By Britt Bickel

In his first new release in nearly three years, 10-time Grammy-winning artist Bobby McFerrin returns with an album of spiritual songs to pay tribute to his father.

In an interview with USA Today, Bobby talks about his upcoming album Spirityouall that features seven classic gospel songs, five originals and his fresh take on Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released.”

This album of spiritual works was an album 20 years in the making, first coming up with the idea inspired by his famed opera singing father, Robert McFerrin Sr. His father was the first African American opera singer signed to a contract by the Metropolitan Opera Company, and features three re-interpreted songs from his father’s recording on the new album.

Bobby hopes his new record inspires feelings of joy and healing in fans, because to him, music is a powerful tool for the mind and soul.

“I think we listen to music because we want to transcend the moment somehow,” he told USA Today. “I know for myself it’s true: I want to go to a performance and be changed. I want something to be different. Music is not solely for our entertainment. I think it’s a divine instrument for healing in the body, mind, soul, spirit. I sincerely, truly believe that.”

Widely known for his 1988 pop hit “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” Bobby isn’t a stranger to incorporating positive messages in his music. To him, spreading joy through music is the main priority of being an artist.

“Music has such tremendous power. To me, that’s our job as artists,” he said. “You must bring joy. Not happiness, not a groove, whatever. You must bring joy. I think that’s the assignment.”

Bobby’s new album Spirityouall will be released on May 14th with tour dates beginning in March. You can catch him in SoCal on April 3rd at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.


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