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With His Song, “Alright,” Gospel Recording Artist William Demps Spreads The Message of Joy!

Updated: May 12

As a singer and minister who emphasizes the message of joy, William Demps has a long history of singing and ministering, spanning back to his childhood. He was raised by his parents, who were also pastors who ensured he and his siblings were introduced to Christianity early on. In his youth, his parents immediately realized that he had impressive musical abilities, and they encouraged and mentored him to pursue gospel music. Through their support, William became a successful gospel recording artist, touring, collaborating, and working with some of this generation's most noteworthy gospel musicians and singers. Aside from winning many gospel singing competitions, he was included in John P. Kee's "New Artist Compilation" and sharing stages with some of the best gospel artists in the world, including Fred Hammond, Marvin Sapp, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Ricky Dillard, and many others. It is also noteworthy that William Demps appeared on the Boby Jones Show and BET's Sunday Best, where he was a finalist during season 7. This talented man and I had a wonderful conversation discussing many different aspects of life. I want to share with you what he shared with me.

Good afternoon, Is this Mr. William Demps? Yes. This is William Demps. How are you?

I am wonderful. How are you doing? I am fantastic and elated to be with you today.

You sound joyous today! I love interviewing lively people. Yes, I'm just glad to be alive! And I'm grateful for people willing to expand the ministry, so I'm thankful to be with you.

Amen. Well, I am excited about speaking with you today and thank the Lord for allowing us to have this conversation. Yes.

First and foremost, I want to congratulate you on your number-one single on the Christian iTunes chart. Thank you so much! I appreciate the love! So grateful!

Isn't it a blessing, William? God is so good! It is a blessing! It feels surreal. We work hard, and I have a fantastic team that works with me, so I'm just grateful for the opportunity to further the message we've been sharing and keep people encouraged and focused on their walk-in journey with God.

Amen. It's a message that many people need to hear right now, especially with everything happening worldwide. More people need to hear about the love of God. William, apart from music, who would you say you are as a man, and what do you think about in your quiet time when nobody else is around? Who am I as a man? Wow! I'm a lover of people, and I love walking with people on their journeys. Because I'm also a communicator, it makes the musical side of me easy. I like understanding how things and people work. I'm creative in everything that I do. I'm an entrepreneur who owns several businesses, all creatively connected.

Also, I'm a friend, a son, and someone doing their best to use every part of myself to better humanity and better those that God trusts me to be in their lives. Those are a few of the components that make me who I am.

Awesome! So, William, do you think people can go to church all their life and still not have a relationship with Christ? I say that because I experienced that in my own life. It took the pandemic to show me that I was a religious Christian but not committed to having a relationship with Christ. I went through the motions, but I was empty inside. I was always too busy for God. As a pastor's daughter, I did what I was taught and saw, but I do not think I fully understood that I was spiritually dead all those years. Praise God that He woke me up through losing everything. That humbled me and got my attention. At that point, Christ became so real to me. I became more interested in knowing Him and studying the Word of God than participating in all the regular routines of lifeless church acrobatics. I call it going through the motions. Praise God that I found Christ for the first time in one of the worst times of my life and made Him my Lord and Savior. Life had to slow down and become silent to realize that about myself. I chose life when I chose Christ. What are your views on churchgoing but not having a relationship with Christ? It's possible. It's funny you asked that question. I'm a PK (preacher's kid), and in another interview, I was asked, "when did my true relationship with God begin?" I responded to him, "you can be around the church, but the church is not in you. Therefore, you can be a church attender, but that doesn't mean you have a relationship with The Lord.

A genuine relationship develops at the speed of trust. It's created by our faith in God and the space we give Him to guide and lead us. We grow when we fully trust God to handle everything in our lives, from what we have, what we encounter, and who we are as individuals. When we trust all these things into His hands, that's the moment that something true begins.

That's scary because many people focus on what it is to be a part of a church, but what it's about is our relationship with God. To have a relationship with God, there must be truth. The tragedy is that we sometimes don't bring our whole truth to God because we fear what we hear about the churches that negatively represent Christianity.

Most of us struggle to develop our relationship with God because we rely on mistruths we've heard about Him from others. Or sometimes, we misinterpret the scriptures. Those are things that can contribute to a distant relationship with God. Some feel disqualified from coming to His table when all He wants to do is fix what's broken in our lives. Ultimately, God wants us to go to Him with our problems and inadequacies and let Him deal with them.

So yes, I feel it's possible to be in the church but not have a relationship with God. As a countermeasure to this, we allow love to be shown to those who enter the house of the Lord. Every individual has value, and we, as God's children, should strive to see this value in them.

In your opinion, what's the difference between religion and relationship, and how does that play out in the Christian music industry? Wow, in the Christian music industry. When I think about that question, my thoughts go to a scripture in the Bible, 2nd Timothy 3: 5, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” The way I interpret that scripture is having a form of it is showing people what we want them to see.

I believe that we have failed in many instances when it comes to messages proclaiming love and relaying the truth and justice of God. Not only do we fail to deliver those messages, but we have failed to show up for people.

