Your Gateway to Music and More from a Christian Perspective
Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
By Rob Snyder
Cherie Adams was a member of Avalon for five years. Her solo project, The Sweet Life, will be in stores April 10, 2007. I e-mailed Adams several questions last month and she replied to every question. All of her answers are here--that's the neat thing about the Internet-no time/space limitations!
RS: Your independent project The Sweet Life, is going to be distributed through TAG Artist Group. As an artist, what's the upside to having a partnership with TAG?
Adams: Whether you're an independent artist or a signed artist, the music business is always a tough business. Partnering with TAG is great because it makes the music more accessible to people and also because Dan Huisinga really believes in supporting my ministry. He wants to do anything he can to get my music out there because he totally supports my vision to reach the lost and hurting people in the world.
RS: One of the pleasant surprises on your record is that you've written or co-written eight of the eleven songs. How long have you been writing and do you hope to keep on writing songs?
Adams: Truthfully, I have been writing since I was a teenager but I was very shy about my writing. In fact I quit writing songs for many years until I met my friend, Marianne Adams, who is now my cousin through marriage. She forced me to start writing what I feel because she watched me go through some of the toughest years of my life and knew that if I would start writing it out, that through that process, God would be able to heal my brokenness. She was right.
RS: Who do you write for?
Adams: I write for my family, for God and most of all, I write for the listener. People who have been through hard times and are suffering and people who want to celebrate the greatest moments in their life—those are the people I write for and those are the ones that will find my songs appealing. I'm a deep person, I feel things very deeply and I'm a constant thinker. For example, when I look at a sunset, I see more than just the sun going down. I see how marvelous it is and I always think that God is trying to remind me of the beauty of life and all that life has to offer. My husband always laughs at me because every time there is this amazing sunset, I will say "Honey, look at that sunset, isn't that amazing," like it's the first time I've ever looked at one and he just totally laughs. It's sort of like cotton candy. Have you ever watched a kid eat cotton candy for the very first time. Their little eyes just beam the moment that fuzzy cotton touches their lips. It's the coolest thing…..See what I mean—trust me- it's a blessing and a curse… (Now I can't even remember if I answered your question!!! Hahaha)
RS: Any songs on The Sweet Life that you'd like to highlight for us?
Adams: The title cut, "The Sweet Life," is the song that really displays this child-like view of how God loves us and desires to make us happy. It is very special to me and it was written for my parents during a time in their life when they were enduring one of the hardest trials they've ever faced together. I was feeling discouraged for them and yet God kept whispering those words to my ears "La dolce vita" and that's how the chorus came about. I've heard this "phrase" ever since I was a little girl but never really knew the true meaning of it until now. If it's one thing I've learned, you can look to your career, your spouse, your children, and yourself but there is no one or nothing in this life that can truly give you the "sweetest life" the way Christ can. His love is the only kind of love that is perfect and He truly loves us the way we are in spite of our flaws. When I came to this realization, it was like a lightning bolt hit me from the sky. There are lots of things and people on this earth that contribute to the sweetness of my life, but everything pales in comparison to the way God loves me.
I co-wrote this song with a man named Robert White Johnson, a veteran in the music business. He has done everything from producing Lynyrd Skynyrd to writing one of Celine Dion's greatest hits "Where Does My Heart Beat Now?" I took the song idea to him because I was curious what he thought because I wasn't sure if anyone who is "NOT" Italian would get it…. and to my surprise, he loved the hook so much that he asked me if he could write it with me. That's how "The Sweet Life" came about.
I also love "Grieve For You"—The lyric is heavy, deep and truthful, in a loving way. It's a song about the Prodigal Son from the Father's point of view. I especially love the Spanish guitar, the loops, and the cello on that song- it's so unique. There's a story behind every song on this album but I've already taken up too much room. Check out the press kit page at www.cherieadams.com for stories behind the songs.
RS: Have you ever given any thought to which of your songs you'd like to see interpreted by another artist?
Adams: Well, I absolutely love Ce-Ce Winans, I think she is the best singer with the best heart in this business. I've met her a few times and she is always so genuine. I look up to her so much. I would be honored if she would sing anything I've written, and I'd gladly sing backups for her any day!!!
RS: Without getting too personal, in your record's liner notes and on your MySpace, you note that you've had some difficult times. What insight into this thing called "life" can you share? One of my recent devotionals referred to Colossians 1:13.
