Interview: “Trent Phillips” Talks About His Musical Heritage, His Roles in the Industry & More

One of the World’s Premier Musical Talents…

Trent Phillips

Trent Phillips is one of Gospel music’s most consistent and talented producers. He has been named amongst the top producers and musicians in Christian and Gospel as well as being noted as an accomplished vocal arranger and highly sought after clinician. For over 15 years, Trent Phillips has contributed his talents to a vast catalog of award-winning gospel artists whose songs can be heard daily on gospel radio stations across the country.

Trent’s work can be heard on Donnie McClurkin’s albums Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs and Live In Detroit: We All Are One, which won 2005 and 2010 Grammy Awards, respectively. Trent also contributed to Bishop Paul S. Morton and the Full Gospel Baptist Church Mass Choir’s Cry Your Last Tear, in which he received a 2010 Stellar Nomination for Producer of the Year and 2010 Stellar Award for Traditional Choir of the Year.

Trent has truly emerged as one of the music industry’s most notable and versatile talents. He has recorded with chart-topping artists William Murphy, Kurt Carr, Stephen Hurd, Bruce Parham and Troy Sneed. He has also co-written and arranged musical scores for soundtracks featured in theatrical productions. An exceptional musician, Trent has played live performances all over the United States and the world, including Africa, United Kingdom, Italy, France and the Caribbean. Trent has also accompanied this generation’s most notable ministers and pastors: Pastor Donnie McClurkin, Kim Burrell, Fred Hammond, Smokie Norful, Byron Cage, and most recently Martha Munizzi.

Trent began his musical theory and classical piano training at the age of seven. His father imparted great musical influences by playing the music of artists like Bill Withers, The O’Jays, James Brown, Andrae Crouch and The Hawkins Family in their home. The exposure to both gospel and mainstream artists coupled with Trent’s years of formal piano training helped him to develop his ear for extraordinary music.

“I grew up in a musically rich church with lots of talented musicians and singers. This allowed me to explore other musical approaches and to learn to play by ear,” Trent explains. “By the age of ten, I began playing for the children and youth choirs.” By age eleven, Trent began establishing his career as a classical pianist, songwriter, musical director, producer and even minister of music. He continued his formal piano training through college.

Trent’s musical style and collective body of work is a unique merger of genres ranging from Jazz and Blues, 70’s Funk and today’s Pop, all intertwined by distinct chords and melodies that generate a sound that is all his own. His ability to flow effortlessly and authentically throughout genres makes Trent a ‘chameleon” of sorts. His innate skills and adroit execution transport the correct feel and usage of sounds for Gospel, Contemporary Christian, Jazz (contemporary and fusion), Rock, R&B, Soul and Classical. Trent also adds influences of Country music into his repertoire.

“I work to maintain a relevant sound first by listening to new and current songs, music arrangements, and musicians who perform them,” Trent explains. “I’m not intimidated at all by the younger musicians who are growing quickly (musically) while performing at a high aptitude. I pull from their strengths,” he continues. “I also reach back every so often to hear and learn approaches from older ‘classic’ music to maintain balance and glean sound choices and recording techniques. I want to ensure I’m always creating timeless and distinctive music.”

Just as with any great athlete, conditioning and strength building are required to remain at the top of your game. Trent believes the same holds true for anyone who intends to do well and remain relevant in music. Trent’s dedication to excellence and perfecting his craft is seen, heard, and felt by everyone who encounters him whether by listening to a recorded song, watching him perform live, or through a simple conversation about music.

Trent’s background in music ministry is represented by his integral quality of work within church worship departments down through the years. Embracing the apostolic and pastoral mantle on his life, he serves as a mentor for musicians throughout the country and world, and aids churches in areas of worship ministry and administrative development. As a worship ministry consultant, Trent conducts workshops and teaches on subjects that span from the simple procedural issues to the more complex elements of worship administration.

“Understanding the administrative aspect of a corporate worship environment is essential to the operational structure and growth of any ministry,” Trent expounds. Order eliminates chaos so when chaos is dissolved, God can fully manifest His presence, creating a refreshing and impactful worship experience.”

Trent currently serves as the Minister of Music for Changing A Generation Full Gospel Baptist Church of Atlanta, where Bishop Paul S. Morton, Sr. is Senior Pastor. Since 2008, he has served as the Musical Director and Overseer of Musicians for the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International.

 Lionheart Music Productions is the umbrella for all of Trent’s musical, ministry and entertainment endeavors. Trent provides services in the areas of music production, musical direction and live keyboard performance, music and ministry workshops/conferences, event coordination and promotion. Within all facets of music and ministry, Trent strives to exhibit Godly character and excellence in everything, providing positive inspiration for those that serve alongside him, as well as the younger generation who will follow his lead.

 “Music is one of the most powerful and influential methods of communication created and designed by God. Multifaceted, full of emotion and completely diverse, music connects the very souls of people to God and each other.” – Trent Phillips

Contact:  Lisa Washington

Twitter: @trentkeys

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