as knowing that the gospel is contained within it, so music is a great tool that can be utilized when certain people may not be interested in a one-on-one conversation. But the amount of rejection from the large, corporately owned, commercial CCM stations can get you down and make you start doubting if you let it. If a musician has a product that meets industry standards, there are plenty of Christian outlets today that will play the music as well as internet radio and webstreams. But the bottom line is that God can take any musician, any song, and at anytime use it for His Glory. That is what essentially keeps me going.

KPRR: Why is it so important that you keep God at the forefront of your music career?

CD: Personally, that one may be better answered if it were asked, “Why is it so important that you keep God at the forefront of your life?” This rephrasing is important because, for me personally, I believe that if it music that God has called one to focus on, then to trust God completely, in all aspects of daily life, will show one’s dependence on God. That is what He truly desires. Sometimes the doors of music are opening at so fast you can’t keep up and other times it seems as though you can’t catch a break. But if we are trusting God in all things and truly wanting His will for ourselves, then subsequently He will be at the forefront of our lives and also our music if that is His plan for us. The message of our music will be about His Glory, not our own, and that is what pleases Him. That is why I believe it is vital that God remain the forefront of the believer’s musical career. We must always keep our motives in check.

KPRR: There was a time when you had some secular success with the band Collective Soul. Why do you think God directed you down another path?

CD: I always try to make it clear to the reader/listener that “Collective Soul” (as it is and has been for about 7 or 8 years now) is actually the final product of what started as the “Ed-E Band” of which I was a part. As Ed Roland’s keyboardist and backing vocalist, I learned a great deal and gained a lot of stage and studio experience. There were deals with CBS, lots of local airplay, and TV time. But as the 90’s came roaring in with the Seattle grunge movement I’m sure I wasn’t the only synth player out there who felt what was about to happen concerning their current roles in their respective techno-pop bands. So it was around the late 80’s or early 90’s that we parted ways, and wouldn’t you know it, within a year or so Ed got had gotten a record deal, formed a new band (yes, in that order), and the rest is history. So it was then I started concentrating on vocals and for the next several years worked about every venue available as a rock and roll frontman while moving even further from the Lord. But God had a different plan for me that revolved around Him, not me. God allowed me to try things my way for many years. He allowed me to taste a very shallow, short termed success. I could go as far as to say that He also spared my life on more than one occasion. Looking back on those years now is like looking at someone else’s life. Had I not been allowed to make my own decisions and mistakes back then, I don’t believe I would be able to appreciate, now, the extent of God’s patience, love, and sovereignty that He was demonstrating in my life through those years in particular.

KPRR: Do you believe that God can use an amateur musician in spreading the gospel even if they are just starting out?

CD: No question about it. God is looking for those who have made their hearts available to Him. No matter how small the surroundings, humble the beginnings, or level of ability, there will always be someone who needs to hear the message of Christian music, and that is what counts most. But God also has a strong track record of taking the “amateurs” of the world and using them in mighty ways (Moses and David quickly come to mind). The main thing is to make yourself available, keep your feet moving, and God will take care of the rest.

KPRR: Do you have any helpful advice to give them?

CD: Never follow the crowd. Be a leader and stand firm on your convictions. Don’t write or play a style of music simply because it is what you hear saturating the airwaves on a daily basis because those styles come and go, then come around again. So just write and play according to your own abilities and tastes and do it in a way that is pleasing to God. That is really all that matters.

KPRR: Where can people get a hold of your music or just to contact you?

CD: My latest release, “Cross Reference” is available through my website: www.christopherdykes.com and any emails are always encouraged. My email address is ctd@christopherdykes.com

KPPR: Chris, thank you for your insight and your convictions. We need more artists like you that are willing to heed the call of ministry and be God's "salt and light" to this fallen world.
- KPRR


"Christopher Dykes Interview"

CHRISTOPHER DYKES- INTERVIEW

Visit www.christopherdykes.com!

MUZN: How do you approach songwriting and What influences you? Do you have a visual image in your mind as the song is composed, or does that come afterwards as a result of the song?

