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Phone interview recorded May 24, 2011

Respected in the gospel world since her major label debut in 1998, Kim Burrell is taking a bold step in a slightly different direction with her new release, THE LOVE ALBUM. While not a secular album in the truest sense, it does come very close with its romantic, jazzy arrangements and a couple of soulful covers. The project, accompanied by the video for the single “Sweeter”, is under a mountain of criticism from the Christian community, who are calling it “too sexy”.

A self-assured Kim Burrell shared why she’s on a mission to build a bridge between gospel and soul music. She also addressed all of the criticisms, and then some, with Darnell Meyers-Johnson…

Darnell Meyers-Johnson: Good day, this is Darnell Meyers-Johnson for Today I’m speaking with a woman who is breaking down the barrier and rebuilding the bridge between gospel and soul music. Her major label debut was 1998’s EVERLASTING LIFE, and that earned her a Stellar Award for Contemporary Female Vocalist of the year and it also introduced many to her unique, jazz-inspired vocals. Whitney Houston called her one of the greatest voices of our time, and Beyoncé says she’s the inspiration for real R&B singers. Her brand-new album is aptly titled THE LOVE ALBUM. Today I am speaking with the amazing artistry that is Miss Kim Burrell. How are you, Kim?

Kim Burrell: I’m absolutely fantastic, how about you?

DMJ: I’m good, and I’m so excited and honored and… I’m just having a great mix of emotions right here to have this chance to speak with you, so I do appreciate the time that you’re taking out to do this.

KB: Sure.

DMJ: I know that you’re a pastor now and I want to talk about that a little bit later, but just for the purpose of this conversation, is it okay if I, every now and again, refer to you as Kim? I don’t want to be disrespectful.

KB: Absolutely, absolutely. No problem at all.

DMJ: Before we talk about the new album, for the benefit of those who may not be as familiar with you—in however way you wish to answer this—tell us, who is Kim Burrell?

KB: Kim Burrell is the baby of four, a young lady from Houston, Texas who has been in church her entire life and the church in her her entire life, and has had many, many opportunities in her musical career as well as personal life to be developed into what it is I am today and whatever He’ll help me be in some way. And who is a proud mother of Christian Joseph Wiley, who is eight years old, and just an all-out lover of mankind and the world who loves music.

DMJ: You mentioned church and like the Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin, you started out in your father’s church. Can you tell me a little bit about your early years growing up?

KB: Growing up, just as the Queen of Soul, my father was my pastor —and just having an opportunity to be a part of a church, and moving in the music department as young as fourteen years old, I mean as young as twelve—directing the choir. The church has been primarily the most of what I’ve done musically in my life and most of what I’ve done career-wise in my life. So it is a big staple in my world and it’s something I enjoy doing and compelling others to do. Church carries such a great spirit and such great information on how to help our lives be better. I’ve enjoyed and still am enjoying being a church baby. Now, as you said earlier, even so much so that I’ve even become a pastor. So it’s been my life.

DMJ: And being that we’re, you’ll forgive me in advance if I refer back to that part of music a little more than the gospel side, but let me just get your opinion from the onset: Why do you think so many great soul singers like Aretha Franklin—and we can even go back to Sam Cooke and people like that—why do you think so many of them have come from the church? What is it about church that breeds great singers?

KB: I think to be honest with you—and not to take anything away from what the world of soul defines as “soul music”, but listen to it—it’s the soul’s music. It’s what has come from their souls. And I think what the Sam Cookes and Aretha Franklins and other soul singers got out of church made them produce that sound that we labeled as soul music—something from their soul. I think it’s just direction; it’s the heart, it’s the intent when we sing gospel that brings the soul of it out. That’s primarily why I believe that so many soul singers have come from church, because what they’ve got in their souls from church has created soul music.

DMJ: And being that, as you just described, your upbringing was so church-oriented, was there any kind of mainstream secular music allowed in your home or was it really a very strict environment?

KB: It was a little half and half. My daddy, when he was eighteen years old, had a great opportunity to play—he was in the service, and he had an opportunity to play for Nancy Wilson. So he has a love for music and my mother as well. She took music appreciation in college, so it balanced our home out as it pertained to that. We were able to listen to other kinds of music; everything from Herbie Hancock to Stevie Wonder. We were allowed, because my parents both were aware of how vast and how broad music is. But they were very strict on how much we listened to it, because we were, and are, a religious family and they just wanted to make sure that at our age the content of love or R&B music was not too much for us to handle and try to make us be a little too grown up before our time, so to speak. And that was the only stipulation. But as far as the sound of it, they encouraged us to listen to it quite a bit.

