June 15, 2024


Without Art It's Really Boring!!!

Dante Bowe Finally Clarifies Why He Left Maverick City Music

8 min read
  • Dante Bowe’s self-titled album is out right now, and he told Insider he’s currently planning a tour. 
  • Still, some fans wondered why the singer-songwriter left his critically-acclaimed group, Maverick City Music, last year.
  • Bowe told Insider that he wasn’t really “working” that much with the group anyway because his career was taking off.

Dante Bowe is no stranger to the spotlight. From being the 2023 BMI Gospel Songwriter of the Year to earning multiple Grammy nominations at last year’s awards ceremony, he’s no stranger to hard work either.

In a conversation earlier this summer, Bowe told Insider he was in Los Angeles when he got the call that he was nominated for music’s biggest award.

“And then the call went from, ‘a Grammy to you have six nominations’ and so it was definitely a shock,” he continued. “But I feel like when you’re focused and you’re working towards a goal, sometimes you don’t even know how well you’re doing…I just kind of do what I think I’m called to do.”

That calling is what birthed Bowe’s new album, a self-titled project with 14 songs that show the singer-songwriter’s range and ability to easefully glide between genres. “You know I always try to do something innovative or new or fresh,” he said of this new direction. “I actually felt a ‘yes’ from God to do R&B.”

Bowe is quick to point out that the album is “not just R&B,” but instead a “gumbo of sounds” that incorporates gospel, reggae, and Afrobeats. The project also features rapper Vic Mensa on a track called “Breaking All My Rules,” along with other help from Ada Ehi, Flavour, Jekalyn Carr, and Anthony B.

Still, most were introduced to the Rockingham, North Carolina, native as a member of Maverick City Music, a Christian worship collective based in Atlanta, known for popular gospel songs such as “Jireh,” “Promises,” and “Wait on You.” Since its 2019 debut, Maverick City Music has become a staple in gospel with the group earning four Grammy nominations at last year’s ceremony.  

But after Maverick City Music suddenly announced they were putting their relationship with Bowe on “pause” in September 2022, it shocked the music industry and left many of the group’s fans wondering why. In a statement, the collective said Bowe exhibited “behavior that is inconsistent with our core values and beliefs.” Due to the statement’s ambiguity, and a social media break from Bowe, it left fans to speculate exactly what happened. Some reports pointed to Bowe releasing then deleting a nearly-nude photo to his Instagram Stories as a reason why.

Insider spoke to Bowe about the real reason behind his departure from Maverick City Music, if he has any regrets, and his plans for the future. (Insider reached out to Maverick City Music for this report. The group said they have no additional comment.) 

Dante Bowe in a purple suit

Juan Veloz

Tell me about Maverick City Music. How did that group come about and did you always see yourself as a part of a group? 

I never really saw myself as a part of a group. Me and a few of the people that started Maverick City were just good friends and we started doing a little worship night here and there and writing songs for different artists — not for ourselves — because we were songwriters as well. So we were going to pitch all these songs to these artists and it turned into…let’s record these songs. So in the beginning it was just two of us, and then it went from two of us to the Maverick you see today. And I’m grateful that I was a part of the beginning stages of this collective and I think we did well. 

What exactly caused your split from Maverick City? 

We weren’t working together that much in the first place, and not for any other reason other than my career was taking off. I had a number one single and like you said, I had all these Grammy Awards and I was getting plaques and all these different things. And I was on tour actually. So when that ended, I posted a photo that wasn’t salacious at all; I was very proud of my body working out. I hate that it happened…However, I think all that stuff happens to grow you and teach you about yourself, and teach you about what Jesus is all about, which is grace and mercy.

In a statement, Maverick City said that you weren’t in alignment with their values. Do you want to respond or expand a little bit on that?

Yeah, I think that was pertaining to the photo, but that was not the real reason we stopped working together. The real reason we stopped working together is because I had already been doing my own thing. 