Some songwriters say lyrics inspire music while others say the opposite. For me it work both ways. Sometimes I have the music charted in my head before I play the first note and I see arrangement and structure. Other times though, and recently as for the instrumental "SonRise", there is a visual scene I'm thinking of while writing the music. The challenge of this method is to really stay focused on the scene, or event, so that the music expresses the visual so vividly that the listener can almost see the same thing as the writer.
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MUZN: What's your philosophy on music today?

Music can be such a powerful force. Instead of using it for advancing the negative and destructive, I believe it is my responsibility and priveledge to write music that is positive and carries an important message. I've spent so much of my life performing music that was, in hindsight, nothing more than a waste of time that did nothing to portray who I really am and what I really believe. I used it strictly for self-promotion to win favor among my peers, other musicians, and audience. These days things are very different in my life. My spiritual faith is much stronger and with every day that passes , I realize that much more that we are all here for a reason and for a given purpose. I strongly believe mine is for delivering music that carries a positive and powerful message.
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MUZN: Tell us about you, when did you begin writing songs ?

My mother insists that I wrote my first song at the age of 5 (I still remember the simple little song but I think she did most of the writing). Being one of three children of parents who had devoted their lives to music, it was inevitable that is stuck on one of us. Since the age of 15 I have been writing and performing the hard stuff. Its only been withing the past two or three years where my focus has shifted to Contemporary Christian music.
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MUZN: How many projects are you currently involved in?

Currently I am finishing up my first full CCM project. Writing, arranging, recording, engineering, and producing is about as much as I can handle at once. I have left some time in the schedule for doing studio work as a vocalist when needed.
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MUZN: What's your long-term goals?

In a sentence; to one day hear the words, "Well done my good and faithful servant".
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MUZN: How did you get into music?

Aside from the early years of piano lessons, I was always involved with a youth vocal group or choir of some sort. During high school the focus turned to becoming a "rock star" as I fronted various bands and played keys on occasion. In the mid to late '80's I was approached by Ed Roland (of Collective Soul fame) to play and sing backing vox for his projects. After my time with Ed, I went back to fronting Atlanta bands throughout the 90's. The past 2 years I've been focused CCM and will continue that path as long as possible.
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MUZN: How long have you been performing?

20+ years (ouch)
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MUZN: What other artists do you admire? And what bands\artists inspired you the most early on?

As a Christian artist, Keith Green's music and story are most inspiring. He demonstrated a genuine love for others, through his actions, while not compromising his beliefs. From strictly a musical standpoint, I've been influenced and shaped by everyone from Geddy Lee to John Elefante to Steve Perry. Throw in a little Irish Celtic inspirational, some 80's keys, and melodic hooks - and there you have it. You never know though - I hope to continue to grow as a singer, songwriter, and musician. I think if the day comes that I say I'm content with my sound - that'll be the day I should walk away from music.
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MUZN: What do you want out of life?

Want Out of Life: Just to know that I did the best I could with the tools God gave me to work with and made the most of every opportunity given.
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MUZN: What is the most important lesson you think you have learned so far?

Most Important Lesson: (Still in the process of learning) In a word; Patience. Oh, and that the meaning of true "success" in life, contrary to public opinion, has nothing to do with the thinking that "He who dies with the most toys...Wins".
------------------------------------------------------------- MUZN: Where do you want to be in the future?

The Future: If you mean professionally, I would have to say that I'd like to be writing, recording, and producing music until I'm old and gray. If you mean geographically, I'd like to be writing, recording, and producing music until I'm old and gray while relaxing on the deck of my beachouse on the Gulf of Mexico!
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MUZN: Tell us about your latest project?

