This is a big year for one of the most anointed voices in music. Grammy Award-nominee and Stellar Award-winner Kim Burrell is set to perform at the Bayou Classic this weekend in New Orleans. And she is featured on the single “I See A Victory” from the Hidden Figures original soundtrack produced by Pharrell Williams, which is due in theaters nationwide at the top of 2017.
Burrell is known as one of the most powerful voices in gospel music and she gained wide recognition for her album, Everlasting Life, which hit No. 12 on the Billboard Gospel Charts. Burrell has worked with artists such as Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston, Missy Elliot and Diddy.
During a conversation this week with Burrell, who was at home in Houston, she shared Thanksgiving plans, her excitement with her music career and why Hidden Figures is an important film to raise awareness for our unsung heroines.
Do you have big plans for Thanksgiving?
I do. I can’t wait. Family is coming over and we are going to do like we do every year. I am going to cook a big dinner and watch them eat it.
So fans can expect to see you at the Bayou Classic where Grambling University plays Southern University this Saturday, Nov. 26 in New Orleans?
Yes. I am so excited. I am looking forward to singing the national anthem.
Please share how you were invited to be a part of the single, “I See A Victory,” for the film Hidden Figures’ soundtrack.
Pharrell Williams and I met some time ago. He called me and shared that he was a part of this new film project and he needed me to fly out as soon as possible because he wanted my voice on the soundtrack. I flew to LA, heard the song and recorded. We literally had so much fun. He’s a humble guy and it was easy to work in the studio with him. Here we are with “I See A Victory.” Kirk Franklin was also a part of the process; he put the choir on the track. It’s a combination of greatness.
What resonates the most with you in terms of the lyrics on “I See A Victory” and made you say “yes” to being a part of the project?
Hearing the film’s backstory about the three women who created a formula that took these men to outer space made me want to be a part. I wanted to be a part of what these three women have contributed to our history.
Being a child of God, it’s not hard to sing about victory, knowing that we are victorious through him that’s made us. The song is anointed. The lyrics are powerful. And to embrace Pharrell’s gospel side, it’s magical. It gave me a yearning to do it. I was proud of what I heard, his interpretation. The story behind this music is brilliant. Pharrell created a lot of this before the movie concept and he was able to match his catalog with this proect.
These “hidden figures” are unsung heroines. Do you have any unsung heroes in your life you’d like to lift up?
There are so many. There are women who helped to groom me musically at my church. There are very close friends who have told me nothing but truth that’s why we are still best friends till this day. Kelvin McClendon is one who contributed so much to the fabric of Kim Burrell. My own family helped to mold me into what I’ve become to the world. I feel like one day I will get to share my story on the big screen.
What are some projects coming up?
I just released a live album, Kim Burrell Live in Miami. We were able to record it during my Ephesians 4 Conference I have had for 14 years. It will be out in a couple of months and I am over-the-top excited. I’ve been appearing on the Harry Connick Jr.’s show, “Harry,” and I am working on my own show, “Keep It Moving with Kim Burrell.” I have a lot irons in the fire that are hot, hot, hot. It’s tiring but it’s worth it. To whom much is given, much is required. It’s in God’s favor to be a part of this film. I encourage everyone to go see it. It’s an empowering movie and if you ever believed you can do anything, this is the movie to see.
Check out the “I See A Victory” video, after the jump.