DMJ: As I was saying before, you have quite a unique jazzy phrasing and tone and everything to your voice. I’ve heard that you’ve been called “The Ella of Gospel”, or “The Gospel Ella”. Where did that come from?

KB: You know what, I started out at fourteen years old being an artist, so to speak. I had an opportunity to record with my church choir, and then other people heard of me and I’ve continued since then. But the story behind that is that I went to a musical gathering of a bunch of church people singing different songs, and I walked up to the church and heard this great choir going. I didn’t know how to play any instrument at the time. So I was listening to whoever was on the organ or keyboards at the time to see who would play for me because I was going to the musical to be a guest and to sing. So the gentleman that played for me that night, he just didn’t match what it was I felt I needed to pull my song off, so I went to my local church and taught myself to play the next day. And what it is, I think my interpretation of music and the way I hear it has caused me to be labeled as that jazz thing. I didn’t grow up listening to jazz singers. Of course we enjoyed, as I said before, Herbie Hancock, but it was not a consistent thing. I didn’t know how to conceive the intricate, difficult, melodic tones of jazz. I was so young I didn’t know how to really adhere to the technique of it to mock it, you know?

DMJ: Right.

KB: It’s just, the way I sing is how I hear notes where they should be. A lot of the development of how I sing came from me wishing that whoever was playing for me or accompanying me would hit a certain note so that I could embellish that part of the song, so it just made me go in and out of notes to let the musicians know, “This is the way I hear it. Play these notes.” It ended up being labeled as jazz.

DMJ: We’re going to talk about the album in just a moment, but I do want to touch on the fact that you are a musician. On the new album, are you playing the piano at all, or anything?

KB: On THE LOVE ALBUM, I didn’t touch an instrument. I didn’t touch anything but the microphone. I didn’t do anything! On my previous albums I have, but not on this one. I just laid back and let the other guys do it.

DMJ: There’s nothing wrong with that; it sounds great. I want to ask you about two recent TV performances. At the 2010 BET Honors you performed “I Believe In You And Me” as a tribute to Whitney. You seemed to surprise her. Tell me a little bit about how that performance came together and how you were asked to do that?

KB: The role I play in Whitney’s life—we’ve been very close for thirteen, fourteen years. And Pat Houston, who is Whitney’s sister-in-law and manager, wanted it to be special for Whitney. And because Pat knows about our relationship, she got me as a surprise. They had to give me a different name all weekend so that Whitney wouldn’t know I was on the premises. As a matter of fact my name was Peppermint Patty for the entire weekend. Whitney had no clue that I was coming out there, and that’s why her reaction was what it was. For one thing, it was two-part for Whitney. Whitney was excited, first of all that they got me to do the tribute, but she was also excited that I was getting an opportunity to be able to perform on a level like that because she has really supported my career and has often wondered why hasn’t the rest of the world “got it”, so to speak. So that meant a lot to her, for me to be up there that night. And it meant a lot to me to be able to do it for her because of our friendship. For two to three minutes, I’m going to be honest with you, no one was in that room to me, but me and Whitney because I know what our relationship is and I know how I’ve been there for her and also how she’s been there for me. It was an amazing time for me.

DMJ: Can I ask you what your thoughts are now about Whitney? The recent news was out that she’s had to return to rehab. Do you wish to share what your thoughts are now about that?

KB: I absolutely would love to. I’m happy to say that I speak with Whitney every single day. We talk every day. And she is not in a rehab. She is in fact, in L.A., getting very special attention, on her own time with her own private doctors for the upcoming events that she has. It is not in a facility. She’s going to a doctor’s office to be treated by doctors. It’s nothing of the sort. Everybody has their own opinion about her. Of course, she’s a world figure so people are going to follow her closely to see what’s happening. And she’s got some personal things going on in her life that would make people believe that she’s doing that, but that is not the case. As a matter of fact, I’ll be going out in a week and I will be seeing her. So I’m happy to say that she’s doing well enough not to need rehab. I'm happy enough to say that because I know that to be true for a fact.

