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Tim Bowman Jr. makes waves with debut gospel album


The Man
It wasn't too difficult for Tim Bowman Jr. to find his way to music. His father, after all, is a noted jazz guitarist, meaning that developing musical skill was a requirement in the Bowman household. "When my dad was working out a new melody on his guitar, you had to be ready to back him up with the vocals," laughs the Detroit native. When other kids were feverishly waiting for the moment they were free to race out of Sunday service, Bowman would sit captivated in the church pews, enthralled with the choir and the soulful music that accompanied it. It wasn't hard for him to identify what instrument he would use to express his love for the art: his voice could grab the congregation's attention.

Beyond the church, the world first heard Bowman when he scatted on gospel artist Vickie Winans' 2009 smash, How I Got Over. Today, the talented 24-year is no longer waiting for a chance to take the lead. This year Bowman released his Stellar Award-nominated debut album Beautiful, which entered in on the Billboard charts at No. 7. Since then he has been touring the country performing songs from the album.

The Music
Bowman's sound can be described as pop-fused electronica with tracks such as Throw It Away to pure gospel with the nostalgic Abide With Me Medley that was written by Marvin Winans. Deeper into the album, there's the stirring rock anthem Healer, the infectious island beat of Looking For Love and the acoustic guitar-laced title track Beautiful. Family friend, Dorinda Clark Cole of the legendary Clark Sisters joins Bowman on the raw Sunday Morning while Vickie Winans jazzes up the mid-tempo He Will.

He Will is the forthcoming album's first single. For the last eight months, it has climbed the charts at gospel radio and is laying the groundwork for what looks like a promising future for Bowman's career. The song has peaked at No. 19 on Billboard's Hot Gospel Songs chart and No. 18 on the Mediabase Gospel chart and continues to make new believers out of radio programmers.

Bowman says in reflecting on the purpose in his music, "Each song should stand alone. Sometimes, you only have one chance for a person to hear and connect with your message. I want every person who listens to this album to not only get that message but also to feel the fun I had making it."

Divine Inspiration
Bowman is inspired by a wide set of artists. "I like Coldplay, Kim Burrell, Michael Jackson and Ella Fitzgerald," he says. "The diversity is definitely what makes my music unique. If you listen closely you can hear that fusion of gospel, jazz, hip-hop, R&B, and rock somewhere in each note."

Practice Makes Perfect
"As a kid, any new riff I'd hear, whether it was from an instrument or a jazz singer, I'd immediately try to get it down," admits Bowman. Despite his knack for quick learning, he did not realize his talent. "Looking back, I don't think I even knew the importance of what I was doing. I just wanted to sound cool."

Live and Learn
Bowman's philosophy in life is rather easy, as the boy just likes to have fun. "It's never that serious. Enjoy the life you've been blessed with. If it's not fun or meaningful, move on," he advises.

More Than Music
Off the stage and outside of the studio, the guitarist can jam somewhere else: in the kitchen. "If there are a few key ingredients in any fridge, I can make a meal out of them. Everyone in my family loves my cooking. I don't write any recipes down. I just go with what I'm feeling at the moment. I definitely have more wins than losses in the kitchen," he boasts. "But when I've lost, I've really lost."

Distinguished Gentlemen
When it comes to dressing the part, he's a man that believes in a good suit. "There is something distinguished about a tailored one. But I'm mostly rocking a pair of sneaks and a tee. People underestimate the value of simplicity."

Holiday Cheer

Bowman has just released his soulful spin of the classic Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas for the holidays. Accompanied by a full orchestra, it's sure to give the right dose of Christmas spirit.

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