The awesome, talented, humble, gifted man of God Earnest Pugh who has been taking the gospel world by storm lately sat down to answer a few questions for me, and I am eternally grateful! Here is part one of the interview:
Li’el: You are now at the top of your game – You are now owner of record label EPM, you delivered to your fans a soulful gospel medley of two of my personal favorite gospel songs “Rain On Us” and “I Need Your Glory”, and recently won a BMI award for the #1 radio smashing song “Rain On Us” – How does it feel to reach this place in your career?
Earnest Pugh: It’s very surreal. I prayed for this day and to see the faithfulness of god is amazing.
Li’el: Speaking of your record label, how does it feel to be in the producer’s seat? Also, how did you meet Keith Williams, Kenosis and Vincent Tharpe?
Pugh: Producing is another monster. I am very particular about building the brand, the sound and total package & image of an artist so the process is very tedious because I am probably my worst critic. I met Vincent via Cogic Convocation years ago and we stayed in touch. I called on him to appear with me on a few events and TV taping and I was blown away by their level of ministry and professionalism. They are all set to release their first national CD. And I am very elated about what god is about to do in their lives and ministries. Keith Williams actually co-owns EPM music group along with me. We have worked together for over 12 years and he is my absolute best friend in the world. His talents are limitless-he has a classical piano degree from Howard University and has worked in church for over 20 years. If that’s not enough he is an incredible writer, composer and producer. So his project will encompass a great deal. Chrystal Rucker, our premier artist who debuted #10 on billboard in August of this year with her first national CD is probably one of my favorite singers in the world. I first heard her at the funeral service of my mentor – O’landa draper. From then on I was smitten by her and promised that if I ever acquire a deal I would contact her. Now look at god!
Li’el: Back to you – how did you create your amazing sound? What drove you to pursue music, and who was the first person to recognize your talent?
Pugh: I love worship. I was raised Cogic, then via the military I landed at a non-denominational church in Texas for about 12 years. That is when I first experienced praise and worship. I changed my life, perspective and outlook on corporate worship so I made a vow to god that I would always use my gifts to create an atmosphere that’s conducive for god to dwell in and meet the needs of his people. I refuse to entertain the people of god. They can go to movies, etc. For that. I was always told by my parents that god would use me all throughout the world to tell of his goodness. I was clueless about where I was going. As a matter of fact initially I ran from my calling. God took me full circle with 15-years in the military and stage plays, working for two churches and all of that to get where I am now. As the old people would say “I would take nothing for my journey.” The first person who really spoke into me was O’landa draper. I was in my teens when he approached me about singing with his group entitled “the associated.” my mother was opposed because she wanted me to focus on homework and playing basketball. I kicked and screamed and finally she allowed me to attend a few rehearsals. However, my tenure with the choir was short-lived as I departed Memphis for the US army in 1986 shortly after graduation from high school.
TUNE IN A FEW FOR THE REST OF THE INTERVIEW!
- Gospel’s Leading Man – Earnest Pugh Taking An All-Star Christmas Show on the Road (praiserichmond.com)
- Earnest Pugh’s Christmas Project Debuts On Billboard Music Charts (neechy.wordpress.com)
- Best Gospel Male Artist Of 2012 (praisedc.com)