Interview with Debra Killings
There Is A Message In Her Music

Thereís a new artist in town. At least, you might think so. But how else can one describe a veteran in the music field who releases their first album?

Her name is Debra Killings and she's been around the music scene for a while, serving as a writer, multi-instrumentalist and backup singer for many.

Debra Killings Now Killings has stepped out on her own to give God glory in her music. The Atlanta phenom stepped in to tell Gospelflava.com all about the message in the music and her inspiration for it on Surrender.

Gospelflava.com: Verity Records is the powerhouse label in Gospel and itís a feat for a new artist to get signed with them! How did it all come together?

Debra Killings: I had done a couple of demos, and gave them to a guy named Ian Burke, who took it to this guy named Max Siegel, who wasnít with Verity at the time. As soon as he came on with Verity [as President of the label, in 2002], I was the first act that he took to the table.

Gospelflava.com: Tell us about the jam of the album, the song, ďMessage in the MusicĒ.

Debra Killings: The piece was written by Dallas Austin and Kandi Burress, formerly of Xscape. We were down in Miami, and Dallas just said, ĎDebra, we have to come up with a song that talks about just growing up in the church.í So they just sat down and came up with that song. I believe that ďMessage in the MusicĒ is true to life for most of us. [Read the lyrics]

Gospelflava.com: Often artists have a difficult time in deciding if there is a song that is particularly special on their own project. How is it for you, do you have a favorite song on your album?

Click for review All of her instrumental skills seem to be wrapped up in her vocal chords and her way of expressing them is much akin to skillful playing. Serving up vocals sublime, Debra Killings brings a sweet and fresh quality with her styling....

See full review.

Debra Killings: No, I really donít have a favorite. I think that while I was recording the album, some songs were my favorite at the time. I believe that all of them are my favorite.

Gospelflava.com: Do you have any personal expectations for the album?

Debra Killings: I pray that it will go past the Gospel market and hit the secular market; that it will hit every span of music. I want at least five million albums sold.

Gospelflava.com: Youíve worked with a literal Whoís Who of artists. Just reading the list (Aretha Franklin, Toni Braxton, Outkast, Monica, TLC, Curtis Mayfield, George Clinton, Deborah Cox, Jay-Z, Shanice, TamiaÖ). Can you tell us what is it like to be a Christian working with many such a variety of mainstream artists?

Debra Killings: Itís just living an everyday life to me. Some people wake up and go to Wal Mart. Some wake up and go to Sears or AT&T. Thereís a lot of people who arenít born again in those situations also. So it was basically a job for me. I try to walk right, talk right and carry myself right so that I could be a light to them.

Gospelflava.com: What was it like to venture out on your own, especially to do a Gospel album?

Debra Killings: I had been playing at a church for the last few years, so it was pretty easy to do Gospel, because thatís what I wanted to do, to serve God.

Gospelflava.com: On your album you collaborate with Fred Hammond on "Because Of Your Love". What other Gospel artist would you like to sing with, or maybe work with on the production side of things?

Debra KillingsDebra Killings: I would personally like to work with Percy Bady, I think that heís off the hook. Also, Tonex and Deitrick Haddon as well.

Gospelflava.com: Who are some of your inspirations?

Debra Killings: My two children are my inspirations. As far as music is concerned, Kim Burrell inspires me. And my pastor Creflo Dollar is an inspiration.

Gospelflava.com: What is one thing that you would like the people to know about Debra Killings?

Debra Killings: Iím truthful. The way I am is the way I am no matter what. Rain or shine, Iím the same way.

It is safe to say that Debra Killings is one of 2003ís breakout artists across the music industry in its entirety. She is creating a buzz with Surrender, and itís for all the right reasons. Is there more to come from this artist? You better believe there is. There is indeed a message in the music, and yes, more than just the
Gospel community needs to hear it.

interview by Dwayne Lacy

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