Kelly Price’s heart appeared as ginormous as her voice as she spoke last Tuesday during her album listening party at S.O.B.’s. With the release of her seventh album, Price ensures that when tales of R&B lore and legend are told, her name will be called. For her album listening party however Price did very little singing, choosing instead to spend her time in her hometown of NYC sharing about the epiphany she experienced this past year on the brink of her 40th birthday, and her newfound intention to open up and show the world her vulnerability. Price’s personal metamorphosis is chronicled in her new album, Sing, Pray, Love Vol. 1: SING, featuring 11 songs that were strategically ordered so as to take its listeners on a soulful journey with messages of hope, faith and determination. The album may be named Sing, Pray, Love Vol. 1: SING (and will be followed up by Volumes 2 and 3, Pray and Love), but for her listening party Price presented to the intimate crowd her musings about what fans should THINK, FEEL and KNOW about this latest project.
THINK…The movie, Eat, Pray, Love, as the album title was definitely inspired by this movie, which Price encouraged all who have not as yet seen the movie to do so. With the recent death of her baby sister and the life epiphanies and revelations that tend to come to folks on the cusp of turning 40, Price says she found herself in the midst of a spiritual awakening, and a profound understanding that in life, “Every step won’t be perfect, but our steps are perfectly ordered.” Of all the songs of the album, which Price shared are both biographical and autobiographical, the one cut that she did perform during her listening party was “It’s My Time.” Along with stronger-than-ever vocals, Price delivered some food for thought and motivational musings as she referenced the song, challenging fans to consider that what makes it your time is “when you get up, you get out and do something. When you decide that you want to be happy.”
FEEL…Price hopes that fans will feel about her music, and the album, as she does, which is ultimately that “singers who choose to sing songs with some substance to it are not a dying breed.” Price pays homage to one of the legends of music with her cover of Chaka Khan’s “Through The Fire” – which just may surpass the success of Price’s “other” huge cover, “As We Lay” by Shirley Murdock. “A great cover is not about being a great singer,” revealed Price. “You can change something people love about the original and they will hate you for it.” One of the songs on the album that emote the most feeling according to Price is “Last Night,” which she says was born less than 24 hours after a really bad argument she had with her husband, and for which she used her original demo vocal for the album because it had in it all the honesty and rawness she was feeling at that moment in time.
Price says she always knew, even while growing up in the projects of Far Rockaway, that she was destined to do something special, and that even though she lived in the projects she didn’t belong there – and wouldn’t stay there. Price, who describes herself as “a project loud and church loud sister from the projects,” expressed gratitude for the gift and blessing of a successful recording career that has allowed her to work with some of the biggest and brightest in the industry, including Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Elton John, Sean “Diddy” Combs and even Ruben Studdard, with whom Price sings “Back 2 Love” on the new album. Price says that Studdard is “an amazing human being” and even though they had to cut the single from two different cities because of their hectic schedules, she’s ecstatic that they were able to make it happen, because she believes that “their voices were meant to coexist.”
Price added that she plans to record again with Studdard in the future. Just as she knows that to be true, Price also knows that, “Music is God’s idea. And it is universal. It’s a way that we can literally touch the masses.” Fresh off of a controversial stint on the TV One hit show R&B Divas: LA, and with development for her new TV project, Too Fat For Fame in full swing, Price is busier than ever these days trying to manage career and caring for her family and loving husband of 22 years (“He sacrifices air to make sure my dreams come true,” gushed Price), but Price says that she will always return to music. “As God is my witness, if you continue to want to hear me sing, I will continue.” Price also knows that the final track off her new album, titled “Metamorphosis” is her best yet. With a listen of Sing, Pray, Love Vol. 1: SING some may go as far as to say that this is her best album yet, as it is that revealing, and that good.
VH1 Soul’s Six Degrees of Separation Trivia:
Question: How are Stevie J., Mary, Mary members Erica and Tina Campbell, and K-Ci & JoJo all connected to Kelly Price?
Answer: Stevie J. produced songs on Price’s 1998 debut album Soul Of A Woman and 2003’s Priceless; Erica Campbell’s husband Warryn Campbell produced material on the famed Mirror, Mirror album in 2000 (he also worked on 2003’s Priceless); Tina Campbell’s husband Teddy Campbell played drums on the 2011 release Kelly; Ki-C & JoJo contributed vocals to Mirror, Mirror; and Mary Mary was a featured artist on the 2011 release One Family: A Christmas Album.
[Main Image: Jeffery Rolle]