Our R&B dreams came true on this week’s episode of The B Side featuring host, PJ Morton.
Not only did some of our favorite stars get to test their R&B knowledge, but Morton connected with contestant and fellow singer/songwriter, Ro James. The two share a unique connection as they both grew up in the church.
“We’re both preacher’s kids,” said Morton. “And we’re both not preachers. We’re R&B singers.”
The son of Bishop Paul and Pastor Debra Morton, Morton got his start in gospel music, before embarking on his current secular musical journey.
“It’s definitely a spiritual aspect to the music,” he shared. “I don’t think people who aren’t preacher’s kids can truly understand what that process feels like growing up and what that means.”
For James, growing up as a “PK” had its own unique challenges.
“My dad was a pastor, a preacher and a drill sergeant in the military,” he revealed. “He was super duper with it. He was super strict. And he was the oldest of his brothers and sisters so he was like their father basically. So I had that.”
“But then when he really really got into church, he went all the way in and everything was over. Music was different — he threw away records, he threw away CDs — you couldn’t listen to anything but Gospel music,” the singer added.
But that didn’t stop James from pursuing his own musical dreams. He did ask us for Permission after all. But being apart of the “PK fraternity” changed his approach to how he told his stories.
“It gave me perspective on life. It gave me perspective on love. It gave me perspective on spirituality,” James shared. “Even in my writing, the way that I write, the feeling off top comes from that.”
Watch the latest episode of ESSENCE’s The B Side above.