A local musician has released his new album in a bid to give listeners hope during these difficult times.
Ricky Byrum’s Christian album, “You Give Me Hope”, was released on February 28. This EP album features six songs Byrum wrote during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when he and others around the world faced hardship.
Byrum grew up in Gates County, North Carolina, and has strong ties to Suffolk. With members of his former band hailing from Suffolk and him working at Keurig Dr. Pepper in Windsor, Byrum knows the town and its people very well.
Music has been part of Byrum’s life since he was 16 years old. He released his debut album in 2002, and today at 46, “You Give Me Hope” is his fifth release. His music is played on streaming services and on the radio. His latest album reached more than 150 countries, he said.
“It’s amazing to see the good Lord do something in 30 days that I couldn’t have done in 40 years,” Byrum said.
The new album comes as Byrum shifted his focus from music to ministry more than two years ago. While filling in for a retired Baptist pastor, even though Byrum does not align with a specific denomination, he would write an original song with his sermons each week. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing and her mother and sister were hospitalized.
Byrum found out his mother died in August while he was singing for “Love” and recording the album.
A friend approached Byrum and encouraged him to record the songs he was writing. Even though Byrum had enough on his plate with his family in the hospital, writing sermons and dealing with his own health issues, he agreed to do it.
“If it touches a person, if a person comes to know Christ or if a person decides to hold on, then what I have done is worth it,” he said.
To continue this process of sharing hope with others, Byrum is writing a book called “You Gave Me Hope” which focuses on his life as an eclectic artist. The book will contain life stories, songs and Bible passages.
“My goal is to finish well and make God proud,” he said. “I also want to leave a legacy for my children and have some sort of positive impact on the world. I can’t think of a time since World War II when people needed more hope.
His music is available on Reverbnation, YouTube and iTunes. Follow Ricky Byrum Music on social media to stay up to date with his new music and upcoming book.