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ASK THE CHIEF LEVITE!
by Elder Kevin Bond

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 Bond.

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 leaders.

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 readers.

If you have a question for Kevin, submit them now to questions@kevinbond.com. In the meantime, enjoy our first edition of Ask The Chief Levite with Minister Kevin Bond.

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 bad habits.

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.

Q: 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?

Greetings,

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.

“The Chief”

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 anyway?

Greetings,
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.

“The Chief”

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.

Q: Lastly, 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.

“The Chief”

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.

Greetings,
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.!

“The Chief"

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 questions@kevinbond.com. Your fascinating and timely question will be reviewed and considered by Elder Bond for our next edition of Ask The Chief Levite.

To contact Kevin Bond for speaking engagements, seminars and special appearances, call his office at 678-854-8809 or email him at Bookings@kevinbond.com or visit his official website at www.kevinbond.com for more information.

Ask Kevin
Greetings Friend,
Is there someway I can help you in your ministry?

If so feel free to send me your question and I'll do my best to answer it for you.

Your Questions Here

KB

 

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