Our first interview is that of an honor to us we have with us an American gospel four-time Grammy Award winning singer, musician, and songwriter, first lady, Mother and a unstoppable force in the industry . The youngest daughter of pioneering gospel choral director Mattie Moss Clark, Karen Clark Sheared began her career as a member of the Grammy-Award winning, gospel legendary female group, The Clark Sisters.
VOP: You wear a lot of hats (mom, writer, pastor’s wife, etc.). How does this enhance your ministry presentation?
KCS: It helps me to grow by remaining a steward for God. It keeps me grounded, keeps me on my knees so that I can walk in the destiny He has for me.
VOP: What is the key to success as it pertains to ministry as an artist?
KCS: Knowing that God has chosen me to be a vessel and that souls have been touched and changed because I allowed God to use me. Also making God the priority in my life and availing myself to Him to be used.
VOP: What was the vision behind Karew Records?
KCS: Karew Records was initially established as a label home for the family’s various recording projects. Karew Records is a faith-based label focusing on various forms of gospel, Christian and inspirational music for all nations and generations. Helping others pursue their dreams and mentoring them to represent God.
VOP: What mentoring points would you extend to new and upcoming artists about the industry and how to prepare for it?
KCS: My mom used to always say, “Live what you sing about.”It is so important to realize that the industry, although a business, is first a powerful and pertinent ministry tool that reaches the believer. Also be very active in your home church and be under leadership so you can receive guidance and hear the Lord’s voice.
VOP: How important is it to live what you sing?
KCS: Very important. I was raised by my mom to believe that we should live what we sing because it will show when you get on stage.
VOP: What would you say to an artist who gets stuck in one facet of the genre and wants to step out of the normal to reach more people?
KCS: Sometime back, I talked about being on a plane and how we were in the air waiting for the storm to pass and likened it to God’s Holding Pattern. We have to make sure that God is the one telling us to step out in a different avenue, if not we can be caught up in the storm. Realize that your gift will make room for you. Personal and Family
VOP: How was it growing up with Dr. Mattie Moss Clark, the First Lady of Gospel music? And did her teachings become your own for your children?
KCS: Mom was a treasure; even though she was stern, she was appreciated by many. And I came to realize that she embraced everyone as if they were her own.There are so many treasured moments that prepared us for life. She saw the vision and kept us in line. And the foundation that she instilled in us, I passed on to my kids. I had to be a little more open in some circumstances, but I did not stray from the foundational tenet of my upbringing.
VOP: How did you and Bishop ensure as parents that there was a balance for your children as they grew in their identity?
KCS: Being an example. We had to be their first role models and a pattern for growing in God.
VOP: Were you and Bishop nervous when Kierra and J Drew stepped into the spotlight?
KCS: Of course we held them up in our prayer that God would direct them and cover them and help them in making decisions. So our faith was in knowing that God was going to place them in their calling.
VOP: How did you prepare them for this step?
KCS: Through prayer and instilling in them Godly morals and values and multiple events and engagements
VOP: Do you have a website, blog, podcast that you would like to inform our readers about?
KCS: sure your readers can find us at www.karewrecords.com or follow me on twitter @officialkcs
VOP: Any last mentoring points you would like to give to the new artist reading this article?
KCS: I cannot stress enough the importance of living what you sing. We are truly living in some dangerous times, so the spreading of the Gospel in any form must be our main priority. We have to maintain integrity so we can be examples to the next generation and not be a falling star.