Friday, November 27, 2015

An Interview with Faith Evans

It’s been two decades since Faith came on the scene with her debut LP, Faith, and ever since been on the moves with being a mentor and songwriting for other artists, winning a Grammy, starring in movie roles, writing a Memoir, Executive Producing the R&B Divas franchises and she’s here with her eighth studio album, Incomparable, in stores now!
Terrance - Incomparable is your eighth studio album in your 20 year career. What was the inspiration behind this album? What do you feel is different about Incomparable vs. your previous projects?
Faith Evans - “Incomparable” is something that is a bit different for me…the idea of creating a concept album. There’s an actual story being told using the track list. In the liner you can read the entire story of Incomparable. Its about my life post-divorce and starting a new chapter, that YES includes dating, having fun, and being upfront about my needs and expectations. LOL Musically, I used preludes, interludes, postludes, transitions and segues to tie things together. I enjoyed putting this album together.
Terrance - What’s your favorite song from Incomparable?
Faith Evans - My favorites change from week to week, and day to day! LOL…I really feel that this is my best album yet, and I connect with each song for a different reason. I used to have the same feeling listening to my debut album.
Terrance - Will you ever add “Extraordinary” to your live set list?
Faith Evans - I love “Extraordinary!” Its very difficult putting together my set. Id like to do a lot of records that are ‘fan-favorites’, but each show is different, depending on the time allotted for my performance. I really would like to include “Extraordinary,” though. I guess you’ll just have to come to one of my shows and find out!!! :)
Terrance - Are there any unreleased tracks from the Incomparable recording process you wished made the final cut?
Faith Evans - As I did with my debut album, every song that I recorded for “Incomparable” made the cut. Time is so precious to me, being a mother of 4. So every chance I have to record, I have to make the best use of it. Id like to record FULL-TIME, but ill have to keep my fingers crossed.
Terrance - Your first EP, Faith20, is in the works. What can we expect from this release? How many tracks will it contain?
Faith Evans - Recording it has been a lot of fun. I had the chance to revisit 6 tunes from my 1st album. It includes some nice changes, and a few surprise features. It’s dedicated to my fans, and all the supporters that have help and inspired me throughout the past 20 years.
Terrance - You’re also working on the King & I project which features your late husband the Legendary The Notorious B.I.G. Will Puffy have any involvement in this project?
Faith Evans - Everything is still in development right now. I’ve started working on a few records, but its a little early to really know the details of all features. I can say, that Puff is just as excited about the project as I am, and that’s is great!!!
Terrance - Are there any writers and producers you would love to collaborate with that you haven’t before?
Faith Evans - There are some great producers in the game right now. I like what Ryan Leslie is doing as a producer, and I’d like to see what we can create. Salaam Remi is another, and of course Missy, who I’ve worked with, just not as a producer.
Terrance - One of the burning questions fans have been wanting to know for years is how did Biggie get you and Lil Kim on the same Junior M.A.F.I.A. track, “I Need You Tonight”?
Faith Evans - I was in their session and he told me he had a song he wanted me to do. I didn’t know anything about their relationship then, so I was definitely oblivious.
Terrance - After seeing you and Lil Kim reconcile your differences and squash the beef, where do you guys relationship stand currently? Will you ever work in the future?
Faith Evans - I think Kim is extremely talented. And I’m open to working with her in the future. 20 years is a long time, and we have both grown as women, and mothers. Music is and has always had the capacity to make people put aside their differences and elevate to create!
Terrance - Earlier on how did you feel about the Mary J. Blige comparisons?
Faith Evans - Mary is incredible. And at the time, she was an established act, while I was the rookie. People will always draw comparisons, and that was one that I didn’t mind people drawing. We were friends, had the same hair color, worked in the same camp, and I even did vocals on her album before mine was released. So I didn’t think much of it, when people began to compare us.
Terrance - Over the past 20 years fans have been wondering if you and Mary J. Blige will ever work again. Do you believe that certain things should stay in the past or you’re open to the idea?
Faith Evans - I’m sure that Mary and I will work together in the future. There is no beef between Mary and I, other than the beef that people make up in their own delusional world. lol. She is a talented, strong, and beautiful woman. We have worked and I’m sure will work together again.
Terrance - Who are some of your earliest influences?
Faith Evans - It’s across the board for me smile emoticon Karen Clark-Sheard is my vocal GodMother, Steely Dan, Michael Franks, Anita Baker, and SueSue from Newark, New Jersey!!! smile emoticon just to name a few….
Terrance - You’ve been around to see many of your peers come and go in this ever changing music industry. What has been your motivation to keep going?
Faith Evans - I’d have to say God. He blessed me with this gift. He blessed me with my children. He blessed me with my fans. He blessed me with an opportunity to share it and make a difference in peoples lives. That keeps me motivated. Knowing that I’m fulfilling my purpose as a mother and creator!! And I love what I do!!! I love music!!
Terrance - Who are some of your current favorite artists?
Faith Evans - Jazmine Sullivan, Fantasia, Janelle Monae
Terrance - In the future do you see a Jazz or Gospel album happening?
Faith Evans - Yes and Yes. :)
