Toni Rackard
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Toni Rackard


Band Christian Gospel


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Are You Ready For War?, Behind The Veil Records, 2009



Toni Rackard is a contemporary gospel singer with a song the world needs to hear. She exudes zeal and passion while ministering in song. With a strong soprano voice and a sincere love for the Lord, this Tampa resident is ready to share the gift and the message she’s been given with gospel music lovers. A singer, songwriter and praise and worship leader, Toni desires to encourage and inspire through song. Are You Ready For War?, Rackard’s debut release on Behind The Veil Records is a collage of contemporary gospel, Contemporary Christian, urban gospel, and praise and worship music. With her singing career and her brand new CD, this up-and-coming artist is already getting the attention of gospel music fans and industry alike. Released on June 30, 2009, Are You Ready For War? is marketed, distributed and promoted nationally by Edmondson Communications, Inc.

Toni’s singing journey began in the walls of her home. She says, “My mom and my dad made sure we were in church every Sunday. My mom sings and she was my model; watching and hearing her sing is where my passion and love for music came from,” shares Toni. Her gift was evident at an early age. By grade school, she was forming girl groups with her young friends. Although the groups did not flourish, Toni still believed in her heart that she was destined to sing. As her will to follow God grew stronger, however, so did Toni’s apprehension to become a psalmist, but she overcame her fear to pursue her God-given vision.

The Praise & Worship Leader of Jesus People Family Worship Center in Tampa, Florida decided to “go for it” and about 3 years ago, followed her dream of completing her first project. Although they had very few songs at that point, Toni and her husband Derrick started searching for producers and songwriters. The result is Are You Ready For War?. “‘Are You Ready For War?’ was the first song that was written and it originally was a poem,” shares Toni. “My husband was preaching and the title of his sermon was ‘Are You Ready For War?’ and he had written a poem to go with the sermon. One day in prayer, I started singing the words of the poem to music that happened to be playing in the background. The next time that he preached part two of the sermon, I sung the song to the congregation and the feedback was great!,” shares Toni. And that was the start of the CD.

Tapping Lewis Bryant as producer, Toni pushed forward with the project. The Rackards and Bryant composed the majority of the 12-track release. Are You Ready For War is urban in styling, but strong in Christian lyrics. The lyrics to the CD’s lead single, “Unconditional Love” came to Toni while at a church service. She heard the lyrics to the hook at church and later completed the song. “The song ‘Unconditional Love’ is so precious to me, because it talks about another level of intimacy with God”, says Toni. “The song is really about giving God our whole heart so that some of our old ways will die off,” concludes the singer.

“I Can See The Light”, another single from the CD, is a song for the tough times that some are currently going through. Almost like a modern day psalm, it allows the listener to cut through all the challenges and darkness and focus on The Light. The ballad provides pure hope. “Lord I Cry For You” is thick on the R&B, but just as thick on the inspiration. It’s a soulful song beckoning for the presence of God. “Let Us Dance”, with its Contemporary Christian sound, does just that – it makes you dance while the popular tune, “Lovely Day”, with its snazzy, jazz arrangement, takes you to a more relaxing and mellow place.

Toni seems to have provided something for everyone on this project and she’s quite pleased with the results. “It’s great to actually have completed the album,” says Toni. “It’s something that I’ve wanted to do since I was a little girl. It feels good to have a dream and to go for it.”