Preashea Hilliard Talks Releasing Her Second Album After Six-Year Hiatus
It’s been almost six years since we’ve heard from powerhouse worship leader Preashea Hilliard. In 2011, she released her debut album, Live Out Loud, breaking out at number four on Billboard’s Gospel Albums chart. The album did so well that she gained worldwide recognition, uplifting the spirits of many through her contemporary way of delivering the word of God through musical praise.
Hilliard has now returned with an all-new album, titled, The Glory Experience. The live recorded album features a total of sixteen tracks, offering over an hour of divine worship. With tracks like “Heaven On Earth”, “You Amaze Me”, “Forever”, and her celebrated single, “No God Like Our God”, Hilliard takes The Glory Experience to another level, bringing listeners on an unforgettable spiritual journey. Having grown mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, from her own experiences, the Gospel vocalist has aimed to make The Glory Experience a bridge builder, setting out to connect listeners with the opportunity to feel the everlasting power of God. An astounding sound and a powerful message, Hilliard has definitely conquered and fulfilled what she’s set out to do.
Born and raised in none other than Houston, Texas, Preashea Hilliard is the daughter of New Light Christian Center Church Bishop I.V. Hilliard and First Lady Bridget Hilliard. Through a strong family and faith-based foundation, Hilliard, herself, built a relationship with God early on in life and aspires to be the bridgeway for others to build theirs as well. The Houston-bred leader hopes that supporters will find her music to be motivational, inspirational, and inspiring.
Striving to reach people of all ethnicities and generations, Preashea Hilliard continues to powerfully change the face of new-age Gospel music ministry, authentically impacting lives, one spirit at a time.
The Glory Experience released on April 21st and is already doing extremely well.
We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Preashea Hilliard. See our interview with her here…
Parlé Mag: The Glory Experience dropped on April 21st. Tell us about your initial vision for this album.
Preashea Hilliard: It’s been about six years since I’ve done an album. About five years between recording one live recording and another. I really just wanted to create an atmosphere at The Glory Experience recording and really capture the moment, and capture what God was doing in that atmosphere. So, the motivation behind it was really more so to create an atmosphere of worship, that night, that we didn’t happen to capture on TV. I really wanted that worship experience to be authentic. I believe that’s what we were able to do, by the grace of God. I’m super excited that Glory is here and I can’t wait for people to put their ears on it.
Parlé Mag: As you said, it’s been about six years since you put out the Live Out Loud album. I’m sure that many of your fans would like to know, why the long wait to put out another album?
Preashea Hilliard: Well, I’m the type of person who I didn’t want to put out an album just because it’s that time or ‘You’re supposed to do it in one or two years’. I wanted it to be known that the anointing of God was present on the project. I say to my fans and supporters who have been waiting this long, I hope it’s worth the wait; I pray it’s worth the wait. I believe God has done some great things, just personally, within me, since we recorded the first record, that is evident in the authority and spiritual impact that I believe. I’m in a better position now, kind of having matured over these six years. It doesn’t feel like that long, but it has been that long. So, I think you can hear the growth; I definitely feel the growth. I can guarantee them this, they won’t have to wait another six years! [laughs]
Parlé Mag: [laughs] Let’s talk about the first single, “No God Like Our God”. What stood out to you about that song, leading you to pick it as the single?
Preashea Hilliard: Actually, I was in between two. There’s this song on the record that’s called “I Believe”, then there’s this song, “No God Like Our God”. I prayed to God and then tried to figure out, ‘Okay, which song should be released first?’ At the end of the day, both songs are great songs because they’re declarative of the word of God. The bible says, ‘The same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead now lives in us.’ So, if that power lives in us, how do we activate it? We activate it with the words of our mouth. In writing both of the songs that I was kind of toggling between for the single, I wanted to make sure that they were full of the word of God so that people would actually see something as a result of them singing something. So, “No God Like Our God”, a scripture came to us—I do a prayer every fourth Tuesday at five a.m., and it says, ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard of a God like his who works for those who will wait for Him.’ That word ‘wait’ is indicative of our worship. Worship is not a reminder to God of who He is; worship is our reminder of who we serve. It changes our perspective. When you are in your season of impossibility, your first thought should be that ‘there is no God like my God.’, because, at the end of the day, there is no healer like the healing that He does. There is no deliverance like the delivering that He does; there is no joy like the joy that He provides. There is no God like my God. No matter what I’m facing, if I can get people to have that same turning over in them, it creates an authority and a boldness where I believe they’ll start to see miracles.