Terrance - Your higher tone vs. huskier tone. Which do you prefer?
Faith Evans - LOL!!! Either, I guess!!! LOL!!!
Terrance - If you could play any instrument what would it be?
Faith Evans - I’ve always been a secret “trumpet” player…in my mind…lol No, but I seriously could see myself blowing on the horn. I sometimes hear, and think of my arrangements, as if I wear playing the trombone, or trumpet, or saxophone. So I think, yeah, Id play one of them.
Terrance - Have you decided to stick to music as opposed to acting? There had been talk about you portraying Florence Ballard in a biopic.
Faith Evans - Not at all. I’m open to using my gifts, to their full capacity. It just has to make sense. I have to be at home, or near home throughout the week mostly. I have a little one and 3 big ones!!! so its very important that my schedule accommodate their needs, and not the other way around. If the right role comes, and it lines up, then I’m completely down.
Terrance - Speaking of biopics, would you ever produce one detailing your own life?
Faith Evans - It’s definitely an idea that we’ve been discussing. But once again, it just has to make sense!! lol
Terrance - You do an amazing job on tributes and cover songs. Would you ever consider doing a cover album from some of your favorite artists songs?
Faith Evans - There is so much music to be made, and I look forward to doing as much of it as I can. A cover album would be fun, and I’d love to put together a collection of my favorites.
Terrance - Where do your inspiration for arranging background vocals and harmonies come from?
Faith Evans - I did a lot of jazz growing up, and i’m also a church girl, so it definitely comes from both of those places. I also am HipHop head, so I try to place my arrangements in way that makes you feel that as well.
Terrance - Because you were so good with playing harmonies. Did you ever consider being in a group since it was a big movement in the 90’s?
Faith Evans - No, I was in a gospel group as a teenager and I knew it wasn’t what I wanted in the future…unless that’s where my earning money as a singer came from!
Terrance - You did a cover of J. Cole’s “Be Free” on Black Girl’s Rock. Any thoughts on collaborating with him?
Faith Evans - J Cole is immensely talented, and I think we can deliver some heat as well. I’d love to.
Terrance - If there was an opportunity to sign to a major label, would you do it again?
Faith Evans - If it makes sense. I’m not opposed to anyone saying, I believe in you and would like to support in any way I can. It just has to be under the right circumstances. I released “Incomparable” on BMG, so I’m open to many different ideas to get the music to the people. smile emoticon
Terrance - What is it about Faith that you want people to know that they don’t know about?
Faith Evans - I’m a comedian
Terrance - If one of your children aspired to be in the music industry would you give them your blessing?
Faith Evans - All of them are artists. I encourage them to make sure that they are well rounded, and well-balanced humans. They have to understand life, and themselves, before being able to effectively reflect life and themselves through music. But, yes, I encourage them. They are all extremely gifted, and I’m blessed to be a mother to that kind of talent.
Terrance - What are your thoughts on how R&B Divas Atlanta started off vs. how it ended?
Faith Evans - My good friend, and co-creator Nicci Gilbert, had a vision to document the journey of 5 accomplished women in music as we embarked on a charity album. It was always meant to elevate, and showcase the strength, and power in unity amongst out black sisters. For many reasons, this sentiment was not continued throughout the remainder of the show, but I’m still happy that each artist had an opportunity to use the platform to further expose new fans, to their music.
Terrance - What’s the current status with R&B Divas Atlanta?
Faith Evans - From my knowledge, it wasn’t renewed.
Terrance - What’s your favorite city to perform in and why?
Faith Evans - HA!!! Now that a trick question and Im not falling for it!!! LOL. I love the East Coast because it was home, I love the South and Midwest because they love me, and the West Coast is where I reside so…..I love to perform, wherever people enjoy having me! smile emoticon
Terrance - With all the experience you’ve had in the music industry, what would you go back and tell your younger self what to look out for?
Faith Evans - I’d probably encourage myself, to trust that I have everything within that I need to succeed. I'd tell myself to trust in God's plan. Id tell myself to breathe, slow down sometimes, and enjoy it.
Terrance - You’ve lent your voice to some of the greatest Hip-Hop tracks in music history like “One More Chance” by The Notorious B.I.G., “Stressed Out” by A Tribe Called Quest, “Love Is Blind” by Eve, “Hope” by Twista, “Letter to B.I.G.” by Jadakiss, “I’ll Be Missing You” which won a Grammy. How does it feel to be part of Hip-Hop culture?
Faith Evans - Blessed and grateful to have been a part of so many wonderful collaborations.
Terrance - When fellow singer Blu Cantrell came on the scene with her big hit, “Hit Em Up Style (Oops)”, people often compared her to you. Did you ever see the similarities in her looks, style?
Faith Evans - The obvious similarities were that we were 2 mixed-race young ladies with blonde hair who sang R&B music
Terrance - What’s the greatest memory of Whitney Houston you will always cherish?
Faith Evans - Just going over her house, and being 2 girls from Jersey! hanging out and talking about the kids, none of the industry non-sense. Just 2 homegirls having a blast. Chyna and Bobbi Kris would be playing in Whitney’s wig room, and we’d be somewhere eating and laughing. Those are the real moments. The real memories.
Terrance - What’s next for Faith Evans?
Faith Evans - New Music definitely. Also developing a few television and film projects. As well as, some acting, possibly another bestseller. LOL.. Oh being the best mother I can be.

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