Not too long ago, negative accusations were made about a particular individual, and because of that, many people decided to disassociate themselves from their brand. Because of this, I feel that we must be careful as to how we handle one another.

I say this because everyone has weak moments and times where they're tried in their faith. Therefore, we need to learn how to heal and cover our wounded. We must walk and grow together to be all God has called us to be.

There must be a standard, but we must use wisdom and how we walk with one another. If we want to be perceived in the light of who we are, when it comes down to opportunities for us to show up and be the church walking in love, justice, and truth, love must be the guiding factor.

William, what are your thoughts regarding the separation of races in Christian music? For example, black music is considered gospel, and Caucasian music is considered Christian. Why do you think the Christian music industry divides in this way when the bible says in Mark 16: 15, “And He said to them go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Even in the secular workforce, segregation is prohibited. Why do you think that it’s allowed in the Christian music industry? Aren't we called believers of Christ to love every race? Arent we one body? I have a few thoughts about the matter, and I understand the perception of segregation because, to a certain extent, it is. It’s them, and then there's us. On the other hand, some people sometimes slip through the crack, such as me. That’s why for me, it was monumental to be on “Apple’s” Christian Music Chart” because currently, there is no Gospel Music category, only one for Christian Music. Therefore, a lot of artists in the gospel music genre don’t break into that space. This is why I understand the segregation of it.

People generally have a particular preference when selecting anything they enjoy, and the same applies to their taste in music. It's the dynamic of choice. What's most important is that the message in the music remains consistent.

The question is; If we are to promote Christ through music, how can we work together to support one another? The focus should be on "this is what we do" rather than "this is what you do, and this is what we do."

What is the best way to support the various forms of artistic expression through music? That's what must be taken into consideration because they are two different art forms. When you hear "gospel and Christian music," both pull on you in different places. So, for me, it's all about trying to find that bridge and honoring both styles without separating ourselves.

So many artists want to be recognized and appreciated for what they do, but there needs to be a category that honors their art form. This is a layered conversation that sometimes we are good at and other times not. But I hope we can celebrate our differences while keeping our approach and delivery intact. Ultimately, we are here to promote the gospel and support one another.

Marvin, I want to know about your humble beginnings and how did your professional career begin? I started in church. My grandfathers on both sides of my family are pastors. One has gone on to be with the Lord, and the other has retired after 50 years of ministry. My parents became pastors when I was 12. I was raised in the House of the Lord, which impacted my life. My parents served in the church. My dad was a Deacon, and my mother supported him in the ministry.

Because my parents were active in the church, they kept me in the choir. I was always surrounded by good quality gospel music and gospel artists such as The Winans, Thomas Whitfield, O’ Landa Draper, and The Tommies. I was also exposed to other great artists such as Earth, Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder, and Whitney Houston. Because my parents saw musical giftings within my sibling and me, they encouraged us in that direction. They made us rehearse and created an environment for us to blossom in, such as the studio my father set up in our house.

Then, in high school, I met some guys who played instruments and sang, we formed a group, and I learned how to write. Consequently, it led to opportunities opening up in my local community.

During that time, my parents started pastoring, and I was leading the music ministry at my church. As a result of our worship team's popularity, we received multiple invitations to open for well-established gospel artists when they had concerts and visited our town. These notable gospel artists included John P. Kee, Hezekiah Walker, and others.

I was then offered the opportunity to appear on the "Bobby Jones Show," the artist retreat. This resulted in my winning the competition. I also won the GMWA (Gospel Music Workshops of America) "Gospel Treasure Search" competition in 2005, one of my first significant national opportunities. In 2006, John P. Kee contacted me about putting me on his new artist showcase project. The Stella Awards also held a competition that I participated in. Therefore, I ascended through competitions.

My breakthrough opportunity came in 2014 when I competed in the "Sunday Best" gospel music competition on BET. My appearance on that show opened many doors for me. I started writing for other artists from there, and the rest is history. God has indeed been gracious and kind to me. That's how it all started for me.

In a secular Industry, as a recording artist, you must have a substantially inflated persona to sell your brand, keep your audience's attention, and sell records. Still, as a pastor and Christian, humility is what's required. As a Christian, pastor, and gospel recording artist, how do you balance all aspects of yourself? It starts with your base community which I like to call family. I believe every believer should have a church family as a support system because they don't care about your celebrity status, fame, or glory; they care about your soul.

Gina, my dad, went on to be with the Lord in 2010, but I learned so much from him while he was with us. We had many beautiful experiences. One of the things that stuck in my mind was when I first started traveling. I was in Chicago with the Hawkins family, Edwin, and Bishop Hawkins, at a music and arts seminar where I performed and ministered. I was so excited because many well-known and amazingly talented artists were there. So, I told my dad I met this and that person! He said to me, "Son, I'm glad to hear that, but are you living right?" (laughs)

In this industry, you need to have grounded people in your life who are not fazed by your gift or enamored by your celebrity status. What keeps my feet on solid ground is that I have people in my life, like the church community, that love me more than my giftings. I'm a pastor who has a pastor who checks on me, and that will say to me, "I know you're writing songs, but when was the last time you wrote a sermon?" (laughs)

Whether you're performing or ministering, it takes confidence. Performers should be confident and believe in the gift God gave them. As a pastor, it is wise to surround yourself with people who are genuinely supportive, unintimidated, and willing to keep you grounded and humble under circumstances of fame. I always remember that I'm here on assignment, and I can do this because God gave me this gift. Those are the things that keep me humble and focused.

