The soulful singer spoke to CocoaFab exclusively to dish details about her new album, Journey To Freedom, and explained why this time around she’s doing things her way.
“I am very excited about my project. Every single song that was recorded for the project, I’m excited for the world to hear,” she said.
“I say this is an urban inspiration album because unfortunately when you say gospel people think it has to be one way. I don’t want to be boxed in and I don’t ant to be limited in where I can go.”
Michelle admitted that her time on the gospel circuit wasn’t always easy.
“It used to be hard until I realized I was trying to put myself in a box that I wasn’t supposed to be in in the first place,” she said.
“I wanted to be accepted and I wanted to be liked. Now I’m not worried about who accept it and there’s a bigger reason that I do what I do for more people than one type of genre captures.”
Despite major successes on her previous solo offerings, Michelle didn’t get always get the credit she deserved.
“My first gospel album sold 500,000 units world wide and it was the top-selling gospel album of that year. My next album was No. 2 but I was still limited. I was even limited on where I could go and what I could do,” she said.
“This time around I wanted to make sure that everyone had a chance to hear my message. It was absolutely a conscious effort to have more control.”
One way she exerted her control was by choosing to stick with one producer for her whole album.
“This time I went into the studio and linked up with an amazing producer. Samuels did my whole project. It’s amazing when you have such great chemistry with a producer.”
Michelle credits the producer with helping her find the perfect dogs for her fourth solo album.
“I wanted to go back to the time when Janet Jackson only worked with Jimmy Jam and Terry. The producer gets to know your voice and know what you like,” she said.
“He has done production for people like Ariana Grande, Kelly Rowland, Maroon 5, Chris Brown and Jennifer HudsonÂ so he’s very versatile.”
The Grammy-winning singer says she is hoping fans will be inspired and uplifted by her latest project.
A song called “Free” and “If I Had Your Eyes” and “Beautiful” are a few that I feel capture my true message,” she said. “Once you say yes to your purpose and do it, everything in your life will align.”
The album’s lead single, “Say Yes,” is one of her favorites and echoes that sentiment perfectly.
“The concept was that we didn’t want it to be choreographed and staged. We wanted it to get people up and moving. We were styled but it wasn’t over the top. It’s what we would wear on a daily basis. I made sure I had some African dance in there,” she said.
Having her best friends, Kelly Rowland and Beyonce, on deck made the experience even sweeter.
“I had two of friends on set with me and it was absolutely amazing. It was the most fun. Whenever we are around each other it’s the best.”