- (Photo: Tracey Edmonds)
In just 15 short years, Tracey Edmonds has solidified herself in a male dominated industry as a respected entertainment titan. Award winning producer, savvy business mogul and accomplished studio executive are just a few titles of recognition given to her for professional achievement. Yet what ignites her creative juices and further defines her life purpose is the spreading of God's Word through the launch of "Alright TV."
"Younger people need to be inspired on a daily basis and I want to meet that need," she explained during a recent interview with The Christian Post. "Faith is the foundation of who we are. Seventy six percent of Americans identify themselves as Christian. I felt there was a faith based audience that was underserved in the area of entertainment. I wanted to build a network with Christian values without trading high quality."
As the CEO of Edmonds Entertainment Group, which she founded with ex-husband R&B artist and record producer Kenneth Brian "Babyface" Edmonds, she produced the movie "Soul Food," which won five NAACP awards. "Soul Food" was also critically acclaimed as a film that honestly explored real family issues while weaving Christian undertones of faith and forgiveness.
The Our Stories Film president also produced "Jumping the Broom" with Bishop T.D. Jakes as executive producer in 2011. She has always had a personal mission to produce content that relayed the messages of love, faith, unity, and that faith in God will always give way to brighter days.
It is through her company Our Stories Films that "Alright TV" will launch on Easter Sunday.
"I want to produce a value driven channel with positive Christian morals. I remember meeting with Robert Kinsel YouTube executive in which we were discussing the success of YouTube's premium channels. He asked if I thought something was missing and I pitched him "Alright TV" right there. My idea did not have a name but I knew that a platform to inspire and encourage people to live a higher purpose is what was needed."
It could be said that "Alright TV" was birthed through the social media outlet Twitter. Edmonds began to use her Twitter account as a vehicle to inspire. She started an inspirational movement that currently includes 150,000 Twitter followers who tweet and retweet inspirational messages throughout the day.
"I look at how people want to be motivated in every aspect of their lives," says Edmonds. Twitter has become her unconventional message board in which she writes early morning tweets of motivation.
"When I saw how people were gravitating to my small words of inspiration, I knew that I had to move forward with "Alright TV."
When asked how she came up with the name for the new YouTube premium channel, Tracey's answer was quite surprising. "We first thought of the name 'Rise' but it could not be used. I was getting dressed one morning and it came to me, 'Alright.' Alright is such an assuring word that lifts and gives comfort. It relays the message that no matter what you are going through in your life, no matter what problems you face, everything is going to be alright."
Unlike other new networks such as ASPIRE or OWN, Alright TV has taken the progressive path to reach their audience. "I wanted to think outside of the box and produce content that is not traditionally expected," says Edmonds.
The programming content for Alright TV is certainly out of the box; the channel will feature Vurch, which is a virtual live streaming of church services from all over the country. There will be a church location map that will allow viewers to click into the service of esteemed spiritual leaders such Bishop T.D. Jakes, Bishop Paul S. Morton, Pastor Jamal Bryant and numerous others.
"People watch more digital television than broadcast programming. YouTube is global and we wanted to offer viewers the opportunity to view a service in any part of the country."
Other programming content includes two reality shows with NFL Hall of Fame Star Deion Sanders. In "Sports Dad," Sanders gives help to sports obsessed parents. In his other show, "Truth," Sanders gives uplifting and motivating messages to viewers to take charge of their life.
Edmonds has also green lighted "Preach On, Teach On," an amateur blog series where rising inspirational speakers offer words of encouragement and inspiration that empowers.
"Alright TV will serve as a safe haven to entertain families of all ethnicities and economic backgrounds," says Edmonds. "Programming will center around comedy, relationships and other topics that will make people feel good and laugh about life."
In a society where people are seeking answers to life's most complex questions, Alright TV would like to be viewed as a resourceful outlet to find peace and refuge in God's arms. "I want people to know that they can handle problems that face them. I want people to know that they can be optimistic. There is a real powerful positive influence that God has on your life."
Alright TV will launch on YouTube on March 31.