Mission Statement, concerning his music and its purpose:
Darius Brooks explains, "I don't really hold onto
'hopes and dreams' anymore, because over time I've come to a place where
I just trust God totally and His plans, whatever they may be. I know
that I was created for His purposes and glory. He's given me this platform,
and I'm going to follow as He leads and obey as He speaks, and whatever
He gives me will fall exactly where, when, and the way He chooses."
About Darius Brooks.........
This gifted song writer, music arranger, producer, and
music director was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, one of 15 children,
in a strong, Christian home. Though he has only met his father once
or twice, Darius was richly blessed with a loving, musical mother, Ethel
Armstrong, an accomplished pianist, and 2 dedicated godparents, Pastor
& Mrs. Ellis Price, who Darius spent every other weekend and the
summers with at their home. His godparents, together with Ethel Armstrong
did a great job of planting seeds of faith, instilling values and character,
influencing his musical and spiritual growth and guiding young Darius
down the path to a strong faith in Jesus and eventually to music ministries
which have promoted the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Darius explains; "My godparents gave me a strong
rooting in the Word and the faith, and my mother gave me my musical
foundation. It was a perfect combination, which only God could have
At a very young age, it became evident that Darius was
a gifted musical prodigy. Imagine a little boy sitting himself down
at a piano, and picking out "full melodies", even adding accompaniment,
all by ear!
Ethel Armstrong, a well-known accompanist who played regularly
for such great Gospel performers such as Mahalia Jackson, Albertina
Walker and Inez Andrews, was the first to recognize her son's musical
gifts, and became a huge influence in his developing talent, teaching
him and giving him pointers as he grew.
At the age of 4, she started to take him to choir practice,
where he on occasion was allowed to "direct the choir," which
"tickled" the adult choir, who enjoyed the efforts of this
"precocious" little boy. By the age of nine, Darius was directing
choirs in earnest, "with full awareness and understanding of the
task, and the music, at hand."
Throughout his childhood and youth, Darius was not only
surrounded and enveloped with traditional Gospel music, he was also
allowed by his mother to listen to great music from other sources; R
& B and Pop music. Darius was exposed to such "legendary artists"
as Earth, Wind, & Fire, the Commodores, the Chi-Lites, Peabo Bryson,
and Patti LaBelle.
Darius comments, "I was never restricted or limited
in what I could listen to, and I've been influenced by any and all the
great music I've ever heard. My mother was very liberal. She knew
great music when she heard it, and I came up the same way. As a result,
I'm not afraid to incorporate R & B and pop into what I do, because
I know who I am in the Lord, and I believe when God gives you a gift,
it's for the world."
At 18 years old, Darius was invited by Gospel patriarch
Reverend Milton Brunson to play with his choir, The Thompson Community
Singers; i.e. "the Tommies," a renown Chicago "institution."
Rev. Brunson knew of Darius and his talent through Ethel Armstrong,
who opened this very important door for Darius by introducing him to
Rev. Brunson, who saw the great gift that the Lord had given Darius.
Rev. Brunson encouraged Darius in both his spiritual walk and using
/ developing his musical gifts in their long working relationship with
This "richly rewarding and highly celebrated association"
with Rev Brunson and the Tommies lasted for almost 15 years. Darius
gave his all, bringing to the choir his original songs, such as "SAFE
IN HIS ARMS," which was later recorded and earned a Grammy nomination.
Darius served as a producer, musical director, songwriter, and arranger,
which helped him over these 15 years to be recognized by the Christian
music community with numerous awards and accolades. Most importantly,
his music touched many believers and seekers, becoming an important
element in a Christian music ministry; winning souls to Christ, as well
as being a source of encouragement and spiritual growth.
Reflecting about his wonderful years with Rev. Brunson
and the Tommies, Darius shares his thoughts. "My mother was a wonderful
woman and she taught me a lot of virtues, one of them was loyalty, and
I felt a great sense of loyalty to Reverend. In all the time I spent
working with him, I realized it was his season, not mine and I felt
blessed and happy to be in the place I was for those years. And we also
know biblically that seasons change, and ultimately you really do reap
what you sow."
Since 1986, Darius was involved with over 55 studio projects.
By 2000, Darius had earned 7 Grammy nominations and three Grammy Awards,
plus seven Stellar Awards and two Dove Awards. Darius felt the Lord's
call to "set out on a solo career path," creating the independent
label, Journey Music Group (JMG). Darius also was called to establish
the Simply Darius Foundation, which is "an organization devoted
to discovering and mentoring talented artists. Darius also became the
musical director for Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Push Coalition.
Darius was also led to produce 3 of his own albums (in
2000, in 2001 and 2002) through JMG. The excitement and attention these
albums stirred up in the Gospel community had the consequence of Darius
Brooks signing with a major-label affiliation, with EMI Gospel in the
first months of 2004.
Besides his accomplishments for the Lord he made with
the The Thompson Community Singers, Brooks is also known for his behind-the-scenes
work with Gospel music industry accomplished artists such as Shirley
Caesar, Vicki Winans, Hezekiah Walker, Ricky Dillard, Daryl Coley and