June is Black Music Month! Created by President Jimmy Carter in 1979, this month celebrates Black musical influences that comprise an essential part of our nation’s treasured cultural heritage.
The People’s Station V-103 and Peach State will be putting on a weekly series full of exclusive conversations and performances from great artists who have contributed to the music industry in several ways.
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V-103's Big Tigger sat with Gospel phenom, Koryn Hawthorne for an exclusive chat and performance and you must watch the legendary Kirk Franklin light up the stage.
The 23-year-old Southern belle opened up her range and latest single, "Speak To Me" that's currently climbing the R&B charts. She expressed, "from the beginning, I tried to be as organic as possible to who I was. I love all types of music and I never ever place myself, so even as a Gospel/inspirational singer, I kept that lane so wide open for me in my creative space."
Despite some Gospel consumers being highly critical over artists "blurring the lines," Hawthorne is still surrounded by love and support. She said, "for me, I'm looking at the positive." She briefly mentioned a moment that took place at a recent concert where a man, who previously didn't connect with traditional Gospel and thus was struggling in his relationship with God, told her that her music "created a balance" for him.
In that moment, she felt God was using her as a vessel and for her, that's all that matters. "It's not really about what it sounds like or what it looks like; it's about the effect that it has on people," she continued. The award-winning singer listed off some inspirations including Mary J. Blige, Etta James, Mary Mary and of course, Kirk Franklin— who she joked owes her a song.
The "Won't He Do It" singer later discussed her upcoming reality show coming soon to OWN, what music means to her, and her future plans which including opening a business. Check out her full interview and performances of "Sunday," "Speak To Me" and "Won't He Do It" above. Also, watch Kirk Franklin and his band have a jam session, performing his hits "Love Theory" and "Brighter Day."
In case you missed the kickoff episode featuring EarthGang and Queen Naija, check out the full recap here. This Black Music Month exclusive series will feature several artists who've contributed to the music industry in great ways. Stay tuned for more!