The journey of an artist career over the years is a life story in itself. They travel the world, perform with musical legends and meet a lot of wonderful of people on the way. Gospel singer Angel Sessions has been in the business for 17 years and with her soft soulful voice has performed with some of R&B’s music legends. SayWhatNews had the opportunity to get to know Angel, discuss her new album and reminisce about her amazing music career:
SayWhatNews: Hi Angel. Thanks so much for speaking with SayWhatNews. First tell us who is Angel Sessions?
Angel: Hello SayWhatNews, I’m so happy for this opportunity. I am Angel Sessions, Singer, song writer and producer. I enjoy what I do and sharing my gift to the world, God put this on my heart to do some years ago.
SayWhatNews: You’ve been in the music business for 17 years. At what age did you discover your gift of song?
Angel: I was 6 years old when I remember singing to commercials that would play on television. My mom would sneak by the bedroom door just to hear me sing.
SayWhatNews: Do you have any professional training (music/singing lessons or school)?
Angel: Yes, I’ve done studio vocal training with Judy Davis from Oakland California and also studied one on one with Jackie Harrison who trained me well--teaching me breathing techniques which is the key to singing along with vocal warm up.
SayWhatNews: Do you play any musical instruments (if so for how long)?
Angel: No, I don’t play any musical instruments. Although I tried taking piano lessons with my auntie who studied piano, I didn’t hang with it long enough to learn, though piano’s are my favorite instruments.
SayWhatNews: Who were musical influences growing up?
Angel: I loved listening to Natalie Cole, The Temptations, The Delfonics, the Supremes, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, and Fred Hammond just to name a few. There are so many people who have inspired me along the way.
SayWhatNews: Angel you started off as an R&B singer and released 2 albums, “Introducing Angel” and “Love Ride”. And you released your first gospel album, “He Loves You” back in 2006. What inspired you to change genre’s and go from R&B to Gospel singer?
Angel: I started out singing R&B when I was signed to Pittimobile/Ichiban Records. I didn’t know at that time where I would be in life today. I loved R&B music and listen to so many artist that inspired me along the way. Love was the key to good music so I wrote a lot of love songs and about life that people can relate to. So much tribulation started happening in my life, and at times I would cry and pray to God for help. So at night I would sit down and write down my thoughts and shared with God how I felt about his love in a song. I just felt like it was time for me to let go of a lot of things I was going through due to the secular world of music and let God work in me to do his will.Also my second gospel album entitled, “You”, which should be released this month in August.
SayWhatNews: What can fans expect to get from listening to your new gospel album, “You”?
Angel: I would want my fans to listen to the message of the songs I wrote. It talks about His salvation, His love and what he has done for me in my life. It has some great up beats, mid temple and ballets but always, I want to make sure the message is within the music. I want my fan’s to get the joy out of listening to my music no matter where they may be…to reflect on their life and where they are with God.
SayWhatNews: Do you know the exact date when the album is going to be released and where can people buy it?
Angel: It should be released August 28TH of this month on Amazon, iTunes, emusic, and where ever music is found on the internet.
SayWhatNews: You recently released your latest gospel single, You Got Him, You Don’t” on iTunes and Amazon. What inspired the song?
Angel: Wow, it was so amazing how that happened. I was up one night writing another song and practicing out how I would record it in the studio. My friend Tizone who produced for Mary J Blige, Keith Sweat and others did the tracks I wrote to. I started listening to one of his beats and started feeling this song ringing down in my heart. So I put the other song I was working on away and started to write to this one. I believe it was something God put in my heart to write about. There are so many people who may not know God and who He is. Many do not have God. It is His salvation and a gift He gives alone.So it took me not long at all to write that night and I recorded it the next day.
SayWhatNews: God is such an inspiration in all areas of life/music. Now, back in 2004, you sang background vocals for Mary Wilson (of the Supremes) and you also sung background vocals for Earth Wind and Fire. How did those jobs come to be and tell us about the experience singing with musical legends?
