Voices Of Praise Magazine

Category - Artist Interviews

Karen Clark Sheard with Voices of Praise Magazine

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.

Michael Bethany with Voices Of Praise Magazine

We got to speak with none other than Michael Bethany an amazing vocalist with deep understanding of quality of praise and worship. I watched this brother minister on countless occasions behind some of the most prominent singers in the industry and now the much awaited time has come. He is stepping into his own presentation of God. No more in the shadows God has thrust this man of God into the forefront. With the blessings of most of his peers. His new project will show you his diverse style and will usher in a move of God wherever you listen.

Yours Forever, the debut disc from Stellar Award nominated and BMI Award winning singer/songwriter Michael Bethany makes its debut at number 5 on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart. Yours Forever boasts the writings of Bethany coupled with assistance from Calvin Rodgers and Phillip Feaster.  Bethany’s promotional dates continue throughout July and into the month of August with ministry dates at the Potters House Fort Worth, the Never Ending Worship Experience with Tasha Cobbs and Israel Houghton on August 13th in San Antonio and A Day of Worship alongside David Michael Wyatt on August 14th.

A native of St. Louis, MO, Michael accredits his love for music and performance to his family legacy. He got his start in his Father’s home church and quickly grew into an accomplished vocalist, songwriter and performer. Michael developed his passion for praise and worship while singing, directing and arranging music for churches and events throughout the city. After years of cutting his teeth locally – being featured in television performances with many national artists, Michael was invited to join Tyler Perry to appear as David in the hit stage play I Can do Bad All By Myself. He continued his career producing, singing, writing and traveling for concert performances including appearances on national television networks such as TBN & Daystar. After relocating to Dallas, TX in 2005, Michael joined Fred Hammond as a lead vocalist, producer, songwriter and the General Manager for FHammond Family Entertainment Inc. (FHFE). He has been privileged to cowriter on numerous songs including the radio hit They That Wait, winning a Stellar Nomination and a BMI Christian Song Award. Michael is also proud to add to his body of work projects such as Fred Hammond’s Free to Worship CD and Live DVD, Love Unstoppable, the Warehouse Worship concert series (now available on DVD), Life In the Word CD and Christmas…Who Needs It -the movie. He is also featured as a lead vocalist and co-producer on Fred Hammond’s latest CD project God Love and Romance. He’s had the honor of singing and recording albums with Legends in gospel music such as Marvin Sapp’s Best in Me and Kirk Franklin’s Grammy award winning Hello Fear. Michael currently serves as the Music/Worship Director of the thriving ministry, Highpoint Church, with Pastors Gary and April Simons in Arlington, TX., where he continues living out his heart’s passion of impacting, inspiring and developing worshippers. With performing on the road, around the globe and working in his local ministry, Michael is definitely committed to creating and sharing quality music , and empowering his present generation through Word inspired messages and songs.

bio gathered from http://www.michaelbethany.com/

Lamar Campbell with Voices Of Praise Magazine

We got the opportunity of a lifetime to speak with Lamar Campbell about the new project at the 2014 Hezekiah Walker Choir Fest. Take a listen and let us know your thoughts.

Lamar Campbell & Spirit Of Praise

Founder of Lamar Campbell & Spirit of Praise, since their inception in 1995, the group has recorded four stellar CDs and seen their name value rise via collaborations with CeCe Winans, soul music icon Aaron Neville and even southern gospel legend Bill Gaither.
Born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, Lamar was active in the church and musically gifted from an early age. He began playing the piano in his home church from the age of eight, and by age fifteen, he became the music director of another church. After graduating from high school he felt a call to music and studied music at the Jordan Music College at Butler University in Indianapolis. Shortly after, in the late ’80s, he founded his first group known then simply as Lamar Campbell & Praise. That ensemble released a major-label album two years later that performed moderately well nationally yielding a major hit titled, “This Debt of Love I Owe,” and made the act a significant name in Indianapolis and the surrounding areas. Lamar chose to disband that group and was later lead to form Lamar Campbell & Spirit of Praise and became the first artist signed to EMI Gospel, where they released CD’s entitled, Lamar Campbell & Spirit of Praise, I Need Your Spirit, When I Think About You, From the Heart and his latest release, New Song, New sound — Live, was released in 2007. These projects produced chart topping songs such as “He Won’t Let you Down”, “It’s All About the Love”, “Closer” and “More Than Anything” to mention a few.
Lamar has recently finished working on a new collection of songs. His new hit single is entitled OPEN THE SKY! This project was released on September 24, 2013.