Chanel Hayes established her music career as one-third of Trin-i-tee 5:7, Gospel music’s biggest-selling female trio of all time. Today, she expounds on her urban-gospel group roots to launch her faith-infused debut solo recording, Trin-i-tee 5:7: According to Chanel (Obsidian Records). Already chalking up Grammy nods, plus Dove and Stellar wins and an international fan-base, the seasoned singer gives readers the whys and whens of going solo after years of group harmony.
CCM: After years of being recognized by peers, fans and platforms as a member of Trin-i-tee 5:7, what prompted a solo record now?
CHANEL: Timing is everything. The girls and I have always wanted to record our own solo projects. However, we wanted to make sure we had accomplished and completed everything related to Trin-i-tee 5:7. God’s time is my time. I remained sensitive to His call, and here I am. I hope to be a voice that reminds the souls around the world, whether lost or found, that God loves you just for who you are.
CCM: What freedoms did you experience recording solo? Did you miss the contributions of your Trin-i-tee cohorts?
CHANEL: Creating my own recording schedule felt pretty amazing. I could wake up when I wanted and stay in the studio as late as I wanted. I love to sing at night. I do miss the dance of vocals that we had cultivated over the years. But at the same time, I’m ready for this first solo dance.
CCM: The multi-talented producer-singersongwriter- instrumentalist and Maroon 5 band member PJ Morton wrote the first single and coproduced the record. How did that relationship come about?
CHANEL: PJ and I are childhood friends who have followed each other’s careers from day one. Both of our fathers are pastors in New Orleans, and as preacher’s kids you can imagine how often we saw each other at local church events. When I informed him of my first solo project, he was beyond supportive and agreed to produce two songs for me! He’s like a brother to me, and the chemistry we have is very unique. I value what we have accomplished together.
CCM: How have you evolved from group member to solo artist on this record?
CHANEL: For the first time, I am revealing my full vocal range while using fresh new tones and textures throughout the album. This was exciting because the recording process made me feel like a brand-new artist. It’s a sound I have always had tucked away but never recorded.
CCM: If you had only one message to convey through this record, through your music, what would that message be?
CHANEL: God’s love is unconditional to those who are flawed, lost, brokenhearted, afraid, disappointed and imperfect. He’s always guiding and loving us. Always.