Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Dante Bowe is a chart-topping singer and award-winning songwriter, who first burst onto the music landscape in 2017 with “Potter And Friend” and his independent debut album Son Of A Father, which landed at #5 on the iTunes Gospel Album chart and rose to #21 on the Billboard Top Gospel Album chart.
Since then, he has worked on some of our favourite music projects of the past few years, including Maverick City Volume 1, Maverick City Volume 2, Bethel Music’s Revival’s In The Air and Housefires + Friends, while also collaborating with the some of the best such as Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Travis Greene, Naomi Raine and Bri Babineaux.
Dante Bowe releases his sophomore album and Bethel Music label debut circles today, March 26. The album is Dante’s most candid work to date and explores themes of gratitude, forgiveness, perseverance, and understanding. It tells the story of his family as well as his own personal journey of self-discovery from homelessness to platinum-selling songwriter.
In a such a trying and testing time of the global pandemic, we were excited to hear that Dante Bowe had created “a record that feels like hope and summer and flowers and colour“.
He had ideas of creating an album that was more contemporary, however the pandemic got him talking more to his family and his Grandma, and he decided that he wanted to “create something more rhythmic, where people can dance and go back to what he was brought up on, which is soul and hip-hop“.
When listening to the album, you can definitely get that vibe with songs like “joyful” and “over and over“, which give us nostalgia and jive all at once.
Dante Bowe, who is a worship leader and songwriter at Bethel Music, a member of Maverick City Music, and features on the latter’s most recent album with Upperroom Move Your Heart, expresses that these experiences over the past year “shifted how he saw the Lord and influenced this new record“.
Out of these influences, he wrote songs like “circles” and “i wanna know you” “for my audience that resonate more with my contemporary worship music“.
circles however, was not an easy title for Dante to come by. He shares that he went through six title ideas but wanted to make sure that the name of the “project transcends throughout the whole album“. He finally decided on ‘circles’ which he feels “reflects the times we’re in“. “Famous or nameless we’ve all gone through struggles this year“, Dante explains.
Dante worked on this project with one of his “best friends, Lael who helped produce and write on ‘circles’“. He shares that “Lael is a genius” and that the album has been “done well and is cohesive“. Dante has high hopes for this project, as he desires that “it spills into the commercial ‘arenas’“, from his faith-based listeners to the wider world.
The guest appearances on the project are very few and far between, but speaking about one of them in particular, Dante loved the “nostalgic, early 2000, R&B sound” of “over and over”. Himself and Lael were then stocked when the well-respected gospel rapper Bizzle jumped on the track.
Dante wanted to get someone who “he knew everyone would love“. He then goes on to tell us about how he went through the most conventional route to get this collaboration sorted… by sliding in his DMs.
We go deeper into the album and talk about “real kind of love“. He tells us that from this song, he wants his listeners to “not forget the first time they felt real love; Instagram is not it, Facebook is not it, wearing designer is not it“. This song is meant to embody “who you are, what you’ve been called to and your purpose”
Music to Dante has always been like therapy. Whilst he was writing circles, it become a place “where he was able to process everything but with melody“.
The album to him, will symbolise his “awakening“. Dante says that the songs he carefully selected for this album will represent “the year he became and the year he was awakened“.
Dante shares how he experienced loss and had to face difficult conversations over the past year, however even in this, he has “loved more, than he’s ever loved“, and that is something that is felt throughout the album.
According to Dante, over the past year, “we have all felt like we’ve been spinning in circles“, and so his message for people who will listen to this record is for them to remember that “ there is always light at the end of the tunnel, there is always hope“.
We are excited to see the response to this album from his listeners to the wider music audiences, and hope it impacts the Billboard Charts like Move Your Heart, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart back in February and currently remains in the top 20 at #15.
Listen to Dante Bowe’s new album circles below and stream it here. For more new music and to watch his upcoming virtual live shows, keep up with Dante Bowe on Instagram and his website
Words by Oyinlala // Editor: Ayo Adepoju