Astoria, New York (PressExposure) February 03, 2011 -- Award winning Christian artist John DeGrazio has just released his third full length album, Stronghold. An accomplished singer/composer/producer and a two-time ASCAP Award winner, John has a number one hit song to his credit; has worked with many major label artists; played in the group Burlap to Cashmere; and toured with Jars of Clay, DC Talk, and Jaci Velasquez.
The new album, Stronghold, is the third full length release from DeGrazio. Recorded at Watersound in NJ, Stronghold features 13 new songs written and produced by John and showcases several fantastic musicians including Dave Eggar. Throughout the process (6+ years) of writing and recording Stronghold, it became evermore apparent to John that music is such a powerful tool and has the ability to deeply influence people and young minds. He adds, "I have finally come around on this album to the fact that creating music has nothing to do with serving myself and my own ego. It is troubling that for so many people, creating music is used as a tool to try to gain 'worshippers,' to have every fan look up at you thinking you are a god, and letting your ego bask in the flattery. Over the last decade we have been exposed to such negative, demoralizing and demeaning garbage and it has greatly affected our culture. I set out to make an album that doesn't serve me, but rather serves God. After all, any talent I have has been given to me, and I must be a good steward with it and use it to glorify the amazing Creator."
ChristianityToday.com's Andy Argyrakis gives Stronghold 4 out of 5 stars saying, "The thirteen smartly written tracks blend acoustic and electric guitars over [DeGrazio's] smoky pipes, providing comfort to listeners." Jono Davies from LouderThanTheMusic.com gave Stronghold 4.5 out of 5 stars saying, "Stronghold is an album that shines creatively above many albums that are out at the moment. [DeGrazio's] producing skills flow through the album showing that John DeGrazio is a very talented man. Soul-searching lyrics with truths and honest feelings fill this album. John will be an artist to keep a keen eye on in the next year."
An accomplished pianist, John DeGrazio began studying music at the age of seven. It quickly became a creative outlet as he began writing melodies and songs within a year of starting to play. Early training was primarily classical, but expanded to other genres including pop/rock later in his teen years. By the age of 15, he already had a solid grasp not only on the piano, but also guitar and other string instruments. It was then when he turned his attention to building a recording studio. By 1999, Watersound was complete with state-of-the-art design and equipment and has been modified and updated ever since.
In 2001, DeGrazio released his first full length album Revolution. It was quickly picked up by Inspiration Media Group and distributed worldwide. Several songs charted on top Christian radio stations in the U.S. and the success of the album allowed new people to tune into what John was doing. "There are a lot of things I wish I did differently from a creative perspective on Revolution" says DeGrazio, "As an artist and especially a vocalist you are always growing. When I listen back to the vocals on that album it sounds like an immature kid to me. Comparing the vocals between Stronghold and Revolution, it might as well be two different singers."
Music is a Divine gift, but in this modern world where people lust after fame and idols, it is needed more than ever to help shine the light and plant seeds that will lead those astray to the Word of God. "It matters to me not one bit whether Stronghold is successful or not. The album is my testimony and I just pray that God uses the countless hours and effort I put into it to bless those who receive it." states John. "I will continue to record and make albums for no other reason but to serve, and the blessings I have been given throughout the process have been very humbling."