DMJ: I thank you very much for clearing that up. Sometimes when things come out in the news and you hear so-called “official” statements, you’re not quite sure what to believe, so thanks for clarifying that. The other performance I wanted to ask you about is also Whitney-related. Earlier this year at the Celebration of Gospel, together you guys performed “I Look To You”, and this time you both seemed to surprise the entire audience—not just the people at home but also people there in the audience. How did that performance come together? How did you guys decide to do that?

KB: The people from BET called me and said, “we’ve tried in all the years we’ve been doing this show [to get Whitney on], unsuccessful, and we want her on here and I know you all are close. Please make that happen.” And that’s what they did. I called her and she said, “With you, yeah, I’ll do it only if I’m singing with you. I’m not going to perform by myself. I’ll do it if we sing together.” And that’s why we chose to do her song.

DMJ: It was very nice, a very nice moment. Tell me about the concept behind your new album, THE LOVE ALBUM?

KB: Oh man, gladly. I’ve always loved music, but I was intrigued by how much the secular world has embraced me. And I’ve been blessed to know that I’ve been able to do something to make them love me and appreciate me. It made me observe the behavior of the religious community, for them and to them. I really just want to bridge the gap. And also to find out in the religious world, what makes them sometimes critical—so much so that they said I’ve become a secular artist. What makes them critical of that world and their music; what makes them kind of put walls up on their communication. Everybody has their perception but what it made me do was say, “Hey, look, let’s bridge the gap.” And those of us in church, when we’re trying to get together on a platonic level, I don’t think you’re going around listening to the greatest hits of all old, traditional gospel to get in the mood. Come on! Let’s just be real. Love is a language and it doesn’t have to be spoken just from John 3:16. Love is something. And you know some of those songs, “Love’s Holiday” from Earth Wind & Fire that I did a remake of and “Love Me In A Special Way” by DeBarge that I did a remake of, those are songs that gospel people listen to and they know it! And that’s why they’re kind of going bananas that I put it on there, because it’s nothing new to them. They’re just looking like, they’re liking the take that I took on it because they’re familiar with it. It’s just a matter for us to be able to say we do love each other, we do go on dates. And when we do, this is the sound we listen to to relax us and cause us to reflect on what it is we love about each other. And that’s what this album is all about.

DMJ: In a previous interview with Donnie McClurkin, he made a statement that there’s a demand from the world for you to sing secular. I believe your answer indicated that that wouldn’t happen. Do you think you’ve somewhat answered that demand to a degree with this particular album? Because, and I mean this in the greatest way possible, it’s a very romantic album. The music is very relaxing, very romantic; it’s the kind of thing you’d want to put on in the background when you want to set the mood. And I think some people are a little confused about that, “Which way is she going? Is she singing to the Lord or is she singing to a man?” Do you feel like you’ve answered the secular call in a way?

KB: No. I feel that I have responded from a natural reaction. To sound sexy is not to be secular. It’s up to a person to reflect what sexy is. Is sexy hypocritical? Is sexy NOT church? Do we not have husbands and wives who are married in church who don’t look at each other in a sexy kind of way? I’m being a human being, reflecting human realities from the personality perspective. It’s about that. Growing up, what I considered secular was the verbiage of inviting someone to the bedroom if you were not married, so to speak. Condoning things that would go opposite of what the Bible says. And that’s why I did this album, so people can listen. I redid “Love Me In A Special Way”, but my conversation in that song is that’s God talking to us: don’t try to think that you’re going to call it loving me and it’s not according to how I asked you to love me, according to the word of God. With “Love’s Holiday”: would you mind Lord, if I reached out and held onto You ‘til the morning light? To have a conversation with the secular world, that’s they’re language. And to the gospel world, this is how you ought to be intimate with God because why wouldn’t you want Him to hold you together after you’ve been through a divorce? Can you stay with me God all night in my heart and keep Your presence in this room? Or because my son was murdered. You want to know that you and God have that kind of love and relationship. There’s nothing sexual about that.

Love is pure. Love is holy. The language of love is an intimate language and people of the gospel world have not reflected that in their songs, which have been strictly about Jesus on the cross and God is bringing you out. There hasn’t been a language of love from the church. But the secular world, the R&B community have communicated that in their language by saying, “I do want to love you all night long and be with you.” These are words that they’ve chosen to talk about the opposite sex or the same sex or whatever they do. But love is a universal thing. Just because I love God, that doesn’t stop me from being a sexy woman. I’m not telling people to become sexual and do obscene things. I’m not implying that. I’m saying I can be a church girl and sound sexy because I’m a woman and I like being sexy as a woman. Not to entice anybody to take advantage of it or include them in my sex. This is just me doing that. I love being feminine. I love wearing the lashes and the hair and…come on now, you know?

