Tim Bowman, Jr. Keeps Winning Souls Through His Music & Message
Tim Bowman, Jr. Talks The Making of His Second Album, Life, Spirituality, & More…
There’s nothing more beautiful than the power of praise. Gospel artist, Tim Bowman, Jr. continues to prove just that with his innovative musical sound.
Born and raised in the infamous ‘Motown’, Detroit, Michigan, Bowman was no stranger to the world of music. Son of jazz guitarist, Tim Bowman, Sr., and nephew to Gospel phenomenon, Vickie Winans, the 29-year-old learned the art of music early on.
From featuring on a couple of his aunt’s, Vickie Winans tracks to studying the craft and watching his dad, Tim Bowman, Jr. has gone on to become a great asset to the Gospel industry today.
With songs like “Shake Yourself Loose” and “He Will”—both featuring Winans, it wasn’t long before the world grew to love Tim Bowman, Jr.
Gaining success after the release of his debut album, Beautiful, in 2012 with Trippin’ ‘N’ Rhythm Records, the singer’s music career quickly took off. Landing at No. 8 on Billboard’s ‘Gospel Albums’ chart and No. 50 on the ‘Independent Albums’ chart, Bowman’s breakthrough had finally come. “He Will”—another single on the album, placed at No. 19 on Billboard’s ‘Hot Gospel Albums’ chart.
Using his astounding vocals to give off a contemporary, uplifting, and youthful sound, Bowman has managed to captivate people of all ages with his music alone.
Tim Bowman, Jr. recently released his second studio album, titled, Listen on May 6th. The album features his hit single, “I’m Good” produced by platinum producer and songwriter, Rodney ‘Darkchild’ Jerkins. Bowman is signed to Jerkins’ Lifestyle Music Group label.
Check out our exclusive interview with Mr. Bowman as we talk about the making of his second album, life, spirituality, and much more…
Parlé Mag: How did you get you start in the gospel industry?
Tim Bowman, Jr.: I actually got my start, well, in the gospel industry, I got it from my aunt, Vickie Winans. On her Bringing It All Together CD, she let me feature on “Happy And You Know It”. She re-did ‘happy and you know it; clap your hands’. So, we did a thing on that—and, then, that kinda started it. That led to her putting me on her “Shake Yourself Loose” remix. That’s kinda where it took off from there.
Parlé Mag: Okay, so, coming into a genre of music that is forever judged and constantly watched, did you have any fears or reservations?
Tim Bowman, Jr.: Um, not really. I didn’t because I had great examples in my father and in my family. I saw all of them–you know, trailblaze the industry and all of these kinda things. It kinda settled me at an early age and let me know that if I do this—I wasn’t going into it blind. So, I know if did these steps, I could get here and I maintain it by doing these steps, and I keep integrity by doing these steps—and all that good stuff. So, definitely growing up in this family and watching my father and watching my aunt, watching my cousins–and all that good stuff, it definitely prepared me mentally for the industry.
Parlé Mag: So, at what age did you realize that you wanted to sing and make music a career.
Tim Bowman, Jr.: I want to say when I was twelve years old. When I was twelve years old, that’s when I–it wasn’t just singing recreationally anymore. “Shake Yourself Loose” remix thing had kinda blown up and, then, I said, “You know, I really want to do this.” Now, I knew I was called by God when I was around sixteen years old to do this. But, I had always wanted to do it at an early age. So, I would say around twelve.
Parlé Mag: How has delivering God’s word and being able to influence lives impacted you?
Tim Bowman, Jr.: It impacted me tremendously because people don’t see all of the work that goes behind the scenes. They see, you know, when you get on stage or when you release a project, but there’s so much preparation and so much stuff that us artists have to go through. So, when you hear testimonies—like, my single, “I’m Good”, the one that went number one, a lady had hit me on an email and said that she was getting ready to commit suicide, then the song came on the radio!
Parlé Mag: Wow!
