I’m proud to present a new interactive
Q&A feature called Ask The Chief Levite that indulges
our online audience to participate through questions with
our special guest host – prolific songwriter, award-winning
producer and chief Levite in many circles, Minister Kevin
For over a generation, Kevin Bond has set
a standard of excellence in music ministry through his immaculate
music productions, distinctive instrumental orchestrations
and his humble mentoring of aspiring musicians and worship
In recent weeks, Kevin Bond released a spiritual,
self-help book designed to assist the body of Christ, from
a meek perspective of a servant of God. The paperback is aptly
entitled, A Servant’s Guide From A Servant’s Heart:
Ministry From A To Z (currently available at www.KEVINBOND.com).
In keeping with his mission to serve the Kingdom
with excellence, Kevin Bond humbly accepted our invitation
to field questions relating to ministry and music from our
online audience and respond from the heart, with transparency
and sincerity. Our hope is that the wisdom and expertise shared
by Elder Bond will prove to be illuminating for many of our
If you have a question for Kevin, submit them
now to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, enjoy our
first edition of Ask The Chief Levite with Minister Kevin
Q: Could you describe in brief
detail the spiritual responsibility, accountability, and dependability
that are involved with serving as a worship leader?
A: While I think that this question is truly
apropos for worship leaders, I’d like to open it up
to the body of Christ at large.
In my view, accountability is sorely lacking
within the body of Christ. Who’s minding the store is
a better question. Leaders and followers alike must be accountable
first to God, then to one another.
Now to directly answer your question, leadership
is more caught than taught. Those within a praise team will
catch more from its leader than he or she can ever attempt
to teach them. Therefore we must be mindful of all of our
actions when we’re leading.
Now most will interpret that to mean while
on stage, my point is just the opposite. This is speaking
more to the time’s when there’s no performance
but instead the everyday normal moments, the rehearsals, fellowship,
family time, etc.
LEADERS BEWARE! Someone is
always watching and gleaning from you, both your good and
Q: You’ve had the privilege
of working with many of the premiere gospel artists of our
day, but you’ve also had the opportunity to work with
two well known pastors of our day, Bishop T.D. Jakes and Bishop
Eddie Long. In those two experiences, what is the single greatest
thing you have learned about God, the ministry, and yourself?
A: I’m truly grateful for every personality
God has allowed me to come in contact with. But I’m
most grateful for the Godly example my father and pastor,
Alex T. Bond Jr., modeled before me. While I learned many
things' from many others along my journey, it was the lessons
in character, integrity, accountability, that my father taught
me that have remained with me through the years.
A: The word states that your gift will bring
you before great men. But it’s your character that will
keep you before them, whether they’re on national stages
or local ministries.
Q: On many of the CD’s that
you’ve produced I’ve noticed that you work primarily
with the same band members and they have been dubbed as, “Da
Band.” Could you tell us how “Da Band” came
together and what has been the cohesive that has kept you
together on various projects?
A: The band, to me, is the piece that’s
rarely noticed but always relied upon. Therefore I’ve
made it my business to bring light to those individuals that
spend time perfecting their craft and sacrificing countless
hours to represent those artists in excellence.
I’ve been blessed to play within a few
groundbreaking bands in my career. But my greatest joy has
been to work with the band you call, “Da Band,”
but I call F.L.O.W. (Following The Leading Of The Wind). The
name implies that we’re doing all that we do through
the leading of the Holy Spirit. It also means that we’re
able to flow in any and every musical setting.
I’ve always sought for musicians that
could not only play well, but also interpret music the way
I do. That’s not an easy thing to find. But thank God
I’ve been able to find a few. Jeremy Haynes, Darrell
Freeman, Jonathan Dubose, & Ronald James are players that
fit that bill, and fit it well!
You asked why I stick with the same players,
I do because chemistry is important to me. I’m not one
who tries to reinvent the wheel with every session. When I
work I like to work with people I know and that know me. That
makes for a comfortable setting and high expectation level
due to the fact that all know what level of expertise the
other can produce. It also challenges us to go beyond what
we’ve done in the past and continually strive for greater
perfection and excellence.
