Love Stories by Gordon Chambers
I am delighted this week to feature Love Stories by Gordon Chambers. As a songwriter and producer, Gordon has worked with several of the greatest artists in the music industry. He won a Grammy in 1994 for I Apologize, which he wrote for Anita Baker and he was nominated for a Grammy for If You Love Me, which he wrote for Brownstone, as well as Family Reunion, which featured Chaka Khan, Yolanda Adams, Carl Thomas and Gerald Levert. His other writing credits include songs for Aretha Franklin, Beyonce (After All Is Said and Done), Carl Thomas (My Valentine), Angie Stone (No More Rain in This Cloud) and many others.
With Gordon’s impressively long list of writing credits, it is no surprise that he has released two very good albums of his own. His first album, Introducing Gordon Chambers was released in 2005, followed by Love Stories in 2007. Love Stories displays Gordon’s lyrical versatility with songs that reflect a variety of emotions. Gordon can use the songs I Wish I Was In Love, By My Side and Still Blessing Me to take listeners through memories of heartache, love, and faith with arrangements that leave his melodies playing in your head long after you’ve stopped listening. I especially like If It Wasn’t For Your Love, which you may recall from Heather Headley’s album, This Is Who I Am and To Love Again, which features Ledisi.
Here’s what Gordon shared about his music:
Mimi Soul: What are some of the things that inspire and influence your music?
Gordon: I took a course years ago at Landmark Education and declared myself in the universe as H.E.A.L.—the possibility of healing, enlightenment, art and love. I believe music is a unique healing and unifying force that defies borders, languages, politics, creeds and colors. The musicians I most respect are people whose catalogues have helped folks to h.e.a.l.: the Bob Marleys, the Stevie Wonders. Music is the soundtracks of people’s lives: there’s a song for your prom, your graduation, your wedding, your anniversary, your political agenda. You iPod selection is your identity. I love what music means in people’s lives, and that inspires and influence me: the ability to connect with people’s lives and emotions.
Mimi Soul: How has your experience as a songwriter for other artists helped you develop your first two albums?
Gordon: It was a totally different process. When I write for other artists, I know what their voice is. As a singer who stepped into the game later, I was still (and still am) finding my singing voice. So writing and choosing songs for me was about finding what compliments my voice, range, texture and style. I also chose to record songs that I felt deeply connected emotionally, like “I’ll Miss You Most” from my debut album, and “Unfair” from my second album. I’ve lived those lyrics deeply, and don’t mind singing them for the rest of my life.
Mimi Soul: I noticed that you’ve written songs for Yolanda Adams and you produced the Gospel According to Patti Labelle. Have you ever considered releasing a solo gospel album in the future?
Gordon: You never know! The older I get, the wiser and more spiritual I get. I am truly giving God thanks now. And seeing the impact I make on younger musicians that I mentor. That’s my current form of ministry. But I’ve included a gospel song on every solo project thus far, so that very well could lead to a “gospel of Gordon Chambers” collection down the road! I do very much enjoy singing “Still Blessing Me” from Love Stories (my newest release) in churches. We once did it with full band and forty-piece choir at a church in Houston, and it truly rocked the house! God is good. I am opening for Mary Mary tonight at SOB’s in New York, and can’t wait. In these tense, stressful times, folks need some music that uplifts the soul.
Mimi Soul: Considering all of your success as a songwriter, producer, and artist, what would you say has been your most rewarding experience so far?
Gordon: Working with Whitney Houston in the studio on her last two albums and a duet with Patti Labelle at Westbury Music Hall, singing Ron Isley’s part on the song “Gotta Go Solo” that I wrote for them, was my all-time-highs thus far. As a child I dreamed of crooning with Patti and penning for Nippy. It don’t get better than seeing your dreams come true!
Mimi Soul: What would you like listeners to gain from your music?
Gordon: Deep feelings of joy, pain, introspection, celebration and every color in the crayon box of emotions in between. I like to take folks on a roller coaster of feeling. Music reflects life. In the words of Mr. McClurkin, “we fall down…but we get up!” Thanks for interviewing me!
So, as you can see, with Gordon’s extensive experience in so many facets of music, it is evident that he is in a class of his own. For those of you in New York, check out his Luther tribute show at the Blue Note on April 20th. (www.bluenote.net; (212) 475-8592 for reservations). You can also read more about Gordon on his website and you can purchase his music from CD Baby, Amazon, and iTunes.