One-on-One with Tyrese Gibson
His Faith, His Musicâ€¦and â€œWhat He\’s Looking for in the Ultimate Lady!â€
In a recent phone interview with GT Publisher, Teresa Hairston, Tyrese had this to say:
â€œWho are you to throw stones at others? When you choose to get closer to God and get rid of things that aren\’t considered â€œgoodâ€ you still can\’t judge other people.
GT: What\’s your relationship with your pastor, Bishop Kenneth Ulmer (Faithful Central, Los Angeles, CA)
Tyrese: I don\’t go to church just to go. My pastor (Bishop Ulmer) has impacted my life in a very powerful way; I actually feel closer to God through him. He\’s such a sincere, transparent, loyal man of God! I know that you\’re not supposed to depend on man, and just depend on Jesus, but I\’d like to believe that the way he\’s representing God has drawn people closer to God. It\’s because of Bishop Ulmer that I have come to the conclusion that I may on that podium! I\’m very inspired by his conviction.
GT: How do you live your faith in the mainstream music and movie industry?
Tyrese: I can\’t be great or be considered great without my source. As an R&B artist, and as an actor who loves God as much as I do, you set yourself up to be judged and ridiculedâ€”because Christians can be very judgmental. It\’s important that my walk with God matches my talk.
GT: Tell me about your Christian â€œbackgroundâ€
Tyrese: I grew up in the church. My momma used to take me to church all the time and I sang in the choir. I didn\’t know I had a gift for singing whatsoever, because I wasn\’t a lead singer, I was just one of many. But back then, it wasn\’t fun to go to church, it was more of a responsibility. Like â€˜Ah Mom, we gotta go to church?\’
I was the hyper kid. I had attention deficit issues and sitting at church just made me sleepy. It wasn\’t a good experience as a kid.
One Sunday, my mother said â€˜Go up there and get saved.\’ She told me to do it, and I did it just because she told me to. But when I [really] got saved, about 15 years ago, I just got to a point that even though my career was flowing, I just was feeling weak in a lot of different areas, and even back then, my prayers were, â€˜God, bless me to see the invisible. Give me clarity and cover me. Order my footsteps in the direction you want me to walk in.\’
GT: You\’ve had an amazing career! How have you managed to hold it all together?
Tyrese: It\’s really only by God\’s favor on my life that I\’ve been able to extend a 30-second Coca-Cola commercial into over 15 years of some form of show business that keeps me relevant and moving forward. I can\’t even understand it; I can\’t put words to it. I mean, I\’m working my butt offâ€”nobody\’s given me nothing! But it\’s really amazing!
GT: Have you changed/adjusted your â€œmainstreamâ€ music choices because of your faith?
Tyrese: Right now, I\’m doing another album and I have a song that\’s dedicated to my faith, but it\’s an R&B albumâ€”I\’m just being myself.
GT: What qualities would be found in the â€œultimateâ€ woman for you?
Tyrese: I love class. I\’d love an educated, forward thinking woman who is in tune with her femininity. I want a woman with tact as well as integrity. she\’d have to be confident, but able to see beyond materialistic things and money. Why do most women associate a man being a good man because of what he\’s driving? I want a woman to see me and see the value in me and who I am as a man. My car doesn\’t make me great. A nice suit doesn\’t mean I\’m a good man.
I was talking to a blind man, and I asked him, â€˜if you could have your eyesight, would you want it?\’ and he said, â€˜No.\’ I asked him â€˜Why?\’ and he said, â€˜because most people with eyesight still can\’t see.\’ That helped me. Now, I listen to people. I pay attention to their inner-man, to their spirits and their vibes.
GT: What do you want your legacy to be?
I want people to be able to say that my value as a man of God was not associated with my bank account or the things that I possessed. I purposely decided to wake up everyday to be the best version of me that I can be. I wasn\’t willing to sacrifice my faith in God, my sexuality, my manhood or my integrity to get to the next level in my career. if God isn\’t in it, it wont last.
I believe that before I was born God created a blueprint for my life.
You have to wake up every single day with your mind set and a mission in place to get to where you\’re going. God ultimately orders your footsteps, but when I\’m gone I want to be able to say that while I was here, I took advantage of every possible, potential concept, idea, vision and dream that God sent my way; or did I allow my environment or my family or my friends to talk me out of my vision.