If you talk to DeWayne Woods for more than five minutes, you may easily forget he’s the man that survived a health crisis that has taken life from millions of people, you might even forget (for a minute) that he burst onto the inspirational music scene with 2006’s “Let Go,” gaining three Stellar Awards, he was a background vocal coordinator for Celine Dion or a member of R&B group Atlantic Starr. The things you will remember are that he’s a genuinely transparent, humbly anointed and highly comical with a voice smoother than ten pounds of butter on a hot summer day.
In today’s radio landscape, it is rare for radio “folk” to simply be fans of artists, but that is not the case with DeWayne. Derek Harper, PD of Atlanta’s Praise 102.5 (WPZE) is a more than an admirer saying “DeWayne Woods pushes the envelope with his latest project by collaborating with some of the greatest vocalists on the secular side to come up with a unique offering! I personally like the collaboration with Stokely and Mint Condition “They Said!” According to the charts, they say, “they said” is nothing but fire!!(Somebody conjure up the spirit of Sugar Foot)
His journey from Kansas City to Chicago to Atlanta is a lesson in itself. Along the way, his mentors, John P. Kee, Donald Lawrence and the late Andre’ Crouch taught him discipline, integrity and overall respect. Despite his breakout accomplishments, DeWayne confesses “I was about to stop singing gospel after my sophomore project “My Life’s Lyrics” was released and even though it peaked at #3 on the charts, I felt defeated and devalued. I went through all of the emotions that everyone experiences…..self- doubt, abandonment, depression and then some, while also becoming a single parent overnight. There is no preparation for that!”
After a four year break to re- focus, reflect, and re-energize his spirit, emotions, and victorious determination, his latest project, “Life Lessons” teaches you what it means to laugh, cry, dance, stomp, shout, reflect and smile in less time than it takes to drink a cup of coffee. The CD is that rarity that truly has something for everyone in every situation (or format) from the church to the club leaving no desire to press the fast forward button. Collaborations with Anthony Hamilton, Dave Hollister, Mint Condition, Avery Sunshine and P.J. Morton (aka Bishop Paul S. Morton’s son and the black guy in Maroon 5) can be attributed to DeWayne’s direction as well as his journey. “Life Lessons” wasn’t being built as a concept record, but as a teaching record that carries a message of encouragement sprinkled with a taste of hope. People can build their own story, connect it and find a situation in life that paints the picture to bring it full circle.
DeWayne is also a favorite among syndicated gospel shows from the Yolanda Adams Morning Show to Walt “Baby” Love’s Gospel Traxx who adds “DeWayne Woods is one of the unique artists we have the privilege of presenting to our Gospel Traxx audience. What I personally like and enjoy about his music is the obvious move of God in his life that is expressed in his presentation from contemporary to traditional Gospel. I’ve had the opportunity to personally interact with him over the years and he’s always a pleasure to work with. “Friend Of Mine” continues receiving interest from our audience because it has that personable, traditional ‘churchy” feel. We’re always looking for music that will touch the hearts and minds of our listeners. DeWayne continues to give us anointed music that accomplishes that goal. His personal testimony has also had a tremendous positive effect on all of us who follow his music ministry.”
One of DeWayne’s mantas is, “you look at what you do and say, to make the right moves so God is also pleased.” This is but one element of the formula why he’s on the short list of men we can all call, “that dude!” That is a life lesson to benefit everyone everywhere.
(p.s…if you were fortunate enough to catch his performance at the concert celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery march on BET you understand DeWayne’s impact on people of all races and creeds. If you missed it, help yourself and watch in on the web. Let the church say (what)….“AMEN!”)