Hi! We love ‘Praise Evolution: 1 on 1 with God!!!’! The album sounds fantastic. What inspired you to create it?

A: I wanted to express my praise my way.  I think I have always felt different; being an only child brings a unique perspective to life; it sort of brings comfort to being alone; that is your state most of the time, so you adjust and make the best of it.  So, this is my story, my way.  Sometimes, I wondered if I should do everything other artists do, but I realized I would not be true to myself if I did.  I wanted to tell my story, a happy story, with the peppered trials and tribulations we go through, but still joyful, things aren’t perfect, but when have they ever been?  Sometimes church is loud and busy, praise is noisy and active, but there are times you need the deliberate quiet with God, that introspective time when you talk and then sit back and wait for the response.

What is your favorite track on the album and why?

A: My favorite track is Dreams.  I grew up in a large family, I was an only child, but I have aunts, uncles, and cousins, and knew grandparents and great-grandparents.  As a kid, I always felt I was small looking up at my family, I am the oldest grandchild, great-grandchild, and niece or nephew.  I was kind of a test kid, so I kind of belong to multiple groups, either little sister or big sister depending on who you are talking to.  I always shied away from being in the middle of my big, loud family; I watched and retreated to my quiet world of books and imagination.  The message in the quiet solitude was my favorite time.  I think this song reflects that atmosphere, reflecting on and recognizing the importance of the little things.  I feel there are times when God yells to get our attention, but my experiences mainly come from early morning wakeups and dreams.  Dreams have always played a significant part in my family; my grandmother and great-grandmother put a lot of weight on dreams and their meaning for the family.  So, it seemed only fitting that I should compose a song about Dreams.  Also, my favorite Scripture is Psalms 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God; when we are sleeping is when we are most open to hearing his word.

Where was it recorded?

A: It was recorded in a La Plata, MD studio, Quality Touch Studios.  I came to this studio after about a year of working on my project and met with some great people who helped me through my journey but also helped me find my voice during my journey.

I’m interested in how you began your musical journey. Did you always know that this was your true passion?

A: I began singing in my great-grandmother’s church. She was the pastor, and I spent most days and all-day Sunday in church.  We were Holiness, stringent, no makeup, no pants, etc., but the music fascinated me, and I loved it.  My first memory is singing at the age of 3; this little light of mine was the song.  Everyone who knows me can tell you I sing without thinking, and there is always a song in my mind.  I have always wanted a singing career, but the time was never right.  The funny thing was time was not right this time either, but I prayed and asked God to push me through, and he did.   So here I am, “Never too old, never too late” is my new motto.

I began my college career as a pre-med student. My grandmother was a nurse, and although I watched plays and musicals on TV, it never occurred to me that I was good enough to be a musician.  This is a new beginning for me, pursuing my passion and doing what I do all the time without thought.  I always sing and compose songs in my head, in the car, wherever I am.  It’s not just a passion; it’s a part of me.

Your music blends various styles and sounds in a captivating manner. If given the opportunity, who would be your ideal collaborator and what is the reason behind your choice?

A: My initial response would be Kirk Franklin, he is a gospel powerhouse, with his many years of bringing eclectic groups together on his projects, everyone one sounds different and unique.  That would be amazing to see what I could create with someone like him as I continue to discover my voice.  But I am not going to go with the obvious, I would love to work with Dolly Parton.  First, I love her music, she has a unique style and tone, and she is unapologetically Dolly.  Second, I would love to work creatively with a woman, throughout this process I have been working with men, my musicians, producers, engineers, all men.  I do have a female vocal coach, but most of the other people I have dealt with in the industry have been male.

What has been your favorite musical experience so far?

A:  I recently did a women’s conference, I was the musical guest on both nights, but the first night I did praise and worship for the conference.  When you perform in a personal atmosphere it makes things very real.  You get immediate feedback, and you can feel the mood of the room.  I was working with 2 young musicians from the area, 1st meeting, and very little rehearsal time and things just seemed to jell with little to no effort.  That is when you know it is not about you, but about the message from God.  I am still on a spiritual high from the experience and the women were supportive and cooperative.  I hope to do other events with this group of women.

Where are you located? Can you describe how the local music scene has influenced your sound in any way?

A: I am based in Maryland, the DMV, as they call it.  I have been here for many years, and of course, you cannot be in the vicinity of DC and not be influenced by GoGo.  Chuck Brown, The Godfather of GoGo, and his music was infectious.  His band continues to carry on his legacy and tradition with some of his family members. Coming from the South, I was influenced by many genres of music. When I was young, “The Cat and the Cradle” was a favorite of mine; people thought I was weird.  So, when I got to the DMV and heard GoGo, I was hooked.  I also love House Music. I was introduced to that in Philly, but DC has its style.  I like this area because you can find any type of music you are interested in, and being the nation’s Capital, there is always something going on and some new sound to explore.  My dad loves Jazz, and I think the melodic, soulful sounds of that genre have also captured me; there is always a good jazz fest here.  The many sounds of the DMV keep the creative juices flowing, and I have many more ideas than time.

If you had the opportunity to perform at any venue worldwide, which one would you choose and why?

A: It would be Dalhalla Amphitheatre in Rattvik, Sweden.  For many reasons, first, the acoustics are supposed to be amazing.  This is a venue that occurred naturally over many natural occurrences, and it is an old Limestone quarry.  I have never been there, but the pictures are amazing, and I am ready to be there.  In a theater created by God and giving Him glory.  Not only would I be singing about His glory and wonder, but I would also be in the midst of one of the examples of it. 

What was the first album you remember owning?

A: I am about to age myself, but when I was a teenager, we mostly bought 45, I know ancient, but the first album I bought was in high school and it was Pleasure Principle by Gary Numan, I loved the song, Cars.  My aunts and uncles had so many albums etc. that I just listened to theirs, but this was my first major musical purchase, and I was so proud.  I remember finding a 33 of Rhapsody in Blue and buying it to hear it.  I just loved music of all types and wanted to experience as much as possible. 

Finally, do you have anything to share about upcoming gigs? Also, what are your plans for 2024?

A: I have partnered with a Christian group, Women-N-Power, International. and I am going on a 10-city tour with them to sing and promote my music.  The tour starts in January 2024 in my hometown, Kingstree SC.  We will be singing in churches across the country, bringing the conference and the worship with us.  I am excited and ready to work with them.  The total schedule has not been confirmed but all of the information will be on the website and my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/mypraiseevolution/.  I am ready for whatever life brings!