One thing Chante Moore has is goals. The veteran R&B songstress, who turns 50 this year, has many things on her bucket list to accomplishing, including winning a Grammy, securing another number one record, and taking all her family on an all-expense paid vacation. These things may seem like fantasies to many, but for Chante, she’s been busting her butt to solidify to make her mark while she still has time.
In a recent interview with Singersroom, the bubbly singer, mom, and reality TV star shared details about her new album, ‘The Rise Of The Phoenix,’ and why the timing is right, and she also conversed about her first holiday project, and why she chose to release it this year. Also, she also gave some beauty secrets, spoke about her regrets personally and professionally, and more. Check out our conversation!
Hello Miss Chante Moore, how are you?
I’m awesome Gary, how about you?
Fantastic, and I’m well thank you. You sound so relaxed like you’re sipping on some wine or something.
[Laughs] I’m having orange juice, and my dad had made some homemade soup, which was delicious. Now, I feel good.
Pop got you all relaxed. So, your new project, ‘The Rise Of The Phoenix,’ came out recently and was pulled, what happened?
It was supposed to come in February, so a whole lot of things happened since then; new songs on the record. INgrooves, who is a distribution company, asked us if we wanted to go into business with them because I’m putting the songs out on my own label, which is CM7 Records and they have joined us to do the distribution. They needed a little time to get the record out and to promote it and get it in the stores. So, that was the holdup.
Tell us about the making of ‘The Rise Of The Phoenix’ — Why are you looking to make such a powerful statement at this point in your career?
It’s a very personal journey. I believe that the times that I’ve had, the good and the bad, from divorce to the emotional rollercoaster of being on a reality show to regular life and being a single mother now and all those things mixed together to formulate this body of work. I think everything is a process, and there’s a place for breaking, and there’s a place that we take what’s happened to us, and we choose to be reborn and to be renewed in those things. The fires are kind of a refining process. Certainly, in life, the trials that come, they come to refine us and make us stronger. And I feel like the things that have happened to me are reflected in this record and all the good and the bad, all of that, I’ve used that in this music to become a better artist and a better person and spiritually better all around. I just really feel like this is a time of rebirth.
Are you going into details about some of the things that weighed you down on this project or are you leaving things generic?
It’s never generic for me. It’s all coming from my heart. There are very specific things that are said absolutely in the music. The good part is that I’m not angry anymore. I think the last record I had I was really upset about a lot of things, but my mind was very clear then too. However, this time it seems like it’s tempered with Grace and not anger and bitterness.
Sounds good. So, you’ve had a longstanding and very successful career as an artist. As you look over your career, do you have any regrets, is there anything you wished you would have done differently?
It’s funny! The album, ‘The Rise Of The Phoenix,’ is my seventh album release and my debut album came out 25 years ago on September 29. The only thing I think I regret is not being more aggressive, not being more assertive in the choices for my life musically, and also personally as well. However, I’ve come to terms with a lot of the things that I’ve chosen personally. It’s easier to say, ‘Oh that’s OK, time just ran out.’ In your career, you want things to go one way, and that’s where you’re striving, one direction. I think I’ve wanted some things to be different, but I think I had love on my mind most of the time and my career was very very close second. But there were things that shifted my attention and my drive. So, I wish I was a little more attentive and a little more aggressive earlier on.
So, as we take a deeper dive into this project, what message are you trying to convey with this record? What do you want people to take away from this LP?
That life is a journey! It’s not about one thing defining who you are. It’s day to day; it’s living in the moment. That’s all we have is right this moment, so seize the day, make the most of today because it’s all you got. Yesterday, you should learn from your mistakes and the things that you’ve done right and wrong and grow and prepare yourself for tomorrow. So just live in the moment and be resilient. If you fall down, get back up again. If you lost a dream, dream another dream. Make up something else that makes you happy, that gives you purpose, and joy, and love the people that are right next to you. That’s the whole point of life is we go through this journey together, and you only get a short time to be here. We see people passing, and we go ‘Oh shoot, I should have called her or I should have told them how much I love them.’ So, tell them, call them, visit. You shouldn’t live life in regret. So, do the things that you actually are thinking about doing. Hopefully, my music encourages some of that and certainly come and see me live.
That’s awesome! So, you’re still out here killin’ em; you’re 50 and fly. What’s your beauty secret (we know black don’t crack)?
Wow lol, thank you. The first thing that comes to mind is my mother was a stickler about washing my face every single night even if I didn’t wear make-up. She was like ‘wash the day off.’ So, no matter what happens, no matter how sleepy I am, no matter if I had something to drink or something to eat or fell asleep, I wake up, and I wash my face every single night. I think that taking care of yourself from head to toe is important. If you take a close inspection of yourself, pretty much from head to toe, you would have to pay attention to quite a few things. I hate looking in those amplified mirrors, I mean, oh my God, every scar on your face, every pimple, the hairs, everything shows. You have to take care of yourself, your underarms, those are the things for women that are supposed to be soft and supposed to be refined. It doesn’t have to be perfect; nobody’s perfect. It doesn’t take surgery; it takes time, it takes attention. So, I would just say love yourself first, and then love the people you are with as well as you can.
I think we all can take that advice! So, you shot the video for “Real One” with a real hunk of a co-star, tell us about that shoot?
What’s funny is I had never met him before, but we chose him from the pictures that we saw. It’s such a strange thing to meet somebody, and then the next moment he takes his shirt off, he takes his pants off and gets in the bed, and I have a robe on with nothing under it. I’m going, ‘whoa, this is really fast,’ [Laughs]. He goes, ‘It’s OK, you can just relax.’ I love how inviting but not creepy he was. Just a really nice person and made me feel extremely comfortable because as an actor, he does that a lot more often than I do. So, it was really a pleasure to work with him. He’s very gentle, very kind manly man and was very attractive and not, you know, overdone. He wasn’t too sexy for his shirt. He was a good guy, and I enjoyed that time a lot.
