We had the good fortune of connecting with Yvonne Matthews and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Yvonne, what’s the end goal, career-wise?
The end goal of my career is to have operated at a level of integrity, professionalism, and to have consistently produced high quality music to leave a legacy to those who are coming after me, encouraging them to operate with these qualities – not necessarily do the same thing that I have done. My career paths have been on several levels and spanned over many decades. However, where I am now as a Gospel recording artist, I want to end this career leaving music that has been released to the masses; music that encourages, comforts, ignites, and ultimately, glorifies God; oh, and allows me to leave my loved ones in a good financial position. We must take care of the resources that the Lord gives us to provide for our generations to come.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a singer, songwriter, musician, retired educator, and retired minister of music. I have traveled extensively throughout the United States and I have toured Europe sharing my musical gifts. My debut album GLAD has brought my gospel music career greater visibility and more performance opportunities.
The “Glad” music video garnered over 1 million views and my single “I Owe You Me” garnered over 603,000 views on my Facebook artist page, and on my Official Yvonne Matthews Music YouTube channel. With this exposure and success, I have continued moving higher by releasing a Christmas EP YVONNE’S CHRISTMAS
WISH FOR YOU; on September 30th of this year, a single: “Walk In the Light;” and on November 7th, a CD entitled CHURCH Girl that includes songs with that “churchy feel.”
My Christmas album feels like a newborn baby. “The excitement of preparing for its arrival and then the joy of putting my eyes on the completed project gave me renewed hope and a new resolve. As stats on the pandemic kept getting worse last year, I was inspired to record a project for the holidays. However, I didn’t want the project to be your typical recording of Christmas songs. I wanted it to be one that captures the attention of all ages and those who appreciate different styles of music.”
With the prolonging of the pandemic and with viewership and listeners increasing from over the world, I was inspired to complete the CHURCH GIRL project. These seven tracks will get you “moving” and will definitely stir your soul.
More than just releasing music for downloads and streams, and even hard copies, my heart’s desire has been to provide encouragement as often as possible. The Lord blessed me with the idea to sing from my front porch. The first time I did this was April 2020. My intent was to encourage my neighbors and some people who may be watching online. Before the presentation ended, over 5,000 people were watching, and before the end of the week, over 4,500 people had viewed it. Now, I do this almost every month. It’s called FRONT PORCH MINISTRY. Also, to help to combat the problem of loneliness and despair that are more prevalent now than ever, I sing “old school” gospel songs and hymns during my POP UP PRAISE WITH YVONNE MATTHEWS. I started this only a few months ago. I randomly come on early in the morning, midday, late afternoon, or very late at night.
Above anything else, I want the world to know that this Alabama girl of meager beginnings has been blessed by the Lord God. He has allowed me to be educated and classically trained. I have earned a Bachelor of Music degree and Master of Education degree in music, education, and administration.
He is my Source and has always provided me with resources: human, things, or opportunities. I do not take any of these for granted. The Lord planted me in a godly family and in great churches, and for this I am grateful.
As a “seasoned” saint, some may see this as a challenge. I see it as an opportunity to use all my years of experiences, knowledge and wisdom to know what to do and what not to do. I asked the Lord to put me before the people whom He chooses. He responded by closing doors that needed to be closed and opening the right ones for me. I allow the time that I have here on earth to be directed by Him.
What sets me apart from others is that I am uniquely me. I don’t copy others, although I study my craft and the business. I seek good and Godly counsel.
Ultimately, I’ve got to be the best me whom God created, always producing with excellence because I serve the excellent and exceptional God! This is really my goal. Borrowing this from Carlos Young, “Excellence is the standard. Exceptional is the goal.”
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend were to visit me, I would have a complete fun-filled itinerary. Eating, entertainment, and spiritual nurturing are always necessary elements in the Matthews household. The Gulf Coast and surrounding areas offer “eye-pleasing and palette pleasing” adventures. We would decide each day how we would spend our time, starting with individual and “prayer -partner” time.
