5 Questions: BeBe Winans

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5 Questions is a series by Steve Duffy –

BeBe Winans with Steve Duffy

Born For This brings the legendary artist’s story to life with acclaimed new music and lyrics by BeBe Winans that will have audiences on their feet. A wildly funny yet deeply emotional journey toward self-discovery, Born For This is the family-friendly and universal story for anyone who has ever yearned for something – for anyone who is looking to find their purpose in life.

SD: Why is now the right time for this musical?

BW: Let’s go back about back 10 years, when it was nowhere on my bucket list to do a musical. I was on a conversation on the phone with my dear friend Roberta Flack talking about something different and then she detours and says, “Baby, when are you going to write that musical?” We hang up and remember thinking “Now what just happened that was so weird.” Four days later, I walk into a hotel room in Montreal and it was like a faucet came on and I just started writing and that become the first draft of what’s now 10 years later “Born For This.”

SD: How did you choose a lifetime of moments to shape this story? 

BW: Charles Randolph-Wright was really key in that. He knew our story was the outside and I knew our story from the inside and from the beginning of us talking he felt the story really starts when I and CeCe leave Detroit. It is really a coming of age story.

SD: As you were writing the music for the show, would you say this is the soundtrack of your life

BW: Yes! I went to the Broadway school of education when it came learning how to write a song for a musical. I am comfortable writing a song for a recording or an album, but that is a totally different world. For a good 7 years, I lived in NYC and went to every musical I could go to. I really learned a lot from the Book of Mormon. It was and still is a very exciting time in my life but it really took me out of my comfort zone and caused me to really stretch. I find that it is really important in the arts and in all aspects of your life to get out and do something different.

SD: Living your life, writing about your life and then seeing it on stage – how does it make you feel as a person and musician?

BW: All of it very spooky. It takes courage to be transparent. If you are going to tell the good parts, then you have to tell the bad parts. I have never been afraid to tell my story. All the songs that I have written and recorded with my sister in the past have always been about my life and what God, friendship, and love meant to me.  It is definitely surreal to watch people on stage playing out your life. It is like I have died and I am rewatching my life over again. 

SD: What are you hoping your story will accomplish?

BW:  Easy answer! I want everyone who comes to know that they are not a mistake. To know there is a purpose attached to their name. To know that they are worth everything. Know that when you are knocked down you can get back up. Never give up on your dreams. This message is worth everything to me.

For more information on Bebe, visit www.bebewinans.net.

Born For This plays June 15 through July 15 at the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre 

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