And [there’s] just a lot of different things that go into this job called music and it’s a lot more complex than me actually singing and writing songs — when you think about the deals being made and the money being made and the success that’s happening. And I wasn’t contributing as much as I used to contribute to the group anyway, and I feel like that was just their door [or moment] to say that I wasn’t aligned with their core values when we were aligned in that season and we stopped being aligned after I started doing my own thing. 

But it made it seem as if I’m a troubled child, I did something that’s not good or I’m falling away when really I’m like the least of these. 

Dante Bowe wearing a purple turtleneck on a yellow background.

Juan Veloz

Many people shy away from the public eye under pressure, but you’re choosing to speak out. Why is that and why is it important for you to share your story on the record? 

I think vulnerability and just being honest is something I want to pass on to the next generation. I don’t want people to be in fear of failure or fear of losing what they gained through Jesus’ grace. And I think sometimes being quiet is louder…than you just coming out and just being honest. And I think I’m setting people free and also myself as well.

Good things don’t always come with just stars and rainbows. Sometimes it comes with trials and tribulations and I want people to know that it’s not all perfect just because you see us on TV and you see us operating our gifts and talents. I want you to know the reality of it that it will cost you something. 

Is that something that you’ve learned through your Christianity, through therapy or a combination of both? 

Yeah, through my faith. I really do think the Lord has sharpened me in a way that I could never imagine. I couldn’t imagine being the man I am today. …When chaos comes, sometimes there’s a gift with it and I think in my case it was a great gift. I got a new team. I have a new label [True Music]. I am putting out this new album that’s doing so well and everyone’s loving it. And I think that wouldn’t have happened if chaos didn’t happen. 

Are you still in contact with anyone in the group? 

No. I’m completely on a different level. I’m working with different people. We have different teams now and I still wish them well, but we don’t talk at all. No. 

There were a lot of people who came to your defense even though at the time it wasn’t clear what was  going on. How did that make you feel? 

I loved it. I love my supporters. The real Dante supporters understand the journey because they built me from the beginning and I really do appreciate that. I think I have gone out of my way to be as kind to everyone I’ve ever met. …And it felt so good to see some of my friends come to my defense and also some of my supporters and family come to my defense because it just shows you that you’ve done good by people and people really trust your character and they trust your integrity.

I’m glad to hear that you had such a great support system. If you had a message for your critics, what would you say? 

That’s a good question. My message to my critics would be: look at the fruit of my life. … I’ve had times where I want to give up and I want to say to any young person, there will be times you want to give up because you feel like this is going wrong and that is going wrong. In all reality, just look at your fruit, look at the fruit of your life. I feel like I’ve had incredible fruit from reaching millions with my faith, to being a part of Vogue and experiencing that whole thing, just in fashion, to my family and my friends who are still connected to me and love me dearly.

A black-and-white photo of Dante Bowe

Juan Veloz

Do you have any regrets? 

I regret accidentally posting that photo. I regret some of my interviews. Not because I didn’t believe what I said, it was very honest and truthful. And I hope that one day people can receive the truth and not judge people for the truth because at least they’re telling you the truth. Because a lot of your favorites will not tell you what they’re thinking in an interview. Usually, it’s just something that PR has told them, different things of that sort…and I think sometimes, some things are better left unsaid. 

So what can we expect from you in the future, any future collaborations? I know you just released an album…

Yeah, actually I have another album out and we’re planning a tour and I’m very excited about it. I know a lot of people are ready to see it and then some people are like, “I don’t know if I want to see it or not. I don’t know what he’s going to do.” It’s going to be the best thing I’ve ever created. It’s going to be so positive, so good. …You’re going to be educated after you leave this tour. 

Everything I do comes from God. I try to be as obedient as possible. I don’t want to do it like everyone else has done it. Everything I put out there is the truth about who I am and I want people to accept me as a Christian and not think that I have to have the three-piece suits or I have to move a certain way in a video and that dictates if I’m a Christian or not. I think it’s a new day coming…we can’t all be the same because then that’s just boring. 

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

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