Anita Wilson is a worshipper and it is clearly evident on her EMI Gospel debut release, Worship Soul. Released in April of this year, Worship Soul is an inspiring mix of praise and worship songs including the singles “Speechless” and “Jesus Will”. Wilson, who has been a background singer for several top Gospel artists, has been nominated for two 2013 Stellar Awards (Praise and Worship CD of the Year and Urban Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year). In addition, she just finished up a brief stint as part of Mary Mary’s Go Get It Tour. Recently, the Baltimore Gospel Music Examiner had the opportunity to talk to one of Gospel music newest and brightest lights.
Baltimore Gospel Music Examiner: Hey there Anita! First off, congratulations on your two 2013 Stellar Award nominations!
Anita Wilson: Thank you so much!
Baltimore Gospel Music Examiner: Worship is missing in a lot of the Gospel music that is released today. How did God let you know that He wanted you to create Worship Soul?
Anita Wilson: Well, I just went with what came naturally. I was on the fence for some time regarding doing a solo album. I didn’t want to force anything and release empty music. I didn’t want to make what I call ear candy because that would be easy to do. Instead, I wanted to make music that had some meaning and could be a blessing to the listener every day of the week. With Worship Soul, I wanted to acknowledge God for who He is because He is worthy to be praised!
I grew up as a Pastors kid and I have been singing all of my life. As I said earlier, I struggled with doing a solo record because I was comfortable singing backup. I have never been one to believe my own hype! I really have enjoyed singing with Donald Lawrence for the last eight and a half years. In fact, I still sing with him when my schedule allow. There was some fear and some hesitation because the Gospel industry is very oversaturated. I went back and forth and I told God that I was ok singing background. I told Him that I was not going to be able to sell a million records. God then said to me, “What if I don’t want you to sell a million records? What if I only want you to sell a few hundred records to the people in your church and to the people on the Southside of Chicago?” God got me together real quick! (laughs)
Baltimore Gospel Music Examiner: The first single from Worship Soul was “Speechless”. How did that song come about?
Anita Wilson: My good friend, Rick Robinson, wrote “Speechless”. In fact, he produced the entire CD and I co-produced it with him. It was a real honor to work with him. Rick is this big tall guy who has the ability to get to the heart of the listener and to the heart of God as well. One day, he was hearing a melody and he was singing in a comfortable key. That melody ultimately became “Speechless” and Rick wrote it specifically with me in mind. I absolutely love “Speechless” because it is a love song to God! I am serenading God and I feel so overwhelmed that He cares about us even when we do things that are not always pleasing to Him.
Baltimore Gospel Music Examiner: How has the response been since Worship Soul has been released?
Anita Wilson: It has been quite overwhelming! You create songs that you think sound good and then you put your stamp of approval on it. To have people be connected to your project is truly a blessing. Initially, I was concerned about the name of the project because I thought that it would be too contemporary. People, however, are still playing it and supporting it and for that, I am grateful! That’s one of the reasons why I love Twitter and FaceBook because I am able to connect with my listeners and hear how much of a blessing the project has been.
Baltimore Gospel Music Examiner: In an industry where there is constant competition and pressure to sell records, how do you hold yourself accountable to the ministry that God has given you?
Anita Wilson: I try to not think too hard about any of those things. We get weekly reports as far as where the CD is on the charts, however, I have to make a continual conscious effort to not look at them. Yes, there are times that I do, however, I try to stay focus. We are all in the flesh and if not careful we want to say that we are number 1. I have to stay focused on what God has called me to do. I have to have constant conversations with God. God has me busy and I do not take that lightly. I have to keep things in proper perspective by focusing on the assignment that God has me on.
Baltimore Gospel Music Examiner: How did you become a part of Mary Mary’s Go Get It Tour?
Anita Wilson: They have the same manager as Donald Lawrence. So a call was made and I accepted to do a couple of dates. I have been a fan of theirs for some time. I am very grateful! There are people who are better singers than me and who can even sing around me. To be a part of this tour, I am grateful.
Baltimore Gospel Music Examiner: What are your plans after the tour?
Anita Wilson: I will be shutting it down for the holidays and begin to write for the following up to Worship Soul, which will not come out until 2014. I planned a year out for Worship Soul and I want to do the same thing with the follow up. I am thinking about getting into other things such as plays and working in radio.
Baltimore Gospel Music Examiner: That’s great! Thanks so much for your time! I would like to encourage you to continue to be obedient to what the spirit of God is telling you to do. Don’t compromise! Continue to let God use you because He wants to be glorified in the gift that He has given you!
Anita Wilson: Thank you so much! God bless you!
Baltimore Gospel Music Examiner: God bless you too!