TGJ: Good morning Miss Dorinda! How are you today?
Dorinda: Good morning! I am doing well!
TGJ: Good to hear. We’re so excited to be talking to the hardest working woman in gospel right now. Between balancing a successful music career with a hit television and radio show, tell us: does it ever seem too much to handle?
Dorinda: Not really. You know the Bible says, ‘To whom much is given, much is required.’ So, when God puts you in an area that you’re able to minister to a vast audience, it is a blessing to be able to have these types of things happening for you.
Sometimes, it can be cumbersome and you want a week to yourself. But, when you’re here and doing it for God’s ministry, you have to remember the Bible says, ‘I must work the works of those that sent me while it is day’. So, I love what I’m doing. And, ultimately, I can punch my clock when I get ready.
TGJ: That’s what we’re talking about! So, let’s switch gears a bit and talk about your latest album ‘I Survived’. What’s the inspiration behind the title?
Dorinda: When I see all of the other albums that I’ve done and really take “inventory”, it’s a blessing to know that despite all the things I’ve gone through, ups and downs even, I realize that if it had not been for God keeping me, I wouldn’t have survived. That’s the inspiration behind the album.
Just a quick story: I had a fire in my house in 2010. I didn’t lose everything, but [it felt like] I had to start all over because I had everything taken out of my house and relocated until its restoration was finished. Now, I have to thank God for insurance and His assurance (laughs)!
It took an entire year, but going through that was just one of many situations that showed me that God has given me so much. And, everything the enemy tried to take from me, God gave it all back. That’s where the song ‘Back To You’ came from. Warryn Campbell [husband of Mary Mary's Erica Campbell] and I collaborated on that.
TGJ: That is awesome! So, what would you say makes this album different from its predecessors?
Dorinda: This album is special because of what I’ve gone through in the last 3 years. It’s much more personal than my three previous efforts. But, like my other albums, it is partially live and partially in-studio – I do that because it works for me.
And, like my three previous albums, I had two great producers on it – Asaph Ward, who is a tremendous producer that helps with the live portion. And, of course, Warryn Campbell does my studio work.
TGJ: And, that leads us to the Stellar Awards! ‘I Survived’ has snagged three nominations. But, what some fans don’t know is that you have won a Stellar for each of your previous efforts! Tell us how does it feel to continuously be recognized by the industry.
Dorinda: That has been a blessing. Sometimes, you’re nominated and never win, but with all of those albums, I was able to come home with at least one Stellar. I was also nominated twice for Grammys!
TGJ: Another thing Dorinda is known for at award shows is your signature style. Who keeps you looking so good?
Dorinda: Thank you and I’m glad you asked! Last year, I co-hosted the Stellar Awards with Marvin Sapp and everyone asked, ‘Who did your gowns’? I have a guy who has been my seamster for quite some time – Sir Gregory Brown of Sir Gregory Designs. Kenny Daniels helps a lot as well.
I thank God for the ones He has put in my life to keep my life in order. When you have so many things going on, it helps to have people on your team who can help with those things. Greg knows me so well and is so in tune with my style.
TGJ: We see! So aside from rocking it on the music front, you now have ’The Dorinda Show’ on TCT and radio show ‘Serving Up Soul’. Was it difficult making the transition into radio and television?
Dorinda: At first it was because I was in a very unfamiliar territory and didn’t know how to shift gears. But, I had a coach and trainer who really helped me in transitioning – mainly with my voice technique. Sometimes, it would take two to three days on how to get the form correct. But, the public speaking aspect of it was always easy because it’s something I’ve always done as a preacher.
I love it now though because I am able to minister to people I don’t see, even though I know they’re there. I learned you have to portray like you’re speaking to one person. That was difficult at first because I’m used to talking to thousands of people.
Television is totally different though. I’ve learned so much from my girl Vickie Winans as well when it comes to these things. You call me the hardest working woman, no, she is the hardest working woman in the industry! But, I’m right on her heels. I have to “change hats” everyday, multiple times a day.
