GOSPELflava.com: Where is Alvin Slaughter spiritually, right now?
Alvin Slaughter: You know, I'm really in a good place. About 3 or 4 years ago, I felt a transition coming on. The biggest problem was that I didn't enjoy singing anymore. I love ministry. I love people. I didn't know if God was calling me to be a pastor, but in the meantime, I kept doing what I was doing. I was traveling all over the place, singing and ministering to people. That's when I did my previous album, The Faith Life [in 2005].
I was saying "I don't know where I am going right now, but I know that God knows who I am". But today, I have a clearer vision. That's why I titled this new album Overcomer, because overcomer says that now I know who I am. I'll be doing more speaking. People don't know that my concerts include 30% speaking anyway. I also have a book coming out, most likely in 2009.
GOSPELflava.com: You alluded to the next question. Can you would elaborate on why you wanted to record this new project?
Alvin Slaughter: Well I recorded The Faith Life back in 2005, and I was supposed to come out with another album two years later on Integrity Music. I was not writing anything. I wasn't feeling anything and to be honest, I was not hearing anything. A lot of music that I was hearing, whether Gospel, CCM or praise and worship, sounded the same to me. The problem was that although I loved the songs, they could not express everything that was in my heart to say. I wanted songs to inspire people, but there were some very practical things that I wanted to say to people's hearts and lives. I realized that I did not have to do that in song. So once I got to that point, I realized that songs are one thing and speaking is another. Then I became free to do songs.
When we started the album, the main thing I needed was the right guy to pull out what was needed in order to articulate what was in my heart. The first person who came to mind was Aaron Lindsey. I knew that Aaron was a great musician and that he traveled with Israel Houghton. I've known Israel for many, many years, but I also knew that Aaron knew what it's like to stand on stage and interpret songs. It's one thing to have a nice radio hit, but it's another thing to be able to stage on stage and minster to the hearts of the people.
The success that I've had is because we have tried to minister songs that speak to the hearts and lives of the people. There are more doors that are open than you could ever go through. I got inspired again when I figured I could sing those songs that would help people, especially in these times when there is so much going on. I think all of us have a job to be able to look back at our lives and speak to the lives of people. Out of the realization of what I came through I'm no better than anyone else God has given me a song and a message to speak and that became exciting to me all over again.
GOSPELflava.com: You have traveled to many countries whether with your own ministry or with the likes of Benny Hinn. What has your time traveling the globe taught you about God?
Alvin Slaughter: Great question! It's a great question because I have done a lot of radio interviews because of the new album, and a lot of the Gospel stations ask me what kind of artist I am. I know what they're saying because you have to classify yourself as either Gospel, CCM, etc. in the industry. In the God industry, it's no Gospel or CCM. It's a royal priesthood, a chosen generation. It's one blood. I wish that people would experience the best of all that God has to offer. I believe that many of us see only one facet of God, but God is bigger than our perspective that we come from. It would serve us well if we could go about the business of discovering who God is. Of course we will never know all about God. When I started traveling, I realized that God is not just a New York God. He's not just a black of white God. He's not a Baptist or Pentecostal God. I found out that God is so amazing and so colorful, and I wish there was a way in which we did not have to categorize God so much. We limit the beauty and the majesty of God.
GOSPELflava.com: Aaron Lindsey is experiencing a great deal of success on the charts with albums that he has produced. How was it working with him?
Alvin Slaughter: Let me tell you, although I really wanted to work with Aaron, my initial fear what that he was going to make me sound like Israel. I love Israel, but I can't do Israel. I didn't know if Aaron could find my uniqueness and improve upon it. To me, the producer is like the overseer. I'm like the pastor of the project and [laughing] he's like the bishop of the project. Aaron helped me to see what I couldn't see. To be such a young man, Aaron is a genius! I didn't know that he had that. He brought a fresher dimension to my sound, but I did not know the heart and the depth of this guy. I would fly out to Houston and before we talked about music many times, we would start off talking about life and our individual journeys. We had times where we prayed together and we wept together. There was a bit of a spiritual connection between the two of us. He just knows how to bring heart to a project.
Aaron also knows how to adapt and stay relevant with the times. He produced Marvin Sapp's latest mega album. Marvin Sapp does not sound like Israel. Israel does not sound like Alvin Slaughter. It's amazing how Aaron makes sure of that. I have the highest respect for him.
GOSPELflava.com: How important is family to you?
Alvin Slaughter: Family is everything to me, and I have made mistakes because of it. When I started traveling, I couldn't believe that people paid me to come and sing. I was insecure so I took everything that was offered to me. I was only home four days out of a month. I was able to buy my kids new clothes and not rely on hand-me-downs, and I was also able to buy my wife nice things. In the process of trying to provide for my family, I was not there for them.
My son got a scholarship to play football at the University of Rhode Island and I went to a only very few of those games. So family means everything, but we must also understand balance. Balance means that I might have to turn down an amazing engagement so that I can be with my family. At the end of the day, family is everything. I love to sing, minister, worship and speak, but my biggest joy is when I am able to get back on the plane to fly home.
I tell people now not to minister in fear. Keep your spiritual eyes and ears open and God will lead you on what to take.
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