Here we go:
SOCU (owned by a former student) – 455 Dauphin Street, Mobile, AL
Wintzells (Downtown) – 605 Dauphin Street, Mobile, AL
McMillians Barbeque – 3103 W Main Street, Whistler, AL
The Original Oyster House – 3733 Battleship Parkway, Spanish Fort, AL
From the Matthews Kitchen – breakfast each morning
Fairhope Pier – walk on the Pier, enjoy the beautiful scenery, picnic – Fairhope, AL
USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park (2 of my cousins were Tuskegee Airmen. They are on display- Leon & Cleon Roberts) – 2703 Battleship Parkway, Spanish Fort, AL
Reed Family Catfish Ponds – fishing and ATV riding on family land in McIntosh, AL
(document from President Grant of 80 acres but only 1 mule. I don’t know what happened to the 2nd mule-smile)
Visit 97-year old mother in her home and other family members as scheduled
Nazaree Full Gospel Church – attend Christian Education Class (8:30 AM) and Morning / Worship Experience (9:30 AM) – 1695 W I-65 Service RD N Mobile, AL 36618
Sit on the porch in the swing on my 100 plus year-old porch, sip tea, reminisce, share my thoughts about my career, ask my friends about her thoughts, enjoy nature and neighbors who stroll by
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many people in my village who have been instrumental in my success. Firstly, I will start with my parents: my Daddy: a musician, deacon, father “on steroids,” and my first music teacher and performing partner as “Deacon Reed & Little Yvonne,” and my Mama: songwriter, deaconess, mother with so many discipline strategies, and another performing partner along with my sister, Hazel, as the “Reed Family.” Next, let me shout out my husband, Carlton. He has been my constant supporter – spiritually and financially (and at so many other levels). He IS my number 1 fan!! The person who helps me to steer this ship is my business manager/daughter, Yvette Hillery. She is so much more than a manager: stylist, makeup artist, a listening ear – you name it. My producer, Rogest Carstarphen Jr., who is my former student. He took the “bull by the horns” by rallying songwriters (most of whom were my former students), arranging the music specifically for my deep voice and my character, selecting the correct musicians, background singers, and other technical staff. This Grammy and Stellar Award winner (also up for a Dove Award) has taken good care of me. Seven ladies – the “Dream Team” – helped me to launch my career with the release of my first solo project: Apryle Williams, Candace Minniefield, Amberly Harris, Jennifer Mixon, Azure Wells, Sandra Robinson, and my daughter. My other children have been instrumental all along the way: Sonya Williams, Henry Scott, Clyde Suggs, Bishop Antonio & Marketa Jackson, as well as, Marcelene Wilson and Ashley Smith. My siblings and their spouses: Jim & Gina, Vernon, Lamont & Marsha, Hazel & Andrew help me in so many ways. Lest I forget, my church family and pastor – Nazaree Full Gospel Church and Pastor Wesley D. & Lady Tiffany Davis. They have been right there with me, as well as, my former church family, Saint Joseph Baptist Church and Pastor Leon Jr. & Lady Tomika Bell. My singing group, Nu Image supports me whenever and wherever – Barbara, Deborah, Hazel, Phyllis, Sharon, Sonia, Wanda, Antonio, Darrell, and Earl. Let me go back and mention the songwriters. Without their precious gifts, I would not be where I am: James Harris. White III, Rogest Carstarphen Jr., Richard Bettis, Brandon Pair, Sonia A. Daniels, Tramain C. Coats, Ricky Jerrell Allen, Kenneth Brandon, John Eric Brown, and Shirley Carroll Scott. My Sorors of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Chapter, support me all the way. My Official Yvonne Matthews Supporters, the Hymns Family and Phillip Carter, IGAA HOPE, G.I.N., Antonio Dale, and so many others support me. There are so many people! I will end with my Williamson High School classmates who attend every in-town function; my friends: Cecilia Henderson, Sandra Hayes, Pastor O’Neal Porter, and my prayer partners: DeEdra Pugh, Holli Burden, and Telisha Sims. I am so grateful!
Linkedin: @Yvonne Reed Matthews
Images taken by Gateway Photography – LeBarron Seltzer