Darrell Kelley is not your normal church Bishop. The full-time pastor of a church in Atlanta is also an author, entrepreneur and singer/songwriter, and it’s his most recent single that has those within the conservative religious community scratching their heads. But Bishop Kelley loves the attention.
The song is called “I’m So High” and true to its name, it’s a song about smoking Marijuana. Kelley freely admits that smoking a joint isn’t something most people would associate with the pastor of a church, but he’s not the kind of pastor most people might have pictured in their minds.
“I was told not to do the song because I crossed over from Gospel to R&B and I still have a big Gospel following, but I did it anyway,” Kelley said. “A lot of people have asked me, ‘How can you justify a song called ‘I’m So High’ if you’re a pastor? My answer is that I always want to be real and honest with people. I don’t hide things. Plus, Marijuana is getting legalized in places all across the U.S. If you go to church and then leave and go home and get high, don’t be a hypocrite about it. Be honest. I was smoking Marijuana while I was in the studio recording the song, and that’s reality. That’s what this song is about in the end – about living life and being real.”
Like most of his music, Kelley introduced his new song at his soul food restaurant, Soul Delicious, in Morrow, Georgia. Changing things up from his previous Gospel sound, Kelley wanted to do R&B for his latest work because he wanted to make something that would be “chiller than chill.”
“This is one of those songs that’ll make your day easier,” he said. “It’s a very cool, laid-back song. It just has that nice hook and everything and it’s about enjoying your life and enjoying what you’re doing. When people listen to my music, I want them to really start bopping their heads and tapping their feet and snapping their fingers because it’s a buzz. At the end of the day, I’m enjoying life and having fun. Music is joy to me.”
“I’m So High” isn’t the first time Kelley has tackled something controversial in his music. In 2018 he released a single called “Believe in Something (Kneel)” which explored the conversation around the freedom of speech and the controversy that arose in the wake of NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the singing of the National Anthem in protest to the way minorities are treated in the U.S. Kelley used the song to encourage people to take a different look at the situation and remember that everyone has a right to think and speak and feel the way they do when they live in America because it is a basic right.
“I’m So High” is the first single off a new album that he plans to drop later this year called “Get Wild.” It will feature 10 songs including: “Get Wild Remix,” “I’m So Hard,” “Moonlight,” “Beautiful,” “Waiting,” “Getting There,” “Without You,” “Material Things” and “Be Yourself.” He knows the album will continue his chart-topping success of the past couple of years, as well as add to his string of entertainment releases that includes his book “The Book of UWGEAM”. The book explains the principles of the religion of UWGEAM (an acronym for God of the Universe, God of the World, God of all Gods, God of Everything, and God of Anything including Me), which he created.
“What started as me making music and doing things just for the heck of it to kill time and because I was bored, turned into people encouraging me and telling me I wrote great music and could sing great,” Kelley said. “If you want me to keep making these records, I’m gonna keep doing it. At the end of the day, I’m just enjoying life and having fun and I have a deep love for this industry.”