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Christian hip hop artist launches debut album

This week, independent record label Tate Music Group announced the much-awaited release of Halifax County native Mikal Townsend’s new album titled “He’s All I Got.”

Produced by Tate Music Group, the album offers 16 tracks and is readily available for purchase nationwide at the iTunes Store, Amazon.com or directly from TateMusicGroup.com.

A 1998 graduate of Halifax County High School, Townsend is an inspiring artist from South Boston, who despite some challenges in life has managed to fulfill his dreams, which is to create beautiful music for the world. 

Back in 2004, a visual disease threatened to destroy his life and ambition. He thought that having this illness meant the end of his career, but still he decided to pursue his dream with God by his side. 

Now, he is on the brink of making his dreams a reality with his debut album, and he hopes that others will be inspired by his story.

The album “He’s All I Got” is packed with one-of-a-kind tracks with inspirational messages. 

Fans can check out “Crazy Praise” or “Red Light Green Light” and be amazed by Townsend’s soulful voice. 

 Townsend, the son of Gladys and Amos Townsend of South Boston, began his ambitious musical endeavors by rapping during his sophomore year in high school. 

It wasn’t until 2000 that he crossed over to Christian music. He said his choice to cross over was mainly because of his relationship with God.

“I was unfulfilled with doing secular music because I felt like I wasn’t really getting the point across. I felt like I really didn’t have a purpose doing secular music,” Townsend said.

 Townsend said while it would be nice to be signed, his main focus is to minister.

“If it comes, it comes. I’m not going to put myself out there to try and get signed because what I do is my ministry, and it’s from the heart. If I do get signed, it would open the door for me to minister to more people, but if I don’t get signed, I’m going to continue to do what I do anyway,” he added.

 He currently records under his own label, Rock Christ Entertainment.

 As for his expectations for his debut album, Townsend said he really just wants to get the message out.

 “Really I just want to get the message out there. It’s hard to expect a positive response from everybody who is listening, but it’s really not about the response. It’s really about the message that was given to me that I was told to put out there. I just want people to hear it, and I just want people to take something from it,” Townsend said.

 His favorite song on the album is “Sickness Go.”

“It’s number 16 on the album and pretty much my favorite song because I myself have been attacked by some form of sickness.  You look around and see that sickness is not a fair player. It attacks babies, teenagers and older people, and I don’t think that’s what God wants for people, especially when Jesus spent all of His time healing people when He was on earth. So “Sickness Go” is fighting back against sickness and giving people hope that they can be healed,” Townsend said.

One fateful day during Townsend’s freshman year at Liberty University, he was on his way to the cafeteria to get something to eat. When Townsend stepped into the cafeteria he said he saw bright flashing lights.

“I was looking around to see if anyone was seeing these lights, and everyone was normal, so I knew it was just me seeing them,” Townsend said.

This bothered Townsend because the lights, he said, began to affect his vision.

He went to the doctor who diagnosed him with Stargardt’s Disease. According to Townsend, Stargardt’s causes blind spots in the vision until the person is completely blind.

Townsend said his condition has progressed since then, and he continues to fight it.

The disease causes issues with doing everyday life things. 

“I’m already healed. I’m going to continue to claim my healing in my manifestation,” Townsend said. “I’m just doing this so I can encourage other people because it’s a whole lot of people who have been attacked by disease. This is my testimony to encourage other people that they can stand on the Word of God and that you don’t have to fall victim and curl up and die. You can still be victorious,” Townsend said.

Townsend said spiritually he will never go blind, according to God’s Word, and he will always see.

Townsend said talking about his disease used to make him angry, but he has learned how to turn his anger into something positive by incorporating it into his music.

In the future he hopes to do more live shows and to minister to more people. He also is looking to make a music video for one of his songs on the album. 

Townsend credits local vocalists Ernessa Davis, Jeremy Muse, Chris Clauden, Tiffany Stevens, Thomas Hamlett and Freddie Jeffress for their help with his album.

Anyone interested in learning more about Townsend’s music or ministry can visit mikaltownsend.com.