Parlé Mag: You actually worked with Tasha Cobbs for this project. She wrote a couple of the songs on the album. So, how was it working with her, creatively, to help bring The Glory Experience into fruition?
Preashea Hilliard: She was in town and I think she was doing a show, somewhere in town, in Houston. She came over to my house; actually, she and her now husband came over to my house. We had dinner, just to fellowship, sitting down laughing and joking. She said, “I have a song for you, sis. You did the single with Pastor Donnie, “I Am Amazed”, a couple years back. I don’t know if you want to do another song that talks about amazing.” I said, ‘Absolutely!’ So, she sang it. I said, ‘What key is the song in?’ She was like, “Uhh, your key.” I said, ‘Okay! We gon’ do it. I don’t care what happens; we gotta figure out a way to put this on the record.’ One of the things that drew me to the song that she wrote was, she said, “Sis, I believe that this song is going to set up an atmosphere for miracles.” So, when she said that, I said, ‘Okay! This is God. I’m sold. It’s going on the record. Period. Point Blank.” We went in my studio in my house. Kenny was there; he played; he sang it. Literally, the next time she heard it was when she was at the recording.
Parlé Mag: This album was recorded live in your father’s church, New Light Christian Center. It seems that a lot of Gospel artists are leaning more towards doing live albums in this day and age. Why do you think that is?
Preashea Hilliard: Well, for me, it captures an authenticity about worship that it takes skills to accomplish in the studio. I won’t say it’s impossible, but it takes skill to accomplish a real, authentic atmosphere. People have done it. I think CeCe Winans is one of the best at it, in a sense of, she has studio albums, but when you play them, it’s such an authentic place of worship. For me, I’m a worship leader by trade; I don’t consider myself as a, “artist” or anything, you know, like that. So, for me, it was just like, ‘that’s the only way I’m ever going to record an album is if y’all capture it while I’m up there.’ [laughs] Studio singing Preashea? I don’t know how much I’m going to like that one because it takes skill to sing in the studio. Praise and worship are kind of taking over the Gospel music genre; it’s in our songs. You’ve got your traditional artists, too, with the quartet music, your ballads, your Tye Tribbetts, who give you your energy, powerfest songs. But, I think, at the end of the day, that praise and worship thing has kind of really crept into our industry and taken over a lot of our artistry if you will. I was listening to, the other day, Ron Kenoly, Keith Staten from the Worship In The House series, and all of that. Like, those are live projects, and, for me, it captured a space and a moment in worship and Gospel music that I don’t think you could recreate anywhere else.
Parlé Mag: You being the powerful voice and praise leader that you are, I can imagine that your ministry and music have inspired many people’s lives. How does that make you feel?
Preashea Hilliard: Just completely humbled. I tell my sisters and the people who work around me all the time, like, ‘I can’t believe that we’re here; I can’t believe that God is using us this way.’ I joke around with the praise team at my church like, ‘I can’t believe, this Sunday after Sunday, these people still going to hear me singing!’ So, I’m really just honored to be a part of what God is doing. I didn’t grow up with this picture in mind; I figured that I would probably preach one day, but the singing piece didn’t come until after I had come back from college and all of that. This is new and fresh to me, still. It’s just an exciting journey and I just pray that God continues to keep people around me who will keep me grounded, keep me humble, keep me focused on what I’m really doing here. I’m carrying the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and, at the end of the day, it’s not about us. It’s about His name being made famous. That’s really all I want to do. So, how I feel about it? I’m just honored that He continues to use me.
Parlé Mag: I find it interesting that you actually didn’t realize that you wanted to sing until after college! How did you get that revelation?