William, what are you trying to convey through your message? Hope. Although life is beautiful, it can also be challenging; therefore, hope is necessary to make it through life. The message of hope is conveyed through many of my writings. I want people to understand that our life is a journey, and we don't have to figure everything out alone. The Lord will guide us as we go along the way because He's the God of our journey.

These are the two main things I enjoy writing about within my music. I also write about justice and equality. I've noticed within the last five years; it's been crazy. Just growing up as an African American man in our society can be difficult.

We must discuss and understand each other's experiences, but I know it is a process. So those are the primary things on my heart in this season. I feel as though it is a part of my assignment.

As a Christian and gospel recording artist, what are your views of Christians collaborating with secular artists deemed as controversial or practicing satanic rituals in public gatherings such as various award shows or their music videos? Off the top of my head, regarding collaboration, I don't have an issue with it. From my viewpoint, I do understand that many deem it controversial, but I don't share their perspective on the matter. From my understanding, Jesus went around and ministered to those who many would not have. Many thought Him unbecoming, but He did it because He knew His assignment.

When it comes to this conversation, it's a layered one because many would say don't do it. But, when you're an artist and have given your life to music, people see value in what you do and want to utilize what you have created. Because the original creation was surrendered to God, they're responsible for what they do afterward. Regardless, the kingdom's influence and stamp are still woven within the fiber of that creative work. Various controversies have arisen in collaborative projects involving artists from both secular and gospel traditions. This has led to a dialogue between the two, causing people to talk about the church and Jesus. Furthermore, I believe the conversation will continue to grow as we see the results of the influence. So, those are my thoughts regarding the matter.

Thank you, William, for sharing your thoughts regarding the matter. Regarding collaborative projects, who have you worked with during your professional career? Wow! On my latest single, one of my was answered that I could work with Eric Dawkins, one of the "Dawkins & Dawkins members." I was excited to work with him because I grew up listening to them. In my opinion, they are a gospel dynasty.

Eric has become a friend who pours into and encourages me, so that's been a dream come true. I would love to work with "Mary Mary." I truly admire them. I love the work that Erica is doing. These artists' music was the soundtrack of my teens and early adult years. Also, I would love to work with Johnathan Butler. He's one of my favorite singers.

My heart has always been to reach beyond the four walls of the church, and I feel like he's a great example of that in that he sings wholesome songs that honor God. Marvin Winans is another artist I would love to work with. He's an O.G! (laughs) I love his music!

Awesome! Your song "Alright" is fantastic! Tell me about that project and the message that you're conveying behind it. Who wrote and produced it? Thank you. Yes, Eric and I wrote "Alright" together. Javon Dawkin produced the song. He has so many credits to his name. His catalog includes Bruno Mars, Snoop Dog, and many other artists, gospel and secular. So, it was an honor to work with both Javon & Eric.

During the middle of the pandemic, we sat down and listened to some music, and we both agreed on this upbeat song. Then we contemplated the message and landed on, "Alright."

The song "Alright" does not mean that things will be perfect, but it means that God has gone before you and what is on your path, He's preparing you. Whether you feel prepared or not, He's gone before you, and it will be alright. You're graced for the journey. And so, it's a celebration song that says, "even though I'm going through, and things are happening all around me, I feel something. I feel the power of the Holy Spirit. In the song, we say, "something in the air," but it is just a play on words.

Then it says, "can you feel it? It's spreading and taking over me; it's the Holy Spirit taking over me, letting me know that God is with me, letting me know that God is for me and that it will be alright."

Where can this song be purchased? The song is available and can be purchased through all digital outlets.

Awesome! William, can fans pick up a bootleg copy in the hair salons? (laughs) You can go on Amazon, Google Play, and anywhere digital to purchase my song, and I would be grateful for your support.

Even if you're getting a Jheri curl in the salon? Come on! I hope you're not getting a Jheri curl, but if you are, listen to my song while you are getting rolled! (laughs)

What's the scoop for this year, 2023? We're working on a new single, and it will be “fire!” I'm recording in Los Angeles and working with some fantastic artists. I can't disclose who I'm working with, but some outstanding features are in the next record.

How can people find out more about you? They can visit my social media pages and my website, They can also follow me, book me and keep up with my tour schedule.

Awesome! William, it was such an honor to speak with you today. You’re a beautiful spirit and a super-talented individual. I pray that God will keep you and that He will bless the works of your hands, be it done according to His will for your life. Lastly, I am extremely proud of all your accomplishments. Wow! Thank you so much for creating this platform to help share what God is doing in my ministry and life. Thank you so much.

It's an honor. You're amazing! God bless you, and have a wonderful day today! Thank you. You as well.

Bye. Bye.

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