Adams: I believe with all of my heart that God is in control. Sometimes things in life can be so devastating that we sometimes lose sight of this fact. I've had my share of let downs but once or twice, God brought me to the other side and showed me that through it all, He was actually protecting me. Sometimes, the things we want so badly out of this life are truly not what is best for us. The key to "The Sweet Life" is letting go of the "wheel" and letting God have the control. I really believe that is why people from all kinds of backgrounds are so taken by Carrie Underwood's song "Jesus Take the Wheel." You have to come to the place of total surrender in order for God to move in miraculous ways in your life. This one has been and continues to be a tough one for me, but I'm learning to trust in Him more and let Him be in control.
RS: Instead of letting a reviewer do it, how would you describe your musical style?
Adams: I've been singing
all types of music all of my life and therefore I feel like I'm sort of
like a "musical chameleon." I love Jazz, Old School R&B, Blues, Country,
Black Gospel and Pop. I think to sum it up quickly, I would have to say
this album consists of "Soulful pop vocals, cascading melodies and insightful
RS: Do you keep in touch with any of the members of Avalon?
Adams: Unfortunately due to our conflicting travel schedules, we've really lost touch with each other but I wish them well.
RS: Your favorite Bible verse-and why?
Adams: Psalm 116 has always been my favorite chapter in the bible. I love the opening verse "I love the Lord because He heard my cry…."—There is something so precious to me that the God of this entire universe has literally heard my cry!!! I also love verse 15, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints". When you submit your life to the authority of the Lord, there is a real dying process that occurs. I'm sure the psalmist meant it literally but for me, when I read that verse, I'm reminded of dying to my flesh and knowing that when I obey God and die to my own wants, He sees that as precious and that action is pleasing to Him.
RS: What are one-two ministries that you support?
Adams: I support U-turn for Christ, a drug re-hab facility for men and women through the Calvary Chapel Churches. I also support Heartbound Ministries, a ministry that brings love, mercy and the word of God to prisoners who are presently in prison facilities across America. I had the opportunity to speak and sing at both and I can honestly tell you it was some of the most enlightening performances of my life. It was frightening walking into a level 5 prison and knowing very well that some of these men are in there for murder and rape, but as I began to sing and worship God I saw those hard faces begin to melt before God. There was a softness that came over them when I shared with them how God made Himself tangible to me at a time in my life when I didn't even think He cared one bit about me. They were blown away by the notion that God still loves them despite what they've done. They were really touched by the anointing of God and all of a sudden, my fear left me.
RS: Future plans? More recording? Touring?
Adams: All of the above. I want to grow old and grey with a microphone in my hand. I will never stop writing songs and singing and sharing my testimony for as long as I have an audience that will listen. If God will provide the budgets and the platform, I will show up and do my thing!!!!
RS: What's on your MP3 player that might surprise people?
Adams: I love Norah Jones, Celine Dion, Tony Bennett, CeCe, Brian McKnight—any great singer, you can count on them being on my IPOD. I guess the most surprising person on my iPOD is a blues singer named "Big Mama Thornton." She's the bomb. Her music is so rough, so imperfect and I just love it. She just sings from a different place. She's not afraid to sing a wrong note, and she could care less if you like it or not, she's "Big Mama Thornton" and her name says it all.
RS: Any interesting reading that you can recommend?
Adams: God's Creative Power by Charles Capps and you can get it on my website at www.cherieadams.com. I love this little book because it is so powerful. It reminds me that God spoke everything into existence and that the power of life and death is in the tongue. I'm trying to learn how to be positive in the midst of negativity, even when circumstances around me seem grim.
RS: Anything you'd like to add?
Adams: I'm just so thankful that God is doing something with this "offering" that I've laid out before Him. It's been a long hard road and so many times, I've felt like giving up but I know that God gave me these songs for the "faint at heart" and if that's you reading this interview today, I hope you will find the encouragement you need through these songs and I pray you will experience "La Dolce Vita---The Sweet Life."
RS: Thanks for your time. I know how busy life can get and you've been very kind and generous to us. May your ministry continue to touch people's hearts.
Adams: Thanks so much for your interest and your willingness to help me promote this CD of God's love and faithfulness. I pray it will touch millions of people. It is my desire to reach the world.
Dr. Robert J. Snyder, a university professor by profession, also produces the CCM video show 30-CC, the Bible study program "To Know Christ," and writes for the CCM webzine www.AlphaOmeganews.org.
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