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Pastor, why R&B?

Dr. Sidney Malone is the pastor of the New Growth in Christ Christian Center. Recently, as S. Poitier, he released his debut album “Life & Love,” which is an album of R&B love songs. (Dr. Sidney Malone is the pastor of the New Growth in Christ Christian Center at 7550 East Shelby Dr. Recently, as S. Poitier, he released his debut album “Life & Love,” which is an album of R&B love songs.)

Myron Mays: Ok, Let’s talk about the album and the fact that you are a pastor and you have released an R&B album. Now you have some people who will disagree with that, even though in a Biblical sense, God is love. How would you address that?

 Dr. Sidney Malone, aka S. Poitier

S. Poitier:
I’m glad you asked that because some people in the Bible belt would have an issue with a pastor singing “R&B” because people have traditional views and hold traditional positions on what one should and should not do. But I do believe that this goes right in line with my faith, which is God wants us to have life and experience his life and his love in every area. One of the key things to our belief is “God is Love”.

If we study the word love, there are so many different variations of it, but in the Bible, there are over 28 different words that are used for love because it describes the different aspects and displays of love. I think we are to experience love in every area, so I don’t see it as a contradiction or going against my belief. I see it as promoting my belief. He wants us to have love on Sunday morning, and even on Saturday night he wants us to have love.

MM: Who were you musical influences?

S.P.: Several. First of all, I have to give props to my dad. Melvin Malone Sr. He’s a noted blues guitarist who has played down on Beale Street. My brother, Melvin Malone Jr., who plays for my church, he’s a noted guitarist as well. I grew up in a house with music. I have a very open-minded grandmother who was also in the church. I was brought up in the church, but we listened to a lot of music, good music like the Isley Brothers, The Commodores, Gospel and jazz.

Directly on the Gospel side, there was this guy named Thomas Whitfield who was a pioneer when it came to Gospel music. On the other side, you had your Duke Ellingtons and your Nat King Coles. I’m an old-school cat so I loved them as well as some of these contemporary guys who are doing their thing. I’ve been touched by a lot of people.

M.M.: What was your inspiration for creating this album?

S.S.: I didn’t set out to create “Life & Love.” I actually went into the studio to help someone else because I’m a musician as well. In doing that, the producer told me to go into the studio and do some different things in order to vibe with them. I got in there and started messing around and before your knew it, he was like, “Man you can sing for real. We can possibly do some things.” And it just went from there.

Honestly, I wanted to do a Gospel album because it fits with my day job, but when I got in there the only thing that came out of me was love. So I just let it flow, vibed with it and now we have the album “Life & Love.”

M.M.: I’ve listen to the album and found that there is a little something for everyone. There’s a “stepping” song, there’s one that you have that features Shea Norman and there’s even a couple of cuts that have a Hip Hop feel to it. You seemed to have catered to multiple audiences. Did you have this in mind when you were recording, or did it just turn out this way?

S.P.: It’s just how it happened. I’ve been influenced by so many musicians. Of course, I played in the church but I’m also a jazz musician at heart. I love Neo Soul. I got a little country in me, a little Rock & Roll. I’ve been influenced by so many people and there’s so many different styles to my music that when I went in there, I just began to play and I began to sing that which I was feeling. And since there is such a wide variety of music in me, I just put a little bit of that into my songs. We didn’t want it to be just an album that people just listened to, we wanted them to get into it and understand the psychology behind each song and each expression that is on each of those cuts.

M.M.: What is next for S. Poitier?

S.P.: At this particular point, I’m promoting the CD and there have been a bunch of fine people like you supporting me. I look forward to singing and making appearances at different shows and doing interviews like this. I’m looking to get into some other markets because I have had people in other cities to listen to it and they’re like, “Man, you got to get this to DC, New York and Chicago and Atlanta.” So a distribution deal would be great at this point.

Also, I got a lot of music in me. I’m looking forward to doing other CDs, helping out with some other artists. I’m a writer as well and have written some songs for other artists. I just want to delve into this music realm and see where it takes me.

(S. Poitier’s “Life & Love” is available now at Spin Street Music, I-Tunes, Amazon, CD Baby and all other musical outlets. You can visit his Web site at www.spoitiermusic.com.)


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