Archive for March, 2009

Tonex

Date of Interview: 03/30/2009

© 2009 Clayton Perry

If Prince sung gospel music, then you’d have a general idea of the artist formerly known as “Tonex.”  Like Prince, Ton3x is a singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist.  He is also an unconventional “bad boy” who won’t let the media or his fans stand in the way of artistic integrity.

After the massive success of Out the Box, Ton3x could have easily found a home amongst mainstream audiences.  But as quickly as he rose to the top, the trappings of newfound success were set to bring him down.  And sure enough, shortly after the receipt of his sixth Stellar Award and first GRAMMY nomination, Ton3x became a “whipping boy” within the gospel music industry.

Even with Jesus as his guide, Ton3x style was deemed too flamboyant.  Too unconventional.  Too abrasive.  And after much contemplation, Ton3x made an abrupt retirement announcement in 2006 and split from Jive Records, which received a vocal, public response from his industry peer, Kirk Franklin, who supported and respected his musical talents.

On March 17, 2009, Ton3x released Unspoken, his first release under Battery Records, a Sony BMG imprint.  Upon review of the album, Ton3x managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry — reflecting on Walter Hawkins, Out the Box and “the naked truth.”

(more…)

Advertisements

Donnie McClurkin

Date of Interview: 03/19/2009

© 2009 Clayton Perry

Donnie McClurkin is one of the most recognizable—and controversial—figures in the Gospel music arena.  Beginning with his solo debut in 1997, McClurkin has pressed his listeners to examine the nuances of life’s ominous struggles, as well as the ultimate “road to redemption” that every man ends up traveling. Through the power of song, Donnie McClurkin has given the world intimate insight into the trials and tribulations of his life, and his recent autobiography, Eternal Victim, Eternal Victor, builds upon his belief that “a saint is just a sinner that fell down and got up.”

To date, McClurkin has received two GRAMMY Awards from his industry peers: “Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album” for …Again (2003) and “Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album” for Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs (2005).   His best-selling album, however, is the platinum, critically-acclaimed Live in London and More… (2000).

Upon review of We Are All One (Live in Detroit), Donnie McClurkin managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry — reflecting on the role of religion in politics, the Winans family’s influence on his career, and the difference between preaching and singing.

(more…)

Michael Ealy

Date of Interview: 03/19/2009

© 2009 Clayton Perry

Upon first glance, Michael Ealy could be easily written off as one of Hollywood’s stereotypical “pretty boys.”  But time and time again, Ealy has proven himself to be more than a handsome gent, although the media tends to focus on his blue eyes and chiseled face, which have turned him into one of America’s best-known “sex symbols.”

Ealy’s current resume boasts a string of films that have showcased his versatile acting chops, including top billing in Miracle at St. Anna, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Barbershop and 2 Fast 2 Furious. On December 19, 2008, Columbia Pictures released his latest film, Seven Pounds, where he stars as “Ben’s Brother.”

In preparation for the DVD release of Seven Pounds, Michael Ealy managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry – reflecting on life on the set, his brotherly bond with Will Smith, and the directing style of Gabriele Muccino.

(more…)

Ginuwine

Date of Interview: 03/18/2009

© 2009 Clayton Perry

When Ginuwine made his grand appearance on the musical stage, the world was smitten by “Pony,” his provocative, Timbaland-assisted smash.  And for more than a decade, Ginuwine’s adoring fans have watched him evolve through his private emotional battles, as he coped with the death of his parents (“Two Reasons I Cry”), transition from bachelorhood into the married life (“Differences”), and public life in the spotlight (“Same Ol’ G”).

Although he has five gold, platinum and multi-platinum albums to his credit, Ginuwine’s influence on contemporary R&B has been largely underrated.  In fact, many of the genre’s younger artists have incorporated elements of his video performance into their acts—dancing, singing and serenading, all at one time.

On June 2, 2009, Ginuwine will release his sixth studio through Notifi Records, with distribution being handled by Warner Brother Records.  In preparation for the release of A Man’s Thoughts, Ginuwine managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry — reflecting on fatherhood, “Last Chance,” and The Life.

(more…)

Israel Houghton

Date of Interview: 03/04/2009

© 2009 Clayton Perry

Every Sunday, the musical compositions of Israel Houghton fill houses of worship across the world.  Among the most popular are “Again I Say Rejoice,” “Not Forgotten,” and “Turn It Around” — “praise and worship” songs that bolster an impressive repertoire that has received 6 Dove Awards, 2 Stellar Awards, and 2 GRAMMY Awards.

Through Houghton’s lyrics, one can feel the presence of the Lord; and when these lyrics are transformed into song, one immediately feels the warmth and security of the Holy Spirit.  Thus, the inescapable reach of Houghton’s ministry is a testament to the favor God bestows upon those who walk in accordance to His will.

Since Whisper Out Loud (1997), Houghton’s catalog has defied categorization. And with each subsequent release, social constructs, like race and religious denomination, have had little impact on his influence within the contemporary gospel genre.

Upon review of The Power of One, Israel Houghton managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry — reflecting on New Breed, Ephesians 1:18 and his journey to Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church.

(more…)