Isaac Carree has been on the move in the contemporary gospel scene for a few years. His first solo effort, the award-winning, Uncommon Me (2011), has the tone for what has been a productive career. Carree has just released his sophomore effort, Reset, which features the top 10 Billboard Single “Clean this House’ (R. Kelly is on the remix), he’s performing at the Essence Music Festival, and he’s gearing up to star in the new JD Lawrence national stage play, executive produced by Shaunie O’Neal, entitled Wives of Basketball
We caught up with Career for a brief chat about his new music and projects on the horizon. Here’s the run down:
On What Fans Can Expect from Reset:
What people can expect on the Reset is great music that will inspire uplift and encourage. That’s my motivation. I want to make sure that people receive this music, that it uplifts their spirit, changes their perspective on life and that they understand that it’s never too late to begin again. I want to do my best to make sure I accomplish those things.
On the Inspiration Behind “Clean this House”
The concept behind clean this house is simple. It was a prayer that I was sharing with god about some things that I have gone through in my life and things that other people can identify with. I wanted to write a real song, something that comes from the heart and this is a song people can identify with whether saved or not, whether you go to church or not. I think this song reaches and crosses all barriers and it kind of lines up with how people feel. People want real music; they’re tired of songs tip toeing around real life issues. Even Christians go through real issues so I wanted this song to exemplify that and I wanted this song to bless people around the world. I’m grateful that this song is becoming an anthem, so to speak, for people’s lives to be changed because we all, at one time or another, have needed god to clean us up.
On Working With R. Kelly
R. Kelly ended up on the remix because one of the producers let him hear the song. He told me he loved it when I met him and said he wanted to be on the remix, so of course I wasn’t gonna say no, it’s R. Kelly, and he’s one of my all time favorite artists period. I was honored because he gave me so much wisdom and knowledge about how to approach things and how to counter the comparisons. He was just a great guy and I’m forever grateful for that and it was a dream come true for me. That was on my bucket to work with R. Kelly one day.
On Transitioning to Acting
It’s difficult for me going from singing to acting even though we all are actors because we’re all crazy [laughs]. Everybody has a little acting in them but singing is what I do naturally because that’s my gift. That’s what I’ve been doing for years, so acting becomes a little intimidating because you want to be a person that actually does it right. I want to be able to do it and do it well. I tend to tense up and get a little nervous. It’s a challenge but I love the challenge, so I’m trying to get my thespian on so I can up my game. I want to be not just a great singer but a respected actor in whatever situation I may be able to act in whether it’s TV, movies or whatever the case may be. I want to be able to stretch myself, so it is a little intimidating but I’m up for the challenged.
On the Key to Success
The key to having a successful career in gospel music is serving. You have to be a person who doesn’t mind being faithful and serving other people. For example, I started my career with John P. Kee, then worked with Men of Standard, then worked with Kirk Franklin, and in all those aspects I was able to serve and give up my own dreams and goals to help fulfill someone else and be a part of somebody else’s growth and that was the key to me. So, even at your church or your local ministry or something else, make sure you serve, and in due time god will elevate you. The other thing is being humble. Humility is a lost art this day and time but not for me. Being humble and being grateful is not just about you, there’s always somebody else god can use and if he so chooses to use you, you should be very humble and grateful for it. I think those are the keys to success and the last thing I would say is, make sure you work very diligently and hard at your talent. Hard work pays off. If you put the work in you’ll see the results of your career, grow and impact people.