There are certain things that you never think will come from asking God to do his will over your life. We have our own preconceived notions on what we would like for Him to do and never think about that God doesn't operate in our limited thoughts. So when things that we never even thought to ask for happens, it just seems so unreal to me.
So two weeks ago, I was on a gig taking a break in between sets. And I get this text from a former band mate from maybe 5 years ago. The text is random in so many ways because first, I haven't heard from this singer via text in probably 3 years and secondly, she begins the text by asking me how tall I was. So I tell her 6'3, even though in all actuality, I am 6'2 and some inches. So she tells me to email my resume over to this casting director immediately because she is looking for someone over 6'2, handsome, and can sing. So it seemed kind of odd because another friend of mine text me a week earlier asking me all this same information and told me she was sending my info over. So I email the casting director my info not thinking anything would come of it. After emailing the info, I go back on stage and forget about it. After coming off stage, I notice I have an email from the casting director thanking me for sending my information over and that she was passing my info on. At this point, I'm really thinking this is going to be one of those things where a couple people contact you and tell you thank you for your submission and move on. So I get home after the gig and prepare for my day because I had a meeting lined up with a potential agent. I go to sleep and wake up to an email from a music director asking me to come down to these rehearsal studios at 3pm. I email him back telling him, I wouldn't be able to make it until 330pm because of a prior commitment. He tells me 330 is the latest I can be there and to get there as soon as I could. So because of what I felt was a disregard for my time, I contemplated not going. But after my meeting, I decide, what would it hurt to go to this audition or whatever it was because still at that point it wasn't clear what any of it was for. So I get to the lobby of the rehearsal space and I am handed a Non Disclosure Agreement with the name of the biggest Pop Star in the world on it. So I begin looking at it and thinking, oh we must be doing a video where I'll be an extra deep in the background. So after a couple hours of just standing around talking and waiting, they walk us into the rehearsal room. And as soon as I walk in I see Beyoncé sitting. And then I see a choir standing on risers. They walk us in and begin removing people from the risers and placing new guys in their place. Then they get to me and place me right behind Beyoncé. In my mind, I'm asking myself what is going on. What are they going to have me do. So they play us the recording from rehearsal earlier and behold, they are singing a song I sang at my grandmother's funeral. The moment felt so surreal because it felt like I placed there by my I don't know what.
At this moment, I still have no clue at all what it is for. Another hour goes by, then 2 hours go by and I have no clue why I am in the room with Beyoncé. So finally, they give the new people a run down of what's going on. "Beyoncé will be opening for Common and John Legend to perform their song from the movie, 'Selma', as a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the March on Selma at the GRAMMYS". I didn't believe what my ears were hearing. In my mind, I'm still trying to process the fact that I am singing behind the biggest Pop Star in the world and then they tell us we are performing at the Grammy Awards of all places paying tribute to all those that marched for me to have a chance at a brighter future.
Some how, I thought, "this is a dream and I am going to wake up. This isn't really happening. How did I get here?" Singing background isn't what I do, so how did I end up on this stage? God's hand!!! The whole week of rehearsal, I kept thinking, this is going to end soon. I'm not really going to step foot on the Grammy stage. So Wednesday passes, I'm still there. Thursday, I'm still there. Friday, still there. Saturday comes and we go to the Staple Center where we go through our segment and I am standing on the biggest stage in music with the biggest star in the world and I still don't know or understand how I got there. The moment was so big and so unreal, that not a single nervous bone entered my body.
So as I look forward to the release of my upcoming EP, I see just how close everything is. My plans are not God's plans. All I have to do is step out, and do the work and watch God do the rest!!!
As we embark upon a new year, I can't help but reflect on 2014!!!
It has been another amazing year. 2014 saw the release of Juan Hoerni's, Move Mountains project which I wrote and sang on. I again shared the stage with some amazing artist and for some amazing people. As I reflect on years past, it is amazing to me to see the growth through all the highs and lows. I have seen many come to Los Angeles to pursue their dreams, only to get caught up in the glitz and glamour and fall off from the pursuit of their goals. I have also seen many come and leave within a few months or even give up after a few years. That's why I feel truly blessed entering my 10th year in Los Angeles. When I told many about my plans in Mississippi, I encountered a lot of naysayers who told me I would be back in a few months. But I can truly say that, I have enjoyed every year that I have spent out here. Although I have missed a lot at home, it is always amazing to go back to my family. Making them happy and proud has always been my goal and will continue to be.
So as we close out 2014 and enter into 2015, I would like to wish everyone a safe and prosperous New Year!!! And I am looking forward to the next 10 years!!!!
I am proud to be apart of this Gala. The St James Foundation is seeking donations to build Los Angeles' first Adaptive Equipment Fitness Center for the disabled. Please purchase a ticket or if you can't attend, please make a donation to this very noble cause!!!
Thursday November 13, 2014 at 6:30pm
1201 Vine St.
Hollywood, CA 90038
To make a donation or for reservations, please visit www.STJFoundation.org/gala
Congratulations are in order to Maurice Smith for officially signing with TopNotch/Ingrooves/Universal Records!!!
The official single for this upcoming project will be released in early November!!!