Beautifully Said Magazine speaks with Michelle Williams (Formerly of Destiny’s Child) and Gospel Hip Hop artist, Flame a.k.a Marcus Gray about their involvement with being representatives of the American Heart Association (AHA) and judges with the 4th annual Most Powerful Voices competition.
Michelle’s provides her partnership with Power to End Stroke through the American Heart Association.
At this time we ended our interview with Flame and then had the opportunity to speak with Michelle Williams whose burst of energy was truly welcomed being that it was still early in the day…but then again she mentioned she had just come from the gym
Trisha LaNae’: We know the American Heart Association is near and dear to your heart given your family connection with your father and grandmother both suffering from strokes. I want to ask how long have you been working with this organization?
Michelle Williams: This is going on my second year because this is also my second year with the Most Powerful Voices competition. How I got familiar with Power to End Stroke was through Twitter because I follow Chrisette Michele, she retweeted something and I said, “I wonder what Power to End Stroke was about because I never heard about it.” I clicked on Power to End Stoke Twitter page and it also had the link to their website and I thought it was really cool. The only way I will take part in any charity or organization is if I have a personal attachment to it. The personal attachment with Power to End Stoke was that my father had two strokes and my grandmother ended up having a stroke as well the next year. It was very dear to me and I was like, “Where are we going wrong in our community?”
My dad’s stroke was diet and health related because he is diabetic and has high blood pressure and smoked so his risk factor for stroke was quadrupled.
My grandmother stroke had nothing to do with her diet, she went to the hospital for a minor procedure and I want to say they took her off one of her medications and I believed that caused her to have the stroke. My grandmother was eighty-eight and before she passed she was still driving, going on trips…my grandmother was still babysitting and up and kicking!
Power to End Stroke has just made me more aware of my diet…not that I need to be on anyone’s diet
Actor Frankie Muniz (Malcolm in the Middle) was mentioned by Michelle Williams during this particular segment after it was made aware through the media that he suffered a mini- stroke at the age of 26.
Michelle Williams: I ran across a lady that is nineteen and she had a stroke so again and that just blew my mind. Again, it’s not the older people but the younger people as well.
Trisha LaNae’: A lot to take in and as a community we have to do something about it.
Michelle Williams: That is what the Power to End Stoke and Most Powerful Voices is about. Even in the competition we have asked the participants to not just submit music because you think this is the gospel X-factor or American Idol. We want to know if the participants really have an attachment to this organization. One woman submitted some music last year and she had previously had an aneurysm and her music was so beautiful and she was at the top of my list. Things like that warmed my heart that somebody had an aneurysm or a stroke but still are writing their music and trying to make their dreams come true. That’s what it is all about!
Trish LaNae’: You’re absolutely right and that is very powerful!
Asha LaShae’: You have some new music that is coming out this spring and so will you be infusing any elements of your involvement with the Power to End Stoke within your music?
Michelle Williams: I can’t wait, there are so many initiatives that I want to do, there are a couple of songs that I want to submit to the American Heart Association that are upbeat…to encourage people to do twenty minutes of cardio a couple times a week. To get the oxygen and that blood flowing, and heart health, it really makes a difference! So there are songs that I think are pretty cool and neat that I want to submit and have the proceeds benefit Power to End Stroke. I would like to start doing a Power to End Stroke tour where I go into the communities and hit these churches.
The way I grew up because I went to church all the time, after every concert or rehearsal what do we do…we go out to eat
Asha LaShae’: Do you find it challenging to change people’s mindset on a healthier lifestyle and also do you believe many people equate their health to the economy with selection of poor food choices?
Michelle Williams: I haven’t encountered any resistance that I know of. Months ago I sat on a panel at the Congressional Black Caucus and people were so engaged because some information they just didn’t know.
Asha LaShae’: You were just recently in Nigeria for an event called The Experience. Tell us what you were there for and provide to us your experience?
Michelle Williams: It was my first time going to Nigeria and it was so beautiful! I went for an event called The Experience for Pastor Paul Adefarasin who is pastor of a church there called House on the Rock that has 50,000 members. He was the host of The Experience where people of all denominations and religions came together for one night of communal worship, singing and prayer. It was close to 70,000 people there and they asked me to sing their national anthem and they had me wrapped up in their traditional African clothing…and I just felt like a queen as the material was being wrapped around me. It was absolutely beautiful! The people were so nice and beautiful! It was a great experience!
Asha LaShae’: Like you mentioned before you have some new music coming out this spring and I believe you have some Nigerian producers involved with this project. How did this come about?
Michelle Williams: I do have a Nigerian producer who helped with my new music and he was actually born in London but his parents are from Nigeria and his name is Harmony Samuels. He worked on the bulk of this album and basically executive produced it. He had nothing to do with my recent trip but it was just a coincidence that I happened to go…it’s such a small world because it was actually his cousin who brought me over to Nigeria to attend The Experience.
Now as far as the album we just gave it to God and I wanted to touch lives and free people and let them know you got to have this relationship with God, you got to have it now!
On a fun note we asked Michelle the following questions…
Trisha LaNae’: Will there be a Destiny’s Child reunion?
Michelle Williams: As far as a Destiny’s Child reunion…we have to see about that. Every now and then when we see fit, we call each other and say, “Hey it’s time!” So you never know.
Trisha LaNae’: Will there be a marriage and children in the future coming up?
Michelle Williams: You know I would like marriage first but on the children part…now that I’ve had all these nieces, nephews, and godchildren I don’t know
You know what I think it is, until I find that man that makes me say, “I cannot wait for us to get married and for me to have your children.” I’m just not there yet.
Trisha LaNae’: Tell us something about Michelle Williams that we don’t know?
Michelle Williams: I know almost every episode of Law in Order SVU. Actually my major in college was criminal justice. I am still intrigued by criminal law related stuff. It’s a network that I watch called TRU and from 8 am to 2 pm they have real live court room cases and I watch them from beginning to end.
Every day I have to watch Judge Mathis at 2 pm and Judge Judy at 4 pm…I DVR it
Years ago before I joined Destiny’s Child, I have an uncle who is a medical physician and he practices family medicine and knew the county coroner. On the day I was supposed to go see an autopsy was the day I flew from home to shoot the “Say My Name” video with Destiny’s Child. I’m still like, “I’ve got to go see a live autopsy.” When I do, I probably will have to sleep with the lights on that night
We ended the interview with Michelle wanting people to know to hold on in any circumstances that you may be going through.
Asha LaShae’ & Trisha LaNae’: You were a pure joy to speak with and we thank you!
Michelle Williams: I am honored to speak with you both and let’s keep in touch for future things. This has been a great start to my day!
Asha LaShae’ & Trisha LaNae’: Wonderful!
Michelle’s new album is dropping in 2013 on her new label Light Records/eOne Music
Readers make sure you tune into Most Powerful Voices competition and we’ll keep you updated via our socials. Healthy hearts and beautiful voices is what we love about the partnership for the American Heart Association (Power to End Stroke) and Most Powerful Voices.
American Heart Association: www.heart.org
Power to End Stoke: http://www.powertoendstroke.org/
Most Power Voices: www.power.watchgmctv.com