“Other people may be there to help us, teach us, guide us along our path, but the lesson to be learned is always ours.” (Unknown)
Coming from two different worlds, Angel and I met in high school. I (Chanelle) was a preacher’s kid who was bullied for being different; Angel was a loner who had her music to guide her. When we met, Angel introduced me to new genres of music, and we found that we both had a passion for song.
After learning that a leading gospel label was looking to sign a female group, we met up at my house in New Orleans and sang “Amazing Grace.” Magic happened that day. Everybody in the room just looked at each other, because we knew that moment in time would begin our journey in the music industry. Many years have gone by since that magical day, and with God guiding our path, we are still here.
Journalists always ask us, “What has kept you successful for 15 years?” Well, since we’re from New Orleans, it’s only right that we make an analogy to gumbo. Success takes a lot of different ingredients. You cannot have a good gumbo without shrimp, sausage, and crab. In the same sense, you cannot have success without several key components.
The first ingredient is passion, which Mathew Knowles always says is one of the top traits found in a successful person. We love what we do and how God has blessed us with the opportunity to show the world that He is real and His love is everlasting.
The second ingredient is acceptance. We spent so much of our career trying to please everyone. We wanted people to like us and accept what we were trying to do. We have gone through so much and fought so hard to get to the place where we love who we are and are happy with who God created us to be. We are no longer trying to conform to someone else’s idea about who we should be. We believe that is reflected in our music.
The third ingredient is love. Our love of music is what brought us together so many years ago and created the strong bond that we share. We balance each other out and are so close that we can finish each others’ sentences. Not only do we have love for each other as friends, but we also have love for ourselves. Not to mention the love from family, friends, and the unconditional love from God. We want listeners to know that there is nothing you can do that would change God’s love for you. We want people to be encouraged to live life to the fullest because they know that God’s got their back, no matter what.
The fourth ingredient is being unique. From our performance style to our dress, we don’t try to fit into a certain mold. We like to go outside the box that so many people try to place gospel singers in. I embrace Diana Ross and Tina Turner when I go on stage, and Angel embraces her inner Babyface when she hits the notes that she does. We are quirky, goofy, fun-loving people who enjoy making great music “our way,” which we believe is “God’s way.” Our new music video for “Bring Your Praise” showcases our desire to be different while still praising God.
Last ingredient is support. We have received so much support from our fans, who have shared the up’s and down’s that we have experienced in our career. For that, we are forever grateful. Family is also very important to both of us. I have five siblings; Angel has three brothers. Our families and friends love us through anything even when we make the wrong choices. Without them, we may have not made it through some of the obstacles that we have had to face.
Our current album, “Angel & Chanelle,” showcases who we truly are. We have evolved as women. We know where we come from and where we are going. We know that God loves us unconditionally and will continue to guide our footsteps in this life with or without stardom.
If you have a dream, remember the key ingredients for your own “success gumbo,” and allow God to align your path as he has done for us. If you believe it, claim it and walk in it. You shall receive all that God has for you. We are a living testimony! Blessings and love.
–Angel Taylor and Chanelle Haynes of Trin-i-tee 5:7