You took a 13-year hiatus from recording. What have you been up to?
“I took a sabbatical and I’m returning to the scene in the fashion that I am normally accustomed to with a “Broken” record. This is the third installment of the “Broken” trilogy and we’re excited about it. The single, “Sing Unto the Lord” is from the EP. We’re excited just to be back! For the last 13 years, I’ve been accumulating many experiences and I do not say that loosely. I’ve had Job-like experiences. I’m not Job, but I had Job-like experiences. I lost both parents; went through a divorce;it split my ministry; lost a lot of tangible assets. The Lord spoke to me: ‘This has nothing to do with you, this is what I’m allowing to bring forth something out of you.’ It’s the crushing of the olives. It’s sort of what brings forth the oil from you and the Lord walked me through somethings that really have motivated another level of anointing, another level of revelation and illumination that comes forth in my music. While I accurately wrote about “Broken” prior while I accurately wrote about “Be Encouraged,” it was inadequate as it relates to all of the things that I’ve endured and walked through over the last 13 years. There’s another level of power behind my music. It’s another level of power behind what I preach now.”
Were you at all surprised to hear how hungry people were to hear from you again?
“Absolutely! I’m still blown away by that because I relocated to Charlotte and Charlotte is a wonderful community, but it’s very different than Washington D.C. So, I stay in my little part of Charlotte. I have not been back on the national scene in that regard. I’ve done radio for many, many years with Rejoice Musical Soul Food and I just kind of sort of disappeared off the face. Sometimes I meet artists, some of them are millennials; some of the new generation of gospel artists and when they come to town, folks will introduce me. I’ll them that I love your music and they’ll look at me and say William Becton, who is he? It’s been very humbling and now that I’m returning to the scene I see some of the wonderful responses on Facebook and social media. It is just warming my heart that people have not forgot about me and still will endorse my ministry and make me one of the voices that brings healing to our nation.”
Becton is no stranger to folks in the DMV (DC, MD, VA). He was born in D.C. and has fond memories of that time as evidenced by the go-go flavor of “Sanctuary.”
“I rehearsed at a facility right before Chuck Brown (The Godfather of Go-Go). Chuck and I used to rehearse on the same night and I would finish up and he would come in right after. A lot of my band’s live set included elements of go-go. That music is inherent to the D.C. area that’s what I grew up on. That sound is still in my music so we wanted to let the rest of the world know that this song is inherent to the DMV area and we’ve got our staple name to fame.”
The melodies and harmonies of the powerful “I Yield,” gained 7K YouTube hits overnight. Becton shared the story behind the song.
“I was worshipping the Lord early one morning some years ago and while playing the keyboard I realized that there is a geographical location in God, spiritually, where you arrive when you realize that in and of yourself your own power you cannot achieve; you cannot progress beyond this point until you yield. Then I began to study how God took every great, mighty man or woman of God through a period that taught them how to yield. I wanted to release that song originally as the first single and my radio rep said no, let’s give the radio something fast. I yielded to what she said and in doing so, the Lord has positioned me to be to come forth with that single at this particular time when that song is bringing healing to our country. I live in Charlotte, I work out and live in the university area about a quarter of a mile away from the tragic event of last week (the shooting death of Terence Crutcher). As I was going to the gym in noticed that there was a traffic jam. I didn’t know everything that was going on at the time only to find out afterwards what had occurred. Looking at the riots and the aggressive behavior, understanding what motivated it; I clearly understand what motivated that and am very sensitive to that. But as a believer, as people of God we know that the only way we really invoke change is by humbling ourselves, crying out to God, turning from our wicked ways and allowing God to hear from heaven and heal our land. So the Lord said now is the time for this song. As we put the video together, it’s just an enormous response to the video, an enormous respond to it at radio. God knows how to put you in the right place at the right time.”
In addition to his many talents, Becton is very experienced in radio. He graced the airwaves with his demanding, yet calming voice on the “William Becton Gospel Show” at WPGC and moved on to ABC’s, “Rejoice Musical Soul Food.” He is currently heard on “Charlotte Praise 100.9.” How does he use that platform to reach listeners?
“In the EP I wanted to showcase that I am a pastor first, I’m a gospel recording artist, a voice that encourages God’s people to move into revelation. I’m also a radio personality and sometimes when I have my radio cape on and have my radio voice on, I am able to tag songs of some of my other gospel constituents in such a way that it can move people, it can lift people, bring people up. You can say some things, in certain ways, in the inflection of your voice that will really encourage people and then you incorporate the revelation of the word of God in a very quick fashion. That makes for a powerful on-air presence.”
Today, September 30 marks the release of the EP. How does Becton feel about that?
“I still feel righteously nervous as though it’s the very first time. When I hear my music on the radio now I still feel that same feeling I did when I first heard “Be Encouraged” for the very first time. I get that same feeling when I listen to “I Yield” and “Sing Unto the Lord” on the radio now. Being away and having had a 13-year sabbatical as I had and to be able to come back and do what you love to do; it’s humbling and it’s a grateful thing as well. It’s so humbling to be able to return to do what you love to do.”
Born and raised in the DMV, it’s natural that many want to know if William Becton will make D.C. a concert stop? There’s good news about that.
“I’m looking forward to coming back to the DMV to tour and do things and to preach the gospel. D.C. will always be home to me. My family, my sister is still there and as a matter of fact we are gathering for rehearsal now and I am going to tell them that D.C. is looking for us! I know that’s going to excite them. There is no place like D.C.. It’s just a fertile ground for gospel music. It produces a unique sound of gospel music and there are so many awesome artists and talent there. But it also attracts that from other cities as well.”
Is there anything else you would like to share with readers?
“I definitely want them to log on to williambecton.org. We put a lot of sermons and tools that will enable pastors to build the ministry. They can also download a free single. We are working to bring tools that will help build the kingdom of God.”
William Becton’s “Sing Unto the Lord” is available on all digital outlets.