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Erica Campbell of Mary Mary: Judge of How Sweet the Sound (Exclusive Interview)

Interviewed and written by Aaron Robinson - Editor

When I first heard the hit song “Shackles (Praise You)” by the 3 Grammy Award-winning gospel group Mary Mary, I felt a burden lifted off of me, as I forgot about the worries of the day. The biological sisters Erica Campbell and Tina Campbell make up the eloquent duo. They are known for their inspiring, upbeat and energetic songs that have a combination of R&B, hip-hop, dance, pop, gospel and jazz. Over the years they have released 6 albums. The message of their music has empowered and touched the hearts of many adults and young people worldwide. Some of their respected and notable chart topping songs includes, "Go Get It", “God in Me,” "Something Big,"  “Get Up" and “Heaven.”

It was a pleasure to have interviewed the talented singer Erica Campbell of Mary Mary. Here is what she had to say during a recent interview with Consciousness Magazine while still enthused about being a judge for the 2012 “Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound” celebration.

Aaron Robinson: How did you become a judge for the Verizon’s How Sweet the sound?
Erica Campbell: Well, they called and told me they wanted me to be apart, and I said yes.

AR: Being the judge of How Sweet the Sound, having a music career, and being a mother and wife, how do you balance it all?
EC: Well, scheduling plays a big part. When you know what you do, you know the challenges, so you make the time to be a part of everything. I’ve been blessed with an incredible husband, a great support system, and a great team that works with Mary Mary. So, it allows me to do things that probably the normal moms wouldn’t get the chance to do. I’m glad to be blessed with a team like that, so that I can do the things that I love.

AR: You and your sister Tina Campbell make up the Grammy Award-winning gospel duo, Mary Mary. At what point did you want to sing and build a music career together?
EC: We’ve been singing all of our life. I started singing when I was around 5. We always singed in choirs and stuff like that growing up. We didn’t grow up being a group, we just happened to sing a song together when we were in our 20’s…late teens. Shortly thereafter, we decided to become a group.

AR: God has touched your heart to deliver powerful messages through your music. What would you say to the critics in regards to your sound of music?
EC: Critics aren’t that important to me. I think that if they listen to the music, then they’ll hear what we are really saying. I think a lot of people have a different taste. So, they like what they like. I don’t take that as a strike at me. I know that what we do is God given. We’re blessed and we’ve helped a lot of people. So, those who don’t care can keep on listening to what they listen to, and we wish them well. There are lots of people who love Mary Mary and support what we do. We try to focus on the positive rather than the negative.

AR: What words-of-encouragement would you share with an artist who is looking to make a career out of gospel music?
EC: There are a number of things that I would share. I would say make sure you really want to do this. Find out what you want to do it for…is it for a ministry or just for fame? If it’s for fame, you can stop now! Because, with fame comes so much more that people aren’t aware of. It can really drain you and make you really lose your fire and focus on what you do. If you want to do it as a professional, study as much information as you can about the business. This is important, because if not, most end up disappointed and eventually end up quitting. It’s a long journey and it’s a whole whole lot of work. So, you have to be dedicated. Once you get in it, you have to stick with it.

AR: As a Godly woman, what advice would you share with women who struggle on a faith basis, who may think that they have no way out of harsh reality?
EC: Faith does not stop your harsh reality. Faith gives you the strength to endure your harsh reality. Being a Christian doesn’t mean that you don’t have problems, it just means that you have someone to help you through your problems. You should understand how beneficial faith can be in your life, and how it can change the platform and quality of life. The way you see your problems - that you try to make it through and overcome - your problems can all be determined by the level of faith that you have, and by how much work you are willing to put in. You can’t just get up and get on your knees and pray, and then when you get up, everything is gone. Problems don’t just disappear in thin air. Some things have to be dealt with. Some things you have to go through. You just have to be strong enough to go through them. But all things are possible when you have God on your side.

AR: In closing, would you like to add anything in regards to your career or life?
EC: I would just like to say thank you to all of the fans that have supported us throughout the years, and to those that have been down with Mary Mary all the time supporting our music and ministry. That really really means a lot. And we’ll keep going!

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Consciousness Magazine had the opportunity to interview Verizon's How Sweet The Sound hosts and judges. Here is what they had to say about this remarkable event as they travel to various cities around the country. These gospel artists also share valuable information regarding their life and career, in hopes to empower and enlighten our readers and their fans.

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Yolanda Adams (Read Interview)
Fred Hammond (Read Interview)
Hezekiah Walker (Read Interview)
CeCe Winans (Read Interview)
VaShawn Mitchell (Read Interview)