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[INTERVIEW] Tina Campbell Uses Personal Journey of Faith & Favor To Provide Life’s Soundtrack

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Tina Campbell is back! And it’s fair to say that she’s better than ever. The Gospel singer has returned with her second solo album, It’s a Still Personal, which includes brand new tracks along with songs from her debut album, It’s Personal, released back in 2015.

Admittedly the roll-out for her solo debut album was a bit shaky, with an initial push back and then only having it available on certain digital platforms. Fans clamoring for the music were still able to get it, Tina Campbell still did some impressive numbers and even won some awards for the project.

This time around though, Tina wanted to make sure the music reached the masses. So this sophomore album, It’s Still Personal was led by the single “Too Hard Not To”, accompanied by a phenomenal visual. Released on September 29th, the album is available on all digital platforms and in stores!

Additionally the new and final season of the Mary Mary reality television show premiered on We TV on September 28th giving fans one last deep look into the lives of sisters Erica and Tina Campbell.

Tina Campbell is also prepping a tour for this Fall, hitting 20 cities!

As we always do around this time, we caught up with Tina Campbell to talk about it all! And this time we got it on video too! Check out our exclusive Tina Campbell interview…

Tina Campbell It's Still Personal
Parlé Mag:  Let’s start with It’s Still Personal. Talk to me about the process of putting this album out now versus the solo debut, which was your independent debut.
Tina Campbell:  When I put the album, It’s Personal out, I was clueless. I just knew that God gave me all this music I wasn’t looking for and I wasn’t checking for. I just woke up and he gave me all this music to get me through my journey. So I was like, you know what, let me just put it out. I didn’t think, I just did. I didn’t think, I didn’t strategize, I just did. When I get my mind set on something, man, especially when I feel like this is God’s plan, I just go! I don’t know what I did, I just did it.
This time was a lot different, I am a lot more intentional, I do realize that God gave me music that saved and changed my life. He gave me music that gave me the perspective to come out of the pit and into the promises that we all want to achieve one day—like I hope and I dream. He took me from an ‘Oh my God, I wish…” and “this shouldn’t have been” to an “All of these hopes and dreams realized” and he gave me music to get me through that whole process. So this time around I was like, naw, EVERYBODY is supposed to have this music, not just two outlets, not just throwing it out there with no strategy, no marketing plan, no budget, nothing—and I am grateful to God that we sold 40 or 50 thousand records on nothing, almost.
This time around my husband and I had a discussion and he said you should put the same intentional, exceptional, excellent effort that you out behind Mary Mary and everything else that you do—we know that you’re not chasing charts and you’re not chasing fame and your not chasing any of that, but I think I wanted to shy away from that the last time because my life changed and I used to be too concerned with the business so I was like I don’t want to be concerned with any of the business. But that’s not wisdom. That was really fear. Fear of being like I used to be, taking the right thing and going about it the wrong way. But this time I know that God wants me to make sure that this music is heard by everyone. So I’ve been very intentional. I paired up with a distributor, Malico Records, they are going to distribute it and make sure it’s everywhere so that it’s not just on Amazon and Apple Music, we’re releasing everywhere that music is sold. We streaming everywhere, we releasing everywhere. Walmart just picked up a whole bunch of copies—shout out to Walmart. They’re not buying music like that, but they brought a lot of my music. I’m doing that, I’m doing the tour, 10 minutes with Teddy & Tina discussing some of the same concepts that’s on the album. This time, I just want everybody to have a soundtrack to get them from the worse point of their life, through the journey to the best part of their life. I got that all on the album, It’s Still Personal.

Parlé Mag:  Let’s talk about the single, “Too Hard Not To”.  How did it come together?
Tina Campbell:  The song is very true to me. I realized that unforgiveness was killing me. It was absolutely, positively killing me. It was making me angry and bitter, fearful and negative and hateful, enraged. It was just bringing up all this negativity in me, always an opportunity for some trigger to take me to some place of pain or some memory or some person to take me back. So I had to forgive everything that happened that was behind me. There’s a scripture in the bible that says I am forgetting those things behind me and looking forward to what’s ahead. I can’t move forward looking behind me. I can’t go this way and that way at the same time. I realized if I did not forgive I was going to hurt me!
The song “Too Hard Not To makes a great argument for the necessity of forgiveness because if you don’t forgive, whatever it is that had that place up inside you that made you angry, bitter, sad or whatever, it will always have a place. Even if you think it doesn’t. All you need is the right trigger. It might be twenty years later. That right trigger will take you right back to the latest place of pain if you do not choose to forgive. So some say it’s too hard to forgive, I say it’s too hard not to and I wrote a song about it.

