Multi-award winning inspirational jazz vocalist Robert E. Person has released his fourth indie album LOVE DIVINE. The album is preceded by its sophomore single ""I Really Love You", a cover written by one of Gospel music's favorite songwriters Dr. Norman Hutchins.
Rising Nashville songwriter Glyne Griffith and producer/musician Melvin "Maestro" Lightford contributed the worship ballad "Just Because" in which Robert eloquently provided his signature soothing vocal sound. The first radio single from LOVE DIVINE, "Testify", was written by Ayesha Daniels and arranged by Robert and extraordinary Jazz pianist and producer Allyn Johnson.
Robert has collected a plethora of indie artist music awards for his work in Gospel and Jazz music. He has now been nominated for a 2015 Washington Area Music Awards "Wammie Award" for Gospel/Inspirational Vocalist of the Year. The 29th Annual Wammie Awards is presented by The Washington Area Music Association who aims to recognize significant career achievements by Washington DC area musicians and artists. The 29th Annual Wammie Awards Show will be held Sunday, March 15th at 8pm at the State Theatre in Falls Church, VA.
Hallels: Robert thank you for doing this interview with us. How did you first feel God's calling in singing for his glory?
Trust me, I fought this "calling" and ran from it. To be honest, I definitely had the desire to sing but I was afraid of the responsibility of singing the "Gospel". I finally surrendered about 12 years ago eventually finding peace in the fact that God equipped me for this journey. I also must admit that others pushed me. I had very influential folks in my camp who believed in me more than I did.
Hallels: You've got quite an influence: with your classical vocal training to Gospel to Gospel-jazz, how would describe your sound? And who are some artists that most influential to you?
It's really difficult for me to describe my sound. I will say that it is a direct reflection of my love for good music. Some artists that most influenced me are Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Luther Vandross, Richard Smallwood, BeBe Winans and Donnie McClurkin.
Hallels: Let's talk about your new album "Love Divine." First, how would you describe love, particularly divine love?
Love is a variety of different feelings, conditions, and attitudes that range from affection to pleasure; from emotion to attraction. And, love can also be a virtue demonstrating kindness and compassion. Divine Love is that Love which belongs to or is a part of God. It's the greatest gift of all. God is love and we are loved.
Hallels: You have quite a few fascinating covers, including your current single "I Really Love You," tell us a little about why you chose to do this Dr. Norman Hutchins song?
For me, one of the blessings of being an independent artist is being able to sing and produce the music that I want to do. Having said that, I fell in love with this song several years ago. I thought that this was the perfect song of devotion celebrating that God is love and we are loved. Written by one of Gospel music's favorite songwriters Dr. Norman Hutchins, I thought it would be a great living tribute to Dr. Hutchins.
Hallels: Tell us about your rendition of "Somewhere." Why did you choose this Broadway musical gem?
'Somewhere' is one of my favorite songs and Dottie Jones is one of my favorite singers. I'm so honored that she blessed this project with her beautiful voice. I intentionally added this secular song because of its message of hope that love always wins "somehow, someday, somewhere."
Hallels: You have also worked with some special guests on the record, can you tell us who else were involved on this record?
I just mentioned the incomparable Dottie Jones formally of the Richard Smallwood Singers. Dottie will also be featured on Richard Smallwood's forthcoming CD Anthology to be released later this year. Mike McCoy is a Stellar Award Nominated artist who wrote and sang on the song "Healed". This past December, I had the pleasure of touring Italy with his group Mike McCoy & Voices United. Finally, my entire project was produced by Jazz pianist, arranger and composer Allyn Johnson. He is also featured on the title track "Love Divine" (Vocalese) and the Jazz standard "Come Sunday" by Duke Ellington.
Hallels: Are you currently touring in support of this album? Where can readers find out more about you, your new album, and your touring dates?
Readers can obtain touring dates and more info at www.roberteperson.com. I can also be reached at social media @ Facebook, Instagram & Twitter @roberteperson. Finally, my music is available @ iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay, CD Baby and all digital music outlets.