Christian artist and songwriter Maurice Willis has released his latest tracks, “Calling on His Name” and Owe it All to You” on iTunes, Amazon and Tidal. “Calling on His Name” will be his first single of his upcoming debut album. The Chattanooga, Tennessee, native believes his new music will encourage his fans to start a personal relationship with God. Willis infuses both gospel and R&B genres to cultivate the sound behind his soulful songs. ” I am just going to continue to stay in my own lane and create my own path. I don’t try to be like anybody else. I am following God’s plan for me,” he says.
Willis is working hard in the studio and has high hopes for releasing his new project next spring. Rolling out had a chance to catch up with him to find why he became a Christian singer instead of sticking with a rap career, how he defines his version of gospel music and the powerful message he plans to deliver with his new album.
When did you realize you wanted to pursue a music career professionally?
I remember having an early bedtime as a child because my grandmother was really strict. I used to try and stay up late to watch the music award shows on TV. Seeing all the major artists on those stages made me excited about singing. It kind of stirred up something inside of me. I also grew up in church watching the choir sing, which made me want to use my gift.
How did you know this is what God wanted for you?
My brothers and I were actually trying to pursue rap careers until I realized I wasn’t that great at rapping. Once I understood that, I was able to distinguish my actual calling. We wrote songs and needed someone to sing the hook on the songs. Before we knew it, I was the one doing it. I knew this is what God wanted me to do.
How would you describe your style of music?
I would describe my music as very heartfelt. If I was singing a song and didn’t actually say God or Jesus Christ in my song, they would still know my music came from him. It is a spiritual thing. I could write a love song and it will still spread a Christian message.
What projects are you currently working on?
I am currently working on an album and I have a single out right now called “Owe It All to You” which can be downloaded on iTunes and amazon. I also have a single out called, “Calling on His Name” and it is a very powerful worship song. I try to make music for people who are trying to find their walk with God.
What do you feel will distinguish your music from other Christian artists?
A lot of people get in their walk with God and get so spiritual they forget to live. They forget to enjoy themselves. People will probably resent me for saying that, but it is true. God wants us to still enjoy live and stay true to what we believe. I have always been told you can’t do R&B and gospel. If God is love, then why can’t we express that through all music? It may not be for a Sunday morning at church, but if it is from the heart, then it is from God. You can’t put God in a box.
What kind of message do you hope to convey through your new album?
I hope my music will help listeners start a personal relationship with God and that they eventually feel it in their spirit and heart. I want people to feel the presence of God’s love in my music no matter if it’s a ballad or up-tempo song.