Today’s installment of Behind The Music is one that I’m really excited about. One of my favorite groups was N’Harmony, I had a copy of their Out Of The Blue project that I absolutely wore out. That was where I discovered the voice of their lead singer, Shane Dunlap. Shane has one of the most identifiable voices of any singer in Gospel Music: when you hear his voice, you know its Shane.
Shane left N’Harmony in 2002 to become the lead singer of a new quartet that was forming at the time, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound. Many will also remember Shane from his time in The Trio with Kirk Talley & Anthony Burger. Shane has recently recorded a brand new solo project, entitled Love So Amazing. Recently, Shane took a few moments to discuss his new project with me.
Brian Fuson (BF): So for many people who may have been wondering what you’ve been up to, tell us what you’ve been doing since you stopped traveling?
Shane Dunlap (SD): I came off the road about 10 years ago in order to spend more time with my family. Though I stepped away from a prominent career, I am so glad that I made that decision. Being able to be “a dad” was so important to me and the development of my young family. Since then, God has blessed me to become an ordained worship Pastor. I now lead worship at one of the fastest growing churches in the nation, Lee Park Church in Monroe, NC.
BF: What made you want to return to the studio?
SD: The truth is, I really never left the studio. I have been doing studio work and recording on and off for the past 10 years. However, I really felt it was time to get back out there on a national level. The model was for me to represent the church as an “artist in residence” of sorts. That allows me to have the best of both worlds, a home church base, and the opportunity to travel and do dates.
BF: You’ve worked with some great producers, such as Lari Goss, Garry Jones and others. What inspired you to work with Ricky Free and what was something you enjoyed most about working Ricky that stands out from other producers.
SD: I have known Ricky for a long time. I have always admired him as a musician, and have continued to follow him and stay in contact through the years. I love his passion for excellence. Ricky will eventually go down as one of the best of all time. Mark that down!
BF: How long did it take you to select the songs for this project, and did you notice a recurring theme in the songs you selected?
SD: I am a songwriter myself, but as I was selecting songs I wanted “the best” songs. Not just a song that I wrote. I probably listened to 150 songs from some great writers. I reached out to some of my songwriter friends and asked them for their help. Their support for me was humbling. I just wanted to cut songs that ministered to me. I know if it touches me, then I can easily portray the message to people.
BF: N’Harmony was always so versatile musically, and you’ve continued with that versatility on this project. How would you describe this project compared to your previous work?
SD: I wanted to continue that trend with this recording. We were always on the edge a little. I have a philosophy… Good music is good music, and people don’t care what style it is, as long as it is done with class and excellence. It’s always been my motto. Yes, some may not like a certain style and that is understandable, but if it’s done well, most of the time, most people can appreciate it.
BF: The first single from this project “Heaven In Your Heart” is a great song, that also features Sonya Issacs Yeary. How did that collaboration come about?
SD: I Heard the demo and loved the song. It was actually my favorite before we cut the tracks. After we cut the track to it, I felt that she would be perfect for the song. Having known her for many years, I asked if she would want to do it with me and she didn’t hesitate. Needless to say, she killed it… I told her ” ” I can really feel the heart in that song”… She is just one example of a true friend. I have had many of them give me so much encouragement through this process. Some who I haven’t spoken to in years, but they have still been there when I needed them. I am thankful for Sonya and people like her.
BF: What is the impression that you want people to have when they hear this project?
SD: No impression really. At least not an impression of me. I just want the message of Jesus to shine through. He has been so good to me, and I just want people to know how much he loves us.
I want to thank Shane and his assistant, Ashea Griffin, for their time. Love So Amazing is now available on iTunes, you can also order your copy today by visit Shane’s website here. Be on the lookout for a CD Review of the project that will be posting later this week. I hope you enjoyed this edition of Behind The Music.