Tim Bowman, Jr.: So, it’s like, that kinda stuff just changes your perspective of why you do it. It’s not because you just think you can sing or because you like music; it’s so much more. It’s ministry. So, that kinda stuff changes you.
Parlé Mag: Seeing all of your success, how do you manage to live and enjoy the moment, but still remain focused and not get so caught up in the hype?
Tim Bowman, Jr.: Again, man, I gotta go back to my upbringing because it’s so easy to be a figured out artist and you get caught up, and you end up losing yourself, and you see so many artists are falling nowadays. They’re falling into different traps because they don’t have any solid foundations. So, definitely; my foundation has set me up to be here. I don’t get caught up in all of it because you can be here today and gone tomorrow by people’s or man’s perspective of you.
Parlé Mag: That is so true.
Tim Bowman, Jr.: So, you know, I just kinda—I know what I’m supposed to be doing; I got my wife, and we just go out and rock what we gotta do!
Parlé Mag: Great, great. So, going back to what I mentioned earlier about being judged. Last year, we learned that you and your wife practiced celibacy until marriage—which sparked a lot of mixed opinions on social media. Could you tell us about your thoughts on the situation and how it unfolded so negatively?
Tim Bowman, Jr.: You know what; we tend to look at it as a blessing, man. It was very easy to start looking at it as people are hating and people are so negative, but I believe wholeheartedly that because of our outlook on the thing, that’s what switched all of that negative publicity into positive publicity. You know, when it first started off, it was like, people saying ‘this is crazy’! But, then, as it started growing and getting bigger and bigger, and it started hitting Good Morning America and The View, Inside Edition—and all that stuff, people started celebrating us. So, it was cool; we stayed diligent during that as well. It was interesting, though, because we couldn’t understand why the Christians weren’t rallying around us in the beginning. Initially, the Christians were kinda like saying crap and saying this stuff, until the nation and actually the world started embracing us, and then they wanted to claim us. But, when it was taboo, it was like the Christians were against us. All we were doing was doing what the bible says! It was an interesting process, but we went through it, and we came out better. So, that’s my view on it.
Parlé Mag: Okay, okay. Let’s talk about your second album, Listen—which released last month. How would you describe this body of work?
Tim Bowman, Jr.: This body of work is a musical roller coaster. It’s all about inspiring and uplifting people to be their best selves. I’m talking about Jesus Christ; I’m talking about empowerment; I’m talking about your everyday practical things. When I tell you this music insane! You know, when you got Rodney Jerkins executive producing–I believe this is his first album executive producing the whole project, you know, he’s done Michael Jackson, Brandy, Brittney Spears, Janet Jackson, Kylie Minogue—you know, you’ve got all of these people he’s done. To have him bring that and work on my project is crazy. We had Teddy Riley who did some production, Aaron Lindsey, and Josh Davis–it’s just been crazy. So, I would describe it as a musical roller coaster.
Parlé Mag: What was it like working with Rodney and creatively brainstorming together on this project?
Tim Bowman, Jr.: It was an experience! I learned so much. He’s a master producer. He produce me, but, at the same time, let me be me. That’s a very delicate process because you hear things about the artist and the producer getting into fights and the artist losing their identity, but Rodney really knew how to produce and bring out the best in me. It was crazy! I would come out of the booth and Faith Evans would be sitting there, or, I would come out of the booth and Rihanna would be sitting there. It was just a crazy, crazy process, but Rodney is a musical genius. First and foremost, he loves God. So, it just made sense.
Parlé Mag: So, watching your own album debut at #1 on Billboard’s ‘Top Gospel Albums’ chart. What emotions were going through your mind in that moment?
Tim Bowman, Jr.: I was kinda numb because, like I said, I saw my dad go number one–my auntie and cousins, and I’m just doing this and knowing what I’m supposed to be doing. To be celebrated at that level is just—it was unbelievable for me. I couldn’t believe that I was looking at the chart. I was somewhere and my publicist called me and gave me the news. It just was overwhelming. But, I thank God for it.