My latest project is my first effort at wearing all the hats that I've paid people to wear over the years. Learning to engineer and produce is once thing. Learning to market is another. I think I'm slowly becoming that annoying person that always seems to call just when you've sat down at the dinner table.
- Muziquenet


"Lyrics Inspire Music"

1. How did you get your start?
Dykes’ parents were music ministers at their churches, so he was consistently exposed to Christian tunes while growing up.
“I was always on the front row, every Sunday, watching my mom play the piano and my father lead the music. My mother also taught piano, even to this day, and she wasted no time finding an opening for me among her students,” he said in an e-mail interview.
As he got older, Dykes pursued other interests, such as sports, until he “discovered rock ’n’ roll music.”
“It took no time before I was in a basement or garage jamming with my friends, dreaming of being a rock star.” He gained some experience with Atlanta bands and then finally learned a great deal with Ed Roland (of Collective Soul fame) as the keyboardist in Roland’s band, the Ed-E band. (Dykes stressed he has never played with Collective Soul.)
Recently, however, he decided he couldn’t live the “double life” of being a devout Christian and then singing rock ‘n’ roll lyrics “you wouldn’t want your momma to hear.”
“Since all my material is changing from rock ’n’ roll to contemporary Christian, all my work has been in the studio right now,” he said.

2. Who are your influences?
Dykes names ’80s vocal giants such as Steve Perry (of Journey), Freddie Mercury (of Queen) and John Elefante (formerly of Kansas). “As a keyboardist, synthesizers were also being implemented into mainstream music at that time by bands such as Rush, Missing Persons and Thomas Dolby,” he said.

3. How does your songwriting process work?
Now that Dykes is concentrating solely on a Christian message through his music, the lyrics often inspire the music, he said.
“My goal is to share Christ with others through music. The lyrics of a song have much more meaning these days, unlike in the past when the goal was to simply work a crowd into sort of an intoxicated state as a result of the music alone.”

4. What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened at a show?
While playing keyboards in Ed Roland’s band several years ago, a key component of concert preparation was skipped — getting all band members the same song list.
“Ed was the only band member who had the right song list to open the show. The rest of us had four different song lists,” he explained.
Not realizing each band member had a different song list, they began the show in front of more than 500 people with each band member playing a different song. The “performance” lasted about 20 seconds before the band gave up and exited the stage.

5. Which of your songs do crowds like the most?
“I wish I could say that they are the same songs I like the most. Interestingly enough, most times it’s the opposite,” he said.
“But if I had to pick one or two in particular that get the best response, it would be two songs from my current project, ‘You’ve Opened My Eyes’ and ‘Psalm 33.’”

6. How far do you want to take it?
“Simple — as far as the Lord wants me to take it,” he said.
“Unlike my earlier days, the goals are different. I am not doing this for self glorification. I am writing and recording Christian music that emphasizes the good news of Jesus Christ.
“If God sees fit for me to quit my day job and open doors that allow me to provide for my wife and daughter while doing what I love to do best, believe me, I’ll walk through every one He opens.”
- Gwinnett Daily Post


Discography

Various tracks from Christopher's 2004 debut release, "Cross Reference", can be heard on the following FM radio stations and internet radio:
WWEV 91.5 FM - Atlanta, GA
WMVV 90.7 FM - GA
WSIV - New York
WJJD - Florida
101.5 FM - New York
98.1 FM - New York
RonnyD Radio Show - www.rdrs.org - Webstream
Chrisitanidieradio.com -Internet Radio - Live 365
DeltaWav.com 90.3 FM WEJF- Palm Bay, FL
True Life Radio - Internet Radio - Live 365

Photos

Bio

Christopher's live performance and studio experience spans over two decades. Chris cut his teeth in the late '80's with Ed Roland (Collective Soul fame) as Ed's keyboardist and backing vocalist. Deals with CBS Television, local Atlanta college radio, and local television all gave Chris valuable experience on stage and in studio. After Ed and Chris parted ways, Chris began focusing on his voice. Influenced by vocalists such as Steve Perry and John Elefante, he developed into one of Atlanta's premiere frontmen as he and his bands played virtually every venue in and around the southeast. Today Christopher's motivation and focus are stronger than ever. His primary goal is to take the spotlight off of himself and direct it toward his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and reach as many people as possible with the message of God's love in a way that only Christopher can deliver it.

Dave Boels: Currently updating