Now we are going to see part two of the awesome interview with Earnest Pugh!!
Li’el: Describe your journey looking back at your first solo CD in 2006, to where God has brought you to now?
Earnest Pugh: The process was no joke. I was rejected by all the major companies. I invested in a demo tape with 4 songs, photo shoot, etc. And approached about 4 companies. All of them basically said “you can sing but we’re just not looking to sign anyone right now. The competition is stiff out there right now.” I have to admit it was a bit discouraging but I kept reminding myself of what my great grand mother told me about God’s greatness being inside of me. One day I called my mom and she would always ask me how my label search was going. I shared with her “I don’t think I have what they’re looking for. No one will sign me.” There was about 30 seconds of silence and then she uttered 2 words that changed my life. “Sign yourself!” I pondered her counsel for a few days and then approached my best friend, Keith Williams, who now co-owns the label with me. I said to him “What do you think about me starting a label?” He said “Well, Doc you have what it takes. Do it!” I took it to the next level and asked “Will you help me?” he was like …”Um…sure…” We immediately gathered musicians, writers, and set a date for the first live recording “A Worshipper’s Perspective” from that recording we landed a joint-venture deal with Brian Spears over at Chrystal Rose. The next time around we teamed up with Kerry Douglas for a joint venture deal with the “Rain on Us” CD and proceeded to do one more CD with Blacksmoke, entitled “Earnestly Yours”. So here we are.
Li’el: How did it feel to be invited to be a guest performer at “Sing Over Cancer 2012”? Do you have any personal experience with cancer and a loved one?
Pugh: It’s a horrible disease that has affected numerous family members and friends. I lost my sister 2 weeks after Thanksgiving two years ago. She found out the top of November and was gone 4 weeks later. My father also had cancer so the benefit programs surrounding this are near and dear to my heart.
Li’el: Who are your personal and gospel heroes?
Pugh: My heroes: Vanessa bell Armstrong, Darryl Coli and John P. Kee.
L’el: What was the inspiration behind your number one hit single “Rain on Us”? Behind “I Need You Now”?
Pugh: Believe it or not “Rain on Us” was not my initial decision as the lead out single. We were looking at an upbeat tune entitled “Bless His Name” but then the Lord started dealing with me about the economic downturn and the fact that we were in a recession. He said “Pugh tell my people that in the midst of their current reality (the drought) if they would simply ask for the rain I will do exceedingly, abundantly, above all they can ask or think….tell them to ask for the rain!” That song resonated in the heart and minds of god’s people because it was a personal message that I was trusted to convey on his behalf. When you can be trusted to relay a message God will always open doors and make ways so ultimately the song soared to the top of the billboard charts to god’s glory.
“I Need Your Glory” which was originally written by James Fortune, has always been one of my favorite songs. When my season for recording came around again God was dealing with me about a certain lyric in the songs “Less of me and more of you…the book of James says “We must decrease and allow God to increase”. It’s at that time that people can see and sense God’s presence, power, and glory. I never want to stand in the way of people having an experience with God. I vow to never allow talent, gifts, or possessions to be a distraction. My theme for that whole month was “less of me…more of you.” So I approached Fortune about putting a spin on the song and he agreed. It’s my honor to take that message all over the world.
Li’el: What does a good worship song comprise of in your opinion?
Pugh: There are two words to stand out in the word worship: worth and Him. We should emphasize the worth of god and make it all about Him-not us. The song has to speak the sentiments of God’s heart to His people. I believe it should cause the people to draw nigh unto God so He can draw nigh to them.
Li’el: What advice do you have to up-and-coming artists and songwriters in the industry?
Pugh: God has uniquely designed each of us with various talents and gifts. It’s imperative for you to be true to whom you are and what God has called you to do. No one can beat you being you. Also invest in your total package.
Li’el: If you could leave the audience that reads this article with one thing, and they take nothing else away from this article, what would it be?
Draw night unto God (in your worship) on a daily basis so that He will, in turn, draw night unto you. When He comes near He brings direction, instruction, and protection. That’s a complete package and will meet and fulfill every need in your life.
Thank-you to Earnest Pugh for raining down all these nuggets of wisdom! We invite you and look forward here to reading your comments on what you thought of this fantastic interview!
- An Interview with Earnest Pugh (Part One) (lielsbeat.wordpress.com)
- 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)
- Experience Christmas With Earnest Pugh & Friends! [EXCLUSIVE] (praisecharlotte.com)