Parlé Mag:  What can listeners expect from the album?
Tina Campbell:  I just think there is a song for everyone. There are songs to encourage you, songs to strengthen you, songs to inspire you, songs to charge you, songs to remind you. There are songs to make you party, songs to motivate you and push you. Songs to push you to where you’re going even though where you’re at seems far removed from it. I’m a music lover. I love music! And I think the wonderful thing about music is that you can do all styles, all kinds, all variations of music all on one project, so I would like to look at my record and say it’s a little bit country, it’s a little bit urban, a little bit down home, a little bit Friday night, a little bit party, a little bit club, it’s a little bit church. Its everything, because I have all these emotions and experiences that I need to write the right soundtrack to. And on It’s Still Personal, you have the right soundtrack for every situation. So go get that album!

Watch Tina Campbell’s Full Answer:

Parlé Mag:  You have the tour, talk to me about how this show is going to be different and what fans can expect from you on the road.
Tina Campbell:  The It’s Still Personal Tour is nothing like an evening with Teddy & Tina. An evening with Teddy & Tina was really speaking, testifying, ministering and allowing the song to compliment that. I just had this great desire to tell people what it was like to go through a journey and making it through to the other side. So I shared all of that and the music was a compliment to the prayers, the testimonies that I gave. This, The It’s Still Personal Tour is music, music, spoken word, dancing, partying, praise, worshipping, shouting, boogeying, everything. It’s a concert!
Tina Campbell
Parlé Mag: Last time we spoke you talked about not wanting to do another season of the show, but of course we’re here. Talk to me about how we got to this new and final season.
Tina Campbell:  I didn’t want to do anymore seasons of the Mary Mary show because I didn’t like the direction that the show was going. When you start a show and you are one thing, you got one thing going on in your life and then you evolve, sometimes it’s a little challenging for a show that started one way to really shift into another way. Sometimes I dealt with a a conflict of that, with a network and a production team who met one Tina and then I become another Tina and I can’t them the old Tina because that girl is dead. And then they met a group and we’re becoming individuals and solo and all this kind of stuff so that made things a little more complicated. So I really didn’t want to do the show anymore I wanted to be true to my old life not my new life, I didn’t want the conflict and all of that kind of stuff in my life, but I felt compelled that if we are going to go out than I want us to go out with a bang. My sister and I got busy coincidentally with Mary Mary. We said yes to a few things that ended up feeling like a lot of things so Erica and I got busy doing Mary Mary in the middle of being very busy individually, so you see us managing that. And we wanted an opportunity to show the evolution of Mary Mary.

Mary Mary Comeback
Before Mary Mary had a TV show Mary Mary was here, for 14 years. When this TV show ends, Mary Mary will still be here. The TV show didn’t make the group, the group made the TV show. And the group is going to continue to make music!
There will absolutely, positively be a new Mary Mary album.

Watch Tina Campbell Talk All Things Mary Mary Here:

Parlé Mag: What do you anticipate the new single being?
Tina Campbell:  I think the new single is going to be “We Living”. My daughter is pretty excited about that.
That song is lit, it’s right and it’s necessary. My sister and I, as Mary Mary have always prided ourselves, as Mary Mary, as having songs that were relevant to the mainstream because a lot of people are detached from Christianity and positivity because they think it’s boring and all that, but when you put out a song that’s fresh to death all the rappers want to come in and get on it. You show people no, no, no, no, this is not boring, we’re not missing anything. We got our own life and we’re enjoying it. We can sing any kind of music, we all songwriters, some of the best producers are in Gospel music and they produce Hip-hop music as well. So I was like, I write songs, Warren is a Hip-hop producer as well as other stuff. So let’s get together and make some music.

Evolution of Gospel and Inspirational Music
To be God be the glory for all the songs that are written that glorify Him, that draw attention to Him, that tell people about Him. Every single song is not my favorite and every single song is not my preference, but I am excited every time somebody is talking about the goodness of God, because I know that the best thing in life is to get to know God. Not to go to some particular church and not lining up with any particular affiliation or anything like that, because sometimes that messes everything up. Get in the bible, study God, pray and find your identity in that, not in stuff. That is the most amazing thing that anybody can do. There’s not a lot of people that are conveying that and communicating that in a way that makes other people interested, but what I found out when I got in that pit, let me tell you what I found out. That God fresher than everybody! Creativity, favor, strategy… everything that I wasn’t even looking for, wasn’t even checking for, couldn’t even ask for, God gave me cause I was praying saying help me to be better. Change my life! I’m trying to run my life and I done ran into a big brick wall, I’m done. You take the wheel, show me what to do! And I prayed and I fasted and I talked to God, all day, every day. And my life got better. That was four years ago! Four years ago. I took the wheel of my life just by giving God the wheel and saying take my life and make it better. Now I don’t have to wait on Sony, I don’t have to wait on my TV network, I don’t have to wait on nobody. If I want to do something I have the faith and the favor of God to get up and do it. The strategy, the wisdom… I got that from reading the bible! From praying! God fresher than everybody!!!

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Kevin Benoit

Kevin Benoit is the editor of Parlé Magazine. He founded the magazine while in college and continues to run it today. Follow him on IG: @parlewithme Read more articles by Kevin.

Kevin Benoit has 1877 posts and counting. See all posts by Kevin Benoit

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