The Gospel Guru caught up with R&B heavyweight Charlie Wilson.
The R&B royal has been enjoying a resurgence of sorts following the success of his most recent release, “Love Charlie“, in which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The “All I Have” singer talks his faith, gospel music, and more with The Gospel Guru.
Check out the interview below…
The Gospel Guru: First things first, let me congratulate you on the success of your new album, ‘Love Charlie’, were you at all surprised by the success of it?
Charlie: I was really surprised that it debuted at #1, trust me. My single was at #1when the album debuted…so it was an awesome look for me!
The Gospel Guru: You’re singing about love on this album, and we all know that God is love. So do you think listeners can listen to your project and hear and feel your spirituality through the music?
Charlie: For sure man. I didn’t deviate too far from the branch from the tree anyway. I understand what R&B is…I know what that is. But I’m only talkin’ about love, and I know that in our homes or whatever we call…whether you’re saved,sanctified or, filled with the holy ghost or not you call your husband or wife…honey or baby. Is that bad to say honey or baby in my records, and you say it at your house? So there’s nothing on my album that will degrade christians or have faith in God. Anybody can buy my record and enjoy it. There’s no cursing or degrading women…none of that.
The Gospel Guru: You have a song on your new album called “If I Believe”, and its my absolute favorite. Its really a soul-stirring piece. What was the inspiration behind that particular song?
Charlie: Well, I know that the world needs a lot of love. God is love. You’ve got to have belief in something greater than yourself, and I knew that that song would give somebody some inspiration or some pick me up if you needed that.People that’s dealing with cancer or other diseases…etc. Just people who needed hope and faith, like myself when I was in my darkest hour. Having the belief in myself… believing that I can come back, and get up in the morning and not have to go to the liquor store. That belief is the reason I wrote the song, and that’s how we came up with the idea. Because I’ve been to hell and back, man. I’ just taking it one day at a time, and fighting prostate cancer, and still fighting drug and alcohol addiction. I’ve been successful a it for 18 years, but I still have to take it one day at a time. So that’s what that song is all about.
The Gospel Guru: You mentioned fighting addiction and your bout with cancer. What role did your faith play during those dark times in your life?
Charlie: Faith is strong If we can have a grain of faith. The faith that Job had, man…oh my God. If we can have faith you can overcome anything. It played a big role in my comeback, in my life. So many people were telling me no, and saying that it can’t be done. But here it is 4 or 5 albums later and 9 #1 records. So I don’t listen to man, people can’t tell me nothing anymore. I believe and have the faith in God and myself that I can do anything.
The Gospel Guru: It’s evident that you have a spiritual background, do you have plans to ever release a inspirational/gospel album?
Charlie: I was definitely talking and thinking about that. I have thought about it so many times. That’s why I wanted to put the “If I Believe” record on my album first. I believe I can just use words of inspiration, and cut the music the same way that I am now…just make the words inspiration and words of encouragement, don’t necessarily have to call it a “gospel album”. But definitely have some inspirational words and get things people can hold on to. I’ve definitely thought about it a lot, and I’m definitely going to do that soon, sooner than most people think.
The Gospel Guru: When it comes to gospel music, who are some artists that you listen to?
Charlie: Well, I can take you way back…lol. You know Shirley Caesar, Dottie Peoples…etc. I love those people. I love John P. Kee, Mary Mary, Kirk Franklin…what’s the lady name that sings ‘Take Me To The King’? Tamela Mann? MY GOD..hahaha. There’s a lot of people that I still love and remember. I love inspirational/gospel music. My father was a preacher, mother was a minister of music. I understand it oh so well.
The Gospel Guru: Uncle Charlie you’ve been in the game for a long time, and have experienced true success and longevity. What advice would you give to an aspiring artist?
Charlie: Um. My advice to them is to go hard with your instrument, I’m talking about sleeping with it…just really learning your craft. If you’re a singer, practice all the time. And never let anybody tell you that you can’t do something. I believe we all have gifts, all you have to do is open up the package and go at it. Never let anybody tell you it’s too late, I’m a living witness that it’s never too late to do anything that you believe that you can do.