Kristina HallowayBy: Shenelle Wallace (December 2010)

Kristina Halloway is a new gospel artist and she is already burning up the charts! With Stellar award nominations and a BET best new artist nomination, Kristina is breaking records surpassing renowned names in R&B music, all while staying true to her gospel roots.

So Divine: Give us a little insight on how you went from working to getting a record deal, and then recording and releasing an album in just one year.

Kristina Halloway: I was doing Medical Billing in this Laboratory in Long Island, and I started there in 2004. When I started getting more serious into my singing, my prayer was God, please let them fire me, so I can do my music full time (laughs).  And no lie – that’s why they say you have to be careful what you pray for – In 2007, they told me the company was downsizing and I was like okay. Great! And I’ve been in the studio ever since.

So Divine: I heard that you surpassed Madonna and Norah Jones on the Canadian hot singles sales charts. Is that true? That’s pretty big! That’s huge!

Kristina Halloway: Yeah, it’s true. I thank God. I was like whoa!

So Divine: You used to sing background for a lot of well-known artists, including R&B singer Lil’ mo. How did you know you were supposed to be singing gospel?

Kristina Halloway: Back in 2004, this lady came to my church to speak for our Women’s Day. After I finished singing I was about to sit down but she told everyone else to sit down except for me. She started ministering to me. The Bible says if a person prophesies to you and that prophecy doesn’t come true you can call that person a liar. I’m real skeptical when people try to prophesy to me because don’t prophecy to me about something and it doesn’t happen.  I want to make sure you’re on point with the Lord.  So she said to me God is going to bless you and He’s going to take you through so many different doors, and the things that people have to go through you won’t go through. The people that were out there before you, you’re going to surpass them, but you have to stay committed to gospel. She said people in the secular world are going to come to you; do not do it because in the secular world you will not go as far as you will in gospel. About 3 weeks later, a well known secular record company came to me and I was excited about doing it because I saw the money and the stardom and the fame. But then I remembered what the lady said. My mother reminded me as well. And not to mention Gospel is my roots. I love R&B, but when I sing gospel, the anointing that God has given me to sing and bless his people, why would I put myself in that position to sing another genre of music when I know this is my root? It’s not about Kristina. It’s bigger than me.

So Divine: You said that you’re the first lady of “Gos Pop”. I know that represents a fusion between gospel and pop music.  Who came up with that?

Kristina Halloway: It was actually myself, J. Keys who is my producer, and this guy named “Puge.” We were all together eating some food, and the guy Pudge said “Kristina, since you’re doing gospel, why don’t you do like a pop [sound].”  And I was like, how in the world are we going to do gospel into pop? And then we were all like “Gos Pop.” And I thought, oh that is so cool! Let’s do that! So I thank them for that. We wanted to do something different.

So Divine: Why did you choose It’s Only You for your first single?

Kristina Halloway: Believe it or not that song “It’s only you” wasn’t meant for me. It was meant for Faith Evans. But the reason why we chose it is because it was a different type of flavor. It’s very soothing. Not to mention the message of course.

So Divine: I think Faith Evans didn’t know it, but that song was meant for you!  I know you’re currently touring, and the tour is called the “Life and Hope Benefit Tour.” What is the definitive message behind that?

Kristina Halloway: I have such a heart for young people and young girls because of peer pressure and so many other things they might be going through.  Basically the life and hope benefit tour is just to speak life and to speak hope because everything that people are going through right now, they want to give up. Sometimes I want to say I want to give up too,  but I know I can’t because there’s a bigger cause and I know God didn’t place me in this position just to waste time. So we go out there and encourage people to let them know there is more to life. We have our good days and of course we have our bad, but we have to go on. We have to encourage one another and lift up each other. Every once in a while give somebody a hug; tell them I was thinking about you. There’s prayer and things are working together for good. That’s what the tour is all about. Within hope there is life. Within hope there is peace. There is shelter. From young to old just hold on.

So Divine:  Your How do you feel when you see your video playing and you think oh my God, this is real!?

Kristina Halloway: You know what’s so funny? When I hear it sometimes, I don’t know if any other artist felt this way, but sometimes I walk away. It’s weird.  I think to myself, ok, I could’ve done this different, or I should’ve did this. I don’t know if it really hit me yet. I’m just taking everything day by day. My feet aren’t even wet yet. There’s so much more that I have to do. .  I want longevity, and in order for things to happen, you have to do things the right way.

Click here to learn more about Kristina and check out her video below.