DMJ: You’re doing you, so let them do them, so to speak.

KB: That’s right.

DMJ: When R&B artists make a gospel album and return back to R&B, nobody blinks or says anything about that. But if a gospel artist goes “all the way secular”, for lack of a better term, there is this great feeling like “Oh, my God, what is this person doing?” Even if they go back and return to gospel, it’s like they’ve committed this great sin. Like you said, people in the church get married, they fall in love, they go on dates—this happens. So I would not be upset if Shirley Caesar came out with an album talking about falling in love. It wouldn’t bother me one bit.

KB: Yeah, exactly. It’s about a language. And you know what it is, the religious community, they don’t want to seem hypocritical because of the call that is on our lives to compel people to love God without compromise. But if you don’t show people as well how balanced God is… I believe people, religious or non-religious, don’t want to be immoral in their daily habits. People who are religious who consistently give the message, they don’t want to (show the balance) because they feel like it’s such a hard job to convince people to really submit their lives and stop things that would cause them not to please God, to live in heaven. That is our constant message—which it should be, but it doesn’t sometimes constitute us being balanced, to enjoy life for the sake of looking as if we’re compromising the message of being with God. So I just think it’s important that we be thorough in all that we are to compel those of us who are out front, who have a voice, who are influential, to give out messages that will call for people to be balanced. That’s what THE LOVE ALBUM is about: love. Listen to it, listen to the spirit of it, nature of it—I’m just trying to convey a message: be human. Love God, but be human.

DMJ: Let’s talk a little bit about the new single, it’s called “Sweeter”. I understand that your sister wrote it and the video for it came out recently. Tell me a little bit about both the song and the video.

KB: The song “Sweeter” kind of tells its own story with the words: every day with God gets sweeter. Especially in the world we’re living in, you really have to remind people that you really can trust God, the almighty power, to convince you that everything’s gonna be okay. Every day gets sweeter than the day before in loving Him and Him loving us. Kathy wrote that song, and I just happened to really, really love it. It’s so laid back and it’s easy-listening, so I decided to include it on the album.

DMJ: Have you and your sister collaborated in the past on other music?

KB: Absolutely. She submitted a great song on my last album, NO WAYS TIRED, called “Yes To Your Will”. She’s also performed on albums before as a background singer and a studio singer as well on all of my other albums.

DMJ: I understand THE LOVE ALBUM has a connection to the album I mentioned in my introduction, EVERLASTING LIFE. What is the connection between those two albums?

KB: For one, it probably would be who worked on it with me. Asaph Alexander Ward was the co-producer of the EVERLASTING LIFE album and he helped me do this one as well. I think that’s the main connection, our chemistry and how we operate together to produce a certain kind of sound; a certain quality of sound. That’s primarily I think what would be the connection. There aren’t many songs I would think of on EVERLASTING LIFE that would remind me of THE LOVE ALBUM except for the sound because of Alex and I getting together.

DMJ: I mentioned the video for “Sweeter”. A lot of people are talking about it. I want to address this because it is a criticism I think you’re probably going to hear in all of the interviews that you do for this album. So I’m sure you’ve already been talking about it. I would like to share a couple of comments on YouTube about your video and then you can address them however you wish: one person wrote, “First of all, I am a huge Kim Burrell fan. With that said, am I the only one uncomfortable with the sexy vibe that I get from this video?” Another person wrote, “All we’re missing is a shower scene. I can’t remember if the word ‘Jesus’ was even mentioned in the song. This was too much. I love the song and her gift is amazing, but she is living for the world in this video.” How do you address criticisms like that?

KB: I address criticisms based on the kind of person that it’s coming from. And people that make those kinds of comments are usually, strictly from the church. And the unfortunate side of life is that I can’t really tell them or convey to them how to live their lives on a daily basis that would better their lives. Because I am an out front person, I have to kind of get it. They can ask me and I have to be put in positions like this, which I don’t mind because my intent for what it is I do is from a pure motive and how I go about doing it. They have to kinda work that out for themselves. And they are entitled to their opinion, even if they convince others. That’s just how some people choose to believe, but there is a world that says, “I get it”. It’s those people that I don’t necessarily just lean towards, but I appreciate them for being able to say, “I get it.”

