With seven Mary Mary albums under her belt, Erica Campbell spreads her wings flying solo for the first time in 2013. Having spent 13 years as part of the groundbreaking duo Mary Mary, Erica fearlessly takes a step in a new direction.
The new direction is a bold one that forges a new path and journey for Erica Campbell, opening up a world of possibilities rooted in her desire to expose her heart and soul through music.
Where there were two, it is now one voice that stands alone revealing all of Campbell’s emotions, desires and sentiments. For Erica, musical messages are universal. “We all want to inspire, to connect people to God, to encourage them and to see people delivered. But the distinctive nature [on my project] will be people hearing just my voice and hearing the heart of who I am, which is a little bit different from Mary Mary.”
Her heart is what drives her. She is passionate about people. Reaching them, hearing and understanding their stories, praying for and loving them, it is what ultimately makes Erica’s music relevant and relatable. “I have a serious heart for people. I care about the wounded, the broken hearted people, the downtrodden. I’m a regular girl trying to reach regular people with an extraordinary message: that God cares.” Her first single, the upbeat and powerful “A Little More Jesus” is exactly that - Campbell tapping into what people are feeling and thinking. She unites us with her honesty and enthusiasm.
“I have a job to do … I want to bring the gospel to all aspects of the world. I want to use the platform to bring it to the people on the corner, outside of church,” said Erica.
While continuing to tour as Mary Mary and filming her WEtv reality show, Erica began work on her first solo project that is slated for release in 2014. The solo project, HELP, will be released on My Block Inc./eOne on March 25th. The debut will showcase Erica’s individual creative sound and artistry. She continues to hone her writing skills on the project as well as work with longtime collaborator, partner & husband Warryn Campbell.
Expect a wide range of music from Campbell. From her foundation in church to her classical training and musical influences, Erica describes her solo sound as blend “think Motown meets gospel meets rock & roll,” all of which are her nod to the power and uniqueness of live vocals and live bands.
“The songs will be different,” said Campbell. “I want to reach back into what music has gone away from which is live instrumentation. I want Gospel music to take full ownership of what music really is. There will be a lot of live instruments – strings and horns. It will be music that is relevant and appealing with a message that is just as moving, necessary and compelling.”
And though this season is one for Erica to experience alone, it’s hard to not mention Mary Mary. Ever since siblings Erica Campbell and Tina Campbell broke through in 2000 with the pioneering crossover hit “Shackles (Praise You),” the chart-topping sister act has never wavered from defying convention to fulfill its mission: sending uplifting messages through music and words that are relatable to everyone. Mary Mary are multiple award nominees and winners. In addition to earning numerous Stellar Music and Dove Awards they have also received 4 Grammy Awards, 3 NAACP Image Awards, 2 American Music Awards, a Soul Train Award and a BET Award. In 2011, Mary Mary received the ASCAP Golden Note Award for their extraordinary songwriting accomplishments.
Erica says of her decision to go solo “It’s hard to not be Mary Mary, because I’ve been that for so long. But I think God is requiring ME to be ME. We don’t have a twin ministry we just happen to be side by side. I think He has an individual ministry for me and for her [sister Tina]. You stand by someone for so long you don’t even know if you’re capable of standing on my own two feet. This is my chance to stand on my own.”
Erica is guided in her personal and professional lives by a boundless desire to please God and her eternal love for her family. These are driving principals that are what is most important to Campbell. “I want the people that raised me, the pastors and all the people that spoke into my life … I want them to see that I listened and that I got it. That I represent God well and when they hear my name I want them to say we’re proud of her. That will mean the world to me.”
On the personal side Erica is a loving wife of award winning and platinum selling producer - Warryn Campbell, II. The two have recently started their ministry hosting a growing monthly prayer and bible study in North Hollywood, CA. “The responsibility of the people and the weight is so heavy,” Erica said of the call to ministry. “But what God has called you to, He also equips you. Warryn and I both have a sincere heart for the disenfranchised in church. We put too much focus on people; we need to get back to God; serving Him and loving Him.” .