[EXCLUSIVE] Kirk Franklin Talks Latest Single and Working With Pharrell, Being A Pioneer In Gospel Music, Family, & More

With his ongoing love for Jesus Christ, Gospel music icon Kirk Franklin continues to bless the world with his music and helping others make their dreams come true. For over two decades, the 10x Grammy Award-winner popularized contemporary gospel music, and it has certainly paid off! Franklin’s lyrics and musical sound exemplifies his brutal honesty and mission to spread the love and mercy of God. Franklin incorporates hip-hop and R&B, and many would like to call him a “revivalist.”

Franklin’s current single, “123 Victory (Remix),” is doing well on the charts. The offering was his fifth number one record on the Billboard Gospel Songs chart. He collaborated with Grammy award-winning producer, Pharrell Williams on the record, which represents his versatility as an artist.

Franklin’s latest album, Losing My Religion, is his 11th LP. The opus debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Album charts. He also has four Dove Award nominations under his belt for Gospel Artist of the Year, Producer of the Year, Contemporary Gospel/Urban Album of the Year, and Contemporary Gospel/Urban Recorded Song of the Year (for the single “Wanna Be Happy”).

Singersroom.com spoke with the gospel veteran about working with Pharrell, their latest single, longevity as an artist, and more.

This is an interview you don’t want to miss! Check it out!

“123 Victory” Single: Album version was a song that has a movement sound to it; I wanted to give it a revolutionary approach and take a stand. We have to stand up, be strong, and take charge of our lives. We have to stand strong in our faith, and so that was the concept for the song.

Working with Pharrell: Pharell and I have been friends for over 15 years. And for a long time, we’ve talked about doing a song together. It worked out where he can be featured on the song. We were exploring different sounds because we didn’t know the rhythmic sound for the song at first. In the end, the creative process turned out good. “123 Victory (Remix)” was number one on the charts; he’s just a talented person.

Losing My Religion album: I don’t think it’s different. I’m just continuing my narrative form of expressing my love for Jesus Christ. He can be reflected in any walk of life, whether we are leaving the country, starting a new job, or raising a family. At the end of the day, it’s all about me honoring and praising Him for what he’s done in my life through the good, bad, and ugly. It’s all about what I believe, what I stand for, and my faith.

Bridging the Gap in Gospel Music: I really don’t know how to answer that question because I am just me on the record. I am making records that are true to my heart and what’s natural. I am just trying to look at the bigger picture, and that’s what I do in my personal life and walk. I think that when you take your eyes off the main purpose on what you’re supposed to be doing, then you will fail at it and I don’t want to fail at any of it.

Kirk Franklin, The Artist vs. Kirk, the Husband, Father, and Provider: I don’t separate because it’s a part of who I am. God allows me to make music that reflects Him. I am very proud of my job and what I do; I just roll with that.

Accomplishments in Music:  I don’t sit back and look at the trophies because you always have to be hungry. You have to keep our eyes on the bigger picture. When you start looking at the trophies and awards, you get side-tracked.

Avoiding Old Habits/Patterns Due to Your Walk with God: People are always trying to change people or making them stop doing something, and that’s not the way to go. Instead, we should spread the love of Christ because the love for God can change their life. When is a person is in love with Christ, your character changes because you don’t want to hurt others. Then your life is motivated by love and your love for Christ. Life itself can be difficult, and without Christ, it will be more difficult. While we are here on Earth, we find peace when we totally surrender to God. God is not calling us to try; He is calling us to trust Him. And we go back to those old patterns because we keep trying instead of trusting. Trusting and trying are two different things.

Touring: I finished touring but touring is rough. But I love it and it’s fun. I love seeing the people, and I love giving them a cohesive presentation to something I really love, which is God.

Giving People a Different Perspective about Gospel Music:  Once again, you have to love God; fall in love with him. A lot of people think it’s simply going to church and reading the bible. You can do that, be married, or be successful according to the world, but there’s no love there. You can be married, but you and your wife are not deeply in love with each other. We have to focus on the love perspective of who He is in our life. It’s the motivation that keeps us going.

Purchase Losing My Religion on iTunes HERE.