Gospel singer Kim Burrell is no stranger to the industry. Her one-of-a-kind runs are secretly coveted. Her “easy like Sunday morning” personality caused her to be one of America’s favorite judges on “Sunday’s Best,” and she’s highly respected in the gospel and secular arena. We had a chance to speak with Kim Burrell about her upcoming album “From A Different Place.” Burrell, who was like a sister to Whitney Houston, also shared why she’s trying not to read text messages she received from the late Bobbi Kristina Houston.
JET: Tell us about your new project From a Different Place. What is the name significance?
Kim Burrell: As a person, I’ve always felt like your pain is to be dealt with privately. I guess because I’ve been in the public since I was a teenager, I thought you deal with it privately and come back out fighting. However, a lot of my singer friends have always expressed being anxious about writing and recording their pain. I didn’t understand, but evidently pain transfers in a way and makes for conversation, for what is a common thread to most. From A Different Place is me literally singing from a different place than what I’ve recorded before, turning 40, being a mother everyday, a pastor. This album is not being sung by Kim Burrell. It’s being sung by Kim Burrell the pastor, the musician, the entrepreneur, the traveling and working mama.
JET: Will there be a tour for From A Different Place?
Kim Burrell: There will be starting September 30 – December 6th, 2015. We’re visiting 51 cities. It will be myself, along with Fred Hammond, Donnie McClurkin, Israel Houghton, Hezekiah Walker and more.
JET: You and Whitney Houston were true friends. With the recent passing of Bobbi Kristina, how are you holding up?
Kim Burrell: I have so many mixed emotions. I hurt for Whitney, although she’s not physically here, knowing how Whitney felt about her baby, I pain everyday of her physical loss. However, I was glad Whitney wasn’t here to feel that pain, because it would have probably been unbearable. I try to keep myself from reading text messages that Bobbi Kris sent me, but it’s hard not to because when a person leaves the earth, there’s so much of them that you want to remain here. I’m in touch with Pat [Houston] and making sure we all stay focused and leveled.
JET: On a lighter note, who are your musical inspirations?
Kim Burrell: Stevie Wonder is always at the top of my list, now and forever. Prince. You know who I miss greatly, who truly inspired my soul of gospel? Walter Hawkins. He gave gospel music a diversity that is untapped and still unmatched even, and often imitated through today’s gospel music.
JET: Leave us with a word of encouragement.
Kim Burrell: Philippians 1:6. Being confident of this very thing, that he which have begun a good work will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. We live in a world of controversy on every side, from government, politics, race, and all of this stuff that happens in the world. I always refer back to that scripture, to be confident that know matter what, if he started it, he’s able to perform it until he returns.
“From A Different Place” will be available for purchase September 4, 2015. To preorder click here.