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EntertainmentGiving You the Gospel

Getting Real with Erica Campbell

Our gospel blogger chats with Erica Campbell of Mary Mary about her solo album, "Help," and more.

Each week, JET is Giving You the Gospel with our newest series.  Check out a spotlight on a dynamic pastor or preacher, plus get a round-up of  what’s going on with entertainers and singers who are glorifying God.  If you have any story ideas or item ideas for us, please send it to digitalpitches@ebony.com.

For more than a decade, the dynamic gospel sister duo Mary Mary was inseparable as they released hit after hit with crossover appeal and a stack of awards to prove it. Erica and Tina Campbell have an undeniable bond and on-stage chemistry that ignites the anointing. But Erica is taking her new role as a solo artist just as seriously.

“I’ve always loved singing with my sister, but it was time for a shift. Everything that has happened for me as a solo artist is nothing but God. Because Mary Mary has been at it for 13 years—as a new artist you have to put a lot of energy in it. I serve a great God and I want to represent Him in a great way. I have a good team and it’s a God thing,” she shares.

With a stellar singing career, Erica Campbell definitely has what it takes to succeed on her own, but she is not afraid to ask for Help.

“That’s why we titled this project, Help—it’s going to take time and effort,” she says. “But when God favors you…that plays a great part .. Last year was so crazy and I realized everything was done with the help of God. Plus, all my music just pointed in that direction—that was the loudest message. I needed help to mentally and emotionally sustain and then to move forward and away from a group that was not failing, but needed to do something new.”

Erica, who considers herself a workhorse—wrote 90 percent of the album with husband and producer, Warryn. She also shared three components to achieve success: “Dedication, integrity and being humble plays a crucial part.”

“The same people you see on that ladder going up…will be same you see going down. The industry shifts and nobody stays at the top forever,” she explains. “Times change—every artist should keep that in mind. There’s a whole lot of ego and when your ego takes control—you have eased God out. Regardless of all the awards, I do not believe my hype. I just want to be excellent today.”

One thing Erica is certain about: “I’m supposed to be here—that ‘s how I treat everything.”

She poured her heart and soul into this project and believes if you need “Just a Little More Jesus” and some “Help”—her solo album is a download away.

“I want people to listen to the whole record and be encouraged. It’s a tad bit more gospel than Mary Mary, but I hope it blesses people and they always look to God and realize He is their source and strength—a very present help today—we need Him,” she says. “The title of the CD is because I need help…it’s not a weepy sad thing, but because I’m fighting. I’m a soldier and need to continue striking with an iron fist. I am not Superwoman every day. I’m not on the mountain every day. Even when I’m crying, when I move forward—I have strength in my faith.”

The Marys may be taking a break, but rest assured they’re not splitting up.

“We still have the TV show, we still have concerts. We are doing what Tina wanted to do—a little less Mary Mary. Tina is writing a book. Even though I am away from the group that got me here, but Tina is not jealous,” Erica insists. “She introduced me on The Arsenio Hall show and is my greatest cheerleader. I believe we are growing stronger and more mature, then we’ll come back in 2015 for a better Mary Mary,” said Campbell.

Confident that God always gives more than you ask, “I only wanted a song for radio, but God gave me a whole album—an Ephesian 3:20 blessing. I don’t know how people will respond to the CD, but I hope they support it because it’s a very much needed record—“Help” will touch hearts,” she said. The CD release date is scheduled for March 25.

About Effie Rolfe

Effie Roffe

Effie Rolfe is a media consultant, personality and speaker. For years, she was the “voice of inspiration” each Sunday morning and middays on Chicago radio. She also speaks at schools, churches and workshops. Effie writes for several publications and is the author of The K(N)ots Prayer. Visit her Website effierolfe.com; like her on mseffierolfe.com and follow her via @effiedrolfe.