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Chandra Currelley offers a new sound for a new audience

Chandra Currelley, Singer/Actress (Photo provided)

Actress and singer Chandra Currelley has reinvented herself over the years. She was most noted as a vocalist in The S.O.S. Band. She has also been featured on Tyler Perry’s “For Better or For Worse.”
Growing up in a home that was filled with the sounds of all music, from gospel to jazz,  Currelley describes herself as a “a storyteller” who loves music.
Currelley is currently working on her Fire and Soul tour, which is making a stop at Atlanta’s City WineryJuly 24. Currelley spoke with rolling out about what inspires, staying relevant and her new style of music – “urspijaz.”
How would you define your style of music?
I call my music urspijaz ( Urban-Spiritual-Jazz )
You are not the typical artist. How have you been able to keep your brand relevant in a forever-changing industry?
The way I stay relevant is to keep working on getting better at my craft.
How do you actively seek inspiration, or does it find you?
It’s not hard for me to be inspired because I try to surround myself with the kind of people who are always growing in spirit and in mind.
Let’s talk about your touring. How often do you perform annually?
Because I was filming the sitcom “For Better Or Worse” in Atlanta for five seasons, l didn’t really tour, but now the show has ended. I’m in talks about touring nationally and internationally.
Do you typically do solo tours or do you tour with your former group The S.O.S. Band?
 I am looking forward to my own tour, but I wouldn’t be opposed to doing a reunion tour with The S.O.S. Band.
You have toured worldwide. Do you have any favorite venues?
That’s hard say, because the venues that I like to perform in all have different things I like about them. For instance, the size of the stage or the decor of the room or just them knowing how to treat an artist.
Most talented artists have mentors. Who are your mentors?
As for my mentors, Roy Ayers has had a profound affect on the way I do business on and off the stage. I recorded and toured with him. He saw my gift and wanted to help nurture it. When I was younger, there was a group of singing divas in Atlanta that took me under their wings and of course there’s Latonya Richardson-Jackson, who first put me on a stage and said, “If you’re for real about this, I’m here for you, but if not it’s a waste of your time and mine.”
What was the most impactful advice they gave you?
Never compromise yourself when you know that it’s not right.
Name three people who have inspired you. 
I’ve been truly blessed to have been in great company. Three people who have inspired me in my life and my music career are my mother, my husband and my son.
What affirmations do you repeat to yourself that contribute to your success?
 Why not me?
On a more personal note, what do you like listening to when you are not singing?
I like listening to different genres of music. Like when I want energy, I listen to EDM (Electronic Dance Music) or straight ahead jazz when I’m in a real listening mood.
Besides singing, you also act. What attracted you to theater/acting?
What attracted me to acting and the theatre was my high school drama teacher, actress  LaTonya Richardson-Jackson (Samuel L. Jackson’s wife ) and the Atlanta theatre community.
You also had supporting roles within the Tyler Perry franchise of movies. How did that come about?
At first, Tyler Perry was a fan and would come to see me perform in nightclubs and in plays. One day, he asked if I would read one of his plays and the rest is history.
How do you live life to the fullest?
I’m living my dreams with my family and career. I don’t put limitations on myself.
Name five things to know about Chandra Currelley
Chandra Currelley is a mother, wife and a daughter, whose relationship with God is very important. [She] is a pescatarian — l love seafood.