*For every person that walks the Earth life has its own unique set of trials, tribulations and nasty little surprises in store for them. The same can be said for those among us who society sees fit to place on diamond-encrusted pedestals.
Their happiness seems all but an afterthought as they appear to glide though life with little resistance in much the same manner as birds gliding through the air.
But this, as is the case with all things shiny, it’s a false representation to be sure. Such is the case with Juanita Bynum, prophetess, doctor, gospel singer and televangelist, among other titles. With monikers such as those happiness would be certain, right? No, the storm blows upon those that appear to be riding high as well, and when those pedestals topple it’s a long way to the ground.
EURweb.com was fortunate enough to speak with Bynum regarding her current and upcoming projects, how men perceive her and overcoming pain, among other things. In fact, this is what she had to say about how she sees herself overall, her most recent pains and how she is recovering:
“I see Juanita Bynum’s life as an adventure as well as a testimony and an example of strength to the everyday person,” she confided to EURweb’s Lee Bailey. “I see Juanita Bynum as an individual who doesn’t have a mask. I see Juanita Bynum as a person who is unafraid to live life out loud and, hopefully, some of the mistakes and experiences will become teachers for other people that are on looking. And that’s exactly what Juanita Bynum has become.
“I would say I’ve come through the transition already,” she continued. “I would say I’m on the heels of being able to become an example of strength, an example of ‘it doesn’t matter how far you go, and what happens to you, you always have the power to start again.’ I believe that’s what provoked the project the ‘Diary of Juanita Bynum’ and I believe that’s what provoked the earlier project ‘No More Sheath.’ I believe the greatest messages of our lives are those that we live and not those that we read about. And I believe, like ‘No More Sheath,’ the ‘Diary of Juanita Bynum’ is me, once again allowing people to see my life on a plate, and having nothing to hide, and my vulnerability to God.”
The first track from ‘Diary of Juanita Bynum’ is titled “Soul Cry” and Dr. Bynum tells EURweb.com that she feels it is divinely inspired and that’s why she feels it was the first single released from her new CD.
“Because it was written by God, through me, without pad, without pencil,” she said. “It was just me sitting in a room and I just laid my face down on the table and was filled with the greatest, agonizing pain that I felt any human could ever experience and I just started singing that song out. And all of the words began to modulate and come out of my soul.”
Though pain sometimes seems that it is for no reason, it can be turned into an inspiring good and as a human conduit to heal others in similar circumstances.
“I feel that I am in a condition now where, like Jesus said that he felt the infirmity of the people of God,” Bynum told EURweb.com. “And, I believe, through my experience I could actually say in writing in my diary and reveal it to the world, people can hear that I have felt exactly what they felt.”
As you may have ascertained by now, ‘Diary of Juanita Bynum is a gospel music project, but it is a gospel project unlike any we have ever heard of.
“It’s actually diary entries of spoken word, to the music. It’s actually a trilogy,” she said. “In the beginning the album cover shows me lying on the beachfront practically dead, exhausted to no end and can’t get up. That one (came) out June 22nd. The second album cover in the trilogy will come out Black Friday and it will have a different cover and I can’t give that away became it’s a secret,” she continued. “The third one comes out at the end of January and it’s actually our power cover. The album covers will tell the story and, as the album covers are presented, the entries and the spoken word and the music are going to actually tell people my journey. It’s me taking my diary. My actually living diary, and putting it as much as I can to music that I walked through, music that I wrote and music that I sang. Music that took me through during that process.”
One can only wonder how one with so many other titles could have time to do anything? To top it off, she doesn’t strike us a Red Bull sipping sister neither. It must be divine energy. To get this project done Bynum tells EURweb she had to break out the big guns.
“My manager and I had started a new label called Son Flower Records and we were getting ready to put the music out. When my manager heard my music and all that I wanted to do we had a sit down meeting and I had to kind of run through the music and tell her what my ideas were for this particular project. She said to me that it sounded like, for this project, we need a machine and I don’t want to chance the people that need to hear this project not being able to hear it because we don’t have a big enough machine to take this, as a message, all over the world,” she shared with us. “She said ‘I’m gonna call Mathew Knowles’ and I just chuckled and said ‘You got a lot of faith’ and she said all he can tell me is no. Later she came back and said ‘Mr. Knowles just set up a meeting for us for next Monday. He’s flying us in.’ When we got to the table I thought we were just going to sit down and express some ideas. We left a few hours later with a joint venture deal.”
(Editor’s Note: After the interview EURweb learned that Juanita Bynum is currently fighting a lawsuit brought by former Def Jam Vice President of A&R, J.E. Jones, who claims Bynum has stolen a song he’s written entitled, “Soul Cry (Oh, Oh, Oh).” Sound familiar? According to Jones and a signed contractual letter between himself and Bynum, she agreed to enter an executive production agreement with Jones. During this time Jones wrote and produced “Soul Cry (Oh, Oh, Oh)” to which he still has the masters and original recording of Bynum’s voice. According to Music World Gospel/Son Flower Records however, the EP Soul Cry and its lyrics are written by Bynum, with music by Bynum and producer Cory “C. James” Washington. The CD is executive produced by Mathew Knowles. Lawyers have been in contact with both Bynum and her new label, Music World Gospel/Son Flower Records. A cease and desist order has been drafted and is being filed with Bynum, her lawyers, and distributing outlets. Stay tuned for more on that one.)
The year 2007 was a tumultuous year for Ms. Bynum to be certain after suffering physical violence at the hands of her then husband Thomas Weeks III. The subsequent divorce was trying as well as both of their legal teams went “hard in the paint” to determine proper division of assets. When asked of her prior troubles Bynum had this to say.
“I believe that it would be virtually impossible to talk about my experiences because, by now, the whole world knows and it doesn’t bear needing to be repeated. If anybody wants to know the details that have happened in my life they can go to YouTube like everybody has. I am not out to repeat my experiences. I’m out to show how you can go from that experience to a life of power. Many people can tell you how to start, but very few people in life can tell you how to weather the storm with the kind of integrity that, by the time they get through the storm, they’re qualified on telling somebody how to get up. And I believe my project and my ministry and my message will start from that point. I believe that I’ve walked through the storm with the kind of power and integrity that I can tell somebody how to get up and I can tell them how to start again.”
For people with powerful religious beliefs it is very difficult to be attractive or, dare we say it, sexy and be taken serious. This goes more so for women than for men as some feel an attractive woman is, in fact, trying to attract. Here’s what she had to say when our Lee Bailey suggested that her new look, via photos by Derek Blanks, was sexy. Does it offend?
“I believe ‘sexy’ would offend, but I have to look at the fact that, out of all of this, I’ve walked through several phases of my life being very protective,” she explained. “Is somebody wanting to know is Juanita Bynum getting ready to strip her clothes off and all of that? No I’m not, but I believe that I’ve always been an attractive woman and I believe that I’ve worked so hard to downplay that because of (people’s) weaknesses and what other people may say who will one day look at me. Now, I’m no longer responsible for what goes on in another man’s heart. I am responsible to present myself decently and in order. And if the beauty is there, and if the attraction is there, then that’s something that I can’t erase. That’s who I am. I’m not going to play into that, but I’m no longer going to deny who God made me and how God made me. I’m not out to be a sex symbol and I don’t want to be a sexy symbol. I consider myself a very powerful woman of God and I think on the next cover people will see that.”
Very well then, powerful it is. But being sexy is a power unto itself, albeit an all too earthly power. The first installment of Juanita Bynum’s self-described music trilogy is in stores now. For the next installment you will have to wait until Black Friday in November for that one.