With a voice that is sure to stand the test of time and a captivating musicality that is quite refreshing for music lovers everywhere, Avery*Sunshine has become one of my favorite voices. A few weeks ago she released a stellar project, “Twenty Sixty Four,” tackling her experiences, love and her relationship with her equally talented husband. If you’ve ever been to an Avery*Sunshine concert, you know that it is an musical experience that never leaves you unsatisfied. Our conversation was similar to that, as her warm personality shone through even on the phone, and we have a refreshing conversation about music, family, and her admiration and respect for Will Smith! She gave us 2,064 more reasons why you should support her music! Check out our conversation…
Mike Sanford: Talk to me about your new album “Twenty Sixty Four”!
Avery*Sunshine: Wow! Twenty Sixty four, it really is my prayer to God. It’s the prayer I said right after the man that proposed to me, after we both told each other that we’d never get married again. I think we shook hands on it and everything! We said, “We are not getting married again!” I had come out of something off, and he had come out of something awful and we said, “Let’s not do this.” Darn it, if he didn’t propose when he did. I said, “God, I know I told you I wouldn’t do this again, but if you would just give me until 2064 with this amazing man, I promise I will be good, I will say my prayers, I will call my aunties when I’m supposed to, I will do everything I’m supposed to do,” and that’s how we got 2064 and it turns out all of the songs that are on the album worked! When I write I’m writing about my experiences and they fall in line with our relationship and what we’ve been through and what we’re going through. So, that’s all it is! It’s just a continuation of the first two albums. They are our stories.
MS: Did you work with any new songwriters and producers on this project?
AS: Absolutely! So, on this album I collaborated with the guy who we look to for the roadmap for Indie Artists, Mr. Eric Roberson. He co-wrote three songs on this album with me. We also have Keyon Harrold and Frank McComb who is on one of the tunes playing keys and we have a string arranger who is absolutely amazing! We’ve added some more stuff to this album that I’ve wanted to do. I wanted to hear strings; and we have live horns on here by the Good Times Brass Band out of Atlanta!
MS: Eric Roberson and Frank McComb are actually two of my favorite artists in the world.
AS: Mine too, and they are my brothers too! They are just good people!
MS: Just talking to you and listening to your music I can tell that you are a believer. Am I correct in that assumption?
MS: Okay, so how do you balance your faith and being an artist in a secular industry if you will?
AS: You pray a lot! I pray a whole lot and I’m grateful for a partner and a companion who always helps me see the silver lining. And for a family who keeps me grounded, so it never really feels like a struggle to manage it. It doesn’t feel that way and maybe it’s because my husband is so great at helping me manage it that I don’t realize it. And you know what, at my age I really don’t care what people think. I got kids! I’ve got to make sure these kids get to college and that they’re healthy beings and make sure they’re contributing beings in this world! So, I don’t care! Someone asked me, “Does it bother you that you’re not really well known?” Clearly, at some point I thought it would sure be great to get a Grammy and be acknowledged. It absolutely would. But it feels like it would be the same when I get out of my car at the mall and somebody comes up and says, “I know you! You sing a song that changed my life!” That is equally as amazing, if not more or gratifying. Now please know, I’m not saying I don’t want a Grammy! [Laughs] But I am fully aware that I am still successful.
MS: What do you take heed to?
AS: I take heed to my husband’s advice and that is to be patient because he is one of the most patient beings on the planet. I take heed to my mama’s advice to pray all the time. I take heed to my children’s advice to try some new things. Those are the things I take heed to.
MS: What is the biggest thing you want listeners to take away from your new album?
AS: I want you to be encouraged. I want you to find something on the album that speaks to you. If it’s not the whole album, if it’s not something I sang or I wrote, maybe it’s a performance from someone else on the album that makes you want to be better, that makes you feel better. That’s why we do this. We want people to be affected in a positive way so that they can be better. We pray that happens with this album and any performance, any conversation, any meeting, anytime people encounter myself, my husband or anybody on the team; I want them to be made better by those encounters.
One of the people that I have not met but I know through Jazzy Jeff and Eric Roberson is Will Smith. Of course Eric and Jazzy are both amazing human beings, but they say it’s something about Will Smith when he comes into the room; everybody just wants to be better. There’s something that he exudes and I want to be that way. I want, when I walk in the room or they hear my music, for people to feel better. That’s it.
Purchase “Twenty Sixty Four” on all major digital outlets today!
IG – @averysunshine
Twitter – @AverySunshine