Michael Cook Makes an ëImprintí on Aípostrophe Records

Artist: Michael Cook
Published: 2005-01-31

On January 25th in Indianapolis, Canadian recording artist Michael Cook officially released his debut CD with A'postrophe Records; a company owned by platinum-selling Latin recording artist, Jaci Velasquez. Cook grew up in Kitchener, Ontario and in his teens moved with his family to Indiana.

For the week of January 21st "Sooner Or Later", his first single to be released from the album "Imprint", was ranked fourth on the Canadian AC Cancon charts (YourMusicZone).

Cook was discovered by Jaci Velasquez while he was playing in a band with her future husband Darren Potuck. Velasquez has described Cook as a special artist, someone whom she wanted to help just like someone helped her at the beginning of her own career.

Velasquez says, "The great thing about Michael is his genuine search through his art to find that connection to his faith. It is digging in the dirt kind of work that he does to bring a song that is both meaningful and honest up to the surface. I guess you could say he is a writer first, a musician second and an artist third. He is a breath of fresh air and I wish I could craft a song like he does. "

Michael Cook is not a product of the cookie cutter syndrome that so often exists in Nashville and often leaves new artists and albums as nothing more than a "me too". Cook wrote all eleven songs on "Imprint" and like songwriter / artists Carolyn Arends and Chris Rice it shows in the quality of his workóhe lives the words to his songs.

"I write personal songs out of my own experiences and hope that they can challenge people and that people can relate to them."

"Lately", probably the best tune on the album, reflects Cook's grasp of the constant struggle that exists between God and man as we continually try to assert our own will and ignore God's plan for our lives. He sings, "Cause believing in ourselves is just a myth that we've been taught to tell. And all the lies I once believed have recently come crashing down."

Cook and his wife Julie are still attending the church in Indianapolis where he was serving as worship leader when Velasquez discovered his music. He says their desire to stay grounded in their faith and not allow the industry to change who they are has been key in their decision to stay in Indiana rather than moving to Nashville at this time. He says despite the changes in his career they still feel pretty plugged into their church and that their church family has been very supportive.

In speaking about his career and any changes that have occurred in his life he says, "So far it's pretty well stayed the same. To tell you the truth that's kind of what I'm going for." He goes on to say, "it's to remember that it's really not about me and the gifts that we have are not of our power and will. I have stayed the same and I'm hoping it stays that way."

At the same time you get the impression that he is a bit like the kid in the candy shop.

The day the album was officially released he said, "Today to go to the store and see my CD at Wal-Mart is just crazy. "

In March, Cook will embark on a tour as the opening act for Grand Prize, a group that also records under the A'postrophe Records label. He will perform in about thirty concerts, with venues and locations still to be announced.

When you meet Michael Cook he makes you immediately aware of two things, that he realizes God has gifted him and allowed him to be the vessel to minister to others. He also makes you very aware that he gives his wife Julie a lot of credit for where he finds himself today.

"She's amazing. She's been supporting me through all this. She's just got a huge heart and challenges me in a lot of different ways. We have a really great relationship."

Writer: Joe Montague

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