Fred Hammond a GRAMMY®, Stellar, and Dove Award-winner with nearly three decades in music and ministry has produced a concept recording unlike any other in recent gospel music history.” Life in the Word offers something a little different,” says Hammond, whose songs have, over the years, become a vital component of Sunday morning praise services. “It’s easy for my audience to know where I’m coming from as an artist. They don’t want a lot of tricks, they don’t want to just listen—they want to participate. “This is the other side of my style.” His new project Hammond Family Entertainment allows the gospel veteran to work on recorded projects, audiovisual products, and other kinds of media aimed at bringing gospel to the masses. Life in the Word sees Hammond stepping away from the microphone and into the role of mentor, visionary and producer, guiding a fresh ensemble of young singers, worship leaders, and vocalists as they sing songs of devotion, commitment and worship lifted directly from Scriptures. Elev8 contributor Oretha Winston had the opportunity to check in with him and see just how things were going.
OW: What sets this release apart from any of your previous releases?
FH: It’s the fact that it is something that is like one of my children. The “Life In the Word” project has been a long time coming. It’s me being a father and my child is doing well and just starting to learn. I take it seriously. Whether its in my home or my professional life.
OW: What is being father like in the real sense of the word?
FH: Its one of the greatest things you can do. We talk about everything. There is nothing we can talk about everything. My daughter is wonderful person. She is smart and talented. My daughter is a great person It is one of the greatest things in life. My children are great. My son is my dude.
OW: Why start a label now with all the economic down turns of running labels?
FH: I want to expand into the genres to bring something to the people. I want this to branch out. I want to be able to show that there are different good ways to explain and express things. For example my daughter is a singer but she doesn’t need to sing like Yolanda Adams. She has more to talk about than just one subject. I want her to have a voice. I want to be able to offer that voice that choice. She may want to talk about the struggles that she is going through with a boyfriend. I want to be able to give a voice for that. Right now I am doing a Jazz album. It’s an art form. You don’t have to put your music in box. I want to be able to put out some urban sounding things so that there is an avenue. There will be a catalog that people can have of good music.
OW: What are you hoping people take away from this album?
FH: It’s really a method of praise. It’s a Daily Word Devotional that you can use every day. You can put this on and not think about. This is more content driven. It’s a reminder that God is bigger than any problem.
OW: What do you say to those struggling and who are lost in the world?
FH: All of us feel pain from time to time, but at some point you have to look within and find out what is important. At some point you have to tell the truth to yourself. When you go through the pain and deal with my stuff I at least know the truth and understand that I know where I am at. I know I have to get over there and deal with.
OW: What is the one thing that you hope this new venture builds and creates for new artists?
FH: The music business is not the same. No one’s doing records or business the same with technology. I just want to give a chance to give voice to different genres. I hope that it creates something lasting ….that opens up doors…. that creates an opportunity that allows people to grow. I hope it brings a chance to give people a way to bring creative ways to bring music. I am willing to get out the boat and walk. If I sink I can say “hey God.. Over here I am sinking help me out.” I am willing to try to walk. That’s what it’s about. You have to trust in Him.
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