Isaac Carree Speaks About Taking Risks & His New Album in Six Years
Isaac Carree is back with his highly anticipated recording, No Risk... No Reward on Shanachie Entertainment. No Risk...No Reward is Isaac Carree's third solo recording and is produced by Dove Award-winner and two-time Grammy Award-winning producer Blac Elvis, who has produced hits for everyone from Beyoncé ("Ego") to Fergie ("Glamorous") Ciara ("Promise"), Usher ("Lil' Freak) and Smokie Norful ("Nothing Is Impossible").
Carree launched his career as a soloist with John P. Kee & New Life Community Choir and later on with his own award-winning Gospel quartet, Men of Standard. His soulful velvety tenor, heavenly runs, smooth production and ability infuse various genres into his irresistible sound, have allowed him to collaborate with everyone from Kirk Franklin and Mary Mary to Donnie McClurkin, Marvin Sapp and Israel Houghton, among others. The transcendent messages of Carree's hits like "Trust In God," "In Your Will" and "In The Middle," demonstrates the power of God's redemption and affirms his mission to inspire us to persevere and remember that it is never too late to start over.
Q: Thank you for doing this interview with us. Congratulations on the release of your new single "Her." Tell us more about this song and the inspiration behind it.
Thank you for having me. I wanted to do a song about my wife. I wanted to do a love song to let her know how much I love her. I wanted a song that gave men a voice to tell their woman how much they love them. We live in a world where women not only don't have equal rights and equal pay but they don't get equal love and respect. I wanted to do a song that highlighted the love of my life and for another man, the love of his life. That was the purpose of this song. I pray that the song makes people love again and that it heals marriages and restores marriages. I hope that it makes even divorced women understand that it's not their fault and allows them to say 'I am still worthy. I am still good enough.' So that was the intention of the song and I pray that it spreads like wild fire not just in church but all over the world.
Q: It's been six years since your last album. But you have been busy, in fact, you have recently released your first book. Tell us more about this book.
Yes, I have been very busy. I did get an opportunity to release my very first book entitled Service: My Words. My Life. My Truth. It's a book that kind of shares my story and my journey in the music business. It's about how my gift, my singing and who I knew did not get me to where I am. But me serving others, while serving God, got me to where I am. I wanted to shed light on the importance of serving. Jesus was a servant. We should never serve to be seen but we should always be seen serving. It is just a principal that I have always lived by and that I wanted to share in this book. So if you get a chance pick up the book Service: My Word. My Life. My Truth.
Q: You have also toured with Diddy, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. What were some of the highlights for you with all this touring?
I did get a chance to tour with Puff - Diddy and the Bad Boy Reunion Tour and I followed that tour up with Tim McGraw and Faith Hill on the Soul2Soul World Tour. I had the time of my life. It was absolutely amazing. It was incredible all of the things that I saw and experienced, from the people I met, to the relationships I built and the things I learned. I did not understand why God afforded me the opportunity to tour with such amazing people, especially after being a Gospel artist for almost 30 years and never stepping outside the genre to do anything else. God revealed to me several things.
One of the things he revealed was that he wanted me to see and experience some things that I would have never have seen or experienced had I not stepped out. I learned a lot. I am able to now come back as I approach doing new music and dropping my new album and try to display some of the new things that I have learned - some of the excellence. The way I was and treated, I can now treat my staff the way I was treated. The way I was respected, I can now respect others the way I was respected. The way I was honored, I can now honor others over here back in our genre the same way. Jesus compelled us to go out and minister the gospel and reach people. I was able to go out to see some things, learn some things and come home and try to spread some more love, greatness and some more things. It was great!
Q: You also have a new album coming out later this year. Why did you entitle it "No Risk... No Reward"?
I am very excited about this new album entitled No Risk...No Reward. I have not had new music in over six years. The reason why I chose this title is because that is how I live my life. If you are not willing to take a risk in life, you will never reach or experience the reward. Even in the Bible when Peter was in the boat and the storm was rocking the boat and Jesus said 'come,' all of his boys were afraid and were like "sit down, chill. Don't go out there in that water or you're gonna die." But God said, "come you too can walk on water." The risk was Peter doing it because he did not know but God was testing his faith and testing his belief system. The risk was walking on water but the reward was that he saw the promise.
Even in the issue of blood...in the Bible in those days it was against the law for women to maneuver and move around in the culture. Women had a certain space and a place that they always had to stay in. But this woman took the risk when she pressed her way through the crowd and the reward was that when she touched the hem of Jesus' garmet she was made whole. If you are not willing to take a rise in life you will never ever ever get the reward. You may get a lot of awards on earth, which is nice, but we're living this life to live again. The ultimate award is for Jesus to say 'well done.'
Q: Who are some of the songwriters and producers you have had worked with on this new record?
I had the opportunity to work with some amazing people on this album. The team is named Red Kulture - that's Blac Elvis he's the producer along with Anthony, the engineer, Aljamaal who is part of the management team, co-producer Tarrio, songwriter, arranger and vocal producer Felly, and fellow vocal producer Choreous.
It takes a village and we all came together and put our heads together. We put our creativity together to make magic and to make history. It is special music. I want to make sure every time I get a chance to shed light on those who helped me put this music together, that I call their names not just the team name but individually. That is how you excel people and push them forward. You give the world a chance to know who they are. They brought me back after six and a half years. They said we got to do and they did it!.
Q: Besides "Her," what are a couple of the songs on this new record that you are really excited about?
I am old school in a sense that I do not believe in just making a couple of good songs. I am excited about every single solitary song on the record. I do not just do albums that are single driven. I try and make every song a single. What people don't know is that over half of this record is dedicated to women and love. I have a series of topics that I am touching on. A series of lyrics that we decided to just bring out and just deal with head on and face on. I think there is something on the record for everybody. I always try to do music that can reach everybody. I think we did it again and you have to get the entire body of music to appreciate it.
Q: Can you share with us a time in your life you took a risk for God and saw the rewards of that?
Meeting my wife. Meeting someone that was completely different from me, someone from a different place and background. Our cultures are similar as we are both from church environments, with preachers in our families but we are different people. I'm a musician, singer and artist and she's a hard-working entrepreneur type of woman. We were different so the risk was would it work? The reward was not being afraid to try. 15 years later of marriage and 17 years together, she is the greatest reward I could ever have on earth. So No Risk..No Reward.
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