It’s 8 a.m. and sisters Erica and Tina Campbell, known as the chart-topping gospel duo Mary Mary have just finished mommy duty, sending their children off to school. They greet me with a boisterous “good morning!!” by phone from their hometown of Los Angeles.
These two are excited and they have a long list to prove it. Maybe the triumph over a family member’s illness has something to do with it. Or maybe it’s their new bath and beauty line. It could also be the October 21 release of their fourth studio album, The Sound.
The Sound is a fresh approach to gospel music and like nothing Mary Mary, known as trailblazers in the genre, has ever done. The album is for everyone, from small children to the elderly, delivering gospel party songs (at least the first four tracks), testimonies of deliverance and messages of hope.
“Have you ever heard someone scream out and you know they’re just letting it all go? That’s what The Sound represents for us,” says Erica.
The first single, “Get Up,” is described as the “I-couldn’t-do-it-but-now-I-can” anthem, according to Tina. The inspiring lyrics are sure to give listeners inspiration to get up and make their dreams come true: “What are you afraid of?/ Don’t you know what you’re made of?/ One of God’s greatest creations/Take this invitation now/Get up ‘cause you can’t stop.”
Another track, “Dirt”, which encourages those going through difficult times says even a flower needs dirt to grow.
“Forgiving Me” is about just what the title suggest, Erica says. “I can’t keep living in the past. I’m letting go of what happened and I’m going to go forward.”
Mary Mary doesn’t stray too far from their traditional roots with tracks like, “It’ll All Be Worth It” produced by Marvin Winans, featuring other gospel greats such as Darryl Coley and Karen Clark-Sheard and Dorinda Clark-Cole of the Clark Sisters.
Erica and Tina are living what they sing about in The Sound by being fearless and as great as they be in every aspect of life. While recording the album, Warryn Campbell, Erica’s husband and executive producer was diagnosed with kidney cancer. Within a week, without medical treatment, the cancer had suddenly left his body.
“I didn’t have time to grieve,” says Erica. “All we know God to be is a healer. (During that week) I’m talking faith, living faith, laughing faith.”
The ladies are admired for their fun-loving personalities and fierce style. It’s only right that they create their own bath and beauty line. Be U consists of shower gels, body lotions, lip glosses and scented candles will available at participating Wal-Mart stores this holiday season. The line sends a message that is two-fold, according to the sisters.
“Right now, everybody’s trying to be someone else,” says Tina. “We’re telling people to be you. When you feel beautiful, you feel better. You have something great to offer—you!”
If promoting their new album and beauty line doesn’t keep them busy enough, they’ll have the second season of the smash gospel talent competition, Sunday’s Best to look forward to. They will begin taping in March 2009.
Mary Mary works under the spontaneity of God’s direction and they’d like to keep it that way. Even if fans don’t know which way they’re going, expect their very best and a strong Christian message.
Tina, the self-proclaimed “straight-shooter” sums it up, “If someone asked what kind of music Mary Mary does, I would clearly say gospel, but it’s music for the world. We want you to hear the God in the music.