Kenny Lattimore & Chante Moore - conducted by Mildred Fallen
Make Me Like the Moon
Does the average person weigh questions of whether a song manipulates their mind and body, or how long its presence lingers after the song fades? Or do they wonder why a certain hook seems to sound much better in the club when there's a roomful of gyrating hips flashing green light signals? A pop artist dogged by censorship and Christian churches might argue that he or she doesn't entice people to be promiscuous because sex is as omnipresent as air, or that lyrics are just lyrics, not calls to action. But what if lyrics are supposed to call people to action?
This question came to mind after reading Kenny Lattimore and Chante Moore's one-sheet for their recent release, a dual CD of inspirational duets entitled, Uncovered/Covered: 2 Sides to Love. The two married in 2002 and are obviously a harmonious pair, as Uncovered makes their second time releasing a CD of duets. Together, they feel they've been called to sing love songs, not only those expressing consummated love, but they want to tell the world who developed the foundation for their devoted marriage; Jesus Christ.
As physically-attractive people whose music made others feel attractive, they explain in a very brief but remarkably insightful interview from the offices of Jive Records why they are prime examples that sexy is as sexy does. They are Christian; they love God and each other. This brings to mind yet another question: Is being a Christian a sexy thing?
Chante and Kenny think so. Without pausing to reflect about it, Chante will quickly remind you that she knows she's sexy, and indubitably, no one with clear eye-sight would argue with her. Her seductive ballads, in the key of soprano songbirds like Minnie Ripperton, set the mood for long nights of love-making, and her doe-eyed fix on the camera probably made many men stare into their album covers and say to themselves, 'Damn! How can I be down?' She admits that at one point, she played up her sexy side but had a revelation that if God didn't find her appealing in His sight, adulation from the world could never measure up.
On the other hand, Kenny, with his clean good looks, always opted to downplay his sex appeal and present the nice-guy image, even when critics lambasted his quiet-storm brand of Neo Soul music as "too soft." For him, panties on the stage didn't equate with being any good as an artist. Believe it or not, he says it just wasn't who he was.
Their LaFace/Verity release sums up where they are spiritually. They live to love God, and songs like the beautiful, "Make Me Like the Moon" reflect where they would like to see themselves, as shimmering works that mirror Him.
Chante Moore: How are you doing?
MVRemix: I'm doing great. Blessed. How about you guys?
Kenny Lattimore: Blessed as well.
Chante Moore: Truly.
MVRemix: I understand that you've got a new CD; did the CD come out today?
Chante Moore: Yes, it's in stores.
Chante Moore: Yay! [Kenny chuckles in the background]
MVRemix: Let's talk a little bit about that. I understand that it's a 2-disc set, correct?
Kenny Lattimore: Yes.
MVRemix: Is the first disc more along the lines of finding love, and the second disc focusing more on the sanctity of love in a marriage?
Chante Moore: No—But that would've been good! (laughing) We should use that idea for the next album—and we won't be paying you—and uh—No! Uncovered is about relationships, uncovering the truth about love in our relationship, and giving pieces of our reality from day to day. And then the Covered side is the Gospel side where we're talking about our love for the Lord, how great He is and how He is just awesome. So that's what those two sides are; two sides to love.
MVRemix: I got it. How were you able to evoke both sensual and spiritual vulnerabilities on this CD without crossing any lines?
Chante Moore: Because it's who we are. [Kenny agrees] It's not about making anything fit into anything other than what the Lord would have it be. He did a work before this began; in us, and the preparation was a year ahead of time for me, especially with doing The Gospel album. Especially in our own R&B lives, before one another. We tried to keep integrity with our music making sure we didn't sing anything we wouldn't do. We don't sing about shakin' my behind or 'I just met you—let's go to bed—do it, do it, do it, do it all night.' [Kenny laughs] We don't do that. So for our music to be palatable from both sides, it's not a conflict for us because we live that in everyday life. We go to church and we serve Him everyday, love each other everyday; we make love and it's Holy in His sight. So we don't do anything that would be offensive on either side.
MVRemix: You both normally fall into that category—if people were to put you in a box—as Secular music, but Chante, I read that you looked up the word, "secular," and--
Chante Moore: Um hmm. And didn't like it.
MVRemix: (said almost in unison with Chante) And you didn't like it. So tell me a little bit more about that. How did that make you feel?
Chante Moore: Well you know…it repelled me is what it did, because I know who I am and I know who I'm not, and I've never been without God. Certainly, my music has been a gift. It's been a gift for me to be able to do this. I know the Lord opened those doors, too. And I knew that this day would also come where I would sing Gospel. I knew that God opened that door for me to experience those things first. Everything is done in His timing. I didn't make nothin' happen. So the fact that this now, the time for the Lord to use me in another area in my life, I had to just…I'm privileged. I'm honored and awed by the fact that He thinks I can do this, and I just don't want to let him down.
Kenny Lattimore: The idea didn't come from us either.
Chante Moore: Not at all.
Kenny Lattimore: To shed some more light on it, we were actually approached by the label to do this, which was very unusual, but--
Chante Moore: Especially nowadays. People don't ask you to sing, they ask you to stop singing!
[Facetiously] 'Yeah, we've done enough; you've done enough! Thank you!'