TGJ: So, with TV, music, fashion, and radio under your belt, what’s next?
Dorinda: I want to develop a transitional home for battered women, specifically those who are struggling with escaping domestic violence or abusive marriages.
TGJ: Wow, that was unexpected! That’s amazing.
Dorinda: Thank you so much.
TGJ: Now, as with many interviews, we have a segment called “Five From Fans” where we received five questions from our readers for you. Are you ready?
TGJ: #1) - We’ve seen you collaborate with a number of artists including Kirk Franklin, John P. Kee, Donnie McClurkin, and more. Any dream collabos at this point?
Dorinda: Of course! I want to collaborate with Aaron Lindsey – a phenomenal producer. Also, I had the pleasure of doing an event for Stevie Wonder some time ago where he came on the stage and sang “I’m Still Here” with me.
I’ve talked to him on the phone before and spent time with him at his radio station as well. I would love to work with him. The list goes on and on…
TGJ: #2) – Before your first solo album, did you ever have any doubts about branching off from the famous Clark Sisters into a solo career? If so, what calmed those fears?
Dorinda: I’ll never forget Vicki Mack Lataillade and her husband’s input on my first record because they were the conception of my solo career. It really got me out there as a solo artist from my sisters and let me stand on my own.
Also, I knew that most groups eventually break out and do their own things. I was hoping people would like me on my own, but I knew everyone was so used to me singing with my sisters. Ultimately, what really inspired me to do it was because my sisters Twinkie and Karen Clark Sheard doing it. I eventually got over my fears. Now, here I am with 4 albums!
TGJ: #3) You feature a lot of new artists on your television show. What inspires you to do so?
Dorinda: My passion is going after new artists. I love to reach back and get artists who haven’t made it to push them forward. That’s what I do with my singer’s conference.
I learned that from my mom, because she did that with so many artists including us [The Clark Sisters]. If you really watch ‘The Dorinda Show’, you’ll see those new artists that I’m pushing. This year, you’ll see some ‘Dorinda Picks’ – people I’ve chosen to go on the road with and display their talents.
TGJ: #4) – You’ve always cited gospel legend Shirley Caesar as a vocal influence on the gospel front, but who influenced your jazz style?
Dorinda: Anita Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, and George Benson. But, of the three, I would say Anita Baker most with her scatting. She does the smoothest scats.
TGJ: #5) Will you do a live DVD for ‘I Survived’ like you did for your first two albums?
Dorinda: I’m not sure if I will be able to do that since the album is already done and the live portions recorded from it are already on Youtube. But, if I do a live DVD, it will be on my next album.
Now that I’m signed to Light Records, I’m looking at 2014 to release my next album!
TGJ: Thanks for sharing that! Now, we’ve seen gospel acts like Mary Mary, Kim Burrell, and now your sister Karen Clark Sheard move into the ‘reality show circuit’. Have you ever considered doing so?
Dorinda: I’d have to get used to the cameras following me around in everyday life. If it happens for me on my own, it just happens. But, I am proud of those who have gone into that – especially my sister, of course.
It’s going to be great and you know I will be on her show here and there. But, with me, we’ll see what the Lord says (laughs).
TGJ: Absolutely. So, what’s next on the agenda for you this year?
Dorinda: I am really concentrating this year on my Singers & Musician’s Conference. Of course, I’m part of the COGIC Evangelism Department, so I will be doing more of that in terms of outreach. I also got some secrets in the bag, I can’t let out right now. I know my fans will love some of the things coming though.
TGJ: Last, but not least, where can people learn more about you?
Dorinda: Of course, they can check me out on my official website and follow me on Twitter @Dorindatherose. But, what a lot of people don’t know is that I have an app! It’s a “DCC” app that you can download to your phone when you visit http://www.dccapp.com to get it. Everything there is to know about what’s going on with me can be found there.
Interview by: Quinno Rashad (That Grape Juice US)