Every great singer is not a great artist and every great artist is not a great singer. These are the poignant words penned so eloquently on Anita Wilson’s very personal blog. Fortunately for real music lovers, Anita Wilson has successfully walked the proverbial tightrope to achieve a healthy balance between both. Anita’s tremendous tone as a songstress emits so much authenticity and emotion, it’s hard not to become an instant fan.
Wilson has also developed a knack for nurturing her personae as a radiant and relevant recording artist through social media and meticulous makeovers. The evolution of Anita Wilson is most recently shown on Sunday Song, the latest album Anita has produced for public consumption. BlackGospel.com spoke with Anita about her journey from a sacred soul artist to a chameleon for Christ, becoming all things to all music fans, in order to save some souls.
Christopher Heron: Since you’re known for your signature silky smooth alto voice, who are a few altos you really enjoy?
Anita Wilson: The list is very long and includes Faith Evans, Lalah Hathaway, Bishop Yvette Flunder, and Lauryn Hill. Those are some major ones that come to mind.
Christopher Heron: You’ve worked with so many anointed artists in your musical career. What’s the most useful bit of advice you received?
Anita Wilson: I would say the most important lesson I will always carry with me came from Donald Lawrence. I used to wish that I had more range but Donald said, ‘’Why? Your voice gives people something different to listen to.’’ He would always say, ‘’Own your tone!’’ I think that’s the biggest lesson, being in my own lane.
Christopher Heron: You’re a seasoned worship leader. Is this the inspiration behind the latest the album title, Sunday Song?
Anita Wilson: Yes. I grew up in church, I’m a pastor’s daughter but at the end of the day I love all genres, RnB, Jazz and Classical. But there will always be a connection to Worship. I feel like I am and will always be a Worship leader. It’s just kind of different with this kind of music that I released but at the end of the day, it’s uplifting and inspirational. My music will always be Worship music. It’s just a different delivery.
Christopher Heron: When you debuted years ago, you had the comfort level of working under the umbrella of Motown Gospel. This project is a different arrangement. Does it feel different, fresh and exciting, or is it just more scary?
Anita Wilson: It feels like all of that because it’s a lot of different hats you wear, when you are your own label head. When I was with the label, there were people in place to handle this part or that part but now in addition to being the artist, I’m the label executive too. I make all the decisions. I decide what this album will look like, the visuals for it, the designs, the cover art, the photo shoots, and the radio reps. I decide what goes to radio and when to send it. So I’m wearing about 12 different hats. The load is definitely heavier because there are more things to put in place.
But at the same time, it’s rewarding because there’s creative freedom to do this album the way that I want to. I’m able to release it the way that God inspired me to do it. It was very important to me to have creative control. It’s rewarding. It’s a little scary too because it’s a different space, but I’m really grateful to be in this position. I take the bitter with the sweet.
Christopher Heron: I’m sure you love all of the songs on your new album but is there a particular song that really resonates with you?
Anita Wilson: Well, I am grateful that the music is connecting because when you release it you never know what to expect. I’m grateful for social media because there you can immediately see the response. I think everybody has their favorite song. One of the people’s favorites is also one of my favorites, You Don’t Have To Travel Far. I found myself calling it the unofficial title track.
I’m just looking to inspire everybody with this album. Sunday is wherever God is and God is everywhere. You don’t have to travel far to get into His presence. We may not make it to church but that doesn’t mean that they can’t access God’s presence. So, You Don’t Have To Travel Far gets us into that mindset of God meeting us where we are.
Christopher Heron: Is Donald Lawrence’s The Company featured on background vocals?
Anita Wilson – Sunday Song
Anita Wilson is looking to inspire everybody with this album. Sunday is wherever God is and God is everywhere. You don’t have to travel far to get into His presence. We may not make it to church but that doesn’t mean that they can’t access God’s presence.
Anita Wilson: Yes. That’s the cool thing about this album. Sunday Song was a full circle moment for me because The Company actually did all the background vocals. They were so yummy. People are going to hear that Donald Lawrence sound. That’s my family, The Company, I was so honored to have them on this album.
Christopher Heron: I will close with one final question. The album is called Sunday Song, which sounds like an album for believers. Can somebody who is a non-believer take something away from this album?
Anita Wilson: Oh, without a doubt. I want to open up and unpack the real meaning of Sunday Song. Anybody who’s heard me talk for longer than 5 minutes knows my heart has always been for this kind of music. It’s important to me with my music to use it as evangelism, to reach out to others that don’t know God. On my last album, I featured sounds reminiscent of RnB. I redid The Best Of My Love because I wanted the sound to really pull in people, the homies on the corner or the young lady making some bad decision, or people having issues.
Once, we took one of my friends to church who doesn’t go to church and then a praise break broke out and folks started running around and speaking in tongues. Those of us who get it, we understand that, but that literally frightened him and he didn’t know what to do. He was like, ‘’I’ll never go back to church.’’
I never want to leave anybody out. One of the rules of a good Worship leader is to meet them where they are and lead them in a way they can understand. I’m hoping my music does that, not only with believers but with non-believers as well. They want to be uplifted and introduced to God with some feel-good music. There’s a lot of booty bumpin music out there with bad lyrics and I just want to add to the options of what people can press play with as a soundtrack to their lives. That’s my desire. Sunday Song is for everybody.
For more information on the music and life of Anita Wilson, visit her official website @ www.msanitawilson.com and her official blog @ http://msanitawilson.tumblr.com/.
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Source: Black Gospel