For Michael Passons, the most meaningful experience as an artist is hearing from someone that his music has somehow changed their perspective on life in a positive way. "Music is very powerful, especially when combined with the message of the Gospel. I love knowing God uses that to give people hope and a deeper faith," he says.
Michael grew up singing hymns in his small country church in Yazoo City, Mississippi. His love for music began in childhood and he took an early interest in piano and songwriting. As a young musician, Michael was influenced by the keyboard flavored sounds of music veterans Elton John and Lionel Richie. In college, he performed in a band and in a New Jersey-based group that toured nationally. After completing his degree in classical piano at Mississippi College, Michael moved to Nashville and began working with fellow musicians.
His career took a dramatic turn when Grant Cunningham, a Sparrow A&R director, caught his performance at a Nashville showcase. This pivotal meeting led to Michael becoming the founding member of the Christian pop group, Avalon. In 1995, Avalon made their debut as part of the Young Messiah Tour and the rest, as they say, is history.
Michael experienced an exciting year in 2004 as it marked the beginning of his solo career. After eight years, seven records, four Dove Awards, two Grammy nods and a 2003 American Music Award for "Favorite Inspirational Artist," Michael felt ready to leave the group setting of Avalon and stand on his own as an artist. He is thankful for this new chapter and the freedom to write music from his heart and minister around the globe.
Michael explains, "My songs tend to be so introspective and vunerable...too personal for a group to sing. In this respect, I am very excited about the road ahead and the opportunity for people to learn a different side of me." Michael is excited about "sharing with other people what God is doing in my life and what he is teaching me. I find that I do this best through my music."
Michael's vision for this new chapter in his ministry is "to write and sing songs from my heart that will connect with those that listen. As I share what God has done in my life, perhaps others will find encouragement in their Christian life." If his life message could be expressed in one passage, it would be "For nothing is impossible with God," (Luke 1:37). "This scripture is so simple yet so profound. I am moved most by seeing God work in the most impossible circumstances."
Michael reflects, "I am finding that each day, there is something new to learn and by sharing with each other, God can and will be glorified. I have found that I still have so much to learn. Just when I think I have something figured out, I am back to being humbled by my humanness and reminded that God's ways are higher than mine. I have learned that salvation is God's job and obedience is mine...but in the end, we need His strength to even do our part in it all. He is our all in all."