So are you saying we’re not going to see Chante strip down a little bit in any movies coming in the future?
I would love to be in movies. I would love it. I’d like to play more characters than they would probably ask me to, but I don’t have an agent yet, so that’s part of the reason why it hasn’t happened. The music has just been so all-encompassing, but I want to do something. I don’t know if movies are for me; I love being spontaneous and unscripted. Something is going to happen; I don’t know. I have a very goofy, funny streak, so I’m not sure what I’m gonna do with that, but I love being a character and being spontaneous.
Outstanding! You’re a busy lady because you’re also dropping your first Christmas album, what made this the right time?
I love it! I have a great team; we were riding the ‘Rise of the Phoenix,’ and we didn’t want to stop. We kept making music that were going to go on ‘Rise of the Phoenix,’ and once we finished that, we’re like, ‘oh my gosh, we should do a Christmas album.’ So, we did it. It was amazing and fun and easy for us to flow together; the writers, the producers. It’s just so much fun creating, the whole process of creating, and I love that it actually ignited my joy and my love for the process. Again, I think sometimes I get caught up in what we’re looking for in the end product, and not so much the process. There were days when I did dread going to the studio. I was like, ‘I can’t do it anymore, I’m tired.’ I be performing on the weekends and singing all week, but it’s so worth it in the end. Listening to the product, and having two albums coming out this year, it’s just a really good feeling, and I’m really proud of myself.
In regards to the covers on the Christmas album, how and why did you select these records?
The first three remakes are just my favorite Christmas songs. We did “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” – The very first one I sang though was “Merry Christmas Baby,” my favorite Christmas song period. I could not wait to get on that song and sing it. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” I just think that song is so Christmas-y. The epitome of Christmas in a particular song other than “Chestnuts [Roasting On An Open Fire],” which I also did, “Silent Night,” and I did “Please Come Home For Christmas” as well. Those are the four that I did, and I enjoyed them so much.
So, what are some of your fondest holiday memories?
Oh my gosh, so many of them. The first thing that came to mind is when I was young, my mom, they didn’t really love Christmas as much as I did, so they didn’t necessarily want a tree; They bought the tree because I wanted the tree. I would decorate the tree myself, nobody came in to help me, and I absolutely loved it. It’s been a part of my tradition since then. When my kids were growing up, I would decorate the whole tree. I wouldn’t have them decorate so much cause I would be so meticulous about where the ornaments are going and where the lights are going to be. I wrap every limb almost on a tree; I’m very meticulous about that. So, I ended up giving them their own tree, and I’m like “here, you guys can decorate the smaller tree,” so they would have one in the other living room [laughs]. They would decorate that any way they please, but they weren’t touching momma’s tree [laughs]. Selfish, I know, but it was my thing.
Another one of my favorite moment is my dad playing the piano; we had a piano in that same room where the tree was. We gathered around the tree and the piano, and my dad played and we just sang and sang and made up songs. We sang old songs and new; it was just so much fun in that moment. It was so perfect other than having my mom there; my mom passed on 20 years ago. It’s always a blank spot because of that piece of my heart that’s tender because she’s not here. But, I don’t just miss her at Christmas, I miss her all the time. Whenever I’m going through something wonderful, I wanna share with her, when I’m crying, I want to lean on her, If I’m questioning things, I wanna ask her about them even if she wouldn’t have the right answer, but I know she was there. But, I find joy in being a mother because of her, so it’s not too bad.
That’s amazing. So, I don’t want to mess up the moment, but your ex-husband [Kenny Lattimore] released the emotional and regretful new single, “Push,” recently. Did you hear it, and if so, what are your thoughts? Do you think he was singing about you?
I have not heard it, but I heard about it. When I heard about the song, I did think that it was written about me, but I don’t know. I didn’t ask him, so I’m not sure about it.
What’s your relationship like today?
It’s better than its been in a long time. We’re trying to concentrate on our son more than anything. There have been some bitter, harsh, and difficult times between us, but I think we’re in a good place. Definitely better than we have been in at least six-seven years. So, it’s a good time. We don’t hang out or anything like that, but we talk often because of our son. We have a lot to be concerned about because he’s our priority and that’s our connection, you know. It’s a good thing, he’s a good father, so that’s the most important thing.
So, at this point in your career, whether it’s professional or personal, what’s on your bucket list?
Oh gosh! Funny, I used to always say it didn’t matter but I want a Grammy, I do. I wanna be nominated and win a Grammy. I wanna feel what it feels like.
So, who do we gotta go stick up to make it happen?
[Laughs] I don’t know, but you know, maybe this is the year. It’s a very special CD and a very special time in my life, but I’m ok with when it happens, I just want it to happen. A number one record would be good as well. I’ve had one; I’d like some more [Laughs]. I’d like to go on vacation with my family and be able to take care of every person and have them not worry about one single thing as they go. I want to take them somewhere so beautiful that they can’t even imagine that it’s that beautiful. I don’t know if it’s Dubai or Bali; I’ve seen a lot of beautiful places, but it would just be great to be able to just take my whole family from my children to my dad. My dad’s still alive and he’s so strong and wonderful and he does so much for me while he’s here. He lives here with me, and he helps me take care of my son when I’m out of town and traveling; I just want to give back more than they even want from me. There’s just so many things I wish I could do, but with time, hopefully, I’ll be able to do just that.
Beautiful, well thank you, I enjoyed your time, and here’s to a Grammy one day.
Thank you so much, Gary!
Purchase ‘Rise of the Phoenix’ on iTunes.