Former Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams hasn’t been sitting around since the group’s been on hiatus. She’s starred in “Fela!” “Aida,” and “Chicago” on Broadway, has released three albums and competed in the English dance competition show “Strictly Come Dancing.” The Illinois native, who was plucked from singing backgrounds for Monica to join Destiny’s Child, is also an ambassador for the American Heart Association.
Williams has a new single out, “If We Had Your Eyes,” from the forthcoming CD “Journey To Freedom” out next year. The single and CD are a return to her gospel roots. Williams’ first solo release “Heart to Yours” was a gospel recording. A longtime member of the St. Paul Church of God in Christ in her hometown of Rockford, Illinois, Williams donated almost $150,000 to the church to complete construction of the church’s school.
“Some people will do gospel when their career fails, but I chose to do it at the height of the popularity of Destiny’s Child,” Williams told “Billboard” when the album was released. “And I didn’t want to do it because it was a fad. I wanted to do it because it’s in me. It’s in my heart.”
Williams demonstrated that on the Tom Joyner Morning Show. Her new single is right in the vein of where she feels most comfortable and that is singing gospel music. “I’ve been trying to call it urban inspirational and it is because of the topic and the sound and sonically where we are going with it, but the message is gospel, it is good news. This is what this is. This is where I thrive. This is where I feel free musically.”
Williams says the song, which encourages listeners to look deeper instead of judging people strictly on appearance has parallels to her own life. “I got tired of the judgment and I got tired of people having misconceptions about me so I know what its like,” she said. “This song was born out of a friend of mine walking down the street and a homeless person asked for money and that person actually spoke a word of encouragement to my friend’s life and his life was changed.”
Even when things look good on the outside, “If We Had Your Eyes” reveals that sometimes, that too, is an act. (Says everyone who has seen people displaying only the best parts of their life on Facebook.)
“You never know. The second verse, talks about a girl who looks like she has it all, she’s doing her thing but she goes home and she self-mutilates. Have someone every called you and they’ve said ‘How are you doing’ and you’ve said ‘My kids are on the honor roll and my husband just amazing to me’ but you’re hurting? Something is dying on the inside?”
Williams says the song has been a personal blessing to her.
“It helped me to not judge, to have more compassion with crazy family members. You never know what triggers people to say certain things. Maybe certain things are not going on in your life or career and someone can say something to you that makes you go off. You just never know what people are going through so just keep your mouth off people before you get to know their story. And even when you know their story, love them to life and shut up. I’ve got to sing the song every day so I have to live it.”