Kenny Lattimore & Chante Moore - conducted by Mildred Fallen
Make Me Like the Moon
Chante Moore: That's what happened; we didn't know what was going to happen ahead of time. Things kind of slowed down; with the Uncovered part, we'd done that a year before we did the Covered side. And in that lull of time, the Lord just refined us and He remade us on the inside. Certainly, I had to look at how I presented myself—'cause I'm sexy—and I know that! [Kenny, Chante and I laugh]
And I present myself in that way at times, where I would play up on my assets and I would accentuate the positive and you know, expel the other stuff. But the Lord had another thing in mind, where he was saying, 'Who gets the glory out of why you look the way you look?' And I had to really address that in my own life, in what I desired. I had to look at my own flesh and go, 'Okay..do you want everybody to know you lost weight after having a baby—Is that your point—Hmm? Hmm? And that you still got it? You know, I had to look at my own self and say okay, what is your point. And I read a book, at that same time in my life, Max Lucado had a book called, It's Not About Me. That book really, really helped me to understand how the Lord wants to use every part of who I am for His glory. And, that if I distracted people with the way I looked, no matter what message I had, they weren't gonna hear it. And that I had to really address what my intentions were. I really submitted myself to His will on me, about me. Then I had to understand what I was gonna do, and whether I was willing to really mortify my flesh, for real. Kill the "me" that just wants to be seen, to be honored just because of my beauty, my ability to do 'this or that,' what I think I'm supposed to look like, and submit to the Lord. And when I did that, Max Siegal called and asked us to do a Gospel album, and it was so wonderful because the Lord had already done the work in me, so He's done everything right in His timing.
MVRemix: Okay! I'm really happy for both of you because it sounds like you had some epiphanies while you were going through this process as well. Really, Chante, you just touched on it, how sometimes, singers can put too much emphasis on their bodies and their sexuality. Do you think today's R&B focuses enough on love, and is there too much emphasis on lust?
Chante Moore: [She and Kenny laugh, she responds in a no-nonsense drawl] Now, you know the answer to that!
MVRemix: [laughs] Yeah, well, I'm not the one—how do you feel about it, ya know?
Chante Moore: It's scary for me. Having a daughter who's 10, I listen to music differently now. When she sings a song that she's heard on the radio—and not in my car!—But she's in other people's cars at times and she hears songs
Kenny Lattimore: [talking underneath Chante] that might be about sexuality
Chante Moore: And she loves them! And some of them, she doesn't get. I mean, and I love Beyonce, I promise I do. I think she's a wonderfully talented, and wonderful person and when I met her, she was kind, sweet and humble. But when my daughter started singing, "Check Up On It," I wanted to knock Beyonce out (laughing), or spank my daughter, one of the two! It made me look at lyrics even deeper. I know once she was able to understand what I was singing, I had to watch myself even closer because I knew I had to represent someone that I lived everyday and not just say, 'I'm this person, but I sing this way; but that's okay, baby, because you can be two faced!' I really had to understand who I really was going to be, and that they do what you do—they don't do what you tell them to do, they do what they see you do. And I had to teach her that integrity is an everyday choice. I'm not responsible for anyone else, I know Beyonce says that she loves the Lord and I believe that she has a relationship with Him, but I can't do what Beyonce does—the Lord won't let me do it. Now I can look over there and go, 'Lord, you bless her and so-and-so, and da-da-da-da-da…' He said, 'Well what about you? You gotta lead your house, your backyard, nobody else's but yours and your expectations have to be something that you set up ahead of time. So I know I gotta do it the way I know the Lord told me to do it, I can' t really be trippin' about nobody else.
MVRemix: That's right. Well Kenny, what's your process been like? I mean, that's essentially what it is, a life-long process, so how's it been for you?
Kenny Lattimore: It's been hard, and it's been great as well. I think you gotta roll with the punches; you develop your way of listening to the criticisms and listening to things that people have to say, but staying in tune to the Lord. 'Cause definitely, I was laughed at. I was laughed at when I did my first album. It was like, 'Oh, it's too soft, and it's too this, and it's ohhhhh!' Or, 'Great for weddings, yeah, yeah, yeah.' I think that when the industry saw me, they wanted me to be—some people wanted me to be more sexual. [asking incredulously] 'Don't you want the women to be throwin' they panties onstage at you?! What's wrong with you?'
[Chante giggles after he says this]
And that just wasn't where I came from and it wasn't a flag that I picked up and tried to wave. I didn't try to tell everybody my story, I just kinda rolled with it like, 'No, that's not quite my purpose.' But at the same time, what you can say about this album, one of my messages I've been talking about is that, 'Marriage is sexy.' And I want this album to talk to or reach the married couples, people who are in love or engaged or what have you, and give them music they can be romantic to because we don't shift faces. Like Chante was saying, this is a whole lifestyle. I don't put my church face on when I go to church.
Kenny Lattimore: I don't come home, take that face off, put on a different face to go to work and then—no—all of it is who we are at all times. But it's doing things the right way where you get the chance to enjoy the fruit of everything that God has and has blessed us with. So I love how the albums exist together because I think it's going to push the envelope in the Christian community and make people examine—don't just throw these clichés at music—ya know, check your movies, check your books out, everything that you do should be examined and--
Chante Moore: And the twist is about what we do for a living being, you know, for the devil. But if you're a secretary, you're not working for Jesus!
Kenny Lattimore: [laughs] Right!
Chante Moore: You know, you listen to your boss and he tells you what you gotta do for the day and you can't be like, 'Yes, in Jesus' name, thank you and praise God!' You can't be doing that or you'll be a fired secretary. But you also can't be lying when he says, 'Okay, tell them I'm out.' You can't be like, 'Oh, he's out!' You have to figure out a way to say, 'You know what? Sir, I can't lie for you.' That's a choice you have everyday, whether or not you're going keep your integrity or maybe keep or lose your job. I know, for me I can talk about Jesus all day long, and nobody's gon' fire me! I've talked about Him and raised Him up as a standard of how I wanna live each day. In R&B, I've done it for however long, 1992 on, every interview you've ever heard, it's always had Jesus' name in it because He's the reason I did what I did because He opened those doors. So I find it funny that they think you're not living for God because you sing R&B music. They need to just examine each individual. Don't clump me.
Kenny Lattimore: And we need to have balance as people. Complete balance in our lives, in order to look at life realistically. I don't think we look at our whole experience realistically; we like to pick and choose and take certain sides we think make us look good. But you know what? There's power in exposing the other the other parts that don't seem like, like 'Oh I don't want some body to know I went through this.' But that's the part of you that's going to inspire somebody to be greater, and that's the part of you that's gonna inspire somebody to not go through the things you went through. So we are not professing to be perfect—
Chante Moore: Almost though! [they laugh together] I'm playin'!
MVRemix: I also want to ask you how you connected with Fred Hammond?
Kenny Lattimore: Oh okay! We gotta get ready to run to do some more interviews—I'm so sorry—but we gotta talk about Fred!
MVRemix: Yeah, you gotta talk about Fred, that's my boy!
Chante Moore: He's awesome, he's crazy! He's so talented. The record company actually did it—honestly; we couldn't have picked a better person. We both have absolutely admired him since Commissioned and the fact that he was chosen to do this, I think was also ordained by God, that it happened the way it did. Certainly, when they said he was going to be a part of it and accepted the way he did, we were so excited—I was so excited that when I got in the studio with him, I couldn't stop crying! It was such a 'dream come true.' It was such a blessing to just be doing what God had told us was gonna happen, and when it happened, it was such a wonderful thing. Working with him was great, he's insightful and he's smart, and he's again—crazy!