What are the biggest issues that you want people of this world to escape from or be saved from?
I feel like a lot of people feel like they’re trapped into where they came from. Like if you’re born in the hood, that’s it. Man, come on! You’ve got to evolve. Anything that doesn’t evolve is a freak of nature. God created everything on the planet to evolve and to change. It’s springtime now, right? But this is not the same grass that was here last year. Everything is evolving and growing. I feel like, you know, we get too locked into that. You definitely gotta respect where you come from, and you use that to catapult you to where you’re going. You are what you think, you know? Whatever you think you are, that’s what you’ll be. If people elevate their minds, that’s what they’ll set your mind to do.
Who would you love to work with to bridge that gap between the genres of music?
I’m a fan of anybody that’s excellent at what they do. People like Jay-Z, people like Mary J, Kanye West, Usher, they are all great at what they do. If they can respect my talent, I would love to work with them. I would love to work with anybody that’s about making some moves and making something big. I’m not that religious guy that’s self-righteous. I believe you gotta honor and respect great talent, and if the opportunity presents itself for me to work with anybody that can respect what I do, hey, we can make it pop. We can make it happen.
Let’s jump into fashion for a minute, though. Explain your style. You might just be the best-dressed gospel artist I know [Laughs]!
[Laughs] I’m heavy into fashion. I believe it’s apart of your image. For so long, in gospel music, it wasn’t about swag. It was about being anointed and getting up there screaming and hollering, and people don’t care what they put on. I don’t believe in that! I believe you gotta be excellent. If going to really represent God, you gotta have some swag period.
[Laughs] I like that.
Yes, I don’t walk out the door unless I’m confident about what I’m rocking.
Do you style yourself?
I style myself, but if I’ve got stuff going on that’s really heavy, I have several stylists. Kim Buford styles me a lot and also Mia Thomas
Nice. What’s your favorite piece of clothing? I peeped that you rock the bowties and the jackets, but what’s one must-have for you?
I really don’t have specifics; it’s really what I see. I like fitted clothes. I can go into a Gucci or Diesel, and I like to go to boutique stores where people don’t really go. I go to a lot of vintage stores. I take the stuff and go get it tailored. I just racked up on a bunch of old school suits. I take it to my tailor and he fits it to me like it was made for me, and I’ll rock a crazy bowtie. It’s all about your tie, your shirt and your shoes, you know? I think that’s what’s coming back; the whole vintage style.
I totally agree, and I love when a guy takes pride in what he has on. Lastly, explain what your hopes are for the future, not just in your career but also your hopes for the world.
I hope that we’ll find a way to love each other and come together without disaster in the world. It’s always when trouble comes is when we learn how to come together. Why can’t we just love each other and come together when it’s not a disaster? So, I would hope to see more love in the future. As far as I’m concerned, I would like for the music business at large, not just gospel music, to be different because I existed, because I did it. That’s my hope for the future. I want people to say, ‘Okay, he contributed something different and open up a path and blaze a trail for a whole ‘nother genre to evolve.’