Erica Campbell and Tina Campbell make up the spirit-filled Gospel duo Mary Mary. They've recorded several CDs, most recently the "A Mary Mary Christmas." I listened to it throughout the holidays and it ranks as one of my favorite Christmas CDs.
Right before the Christmas break, I got a chance to speak with the ladies of Mary Mary.
Shelia Goss: Why did you ladies decide to do a Christmas CD?
Mary Mary: It's one of our favorite holidays. We wanted to add our own Christmas tracks. We're always listening to other people's music so this year we wanted to add a Mary Mary Christmas.
Shelia: How did you decide on what songs to record for the CD?
Mary Mary: Purely on the songs we enjoyed the most...such as Come All Ye Faithful and we wrote originals.
Shelia: The title is befitting. Who came up with it?
Mary Mary: During the holidays we would say, "Have a Mary Mary Christmas." We were calling it that before it came to be.
Shelia: Do you have another CD coming out soon?
Mary Mary: We haven't even started doing another CD. We're still working the self-titled album. People seem to be really enjoying the song "Yesterday." We've been visiting women shelters. The song highlights domestic violence. We might have another album coming - maybe at the end of next year or at the top of 2008. Not sure at this time.
Shelia: It's good that you're tackling the subject of domestic violence. Is or was someone in your life dealing with domestic violence?
Mary Mary: No. Unless they just hadn't told us. When you start hearing the stats, you just lose it. It's an issue that we need to take on; especially since we serve an almight God and we need to offer support to women going through those things.
Shelia: Your music appeals to several generations and reaches a different audience; an audience who may not normally listen to gospel. Is that why you went for a contemporary gospel sound?
Mary Mary: It wasn't a plan that we put into place. We just did what naturally came to heart. Our interpretation comes off as urban and relevant.
Shelia: What advice would you give a new artist who wants to pursue a gospel singing career?
Mary Mary: Get into it because you're doing it for God. If they are doing it to be a star or blow up, they need to be doing something else; not gospel. Gospel is spreading the good news of Jesus Christ and the focus is on God and not you.
Although it's gospel music, it's also a business. Learn the business. Surround yourself with wise counsel. Get a lawyer. Be well advised going into this. Increase your information (via books, talking to people, etc).
Do it because you love God and not because you want to be a star.
Shelia M Goss is an entertainment writer and National Bestselling author of My Invisible Husband and Roses are thorns, Violets are true. For a full bio, go to www.sheliagoss.com/espire.htm.