(Directly referencing the video.) Today is another day. When you wake up you, you sleep in…sleeping clothes. Uhh, yeah. And when you’re on a yacht and enjoying life, you usually have on clothes that you wear around the water. And I would want to know from those people, when they go to an ocean, if they have an opportunity to go to a Manzanillo, Mexico near the ocean, are they going to wear their Sunday best garb? Are they going to have on a suit and hat? And when you get up out of the bed, is it a tuxedo, is it a full long gown, what is it? What are we doing here? That’s what you do! And I didn’t bring anybody in the bedroom with me or entice them to get in the bed. I woke up saying, “today is another day” and I woke up in my sleep clothes. Thank you!

DMJ: (laughs) Amen on that one—nothing more to say but Amen. Another thing that everybody is talking about is your new, slimmer look. I understand that you’ve had some health issues with your heart, so I want to ask you first and foremost about that: how are you feeling today, is everything okay?

KB: I am absolutely great. September of last year, when I went for my checkup, we were back at ninety-eight percent of my heart being back where it needed to be.

DMJ: That’s awesome—oh my God, that’s God at work, right?

KB: Absolutely.

DMJ: Tell us what you’re doing these days to look so great; because as I said, that’s another thing that people are talking about.

KB: It is an absolute life-changing life adjustment. It’s so far from whatever a diet could ever be when you have been told that you’ve had three heart attacks and you have scar tissue and you have to have a stent and you are about to choose life and the only way to do it is to change your life. A diet is not even in order—you have to change your life habits with eating. And so I sat with my doctor who I’ve been with since I was seventeen years old and he said, “This is your condition, and if you don’t do this you will die.” And we spent four hours on a new regimen of life and how to do it, and that’s what I’ve been doing every day of my life. My eating habits have changed completely. I don’t even eat anything like I used to, and that’s why I’ve lost over a hundred-and-something pounds, having to sit and eat a cup-size worth of food at each sitting. I can eat up to four to six times a day, but whatever it is cannot be over the measurement of a regular cup. That has not been easy at all. And I walk every single day, and now that the summer’s here I’m swimming as often as I can when I don’t have to perform somewhere, because getting the hair back together can be a little hard.

DMJ: [Laughs]

KB: But that’s what it is. It’s an everyday choice of waking up knowing that my heart is still in the condition that it could go back to where it was if I don’t do something to save my life. So it’s an everyday choice of how I eat and how I exercise and how I relieve stress, because a lot of that was stress-related as well.

DMJ: To go back a bit to the album; you wrote four of the songs on the album. Just tell us a little bit about the songs you wrote.

KB: Of course, the opening tune, “Let’s Make It To Love”, is the testimony of the album: let’s get to love. Let’s not start out saying that we love one another and then on down the road that love is hard to find. Let’s get a smile, a hug… reach out and touch me. Touch me with your gift, your heart, your appreciation for life, and let’s get to this thing called love, where it is unconditional and it is what love should be. Then “Pray For Love” is another one that I wrote. I start out with pieces of The Lord’s Prayer: let’s pray for love, the kind of love that is shown between one another; let’s pray that love will remain. Let’s pray for love that exists between man and woman. Let’s pray for love that exists between parents and children; pray for that love that it will stay where it needs to stay so it can always be what it was meant to be. Then what’s another one I wrote on there? I don’t even know

DMJ: Right. Now you’re testing me, and I listened to the album too.

KB: [Laughs] Oh, my God.

DMJ: When we publish this I’ll type it in so everybody will know the ones that we can’t seem to recall. [Editorial Note: the other two songs that Kim wrote for the album are “Is This The Way It Goes” and “A Lil’ More Time”.] Will you be doing more writing on subsequent albums? Do you wish to?

KB: Absolutely, because I want people to really know my heart. And I always sing songs as if I wrote them myself, because I embrace the words and I embrace the person who wrote it and I always want to convey what they meant when they wrote the words. So I will absolutely be writing more.

DMJ: At the very beginning I mentioned that you’re now the pastor of your own church. Tell us a little bit about that, and when you started it.

