something specific happen to bring about your newfound balance? In
other words, was there a catalyst for this change in your life and your
outlook, or has it just come as a result of surviving the journey?

that’s a really good question. First of all, I think that there was a
bounce-back effect that happened with me internally after doing a year
of press for The Gospel According to Levi. Laying my story out
over and over and over -- and having a passion about pushing diversity and
seeing the commonalities between all of us -- the bounce-back effect of
all of that was that I didn’t realize that for years I needed to get
that off my chest. I really did need to surrender myself to a very
specific message like that album. [On The Gospel According to Levi] I
said my peace…and that message was out there. With Where I Belong… it
was an expression of a weight that had been lifted off my shoulders.

answer to that question is that I have, after becoming more regular in
my church in Los Angeles, begun to put a lot of emphasis on
forgiveness. I actually put a journal together where I [acknowledge]
that we all do what we know based on our limited knowledge and
experience -- that no one has per se done this to me -- that we are all a
complicated mess and [that] our history makes us all who we are [in a
given] moment.

Therefore I can visualize that person in my
past and say, "I realize that you do what you do based on your limited
knowledge and experience, that it’s not about me and I understand that
we are on a journey and I choose to see the God expressing himself
through you, [so] I choose to forgive and let go."

I filled
that journal up with probably 200–300 pages because when you really
start to do that homework, you begin to realize all these little things
that have been picking at the back of your brain that you probably
haven’t even thought of before. It is the most releasing experience. So
I think that probably correlated with the experience of The Gospel
According to Levi
to maximize this whole freedom that I felt by the end
of that campaign.

You know, Levi, I hear a joy in your voice now that wasn’t there when we last spoke and it really shines through in the music.
[Laughs] Absolutely…absolutely. That’s good. I feel it.

know, whereas I might have felt before that the purpose of my voice was
to confront, now I feel that there is a broader, more all encompassing
purpose that I have adopted for my voice. Acceptance is a huge part of
why my voice…does sound different. It feels different for me completely.

Tags: Music