She made her debut in 1997 as one-third of the top-selling gospel trio Trin-I-Tee 5:7.
Now, Chanel Haynes-Schwartz is making her own mark with the debut of her solo CD, “Trin-i-tee 5:7: According to Chanel.”
Despite having shared the spotlight with group members Angel Taylor, Terri Brown Britton and lastly Adrian Anderson—who replaced Britton in 1999, Chanel told AlwaysAList.com that transitioning into the solo realm has been fairly easy.
“The adjustment to becoming a solo artist hasn’t been that much of a challenge,” she revealed. “It’s being a CEO and an artist that has been the greatest challenge. Managing my entire career—and not just on the stage but off the stage as well—and making sure my voice and my brand is in sync. I think being an entrepreneur and a record label executive has probably been my biggest challenge cause it’s not something that I ever dreamed that I would be doing.”
Maroon 5 member and award-winning songwriter PJ Morton penned one of Trin-I-Tee 5:7’s biggest hits, ‘Over & Over.’ On her debut solo offering, Chanel reunited with Morton on the track ‘Repay.’
“There are three reasons why I believe there’s a crazy, maddening chemistry between myself and PJ Morton. One, we have history. We’ve known each other since we were kids. We grew up in the church together in New Orleans. This relationship is really something you can’t create. It has to exist, it has to be there and it’s something that only history could do. Secondly, his worldwide appreciation for music. He doesn’t just have an appreciation for one genre or one type of artist. He loves great music and it’s reflected in his work. Thirdly, his intimate approach to music. He’s so honest! You don’t have to wonder what his song is about because you know from the first line that this is from the heart. I think that kind of determination with who I am as an artist is just pretty remarkable and I feel humbled to have been able to with not just a great artist but my own friend,” she explained.
“My dream collaboration would be with the one and only Tina Turner. I can give you a million reasons why but I’ll tell you one. I admire a woman who perseveres through any and all kinds of abuse, all kinds of people telling her that she couldn’t make it, all kinds of thoughts entering into her mind where she may have doubted herself. But some kind of way Tina rose to the top. This brilliant, amazing soul that sings like no one’s voice that I’ve ever heard. I’ve never heard of voice like Tina Turner and if I could share the stage with her, you know what, when I share the stage with Tina it’ll be my dream come true,” she offered.
During the peek of her career with Trin-I-Tee 5:7, Chanel and her group members faced tremendous backlash for their sexy wardrobe and mainstream music choices. Though the industry has evolved tremendously since then, this New Orleans-bred vocalist feels there’s still some growth that needs to take place.
“I would like to see the gospel community embrace the creative minds of artists that happen to be gospel artists. We don’t all look the same, we don’t all sing the same way and we don’t all dress the same way,” Chanel expressed. “I think it’s important to first remember that Jesus was the first change there was in his society and his time. So here we are 2014 representing Jesus Christ in the most authentic way that we can. I say don’t fear what you don’t understand. There’s no need to fear it. Try to understand it and try to embrace it, especially if the change has brought beauty and a bigger and better insight of who God is. That’s something I’d like to see changed is that people becoming more open minded to ideas as an artist.”
Chanel’s debut, “Trin-i-tee 5:7: According to Chanel” is available now via Obsidian Records/Central South Distribution.