KB: September 2010 was our very first service, the first Sunday in September. I served as a co-pastor with another minister in Houston for about four years and the Lord really came to me and visited me about leading God’s people in a certain direction with a certain message for a certain time. But many years I fought with it and said, you know, from the way I’ve grown up in the church, our denomination didn’t necessarily condone women leaders and pastors, for whatever reason. But I’ve branched out and I’ve done it and it’s been the greatest agreement with God I’ve ever made. To see people come in and lives changed… our church was located in an area that was considered very high in crime. That’s one of the reasons I started in the afternoon and evening, because sometimes when people are not as dedicated to God as most religious people are, they seem to compromise their lives in a way that don’t give God all that He deserves from our lives. And the church world has rallied around the early morning service, but mine is at 4pm every Sunday. It’s giving people the opportunity, you know as I said because of the area we’re in, just in case people have gone out and clubbed all night, they’re tired and they’ve got their hangovers which doesn’t wear off until about 2pm the next day. About 4 o’clock they’re ready to tell God their sorry and we’ll be there waiting on them.

DMJ: Perfect timing—yes, I understand it well. This has nothing to do with music, but what would you say to people who have experienced a great loss? A friend of mine, her father just passed away. We’ve had certain tragedies in my own family. People are still trying to get over different things. What would you say to someone who’s trying to deal with a difficult time?

KB: I would say there are things in life that are inevitable. I believe death is one of those things. I think the more that we embrace the reality of life, the easier it is for us to understand. No one wants to lose, no one wants to be away from anything that they love, and when something as final as death happens, it leaves us without hope. It leaves us without any idea if we’ll ever love someone as we loved those people. It’s hard, let’s just face it. It doesn’t feel good. But one thing about it I want everyone to know: that there is strength and peace and prayer and time. Time heals. Don’t give up on life when things happen that are out of your control. Give it time to work itself out in us. Don’t overdo it. Don’t allow unreasonable thoughts—things that you know you can’t support—don’t let stuff come to us that convince us not to be normal. Cry when you want to cry, say what you want to say to relieve yourself, but live—live after that. Live and learn, and embrace that God really doesn’t put more on us than what we’re able to bear. It feels that way at times but trust me, if He wakes us up the next day, that’s God letting us know that He can trust that we’re going to be able to make it.

DMJ: That is a great way to end this conversation, but let me ask, is there anything more you would like to say that we haven’t mentioned? Actually, I don’t think we mentioned “Sunday Best”. Do you want to say a little bit about that?

KB: Absolutely. I am again on the 4th season of “Sunday Best” as the mentor. It’s going to be a great season. It begins to air in July. And we look forward to what the world will see with that. You know, Donnie (McClurkin) and Mary Mary and myself and Kirk (Franklin), we all just had a great time being there with each other and developing this show. It’s going to be fantastic. They’ll feel that love. They’ll feel the interaction we all had and hopefully, it will bring other gospel people closer. I say, look forward to what Kim Burrell is doing because it’s all with pure intent, hoping that someone’s life will be blessed and changed and made better. And that’s what my motive is. It’s never to mislead or misguide anybody. All I can do is be what God has made me up to be, to the best of my ability.

DMJ: Will you be touring this particular album?

KB: Oh yeah, absolutely. It’s all in the works right now. We are going to hit several cities. In the fall we’re going to do something very creative, almost like bridging the gap with R&B artists as well as gospel for this language of love. So we are really working hard to make this thing universal, as it should be. So we are going to be touring.

DMJ: And let everyone know how they can stay updated with you. Are you on Facebook, Twitter, anything like that?

KB: Absolutely, I’m on all of that. Also, go to It gives every bit of information about what it is I’m doing, from schedule to events to television—all of it.

DMJ: Sounds good. Kim Burrell, thank you so much. I had a great time talking to you. Anytime you want to come to to let us know what you’re doing, our doors are always open, so feel welcomed to come through.

KB: Thank you so much.

DMJ: Have a blessed day.

KB: You too, my darling.

Darnell Meyers-Johnson the Editorial Coordinator for Soul who served as an Entertainment Editor for the now-defunct New Jersey publication, The Nubian News. He is actively involved in children's charities and sings in an all-male chorus. He can be reached via email at

About the Writer
Darnell Meyers-Johnson is a New Jersey based music journalist and creator of The Meyers Music Report ( Previously, he served as Entertainment Editor for the now defunct publication Nubian News and as Editorial Coordinator for When not conducting interviews or writing liner notes, Darnell hosts a weekly radio show, Vocal About Jazz, which streams online every Saturday from 12-2pm, EST on and iTunes.
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