Last summer, the daughter of Grammy Award-winning singer Karen Clark Sheard, of the gospel music group The Clark Sisters, and Bishop J. Drew Sheard, told The Christian Post that she was a bit disappointed in the sales of her Graceland album. Nonetheless she recognized that it had a positive impact on people’s lives.
“The album Graceland meant so much to me. It didn’t do what I wanted to do,” she told CP earlier this year. “However, a lot of people were blessed by it. What I wanted to do with that album was to give my Christian listeners, and those who don’t listen to gospel music, something different.”
Sheard explained that she grew up being drawn to musicians who dared to do different things in the world of gospel music.
“I’ve been raised in the church, that’s all I know. Having said that, I fell in love with Kirk Franklin when he came out with something that didn’t sound churchy,” she continued. “It gave me more boldness and audacity to go around saying, ‘Hey, I’m a believer and I’m bold about it. I’m proud about it because that same creativity that you all love in the world is bigger and doper in the church.’
“I didn’t always have to turn to R&B and secular artists because there were always Christian artists giving us something new. I wanted to do what the Clark sisters did for their generation, what Andrae Crouch did for his generation, and I’m hoping to do that for our generation.
“You’ve got tons of people doing that like Jordan Armstrong, Lecrae, The Walls Group, and I can go down the list.”
She also spoke to CP about her desire to usher in a new wave of gospel music and helping others to do the same. Instead of young Christians having to seek out other forms of music to find what they cannot in gospel, she sees the importance of bridging the gap between secular and gospel music.
“I notice that my generation, youth and young adults, a lot of us support gospel music, but we also really support the other genres of music. I notice that we look to the world for a different source of creativity before we go to the church to get it,” she asserted.
“I’ve always just wanted to cater to my generation and give them what the world is always giving them. This life is only temporary, so we need things that are going to help us on our journey as far as living for Christ.”