The thing that has kept the units I’ve
worked with together is my willingness to treat them all as
equals. I’m not a dictator when I’m working in
the studio. I enjoy serving them as well as being served.
This mindset allows people to feel free to voice their opinions
without feeling as if the leader is not open to hear them.
With my bands I’m able to present the musical idea and
together we hash it out until the best arrangement is developed.
We’re a team from start to finish.
If you don’t work this way I encourage
you to try it! It’s truly a blessing NOT to feel as
if you have to have all the answers! Teamwork is key, and
there’s no I in TEAM.
If I'm a song writer who writes but doesn't play an instrument.
Do you have any suggestions or ways to get songs
placed with an artist?
the easiest way to get
your song heard is to have a great demo (or demonstration)
of it. Considering the fact that you don’t play I’d
suggest that you seek out a keyboardist who can help you with
this process. If you can sing the song well enough for the
keyboardist to help you with the music and arrangement then
you’ll be well on your way. However be prepared to answer
the question, “if I help you will you share the rights
with me?” Unless you’re willing to pay for the
help be prepared to offer a portion of the song as a reward
for their labor.
Q: As it relates to production,
do you produce groups/music that you don't feel have mass
appeal or that you don't feel or even very good? I mean, do
you produce just for the "job" of it, or for the
"money of it"? Totally nothing wrong with that,
I mean the music business is the music business. Would you
produce a group that you felt was not very good but based
on their "faith" in themselves you produce them
the metric for success and thriving in life is not doing what
we do for money, but instead for the passion of it. Almost
everyone I know who’s successful used to work for free.
However with a greater level of success comes a greater amount
of remuneration. Saints often have a problem with other’s
getting paid for the work we render. But without going deep
into a scriptural fight I will say that the servant is worthy
of his hire.
As far as producing
an act that I don’t feel is very good, If I don’t
think they’re good I feel that there’s about a
million other’s that would also agree with that assessment.
So I would not take that assignment.
Q: Also, how
much should it cost to make a professional album of 10 tracks?
I mean the average cost it should take around the country
to have a quality gospel album made?
That answer lies in
the pile of who’s producing and what is there worth
to you. No two producers will have the same rates. I’d
suggest that you plan out a budget and stick to it. Let the
budget dictate the producer you’re willing to pay for
the service’s rendered.
does anyone buy songs anymore? Where would a song writer go
to have his material heard and possible utilized, purchased
and whatever else?
Yes songs are for sell
by the millions everyday on ITUNES! LOL!
But seriously, smart
writers don’t sell their works. The wisest writers have
publishing companies and writers agreements with a performance
rights organization. To sell your rights is to give up all
future earning’s of your works. Song’s can take
on a life of their own as far as earnings is concerned. One
song could still be bringing in revenues long after you’re
dead and gone. So I don’t suggest that you sell anything,
but instead self-publish everything! For more info I recommend
the book, “All You Need To Know About The Music Business,”
by Donald Passman.
Q: Hi kevin,
I have a questions for you. I am an independent artist and
I'm in the process of working on my next CD. I have a team
of writers that I am considering writing lyrics for me. To
be exact four writers and myself. In shopping, is this going
to hurt me by having so many artist writing for me in trying
to get a record deal? What advice can you give me that will
enhance my chances of even being looked at regarding music.
The bible states that “in the multitude of counsel there’s
safety.” So if your effort to seek out the best tunes
your approach is a good one! The multiple writer approach
gives you greater variety, deeper range of writing, and a
greater end product.
BUT there’s one
thing to take into account. The more people in that room the
more the splits of the royalties will be. The pie will be
split at least four ways; five if you’re writing. So
be aware of that when your royalty checks begin to roll in.
The other thing I would
caution about is keeping the focus on YOUR artistry. When
too many people get together they can sometimes write their
fantasy song’s and forget the artist they’re writing
for. It’s been stated that many writers and producers
are frustrated artists who never got their chance. Make sue
that they’re not experimenters, but rather experts.!
If you have a special
question or inquiry relating to ministry and music for our
exclusive feature - Ask The Chief Levite – with minister
Kevin Bond, please submit it to email@example.com. Your
fascinating and timely question will be reviewed and considered
by Elder Bond for our next edition of Ask The Chief Levite.