Preashea Hilliard: It’s a major milestone in my testimony. I went to Oral Roberts University. I had preached a sermon before; I preached my child sermon at sixteen. I went to Oral Roberts University about a year later. I knew God wanted to do something in my life, but I didn’t really know. So, I spent most the first three years of my college experience doing whatever I wanted to. Just like everybody else kind of does. That was my thing, just exploration and just doing what I wanted to do. I came to a point where I got frustrated with that, and I was in my dorm room and I went and got on my knees and I prayed. I said, ‘God, I’ma give you one more chance with this thing because I don’t feel like you have something special for me.’ My dad preaches, my sister is a pastor, my other sister is a pastor, my brother-in-law in a pastor, they all preach, but I don’t feel like there is anything special for me. That’s the prayer that I prayed, and as soon as I finished praying, I started singing “There Is None Like You”. I listened to myself, for the first time, sing and I said, ‘Whoa!’ The girl who was staying in the room next to me, at the time, came over the next day. She said, “I heard you singing last night; you sound great!” Of course, in retrospect and growing in the things of God, I see the scripture that God tells Jeremiah, ‘Call onto me and I will answer you and I will show you great and mighty things.’ To me, the gift of worship and the gift of music was my great and mighty things. I just called upon the Lord and he answered me. He showed me that there was something inside of me that I didn’t know was there.
Parlé Mag: Wow, that’s a beautiful testimony!
Preashea Hilliard: Girl, I’m just out here trying to make it!
Parlé Mag: You’re very big on working with the youth; you’re in charge of the youth ministry at your church. How has that been, being able to work with kids from all walks of life and help guide them on the right path?
Preashea Hilliard: I actually became a youth pastor in, I want to say, two thousand and eight. I was actively in that role for about five years. Up until, just recently, last year, I’ve been hosting a youth conference every summer. Because of what God has been doing in the worship ministry and to my personal ministry, we have two great guys on staff now who kind of do the day-to-day operation of the youth ministry. I’m still very much involved, very much present, asking a lot of questions. I want to make sure our next generation is touched. I said all of that to say, the youth is the next church. You walk into a church building right now, you’ve got your thirty-something, your forty-something, your fifty-something. But, those kids who are underneath the age of twenty, that’s the next church. That’s the next group of people who are going to carry the vision of the house. So, it’s a great responsibility to me because—I hate to sound cliche, but, the children are our future. [laughs] Let’s teach them well and let them lead the way!
Parlé Mag: (Laughs)
Preashea Hilliard: Nah, I’m just playing. But, at such a critical age in their lives, it’s something that I do not take lightly. It keeps me young; it keeps me fresh. I tell people all the time, it keeps me humbled because, ministering these teenagers, they aren’t going to care how many platinum albums you have, how many records you have sold. They don’t care about how many songs you have written; they don’t care about any of that. They care about what’s real and what’s authentic. So, it’s a constant challenge, but I believe that God is really using young people in a great way in this season. If you look at the world, you have people who are leading spaces in business, in different genres—in music, in entertainment, and they’re twenty-five, twenty-six years old. Maybe nineteen. I think somebody said something about Rihanna was the best-selling female artist of all time or something, and she’s like twenty-something years old! There are young people on the front line; I’ve got to believe that God has an answer, that God has a solution, that God has an authentic, real thing that He’s raising up. So, I believe that because we are seeing young people influence and turn our society in different ways, God wants to do that same thing with the Kingdom of God. He uses young people to really influence our culture, in a way that it hasn’t been before.
Parlé Mag: Yes, indeed! Well, to end things off, let the people know what’s next for you in the following months.
Preashea Hilliard: Glory is here! I’ma be all over the country making sure people get them some. That’s what I’ve been telling everybody, ‘Glory is coming, so get you some!’ I’ma be all over the country; you can check my website www.preashea.com to see where I’m going to be. I’m super excited about what God is doing. Every fourth Tuesday, at five a.m., we do a five a.m. prayer for about an hour. We stream it live, all over the nation. Well, actually, internationally. You can get it anywhere you have internet connection. The third week in July, we will be opening up a vision that has been in the heart of my man of God, Bishop Hilliard, for the past fifteen years. It’s called Love City USA, and Love City USA is a campground for urban youth. We’ll be able to house five hundred—two hundred and fifty girls, two hundred and fifty boys. Five hundred teenagers. Over the summer months, we will do two youth conferences. We have a youth conference called Spiritual Encounter where we had about five thousand kids come every year. Twice a week, we will do the Spiritual Encounter experience, with a three-night, four-day camp, for youth all over the world. That’s www.lovecityusa.com if people want more information about that. We’ll be doing a soft launch this summer. You know, we have the lake, the basketball court, the arcade, the worship centerall of this being built and being remodeled right now. So, we are super excited about how God is trying to take in the vision of Spiritual Encounter that I was able to carry for the past six years and try to re-morph it into this huge thing called Love City. It’s a sixty-four-acre campus and I believe it’s going to make great change and great impact. So, that’s what I’m doing!
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