Riverphlo Entertainment celebrates the power of God's love as the psalmist and worshiper Vonnie Lopez delivers a powerful statement in Love Is True, her new single written and produced by the Grammy-nominated super producer Luther Mano Hanes.
No stranger to the Gospel music industry, this Louisiana native and preacher's daughter grew up in a home surrounded by music and had an early exposure to the sounds of iconic Gospel stalwarts including Bishop Walter Hawkins and the Hawkins Family, Tramaine Hawkins, the Richard Smallwood Singers, and James Cleveland in addition to the secular influences of Roberta Flack and Nat King Cole.
Vonnie's gift is a gift from God, an answer to prayer given to her at the age of 14 and she has used it for the glory of God ever since. Believing God for the opportunity to share her unique musical stylings with the world, Vonnie was afforded the chance to open for the world-renowned Kurt Carr Singers. A lasting friendship was formed and that very opportunity opened the door for Vonnie to join Kurt's group and travel around the United States and abroad.
Today, this pastor's wife, devoted mom, in-demand speaker, critically acclaimed singer and songwriter continues to carry the Gospel message to all who will hear. This Wednesday, Vonnie makes her debut on the Mark Burnett produced World's Best global talent competition on the CBS television network.
Love Is True is the first single from her new EP scheduled for release this spring.and is available NOW at all digital outlets.
Q: Vonnie, thanks for doing this interview with us. Being a PK (pastor's kid), how has that helped and shaped you and your own ministry?
A: Actually...there are so many ways that being a PK has affected and influenced my life. I think all PK's would agree that there is hardly any area of our lives that have not been touched and influenced by growing up in a Pastor's home.
This may be a bit comical, but at this season of my life, I tell people that one of the best lessons I ever learned living in a Pastor's home, is what type of saint I never wanted to be. I laugh when I say that now, but growing up, I probably didn't laugh this much. But I say that because I saw people who required so much out of others, that they did not require of themselves. And that creates an environment and "culture of pretend" that produces the toxicity that wounds and harms others...and can deeply injure the PK, in particular. Some never recover. I, however, found that to be an excellent life lesson that proved to be life-altering, and it set me on the path to my mission in life. I vowed to do my very best, to never make anyone feel unworthy, unloved, or simply not enough.
So...when you asked about how being a PK has shaped me and my ministry...this would absolutely be the largest and deepest imprint. I can only pray that every time someone encounters me...they can feel the unconditional love of Christ. The love of God is THE message.
Q: Besides being a PK, you are also married to a pastor. Tell us about your family and ministry.
A. Yes! My husband, Aaron, and I met and married while involved in music. We had no idea that God had pastoring in mind far into our future together. We assisted his father, Bishop Adam Lopez, in the Bay Area, California, for many years. Then moved to Louisiana to assist my father, Bishop Murrell Ewing. After his passing, it was his desire for us to take over the church he and my grandfather had pastored over 50 years. We thank God for this incredible honor to pastor the great people of Eastwood in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
We have two children, Aaron James and Lindsey Brooke. Our son is now our Youth Pastor and the Principal of our academy. And my sweet Lindsey Brooke is the boss of me. LOL God has truly blessed us with children who have a heart for God.
Q: How did the Lord first called you into music ministry?
A. Well...I was actually born, tone deaf (congenital amusia), into a musical family. My entire family was musically-gifted. My father was a pastor and a recording artist. My mom was a classically trained pianist and an incredible songwriter, whose songs have been recorded by many great Christian artists. My brother is a singer, a great musician (bass player), and producer. And that's not to mention all the musical gifting and heritage on both sides of the family, as far back as I can remember.
I completely loved music from the beginning of life, but feeling a little left out of the group, I began praying as a child, "Lord, if you will let me sing too, I will sing for You every day that I live." Around the age of 13, I was asked to sing at a youth service at our church and I said "YES!" My father was concerned that I may get hurt, because he knew I couldn't sing. But as he would so beautifully tell the testimony later...he was in the back of the house, and I had asked my mom to go into the music room to practice the song I had chosen to sing. And as he heard the sounds coming from the music room, he thought we had put the album on to play. But as he walked into the music room, he realized that it was actually me singing with my mother accompanying me on the piano. He realized in that moment that his little girl, who had only hummed along in no particular key or melody before, had been miraculously healed and he lifted his hands to the heavens in thanksgiving to God for this miracle. And the short of the story is...I've been singing to Him ever since.
