As one-third of Destiny’s Child, Michelle Williams solidified her place in popular music history in the late 1990s and 2000s — selling tens of millions of units worldwide, prompting Billboard magazine to tag the Grammy-winning R&Bpop powerhouse as “one of the greatest musical trios of all time.” Having spread her professional wings as a solo singer, songwriter and stage actress since the trio’s disbandment in 2006, Williams cements her stay as a recording force on her fourth studio recording, Journey to Freedom (eOne Music).

Channeling her monumental R&B experience with the spiritually sensitivity of her personal heart, the mesmerizing singer describes her latest LP as “inspirational urban.” Featuring musical friends from the worlds of R&B and gospel—artists such as Fantasia, Lecrae and Tye Tribbett, plus Destiny’s Child members Beyonce and Kelly Rowland on “Say Yes,” a high-energy reunion that drove the rhythmic single to number one this past summer — Journey to Freedom gives the veteran her most proper platform to date.

CCM: You describe Journey to Freedom as “Urban Inspirational.” Tell us more about the sound and substance of the new record.

MICHELLE: Sonically and production wise, it’s a mix of all types of sounds that are deemed urban, R&B, pop, hip-hop, Afrobeat and gospel. It’s inspirational because of the message and content.

CCM: “Say Yes” essentially reunites Destiny’s Child for a single song. What prompted the reunion? Why this particular song? Would the group consider making a comeback?

MICHELLE: Beyoncé and Kelly really loved the song. So one day both of them said there should be a Destiny’s Child mix of this song. I’m not sure about a group comeback at this time, but never say never though!

CCM: You are co-hosting “Fix My Choir,” a reality television show focused on tips for church choirs. How have church choirs influenced your musical upbringing, and how do you bring your experience in music — sacred and secular—to help these fledgling chorusters?

MICHELLE: I grew up in the church. I grew up in the choir, as well. I was also a choir director, so I have loads of knowledge and experience about how a choir should run and sound. With the experience I now have as an entertainer, I can use a little bit of that in mentoring the choirs to bring out the best in them.

CCM: After so many years in the R&B-pop worlds, why pursue inspirational music — or as some would say — why settle for sacred?

MICHELLE: This is a calling I tried to run away from initially. I no longer could do that.

 

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About The Author

Andrew Greer
Contributor

Andrew Greer is a multiple Dove Award-nominated singer/songwriter, respected author, and co-creator of the innovative Hymns for Hunger tour with Cindy Morgan, raising awareness and resources for hunger relief organizations in hundreds of cities across the country. On tour, Andrew has shared the stage with folks like Amy Grant, Brandon Heath and Andrew Peterson. His songs have been recorded by artists like Jaci Velasquez, Seth & Nirva and Nic Gonzales (of Salvador). And his first book – Transcending Mysteries – co-authored with Ginny Owens, was published by Thomas Nelson in 2015. Andrew is also host of CCM Magazine’s “Features on Film” series, featuring one-on-one conversations with some of music’s biggest artists. For more information visit: andrew-greer.com or hymnsforhunger.com.

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