MAJOR.'s single "Why I Love You" has nearly 106 million views on YouTube. Stevie Wonder even called it the "wedding song of the year" in 2017. But on August 8, 2020, the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter only cared about one special viewer: his bride, Nichelle.
"My song lyrically details what true love is and millions around the world have used it to soundtrack their special moments," he says. "When I finally found my 'Why I Love You' in Nichelle, I knew she deserved to have the greatest experience possible."
Meet the Expert
MAJOR. is a Grammy-nominated pop-soul artist, singer-songwriter, and actor. His single "Why I Love You" has over 117 million views on YouTube.
A global pandemic couldn't even stop that from happening. "COVID-19 reared its ugly head, but it wasn’t enough to stop LOVE!" he says. "We wanted a full day reflective of our love, style, and faith. We wanted to give our guests a day of escape from the noise and madness in the world."
We wanted a full day reflective of our love, style, and faith. We wanted to give our guests a day of escape from the noise and madness in the world.
With the help of Darryl Moore of D'Concierge, Yvonne McNair of Captivate Marketing Group, and Jackie Nwobu of MunaLuchi, who MAJOR. calls his "three saving-grace heroes," the couple wed in an intimate ceremony near his hometown of Houston. "Together, we made magic," he says. "Never to be forgotten."
Of course, music played a large role in the couple's wedding day. When describing his musical vision, MAJOR. says the goal was more of a feeling, like "I gotta feel heaven!" "God did this!" and "I love you madly!" "We selected songs that felt like magic through and through," he says.
Below, the Grammy-nominated musician shares his tips for creating the right soundtrack for your love story—and what songs he selected to tell his own.
How to Create a Personalized Wedding Playlist
Music plays a large part in setting the tone of any event. For this reason, MAJOR. recommends sitting down with your partner to discuss the vibe you want to create at your wedding. "Choose music that echoes the sentiment of your heart without you having to say a word," he says.
In order to do that, he recommends thinking of songs that will complement or enhance a moment. Not just your favorite song. "Sometimes, picking a song that makes you weep every time may not be the one you want to use if you need to keep it together," he adds with a laugh.
MAJOR.'s Must-Play Songs for Every Wedding Moment
Like any element of your wedding day, your song list should be personal and intentional. (Check out the tips for how to accomplish that, above!) While these choices will likely be different for every couple—no love is the same, after all—MAJOR. breaks down his recommendations for every major wedding moment
The Pre-Ceremony Warm-Up
MAJOR. says he created a "dope playlist" for getting ready with his guys. His picks? Music from Mali Music, PJ Morton, Coldplay, Michael Jackson, Kirk Franklin, JayZ/Kanye/Frank Ocean, Beyonce/Andre 3000, India Arie, Adele, Dave Matthews Band, Kierra Sheard, Bruno Mars, and Nat King Cole.
No matter what you select, he recommends listening to a "tone-setter" just before walking down the aisle. His was “Here as in Heaven” by Elevation Worship.
The Ceremony Music
MAJOR. recommends setting the mood for the ceremony by selecting different songs for the different processional entrances. For instance, he says play "Serendipity’’ by MAJOR. Ft. Jade Novah for your parents' entrances, then switch to “Even More” by MAJOR. Ft. Brandy for the wedding party.
And, of course, play something special for your moment. At his wedding, he commissioned Divisi Strings, a string quartet collective, to play a custom arrangement for Nichelle. "I was pleasantly surprised that my bride wanted to include most of my own music that I’ve released," he says. "It was an honor."
"Agape," the couple's favorite song by Nicholas Britell from the If Beale Street Could Talk movie soundtrack was also included in the ceremony script. "'Agape...Heaven on Earth' was our theme," he says. “We had it play multiple times throughout the ceremony and reception. It always brought the moment back into perspective."
For the recessional, MAJOR. says what's more fitting than his hit, “Better With You in It”?!
The Special Dances
"Who would I be not to recommend what Stevie Wonder declares is the wedding love song for years to come, ‘Why I Love You' by MAJOR.," he says. "I just so happen to be him, LOL!"
He says this was the most anticipated song at his own wedding, as fans and guests questioned how it would be incorporated. However, he first consulted Nichelle about including the song. In the end, he says he felt "honored" that she wanted to include the ballad, and he did not disappoint with his day-of performance.
"I customized a rendition of my hit love song 'Why I Love You' by inserting Nichelle's name lyrically, adding backing vocals, and live strings," he says. "It was truly HEAVEN ON EARTH...an absolute scene from a movie!"
For the father-daughter dance, he suggests “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri and another MAJOR. hit for the mother-son dance: "A Mother’s Love" (Josiah Bell Remix).
The Big Moments
There's something special about entrances and exits. For the reception entrance, MAJOR. suggests playing a celebratory beat, such as "Love Me Ole” by MAJOR. featuring KAS or “WIN” by Jay Rock. "That's the clean version for the seasoned folk," he adds with a laugh.
He and Nichelle chose "WIN" for their special entrance. "It's is our everyday hype song, and so walking into the reception—it lit up the entire space," he recalls. "The place went wild!"
Since guests—and musical entertainment—were limited at his COVID-19 wedding, MAJOR. had to improvise by incorporating music from friends from afar. "I’m blessed to have a few notable mentors in my life and three of them—Brandy, Stevie Wonder, and Patti LaBelle—pre-recorded audio expressions that I included in the flow," he says. "It definitely set up certain moments perfectly!"
However, if you don't have Stevie Wonder on speed dial, that's OK. Just play "Love Crazy" by MAJOR. We think it's safe to say the artist knows about great love songs—and performing at a wedding. In fact, that's exactly what he was doing when he found his now-wife.