ESSENCE.com caught up with Clark to talk about her latest album, the future of Gospel music, and more.
ESSENCE.com: What is the inspiration behind “The Sound of Victory?”
MAURETTE BROWN CLARK: The inspiration is to continue to praise the Lord, continue to worship the Lord, in and out of season, no matter where you find yourself. There is a song on there called “Don’t Be Discouraged” for those gong through troubled time. If you are discouraged, the fact of the matter is God is good and that He is still in control. If you can find something to thank Him for, that will lead to another thank you and another and so on. It’s also about keeping yourself in a posture of thankfulness. Thankfulness turns into praise, praise turns into worship.
ESSENCE.com: This album has received so much praise. What is it that people are responding to?
CLARK: I think artists feel pressure to come out a certain way, where I’ve tried to be consistent. I’ve consistently presented great songs, great musicianship, great vocals — I really try to touch people’s hearts. To see it all put together is just the joy of continuing to do what I know He told me to do.
ESSENCE.com: You inspire a lot of people with your music. Do you ever feel down and blue?
CLARK: It’s part of the process. I was recently talking to someone about joy and how a lot of times when we do what we do, it almost becomes mechanical. We have these great songs — when you show up to places they want to hear “One God,” “It Ain’t Over,” “I Just Want to Praise You” and it’s a happy time. The flip-side is that it almost throws you into autonomy. I think you lose a little bit of the joy of being creative.
ESSENCE.com: How does one get to hear the sound of victory?
CLARK: You already know we win. We won over 2,000 years ago when Jesus suffered blood, died and was buried… already, we’re winning. You need to remind yourself daily. But life has gotten so crazy you almost need to remind yourself by the second that ‘I win.’ No matter what it looks like, ‘I win.’ I will praise and I will worship a God who already put me on the winning side. That’s what I have to do. Everyone’s got baggage, everyone’s got a story. But you have to see past all of that and see yourself as God sees you. He sees us as perfect, already washed with His blood and that’s reason enough to say ‘thank you.’
ESSENCE.com: Do you think Gospel music will ever die out?
CLARK: It’s never going to die. Other genres of music will die, but the good news of Jesus will never die. As long as we’re singing about the Lord and keeping the focus on him, it will not die. People are always going to have to hear about who Jesus is — either through preaching or through song. The industry may shift all around us but [the music] is not going to die. We have to be steadfast and immovable in the Lord’s work.