Style + Life + Fashion had the opportunity to interview Shirley Murdock, R&B singer-songwriter and superstar. She can also be seen performing during the upcoming event, “Ain’t No Love Like A Mother’s Love” on April 9, 2016 at the Murphy Fine Arts Center.
Who are your inspirations? (as in other artists)
My inspiration comes from artists who sing from a deep place, able to not only tap into their emotions, but make you experience the story and make you feel something thru the songs they sing: Aretha, Gladys, Stevie, Patti, Luther, Michael Jackson, Shirley Caesar, The Clark Sisters.
How did you get started as an artist?
I was discovered by the late Roger Troutman, front man for the funk band Zapp. He heard me singing “Jesus Is Love” for a gospel crusade, on a cassette tape that my cousin Jill beg my mom for a copy to let him hear.
Like the many previous offers that I received to do R&B, I said thank you, but no thank you, because after giving my life to the Lord at 15 years old, I believed I was only suppose to sing Gospel. Roger informed me that he didn’t have any connection there, but left the door open, should I ever want to give it a try.
I basically left there asking God why are the only doors opening are R&B and not Gospel? After praying, soul searching, talking to my family, pastor and remembering that my relationship and witness was constant, regardless of the jobs I’ve held. We take our faith and light everywhere God plants us.
So, I walked by faith thru the open door and it’s been and continues to be an amazing journey!
Who are your favorite singers?
As mentioned before, Aretha, Gladys, Stevie, Patti, Luther, Michael Jackson, Shirley Caesar and The Clark Sisters are my biggest inspirations, but I have to say, I love me some Whitney Houston, Vesta and Teena Marie, Natalie Cole (Gone Too Soon) and Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Lalah Hathaway, Kelly Price and Mary J. Blige!
What do you think about when your preforming?
When I’m performing, I think about how incredibly blessed I am to be living my dream and how these wonderful people have played such an incredible role in making that happen. It’s very humbling, because there are so many artists out there to choose from. I’m grateful, because it doesn’t have to be me!!!
This make me want to give my audience my all. I’ve been given so much, now it’s my turn!
What else can we expect from you in the future?
These 30 plus years in the business has allowed me to hone my skills as a singer, writer, arranger, actor and speaker. My desire is to continue to use my gifts to bring joy and inspiration to the world. I have books to write and Master Classes to do, to share knowledge and experience with the next generation.
I think we should die empty!!
I’m currently working on a “Life Song” project that has a nice balance and blend of inspirational songs with songs about life and love!