So I guess I would consider that my "call" into the music ministry. ☺
Q: You are currently World's Best global talent competition, what prompted you to join this competition? And how are you doing so far?
A: Yes!! I am so incredibly thrilled and honored to have been chosen to represent "gospel music in the United States" on this global show "The World's Best." I was contacted by a talent scout and was asked if I would be interested in doing the show. My first response was, "ummmm...probably not," because I just had never been drawn 3 to participating in any type of competitive show. It just wasn't really in my nature. I love to watch them, but never saw myself as a competitor. But after I actually prayed about it, I felt that this was a door that God had opened for me to walk through. So it took quite a bit of digging for courage that I didn't think I had, but the honor was so great, I just kept putting one foot in front of the other until I made it onto that incredibly grand CBS stage. And I am very thankful that I did.
This is the journey of a lifetime. The show is such a wonderfully inclusive show, globally speaking. The performers are from every corner of the globe. The 50 experts that make up the "Wall of the World" represent over 40 countries. And that just felt like being a part of something so much bigger than ourselves.
My first performance was for the "Audition Rounds" and I chose "My Tribute - To God be the Glory" by the late Andrae' Crouch. That song just speaks the sentiments of my heart, so it just flowed straight from the core of who I am and how I truly feel. "How can I say thanks for the things You have done for me"... that is the first line that just sort of sums it all up. And my constant prayer is: May God receive all the glory and honor from it all. It all belongs to Him.
The next round is called the "Battle Round" and I believe the date of my appearance is Wednesday, March 6th. So please stay tuned and vote after the show for "Fan Favorite" by tweeting @WorldsBestCBS and use the hashtag: #TWBvonnie
Q: Tell us more about your new single "Love is True."
A: I truly just LOVE this song. When I spoke earlier of how being a PK affected my life and ministry, I believe that this song and these lyrics would best describe my life now. The song was written and produced by Mano Hanes, who has done legendary work and production for the late Andrae' Crouch, Cece Winans, Israel Houghton...and so many more.
The lyrics teach us, with such a beautiful and catchy melody, the true meaning of love. And I believe if there ever was a time that a song about the true meaning of love was needed, it is right now. "I'm not a fool...I still believe love is true. And it can heal all our wounds. Yes, I believe that love is still there, for you and me. I'm not a fool." And with all my heart...I really do believe.
Q: Give us sneak peak of your forthcoming EP. Who did you work with on this new record? When will it be released?
A: This new EP is a body of work that I am very excited about. It has been a long time in the making, but I love that God's timing is perfect. And when you wait on Him, good things are the product.
Mano Hanes is the producer, and he always brings in the very best of the best in the music industry to make the musical dream come to life. So the audience can expect a product and a project made in excellence, because that's what he has given us time after time with every one of his productions.
Q: Which artists do you wish to work with in the near future or the future?
A: Oh gosh...I have so many artists that I just really LOVE...a lot. I adore so many of the gospel female artists I grew up listening to like, Cece Winans, Tramaine Hawkins, and Yolanda Adams. But I also love the amazing younger powerful artists like Mary Mary and Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Natalie Grant, and Lauren Daigle. But of course, I love me some country and bluegrass too, so I completely love Faith Hill and probably my favorite vocalist ever is Alison Krause.
So you just never know...God may just blow my mind and allow me to sing with any one of these Greats one day. That would be so crazy amazing. God already blew my mind before by allowing me to become a member of my all-time favorite group ever, Kurt Carr and the Kurt Carr Singers. So I am a living witness that He does indeed do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. He's just so good like that.
Stay connected to Vonnie Lopez and Riverphlo Entertainment via social media.
Facebook - Vonnie Lopez
Twitter - @VonnieLopez @Riverphlo