Helmed by versatile producer Harmony Samuels (Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, Chris Brown, Jennifer Hudson) "Say Yes" is an ode to his Nigerian roots. Says Williams of its origin: "It is a song that came from Africa more than a hundred years ago. I don't think anyone knows who wrote it or who started singing that chorus. When the song leaked last week, so many people from Africa and Nigeria were trying to let me know where it came from."
As for how her gal pals got involved in facilitating an unofficial Destiny's Child reunion? Rowland and Knowles fell in love with Williams' version of the song. "They received an advance copy of the album and called saying, 'We love 'When Jesus Says Yes'… there has to be a Destiny's Child mix of the song,'" Williams recalls. "Kelly did it and Beyonce got right in the studio and did her part. I kept it a secret because I didn't want anyone to know until it was time."
Being back on set with her two best friends, she adds, was amazing. "It was so much fun," says Williams. "It was like we were little kids again. I have their back and they have mine. They have showed themselves to be loyal to me time after time. They have proven they are my sisters time and time again."
"Say Yes" is the first song released from Williams's forthcoming fourth album Journey To Freedom, due out in September. "This is an urban inspiration record so sonically it's very urban with pop infusion in there," she says. "I made sure that every genre of music I have ever done is represented on there."
At the same time, Williams is hoping this collection will reconnect her with some of the fans who failed to follow her to the gospel charts. As Williams sees it: "Destiny's Child had millions of fans but the second I did 'gospel,' they were, like, 'We love you but I don't know...' My message is that I'm here to inspire and to encourage and give hope. Whatever you want to do, you can do. I'm not saying it's going to be easy, but I've been there. I have been down in a dark place and I want to tell people my story of how I got to that dark place and how I'm free from it now."
Destiny's Child Quiz: 10 Questions About Beyonce, Kelly & Michelle
Indeed, the singer recently had to take in some bad news herself: the abrupt cancelation of the Jesus Chris Superstar arena tour, in which she was set to play Mary Magdalene. Still, her attitude is decidedly positive. "I'll be honest and say this frees me up to work my album for the summer," she says. "I know there were sacrifices made for the tour. I couldn't take certain offers that came my way so now we're able to capture some of those opportunities again."
- This article originally appeared in THR.com.