For Tauren Wells, every move deliberately serves a greater goal and a higher purpose.
Whether performing on stage or inspiring through social media, the platinum-certified six-time GRAMMY® Award-nominated artist, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, entrepreneur, speaker, father, and force of nature carries an uplifting and undeniable message. It also translates across platforms, genres, and mediums. One moment, he might be on tour with Lionel Richie and Mariah Carey. In the next, you could find him gracing an Instagram livestream with legendary professional athletes like Steph Curry or Russell Wilson. Afterwards, he might be leading worship at Lakewood Church in Houston, TX. No matter what he does, Tauren’s clear intent to operate on behalf of the greater good is evident.
Projecting gospel spirit through a prism of pop, hip-hop, and soul, he amplifies this message on his 2020 second full-length, Citizen of Heaven [Provident Label Group].
“I’m not trying to make a statement; I’m trying to make a difference and impact people,” he exclaims. “I look at songs as the soundtrack to our lives. If you’re struggling with doubt and depression, there’s
music here to lift your soul. If you’re going out for a run or to the gym, there’s music for that. You can
experience the music on whatever level you want. With every song, there are deeper layers.”
The same could be said of Tauren’s journey thus far. After ushering Royal Tailor to the top of the charts,
he introduced the world to his solo artistry on the GRAMMY® nominated Hills and Valleys in 2017. Generating 444 million total streams and 1.7 billion impressions by 2020, it yielded a one RIAA platinum single with “Hills and Valleys” and a second gold certification for “Known.” Additionally, the record garnered the 2018 Dove Award for “Pop Contemporary Album,” and he took home “New Artist of the Year,” “Contemporary Christian Artist of the Year,” and “Rap/Hip-Hop Recorded Song” for “War Cry” with Social Club Misfits.
Along the way, Lionel Richie and Mariah Carey welcomed him on their “All the Hits Tour,” and he canvased the States on the road with Chris Tomlin before embarking on his own sold-out headline run in fall 2019, as well as kicking off 2020 on Toby Mac’s “Hits Deep Tour.”
His music resonated far and wide. One day, Steph Curry commented on his Instagram. The three-time
NBA Champion shared a story of playing “Hills and Valleys” in the hospital upon his son’s birth.
Eventually, they connected in person backstage at a show with Steph and his daughters sporting
Tauren’s Citizen of Heaven t-shirts. Not to mention, Russell Wilson described him as “One of my favorite artists ever” during an Instagram Live session together.
“I’m an avid sports fan, so I was totally humbled and honored by both of these gentlemen,” he says.
“Shout out to Instagram for connecting us!”
Along the way, he assembled what would become Citizen of Heaven. For the first time, he invited co-producers Chuck Butler and Jordan Sapp to Houston in order to collaborate. Working out of an AirBnb, they immediately locked into a groove.
“Typically, I’ll go to Nashville and work on songs with a bunch of different people,” he explains. “This
time, I found some guys I really clicked with, so I asked if they’d just come to Houston. We wrote songs
day and night. It was great to come home every evening and be with my family and kids. Then, I’ve got
Chuck and Jordan held hostage bringing me their ideas 24/7,” he smiles. “I didn’t have a grand vision
other than serving the people God put in front of me with the songs he gave me. It was a quick process.”
He introduced the record with “Like You Love Me.” Fueled by soaring guitar solos, handclaps, talk-box transmissions, and his towering range, the track occupied #1 on the Billboard chart for multiple weeks right out of the gate. Meanwhile, “Famous For (I Believe)” [feat. Jenn Johnson] unfolded as a bold ballad, stretching from intimate verses into a sweeping and soaring refrain. Within a month of arriving, it resonated among audiences across the country as fans posted countless church performances. Not to mention, Steph and Ayesha Curry invited him to perform it on their Home + Hallelujah Instagram Live in March 2020.
“‘Famous For (I Believe)’ is just a reminder of God’s wonders,” he goes on. “The hope is we’ll see the
greatest miracles in our generation. I believe we can see them here and now.”
The record also includes two more collaborations for Tauren. He teamed up with Kirk Franklin for
“Millionaire (Good Like That),” and joined forces with country superstars Rascal Flatts on “Until Grace.” From the soulful bliss of “Perfect Peace” to the piano-driven closer “Carry On,” he taps into raw emotion and transmits truth.
“I try to maintain an open mind to hear the stories of others,” he elaborates. “I wanted to present the idea that we are citizens of a greater kingdom. We ought not put our ultimate hope in a manmade system of any kind. Our hope has to be in something higher and more substantial—that’s the kingdom of heaven. I want to raise eyes above politics, policy, and nations and towards everlasting hope. We can be citizens of Heaven if we choose.”
In the end, Tauren’s message resounds loud and clear through everything he does.
“I’m trying to deliver music that encourages, helps, and energizes,” he says. “When anybody listens, it’s an honor. I’d love to show everyone there’s greatness inside of all of us. Whatever I do, be it music, speaking, or anything else, I want to siphon greatness out of others and show them that what God has called them to do is possible. I try to be a dedicated follower of Jesus, a committed husband, a faithful father, a solid friend, a decent creative, and an overall person of substance, character, and integrity. If I am, I think everything else will fall into place.”