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Continuing The Legacy of, The Late Gene Cross, Meet "The Cross Family" of Ft Lauderdale Florida!

It's an honor to interview, The Cross Family." Tell me a little bit about your gospel group. Where are you from, and how did you get started in music? We are a family group consisting of blood brothers and sisters and some close friends we grew up with as a family. We are actually from Ft Lauderdale, Florida. We grew up in gospel music because our dad Gene Cross was a well-respected gospel singer who traveled worldwide as the lead singer of The Smiling Jubilaires of Ft Lauderdale, Florida. Every 4th Sunday in February, dad would put on an anniversary celebration bringing all the major gospel groups to the area we got to know growing up.

When did the gospel group's professional career begin, and how did everyone come together? Our career officially began in 2016 when our dad's lifelong dream came true before his passing in 2018 by ministering with all his kids as one under Gene Cross and The Cross Family. We all were involved in different ministries before then. On January 21, 2021, we released our first single, "Thank You Lord," which launched our professional career.

As an independent label, what challenges do you face? Independent artists face the challenge of getting their music placed in rotation.

In your opinion, what does it take to "make it" in this business? To make it in this business is to keep God first and do it from your heart and not for show.

In your opinion, what's the best and worst part of being an independent gospel group?

Being independent has its advantages and disadvantages. The best part is having complete control over everything; the worst part is being unable to promote yourself as effectively as labels can.

Has the group ever released a song that you thought would be a significant success but didn't do as well as you expected? Tell me about an experience you had like that. Well, we have released two singles, Thank You Lord (which had people taking notice cause of our sound) and, most recently, Walk All Over (which is getting rave reviews from all the stations that have and continue to play it.

Does any of the members in the band have a day job, or is music your full-time job?

Most of us have full-time jobs, and we make our music on the weekends.

How important is it that your friends and family support your music by purchasing and downloading your single? How crucial is their support for the success of your career?

It's vital to get support from family and friends cause everything starts at home, and they are your biggest promoters by word of mouth.

How important is it that your friends and family support your music by purchasing and downloading your single? How crucial is their support for the success of your career?

Getting support from family and friends is vital because everything starts at home, and they are your biggest promoters by word of mouth.

What have people heard your music say about the group's vocal style that sets you apart from other gospel groups? We show versatility when we minister because we are not just doing a complete set of one particular type of sound. We do a mixture of all styles of the gospel in our recordings and our band. We want to attract all age levels to our ministry.

What's the vision of your gospel group? Our vision is to continue the legacy our father instilled in us before he passed and take our ministry to the next level. Also, we pray that through our music, people will be impacted by a song we sing that can help them get through a situation they may be encountering at the time. We want to win souls to Christ by ministering through songs.

What's the main ingredient of keeping a group intact? Fasting/Praying and, most importantly, keeping God first.

What would it be if you could speak to your fans from your heart and tell them one important thing you want them to know about being an independent gospel group?

The sacrifices we have to make to survive in the industry

What advice would you give to new artists entering the changing industry? It takes sacrifice, dedication, patience, prayer life, and finances to make it. The gospel industry is constantly changing because of different age brackets and ethnicities. You have to focus on reaching all areas, which will get you in more places; also, for any recordings, you make sure it's of professional quality to be considered for airplay.

What would it be if you could speak to DJs from your heart and tell them one crucial thing you want them to know about being an independent artist? Your help and support are essential to playing our music since, without you, we won't be able to spread the message we convey through music.

How would you describe your music to those who have never heard it before? Quartet music with a twist of new school sound mixed in

Does the group write and produce their music? Yes, we write and produce just about all of our music.

What does it feel like to be an independent gospel group? Share your heart with our readers. It feels good being an Independent artist in some ways because you can market yourself anywhere without any restrictions.

How do you prepare yourself mentally for public opinion (either positive or negative) when you're preparing for a new song release? Well, we leave it in God's hands because we know that regardless of what we release, there will be some naysayers who won't like what we put out and accept that. We work and strive for God's approval, not man's.

Have you ever felt so discouraged in this business, for whatever reason, that you just wanted to throw in the towel? We never get discouraged about what we do because we do it for ministry. Now, as far as money is concerned, if you focus on it and think you're going to make all this money doing what you do, then you'll get discouraged and want to throw in the towel because there's not a lot of money being thrown your way all the time. Sometimes you have to come out of your pocket to go places to minister.

How many singles/albums does the gospel group have out presently, and what is your favorite album/song to date? As The Cross Family, we have released two singles in the past two years, "Thank You Lord" and "Walk All Over." I love them both, but the one I love performing now is "Walk All Over" because it has this smooth feel, and when you hear it, it makes you want to rock side to side, snapping your fingers.

Tell me about your latest album/ song and what was your inspiration behind it. Is it out now, and where can people buy it? Our latest song, "Walk All Over," came from a vision I had one day about how it will be when we make it to heaven and finally see Jesus. You know, how happy we'll be walking all over God's beautiful heavens, how we'll be singing a new song in that heavenly choir, and how we'll be shouting all over God's heavens. This song is out and available now on all digital media outlets.

Can you share any positive words of advice with upcoming gospel groups? Form your group with God as your foundation, and always do it to Glorify him and him only.

How important is it that you, as a gospel group, live out what you're singing? We must live the life we're singing about. We must remember that although we're singing, we're still ministers of the gospel and are looked at as Christians who expect us to carry ourselves as one. Many people that come to these gospel concerts don't go to church, much less have a church home, and if they see us doing things that we shouldn't be doing will affect them. They'll probably never go to church and think, why should I go to church when they (Gospel singers) are supposed to be Christians but out here doing the same thing a sinner is doing, then get up in front of a crowd and try to sing about Jesus. Our mindset must be that we're a church without walls meaning the venues we minister at are our church at that moment, and the primary focus should be that of a minister on winning souls to christ.

Why did the group choose to sing gospel music instead of secular? We love all types of music but believe God blessed us with gifts and talents to glorify him. There have been opportunities to sing secular music, but our upbringing in the church didn't allow it to manifest

Does the group have any tours coming up? No, not an ongoing tour. But we do have some dates where we'll be ministering in different locations locally and out of state.

What is the main ingredient that gives gospel music that gospel sound? Heartfelt music that you feel down in your soul

What are the names of everybody in the group parts do they sing? Eugene Cross- lead singer, Angie Cross- background vocals, Andre Cross- bass player, Chanie McIntyre- background vocals, Corey Drummond- background vocals and keyboards, Sharonda Brand- background vocals, Henry Brand- guitar, Jonathan Robinson- drums, Cedrick Talton- guitar, and Tony Williams- honorary member

Has conflict ever arisen as to who sings lead? If yes, how do you handle that? I can honestly say that we have never had any issues with this.

Who is the group leader? That would be Eugene Cross.

Customarily, how are important decisions made in the group? Are they made by one person, or does everyone vote on them? Typically things are brought to the table, and we vote on them as a group, but there are times when certain decisions are made between Eugene and Angie.

Where is the group going from here? What are your plans? We only expect our ministry to go higher to another level as we continue to carry on the legacy left with us by our dad, the late great Gene Cross, and our plan is to one day be honored with a Stellar or even a Grammy award for our due diligent work in the gospel.

Donation info: $crossfamily2

Facebook page: Cross Fam

Facebook Groups (2): The Cross Family and Livin The Legacy The Cross Family

Song link:

Photos by: Courtesy of The Cross family

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