Patient approach leads to gospel album dream
At 60, Toni Robinson feared she was too old to put out an album.
A simple instruction helped the singer achieve what she’d thought impossible: always trust in God’s timing.
With that in mind she pushed through.
God Is, her debut album of ten gospel songs, is out now.
“There are scriptures that speak about waiting on the Lord and the importance of being patient and that couldn’t be more true than in my situation — this album is literally ten years in the making,” Ms Robinson said.
In 2009 she held a successful concert, a fundraiser to turn her dream of making an album into a reality.
“Then life happened. My first attempt at recording music didn’t go to plan; I was made redundant from my job in 2012 and had to recover from major surgery following that. Working on a musical project at that time just wasn’t possible.”
Ms Robinson put the album on hold. It wasn’t until 2017, when a few people close to the project asked about its progress, that she started thinking seriously about it again.
“I saw that as a clear sign I needed to finally get it completed,” she said.
God Is was produced by saxophonist Duke Guillaume. Some of the songs have jazz and blues influences, others were recorded in the style of traditional hymns and spirituals.
Ms Robinson’s favourite, I Want Jesus to Walk With Me, has a “moderate up-tempo beat and sweet arrangement” but what’s most important is that the lyrics serve as a reminder to believers: never walk or live outside the presence of God.
“The song stresses the importance of knowing that He is always with us to encourage and comfort,” the singer said. “I became aware of how much closer I was to seeing the manifestation of my dream despite the twists and turns of life, and it was wonderful.”
She now understands how the long wait to release God Is actually helped her.
“There are so many things that I have now — I’ve learnt more about music and about life period — that I didn’t have [before]. I’m hoping as I continue to sing and participate in other projects, that I can share my testimony and point others towards God.
“We all have trials, various tests and times when you look around and wonder what’s going on. Just being able to share your story with others can be an encouragement.”
A bonus was having people tell her how much they loved her music or how it had encouraged them.
“It means the world to me,” she said. “It’s definitely a blessing for me because it means I’m not singing out of self or an inflated ego but out of a genuine desire — through the grace of God — to be a blessing to most and an inspiration to those who feel that they are too old or it’s too late for them.
“God will use whomever is willing and available, not just to bless those here in Bermuda but people around the globe.”
• God Is is available at the Music Box in Hamilton, on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon and email@example.com. For details on upcoming concerts and other events look for Toni Marie Robinson on Facebook.
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