TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF (An interview with Clif and Marie Reid)
MARIE: I became a Christian at 12 years old I loved singing so I decided to join some church choirs. I worked with Apostolic Power Unlimited Choir, Bibleway Mass Choir and UK Fellowship Choir which travelled internationally. I then became part of a group called Redeemed that sang as support acts for Kirk Franklin, Hezekiah Walker and Fred Hammond. Fast forward some years and Clifton and I got married had three children and we decided it was time to launch our single and album.
CLIFTON: Growing up I played the keyboard at different Church Organisations such as Pentecostal Assemblies of the World and then APU. Marie and I moved in similar church circles so I played keyboard for Redeemed. Since Redeemed I’ve worked with other musicians on different projects, but I think the time is right us to release our own material. It’s about balance making sure our family came first before we stepped out into more demanding ministry.
TELL ME ABOUT THE MUSIC PROJECT YOU ARE CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
CLIFTON: We are working on our single which is entitled -This is my story, I will sing which will be out end of April 2011 and we are also working on material for our album which we’re aiming to be released in September.
WHAT INSPIRED THE NAME OF YOUR SINGLE?
MARIE: It’s a line from an old hymn that just captures the role of us as worshippers, this is what we do worship and sing about Jesus.
WHO WROTE THE SONG(S)?
CLIFTON: Clifton, Marie and Lurine Cato
WHAT CAN PEOPLE EXPECT FROM THE ALBUM?
MARIE: It’s a mix of different genres; we love all styles of gospel music so this album reflects that and our characters. Some tracks have a contemporary sound for instance we wrote an upbeat track called Superman but then we have a song called Amazing which reflects the heart of a worshipper.
CLIFTON: Fun, creative and worship
WHERE DID YOUR LOVE OF MUSIC COME FROM?
MARIE: For me I’ve always loved music, I’ve always wanted to sing it’s been a love of mine forever, ever since I can recall.
CLIFTON: I grew up in a musical family, and attended a small church where everyone sang or played an instrument. I started off on the drums but started to teach myself the piano. Growing up I heard gospel music all around me so it became a part of me and what I did.
WHO INSPIRED YOU?
MARIE: Yolanda Adams, the Clarke Sisters, Sandra and Andrea Crouch and Mahalia Jackson
CLIFTON: Thomas Whitfield, Commissioned, Winans, and Fred Hammond
WHO ENCOURAGED YOU IN PURSUING YOUR DREAM?
CLIFTON: From a young age my mum made me go to piano lessons…no forced me which I hated, but she saw the ability and love for music in me, and then of course friends and other family members too. Nathan Simmons was a real support and encouragement with my talent.
MARIE: Friends and family.
DO YOU HAVE A WEBSITE?
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE MUSIC MEMORIES?
CLIFTON: Singing with Donnie McClurkin at the 02 Arena which was a dream come true.
MARIE: Yeah I had to almost push him up there to go and sing (both laugh)
We also got to sing in Poland and Hungary with Polish pop stars and run music workshops in Poland that was really good fun; and teach songs to a seven hundred member choir.
DO YOU GET NERVOUS BEFORE A PERFOMANCE?
CLIFTON: Always, I’m a nervous wreck ask Marie (laughter)
MARIE: Cliff is worse than me but I’m more nervous when I’m singing on my own, but having Cliff by my side it doesn’t feel as nerve wracking.
CLIFTON: Marie’s been singing longer than me I’ve always been behind the keyboard so she’s more used to it than I am.
HOW DO YOU HANDLE MISTAKES DURING PERFORMANCES?
CLIFTON: Learn to disguise your mistakes, Stay professional and keep going, even the big singers make mistakes but you just try to minimalise them. Do your best and keep going.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE YOUR MUSIC WITH OTHER COMMITMENTS
C/M: With great difficulty (laughter)
CLIFTON: Stay up late (chuckles) we wouldn’t be able to do it without friends and family, having a good support structure is so good.
MARIE: Yeah..sometimes we’re working in the studio till three in the morning…loving it…but then you have to get up in the morning get the kids ready for church and be ready to lead worship…it is tricky trying to get that balance right is hard work.
WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE TO SINGERS/MUSICIANS STARTING OUT?
MARIE: The best advice we received was be yourself and enjoy what you do. Take advice from people in the music field but make sure you don’t end up a carbon copy of other people’s opinions.
CLIFTON: Get your priorities right, put God first and be excellent in what you do. Favour happens when preparation meets opportunity so work hard develop your skills so when you time comes you’re ready.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF A YEAR FROM NOW AND THEN FIVE YEARS FROM NOW?
CLIFTON: A year from now our album launched, working on the second album, getting our name out there into circles we don’t know, being very busy and getting paid (laughing)
MARIE: Five years from now we want to be established as artists in the field of gospel, producing music and touring globally and full time ministers of music, which would be a dream come true.
Clifton and Marie run the Gospel Music Workshop Choir (GMWC) which meets every Monday at 7pm @ Parchmore Road Thornton Heath if you would like more information contact them on 07956158221 or 07956158137