Unless you’ve been in hiding, you know the two beautiful sisters, Erica and Tina Campbell, who make up the platinum-selling gospel duo, Mary Mary. Known for their crossover hits, “Shackles,” “Heaven” and “Yesterday,” Mary Mary knows no bounds in their mission to spread their message. Whether singing on the stages of the Stellar Awards or Grammy Awards or working the red carpet or the silver screen, these ladies represent the Kingdom of God with class and fierce style. Clutch discusses Mary Mary’s rise to the top, balancing family life, their personal style and their hand in finding America’s next big gospel artist.
Q: Neither one of your names is Mary. How did you come up with the name Mary Mary?
Mary Mary: Well, there were two Mary’s in The Bible. One of them, Mary, the mother of Jesus was considered perfect by pretty much everyone, and then Mary Magdeline, who had a bit of a different story. But the common denominator of those two women is the fact that their lives were changed by the power of Jesus Christ. So we tell people it doesn’t matter if you’re the perfect Mary, or if you’re the one with a sorted past, you too can be changed by God.
Q: You had roles in The Fighting Temptations and The Parkers. Now you are judges on the new gospel talent search on BET, Sunday Best. How was that experience, and do you plan on taking on any other television projects?
Erica: The show is great, we’re learning a lot being both on the show and being producers of the show. Some of the choices we’ve had to make are for the betterment of the show, not just what we think from a musical standpoint.
Tina: And I’m excited that new talent, who are the “complete package,” is coming to the Gospel industry. And I believe in this competition we have a few people who can deliver the complete package, and I’m happy to help select it.
Erica: I actually have a role coming up in a movie called A Good Man is Hard to Find in theaters in 2008. I have a role playing Sister Florence, so be looking out for that soon!
Q: Both of you are married with children. How do you balance your families and your career?
Tina: You know it’s a little work but it’s all a part of life. We love music, this is our passion, it’s what God called us to do, and we will do it until he says stop. However, our first minister is to our family. We actually come from a large family of nine. Family is what we do in our spare time, even when we don’t have any time we make time for family because it’s who we are, what we love. Sometimes we get a little rest but this is what we chose to do and it’s worth it.
Q: Mary Mary is considered a crossover gospel act, performing on Grammy’s and Soul Train Music Awards show, as well as gospel award shows. How important is it that your music reaches various audiences?
Erica: It’s very important. Gospel artists are commissioned to go out to the world and tell people about Jesus, and the world doesn’t mean in a church, it means OUT and ABOUT in different arenas to share my faith.
Tina: But at the same time, can we tell you when we wrote our first record, which is how a lot of people became familiar with us, we didn’t know about “crossing over” or “radio spins.” We were very “green” if you will. We just wanted to write good music that all music lovers could understand. What you got came from a very pure place. It wasn’t manufactured or contrived at all.
Q: What can we expect next from Mary Mary?
Mary Mary: We’re recording the new album. It’s not titled yet, but we have recorded three of the best songs we have ever done! We’re so proud of the writing and the music on this new album! We’re also working on a lip-gloss line, and as we said, we’re going to be doing more movies and television and using every gift and talent God has blessed us with.
Q: Your music is diverse using traditional gospel to jazz to hip-hop beats. Describe the Mary Mary sound.
Erica: It’s new, it’s gospel, it’s Christian and it’s a little Motown. I know a lot of people want just one title, but our music embodies so much of who we have become over the years.
Q: You each have distinctively different styles. Describe your fashion and beauty style.
Mary Mary: We feel we represent wholeness and beauty. And if you feel good about who you are on the inside, it will show on the outside. Mary Mary represents an urban image that looks good and respectable. We want to always let his light shines in us because that’s what matters most.
Q: What are your beauty must-haves?
Erica’s Beauty Must Haves:
Prestige’s Baked Bronze Shimmer, Maybelline Lash Stylist Mascara and lip-gloss
Tina’s Beauty Must Haves:
Oil of Olay Regenerist Serum, clear lipgloss and tweezers!
Q: Describe each other in 3 words.
Tina describing Erica: Nice, Sweet and Sarcastic
Erica describing Tina: Passionate, Fiery and Honest