Karen Hunt Barker: Tell us about the experience you had with the President in June. How was that?
Kurt Carr: I’m so excited to be talking to you. We were invited to the White House for recognition of black gospel music month [in September]. We were invited to the White House to sing, my group, and a young girl named Spensha Baker, and also Edwin Hawkins. I tell you it was an awesome experience. I had never been to the White House before and just to be walking through the halls and seeing the history… One of the things that sticks out in my mind were the stairs. They were curved, and so old, and so many people had walked on them. You could see the print of people’s feet. And I started thinking about the history, and how the rich heritage of our country was housed there in the White House. The fact that we were there singing was quite an honor. We were able to sing in front of the President and we actually had the President lifting his hands in the sanctuary.
KHB: I can hear the song (laughing). Thank you for sharing that momentous experience with us. Now, let’s talk about the new project. How did you come up with the title, “Just the Beginning?”
Kurt Carr: The title speaks kind of the sentiments of my heart. I really feel like this is a new beginning for me, that God is just really now bringing me into my season. A lot of times people will put limits on you, but in God we have no limits. This CD is for people that are already blessed, but you know you haven’t totally received everything that God has promised, or you haven’t totally fulfilled His purpose in your life. [This CD] is for us, for the people in this situation. This is just the beginning. You’re already blessed, but God is so big and so awesome that He can bless you again and again and again and again.
KHB: Oh, I love it…which leads me to my next question. What type of songs are you doing with this double CD? Are you going back to your traditional roots or are you going to mix it with praise and worship, or contemporary? What are we going to hear on this CD?
Kurt Carr: Well, you know, my music is very eclectic; kind of just like I am. I like a whole lot of things. I like collard greens, but every now and then I like a nice bowl of soup. So, life is not all one thing. There are so many different Christians and different types of people who love God and who are believers. My goal is to try to reach all of them. But, I did go back [with] “Just the Beginning.” I went back to my roots, which is music that is really church-oriented songs like “In The Sanctuary,” and “For Every Mountain.” I’ve got some songs on here that are straight church Sunday morning…choirs marching down the aisle songs…(laughing) I know that’s “Detroit-style.”
KHB: Yes (laughing), it is “Detroit-style.” Which brings me to my next question, because every choir in the city of Detroit sings your songs. If you’re not singing Kurt carr, what’s wrong with you? You’re not a choir! (laughing)
Kurt Carr: It’s an awesome thing, and it’s funny. Sister Dorinda Clark Cole was at my house and I was telling her my testimony, how I’m so different from the Clark Sisters because they come from a lineage of being in church and I didn’t. I didn’t start going to church until I was 14. Most people are sick of church by the time they’re 14; trying to get out of going. But, I had never really had that experience and Dorinda was saying how it’s only God who can take someobody who never knew anything about the church and use that person to be the one to teach the church how to sing. It’s awesome and I’m humbled, especially in Detroit, and I’m not just saying that because I’m on the phone with you. Every time that I go to Detroit, and there’s so many gifted people there, I’m just humbled. Number one; that they know us, and number two; that they would sing our music and appreciate our ministry is such a humbling experience. KHB: It is just a blessing to talk to you and to hear your sincerity. Will you be doing a DVD for this project?
Kurt Carr: Yes. What I did this summer with the album was in a very intimate setting. There were only 200 people there, but I wanted to get that live feeling. I am going to do a DVD now, but we’re trying to figure out where we’re going to do it. Who knows, maybe Detroit.
KHB: Oh please come to Detroit! (laughing) Will you do a tour or have you scheduled a tour of cities for CD signings or appearances?
Kurt Carr: I’m actually on a promotional tour now and I’m going to be coming to Detroit. Detroit is such a great city of supporters of my ministry over the years and I’m just so grateful to everyone there for their support and their continued support.
KHB: In reference to your fans and people who are aspiring to be a “Kurt Carr” or a praise and worship leader and go national. What type of advice would you give from your experience? What would you tell a young person, or any age person, about going into the industry?
Kurt Carr: That’s what “Just the Beginning” is about. You’re never too old, it’s never too late. There’s a Woman on my CD. Her name is Narcissus Hinton Brown. She’s 89 years old, and she was the star singer of my church back home on the East Coast. But, she never became famous, never made a record and God touched my heart, at 89 years old, to go get her and put her on this record. I even took her to the White House and she turned it out. She turned the White House into the “church house.” That’s what I encourage people to do. Just continue to serve God and to serve Him with your heart. Not with the mindset of trying to be famous; trying to be the next Kurt Carr, or the next Hezekiah Walker, or the next Donnie McClurkin. Just be who you are. And, if you serve God, God’s the one who gives gifts. As much as your mother loves you, she can’t give you a gift or a talent. As much as your mom loves, and as much as she wants the best for you, only God can give you a voice to sing or the ability to play or to preach or to dance; whatever that gift is. It’s only from your Heavenly Father, and He will make provision. Just seek Him first.
KHB: Thank you so much for taking time out to speak with us here in Detroit, and we are going to be pressing forward with your new CD and telling everybody about it.
Kurt Carr: Karen, thank you so much and God bless you.