Angel: It was a great and wonderful experience singing with Mary Wilson and recording with Maurice White of Earth Wind and Fire. I got the gig singing with Mary Wilson through a friend of mine, Karen Newman. She had been singing with Mary Wilson for about seven years. One of the singers they had left and they needed another singer. I had met Mary Wilson back in 1999 the year my Love Ride Album was released. Mary was putting together a new Supremes and had auditions. I tried out for the group and at the time there was talk about Mary Wilson and Diana Ross putting on a reunion of the Supremes tour. It never happened so Mary decided also not to do the new Supremes group.
In 2004, I got a call from Karen and she told me that they needed another singer ASAP. So she spoke to Mary Wilson’s manager about me and he called me and said he had heard so much about me and heard my records. He loved my voice and said I would be perfect for the gig because they needed a soprano singer, so I got to tour with Mary for a while.
Maurice White (Earth Wind and Fire) needed some vocals on a couple of songs they where recording for their next album and another friend of mine got me the gig for that one.
SayWhatNews: Angel you have also performed with some other musical greats such as Lenny Williams, LJ Reynolds of the Dramatics and many others. Tell us what was the most memorable moment singing a duet with the late Ali Woodson of the Temptations?
Angel: Wow it was incredible. I remember it like yesterday, (smile) Ali Woodson had a cold and he sounded very horse. We were recording our duet to the song “Vow” for the movie sound track, “Down N Dirty”. When we got in the booth to sing, I was so nervous because I knew Ali was the awesome singer from the group The Temptations. As soon as he opened his mouth to sing, he didn’t sound horse any more. It was the most beautiful sound ever to me. I loved his voice. So when it was my turn to do my part, I said to Ali, I can’t match that, (laugh) and Ali said, “You can do it, go on and sing that song girl.” He made me feel so relaxed; it was like singing with my buddy.
SayWhatNews: That is an amazing memory. Wow, you have worked with so many musical greats. Is there anyone else you would love to collaborate with?
Angel: Yes, I would love to do a duet with Usher, Fred Hammond and Kirk Franklin. It would be so cool to collaborate with them along with Mary Mary and Yolanda Adams. I feel it would be a wonderful experience singing with some of the greatest talents of all times.
SayWhatNews: You’re not just a singer; you are also a songwriter who has won Honorable Mention 2 years in a row for Billboard Song Writing Contest. How amazing was it to have such recognition for your song, “Listen”?
Angel: It was such a blessing from God to be able to get two Honorable Mention’s in a row. There were so many people who had entered their new songs to the Billboard Song writing contest. I had no clue as to what would happen but just thought I’d give it a try to enter my song “Listen”. They loved it and it was one of the songs chosen.
SayWhatNews: Angel you participated in the same singing program, the School Entertainment Activity Program in Los Angeles that Usher and SWV once sang in. Tell us about your experience singing in the program and the purpose of the program?
Angel: The (S. E. A. P) was a program a company out of Los Angeles put together for the schools to give to the kids for the purpose of wanting them to stay in school; also for the artist to help promote their new album in sales. It was a great way to market the artist performing for the schools and to sale their CD’s on demand.I loved it because I could see the smiles on the kids’ faces as their favorite artist walked out on the stage and gave a great performance. I would start out singing Whitney Houston’s song, “I Will Always Love You” and the kids would wow over it.
SayWhatNews: I hear you acted in 2 independent films, “Down N Dirty” and “A Smile Like Your”. Is acting something you would like to pursue?
Angel: Yes, I love acting as well. It’s something I had a liking for when my mom had me acting in some of her play’s she had put on when I was a little girl. It would be a lot of fun to do some acting again if I had the opportunity.
SayWhatNews: What’s next in the future for Angel Sessions?
Angel: I have a second video coming soon produced by Nick Leisure, of 24 Film Entertainment. The song that’s on the “You” album is called “Chasen”. I will be soon in the process of putting my band together and go on tour. Only God knows where this will take me on this journey, may His will be done.