Parlé Mag: That’s amazing! Listening to the album, it holds a very youthful, fun, and catchy vibe. How important is it to you to create a sound that all audiences can relate to?
Tim Bowman, Jr.: It’s very important because, as gospel artists, we get laughed at; we get shunned a lot by the world. Our whole mission, as Christians, is to go out and win souls. That’s exactly what we’re here for. Keep spreading the message, getting people to believe in Jesus Christ. If we keep making music for each other, I believe we’re missing a whole generation. That’s why, if you look at the statistics, Christianity—as a whole, is dipping. It’s declining every year. So, my goal was to make music that wasn’t just geared towards traditional gospel people and catering to the genre but catering to winning new people, and winning new souls, and let them know that Christianity and going to church is not a lame thing. It’s a fulfilling life. You can still have fun and be cool.
Parlé Mag: Yes! Your first single, “I’m Good”, did extremely well. Where did the inspiration for that track come about?
Tim Bowman, Jr.: The inspiration for that track actually was from Rodney Jerkins! Mary J. Blige was actually supposed to do the song, and she didn’t do the song—I believe on two albums ago, and we took it and kinda rewrote it. The song is just supposed to uplift and empower people and my vision behind it was, you know, you get up in the morning, put the song on, play it on the way to work–it’s like a pregame type situation. [laughs] You get fired up for the day and just know that you’re good enough to do all of these things. There’s so many people who are depressed and feeling undervalued and feeling like their not good enough to do all of these things in life. So, I just wanted to encourage and uplift people and know that because God made us this way, we’re good enough to just be bosses, man!
Parlé Mag: Yes, it’s a great song!
Tim Bowman, Jr.: Thank you.
Parlé Mag: You’re welcome. Speaking of singles, you recently released two more, “Your Love” and “Fix Me”. What’s the backstory as to why you chose those two as your next two singles from the album?
Tim Bowman, Jr.: Well, traditionally, a two-single approach is very, very rare because people are looking a chart positions. So, they want the one song to go up, and when you do two songs, you kinda split. But, you know, we got a number one single already. My thing was to just put the largest footprint in the market. So, we wanted to go with two singles. One is a take on like an old hymn, called, “Fix Me”, and one is like a feel good, step song. We wanted to kinda show the versatility of the project, as well as the versatility of the message. Just make a wider footprint. So, we’re not really concerned about chart positions on these next two singles, but, more so just getting the message out. That’s why we went with two singles.
Parlé Mag: Nice! So, from your first album release in 2012 to your second album release this year, in what way would you say your mindset has changed?
Tim Bowman, Jr.: My mindset has changed. I’m a lot more settled. I’m a lot more comfortable in my skin because when I was doing this style of music, you know, I would go to these churches and choirs would be up and shouting and all this good stuff, and I would have to go behind that and sing these contemporary songs. That can be a little challenging. You know, when people are just turning up church style, but this record, I’m more settled in what I know I’m supposed to be doing. I’m more comfortable in my skin. I just go out and just convey my message the best way that I can.
Parlé Mag: Playing on your album title, Listen, a bit, was there ever a point in your career or your life as a whole that you looked back on and wished you’d actually listened to God about?
Tim Bowman, Jr.: Wow! That’s a good question. Um, I wish I listened to God concerning a few relationships [laughs]. If I had listened, I probably—I would’ve avoided a lot of heartache and heartbreak and all that good stuff. So, aye, if y’all listen to God, definitely listen to him concerning these relationships because you do not have to waste time. When I started listening to Him, regarding my love life and relationships, it all lined up.
Parlé Mag: Yes, yes! So, where do you go from here? What’s to expect from you in the following months?
Tim Bowman, Jr.: Man, we got a lot of touring going on. Me and my wife are going around the country, speaking together. We got possibly a TV show in the works, so stay tuned. All that good stuff. So, just stay tuned. A lot of touring, a lot of stuff with me and wife, and possibly a TV show.
For more updates on Mr. Bowman, follow him on social media!