“Cut From a Different Fabric”

01 Feb “Cut From a Different Fabric”

In 1998 I remember sitting in the audience and listening to the University of Mississippi Gospel Choir singing “Every Knee Shall Bow” by Ricky Dillard. I thought to myself I want my choir to sound like that. In that same night the Ole Miss Gospel Choir delivered a soulful arrangement of the hymn “My Hope is Built.” Through this arrangement I could see the classical training in the directors at the time,  Ron Briggs and Delbert Collins.

I grew up in a small church singing in church choirs, eventually community choirs, and even a quartet group for a number of years. There is not a style of gospel music that I have not performed. However, my favorite styles /genres of music have always been classical and gospel music.

As I matured, I developed a great appreciation for Kurt Carr and The Kurt Carr Singers and Richard Smallwood and Vision. These two groups are the epitome of class, and what it means to merge classical with gospel.

I’ve always known that I was cut from a different fabric than most musicians. I knew that my desire to merge Classical with Gospel would not be extremely popular in the African American community. For years I struggled with how I was going to do this when the area I grew up in only appreciates quartet music, and the area I live in now only appreciates and supports quartet music, praise and worship music or what I call  “squalling.”

Almost one year ago I set out on a journey to rediscover my true purpose. When you know who you are in Jesus Christ, and what your true purpose is, what people think of you or your ministry really doesn’t matter. As a vocalist, singer, musician and songwriter, I am perfectly fine with being “Different.” My ministry isn’t for everyone, but it is for someone. Everything isn’t for everyone. However, if your primary goal is to be extremely popular with multiple awards under your belt, then popularity may be important to you.

Some people will find Jesus in quartet music, others will find him in contemporary gospel music. As an artist I’ve experienced lows and highs. There have been times after being on stage that I came home and felt empty. Did I reach anyone through my ministry? Sometimes people will make a mockery out of you because they don’t understand different styles of music. Ignorance isn’t always done on purpose, sometimes people just truly don’t have the wisdom to process that we are all uniquely designed with multiple gifts and talents. Everyone’s gift is not the same, and it is ok to different.

I am one proud, “DIFFERENT” recording artist. Many will not appreciate or support my ministry, but the new Will Harris only seeks the approval of God. If he is pleased with me, I am satisfied. Yes I may be cut from a different fabric than you, but I have something unique to bring to the kingdom as well. If this blog describes you as a singer, musician, or songwriter, I encourage you to continue being you. People are lost, love seems not to be on people’s agenda anymore, and people are hurting now more than ever. Your ministry is important! What you bring to the kingdom is valuable. Be you, and more importantly be who God has called you to be.

  • Tajuana Henry
    Posted at 15:40h, 01 February Reply

    I support and appreciate your style of music. I enjoy listening to you as well. You are different and unique and that’s ok. Never stop!
    T. Henry

  • Rangel McLaurin
    Posted at 15:46h, 01 February Reply

    Will, this is masterfully written and speaks great wisdom. Thanks for being a breath of fresh air to those of who believe that the classical genre has relevance in the Church.

  • Beverly Grayman-Rich
    Posted at 15:46h, 01 February Reply

    Thank you for the inspirational and motivating message….Yes I too march to a different drummer! Jesus! I needed this message this morning……I pray that God is pleased with my praise!

  • Monique McLeod
    Posted at 16:36h, 01 February Reply

    My God!!! Will!!! Thank you so much for this!! This was an area that I often struggled with especially growing up in the traditional holiness church. As I matured as a trained vocalist I learned to embrace my different sound and accept that this gift that God had given me and never be ashamed !!!! The same goes for merging jazz and gospel. It’s new, and it’s different but now church folk are accepting it!! Thanks so much.

  • Daniel Norman
    Posted at 03:40h, 02 February Reply

    I remember a line from a movie I once saw, “God loves wondrous variety”. It’s important to not try to be all things to all people. Stay true to the gift that God gave you and let him direct your path. Great message Mr. Harris

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