Grammy-winning gospel innovator Kirk Franklin is a busy guy: Among his many resume points is musician, choir director (he’s led a handful of chart-topping gospel choirs such as God’s Property, The Family, and One Nation Crew), and author. And if you’re a SiriusXM listener, then you might also be aware that Franklin has added radio boss to his impressive resume with the uplifting gospel station, Kirk Franklin’s Praise (Ch. 64).
We recently sat down with Franklin to talk about everything from what he hopes to achieve with Kirk Franklin’s Praise to uplifting messages he’d like to share with his audience. (Here’s a well-worded preview: “We want people to experience the joy in laughter, the intrigue in fully developed programming, and a professional approach to the arts that doesn’t compromise our desire for great content or our love for music.” What a guy.)
Q: Say you meet someone on cross-country flight – how would you describe your SiriusXM Channel?
Our goal with Kirk Franklin’s Praise is to reflect the very best songs and talent in gospel music over the past 30 years. While we try to focus on the most key artists and biggest hits in contemporary gospel, we also give a nod to the past by featuring artists and songs at the roots of today’s gospel sound with segments throughout the day we call Kirk’s Classics.
What do you think makes Praise unlike anything people can hear anywhere else?
I wanted the channel to shine a light not just on the music that we love, but also to include aspects of the Kingdom lifestyle that we don’t always have a chance to celebrate. With our regular Comedy Breaks and the tone and topics featured on my monthly show, The Kirk Franklin Show, we try to emphasize that it is important to laugh and have joy while still living the Kingdom life.
Can you describe the kind of music and style of gospel you’ve created?
I think it’s fair to say that I am often most closely associated with cutting-edge, urban gospel. Songs I’ve written and produced, like Stomp and I Smile, definitely have a mainstream urban appeal that I love, but I am also a big fan of just great gospel music that is unapologetically rooted in the church. Songs like Why We Sing and Take Me To The King show that side of me, which I truly love. Kirk Franklin’s Praise brings together all of that in one music channel.
Do you have an uplifting message you’d like to share with your audience?
The message I want to leave with our audience is that we are never called to sacrifice our desire for high-quality entertainment at the cost of feeding our souls. We want people to experience the joy in laughter, the intrigue in fully developed programming, and a professional approach to the arts that doesn’t compromise our desire for great content or our love for music.