Gospel Icon Kirk Franklin Talks “The American Bible Challenge” & New Music?
With a musical career spanning more than 20 years, Kirk Franklin (@kirkfranklin) has become one of the standard bearers of songwriting and production, and he is indeed one of Gospel Music’s premiere talents. Everything he touches, turns to gold or platinum (as evidenced by his now modern classic album “The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin”), and Season 3 of GSN’s “The American Bible Challenge” (@BibleChallenge) is no exception. The 1 hour game show hosted by Jeff Foxworthy in which contestants compete based on their knowledge of the bible, garnered the network its highest ever ratings in 18 years, with nearly 2 million viewers during its August 2012 series premiere. Heed Magazine’s Mike Sanford had the chance to speak with Kirk Franklin about Season 3 of “The American Bible Challenge” premiering tonight on GSN at 8PM! We also snuck in a question about some new music! Read on to see what Kirk shared!
Kirk Franklin: Mike, what’s up man?
Mike Sanford: How are you doing sir?
KF: Aww man I’m trying to hang in there! They’re killing me today. I’ve been interviewing since 9am.
MS: Well, I won’t keep you too long than! [laughs] But, thank you for giving us this time and we’re really looking forward to the show, “The American Bible Challenge”. So, can you talk to me a little bit about the show and about your role?
KF: Yeah, it’s a very successful game show. It’s hosted by Jeff Foxworthy and my role is like his sidekick. I am the co- host of the show and I try to keep it engaging, swaggy and fun…you know exciting for the people.
MS: How is your role on this show different from your role on BET’s Sunday Best?
KF: I am more of a sidekick. I kind of work along with him and I also do more of the music and engage more with the people musically. So I love working in that role. And more than anything it introduces me to a new audience and introduces that audience to me. So it becomes a win win for everybody.
MS: And how important do you think a show like this, focused on our faith, is for TV?
KF: Well, I think that anything that has any type of Christian content will always be important. Plus it continues to push the message, the faith and the agenda and I think that’s always good. I think it’s good for us and I think it’s good for people that don’t believe. Anytime we can do it in a way that’s still cool, that’s still fun and entertaining, we will always see that win and we will always see that be a positive thing, as long as we try to make the production strong and we don’t forget that we can’t sacrifice good entertainment and good production just for the sake of the gospel. They both can work well together if we really try hard.
MS: Who was one of your favorite teams?
KF: The nuns! I love the nuns from last year. Those nuns were incredible. It was cool to see them compete and have a lot of energy. I loved working with the nuns.
MS: One thing that I admire about you is that over the years you have been able to transcend in a lot of ways, musically, production wise and with your songwriting. What encouragement would you give someone who is aspiring to do what you do?
KF: You know, I would always advise people to really just trust God to drive the course of it. To really just trust God to write the script. Sometimes people don’t believe me, but really everything that I’ve ever done, I’ve had no part in it. All of my plans and dreams and things that I’ve tried to make happen, they never happened. But everything that I’m doing, these are things that God has brought to me, really! So when he brings them to me I try to be a good steward with opportunities. I’m not that smart, I’m not that talented…these are opportunities that the Lord has brought my way, so I try to be good steward of every opportunity.
MS: With that in mind, what do you ‘take heed’ to?
KF: I try to take heed to a lot of mistakes Christians have made in the culture, so that I don’t repeat them. I am very sensitive to a lot of people’s perceptions of who we are as Christians and why that is. Those things stay on my mind a lot and I focus on those things just because I don’t want to be another casualty nor do I want to make anyone else a casualty. So, you know I try very hard to focus on those things so that people can see that there are really some diligent pursuits of trying to do something different.
MS: I know this is probably a little bit of a tangent, but can we expect some new music soon?
KF: [Laughs] We’ll see man! I’m just trying to follow God’s plan for my life and just trying to let Him lead me. I’m really trying to stay sensitive…and trusting Him to give me the songs when the time is right…
MS: When can we catch this new season?
KF: It comes on Thursdays at 8PM on GSN, and we’re really excited!
MS: We’re really excited too! Thank you for this time, it really is an honor.
KF: Thank you brother!
Be sure to catch the Season 3 premiere of “The American Bible Challenge” hosted by Jeff Foxworthy and co-hosted by Kirk Franklin TONIGHT on GSN at 8PM Est! Here’s a sneak peek!