(Monday, April 7th) It’s been a great few weeks for some of the young ladies of the Covenant House through their partnership with Saving Our Daughters. Women celebrities have taken time out for them while working on their major projects. In late March, the girls had the opportunity to meet with entrepreneur, actress and author, Lala Anthony with her New York Best Selling book and this past Friday, Grammy Award winning Gospel artist, Erica Campbell of the group, Mary Mary on her CD signing.
Erica Campbell recently appeared at an Atlanta GA Walmart to sign her number one gospel album Help, where hundreds of people came out to support. Once again the girls of the Covenant House were treated like queens, as they were the allowed to have the opportunity to meet with Erica and receive some words of encouragement, signed posters and of course their personal photo with Erica.
“It was a blessing that we were asked to participate with Erica’s big signing day. The ladies felt so honored and enjoyed meeting Erica. They loved their personal gifts. We would like to thank Ms. Gina Miller VP of National Promotions of eOne Music who personal extended the invite for the girls”, stated Debbie Benjamin, Co-Founder of Saving Our Daughters.
eOne Music also donated gospel CDs and posters for the girls of the Covenant House.
About our Erica Campbell
Eclectic, compelling, and at times risky, Erica Campbell lays all her emotions bare on a project that has been a true labor of love. After a lifetime and 13 years of professionally singing with sister Tina, Erica takes a leap of faith out into unchartered territory to release her debut solo album HELP.
Erica’s faith resonates throughout an album that is everything that one’s art should be — an honest portrayal of real life. Erica’s art and heart is her music and the end result is HELP, a compelling impressive body of work that is both passionate and meaningful.
Recalling the days before hard-line classifications and genres, HELP is a straightforward celebration of black music. Almost all forms of music take their cues from Black music and Erica has found a way to honor them in a way that works effortlessly. In today’s world where all styles of music are accessible, Erica taps into the current trend of music by making substantive songs that connect with all audiences. Bits of soul, rock, blues, R&B country and pop are heard alongside gospel messages. “It is gospel music wrapped in a different package,” explained Erica. “It is true to me and the musicality that comes from Warryn and I … I’m excited for people to hear that.”
A running current throughout are themes of trust, encouragement, faith and confidence in God. HELP is a parallel to Erica’s journey that she hopes listeners will use as guide for their own. “It reflects that inner position that I was in … not only did I need help, I had help and that was how I made it through … with the help of God.” Erica continued “the songs on the album all point to the idea that you can overcome. Even if you have low or dark days it’s knowing that when you’re in that space you know that you’re not alone.”
There are 13 tracks on HELP and having written 90% of the songs on the album, it is truly personal to Erica. It is the honesty in her music that connects her to listeners. Maintaining the open and honest persona that fans have seen on her hit WEtv reality show “Mary Mary,” Erica continues to display her life’s story on this project. “Anybody that is a songwriter and is passionate then all that emotion and feeling will make it’s way into the music.” said Erica. “When you sing about what is real in your heart you can feel it in the music.”
The chemistry and connection between Erica and husband / executive producer Warryn Campbell is what makes this album shine. “It is always great working with my husband … whether we are at home or wherever we can always be creative,” said Erica. “When people who love each other do music together … that love, that passion makes it ways in there. We have a passion of each other, for the art and most importantly for the God we sing about. There was an awesome energy when we were in the studio.”
The couple share writing credit on several songs including “You Are,” “More Than A Lover,” “Eddie,” and “All I Need Is You.” It is their shared openness to take risks that allows this album to work so well. “He pushes me to do my best and knows my range and things that I haven’t done yet as a vocalist … he has a lot of confidence in my ability to not only sing a song but to emote a song.”
The album’s title track and current single “Help,” is absolutely one of those songs. The song is as memorable as it is relatable and is one of many narratives that Erica brings us into. There is vocal skill on the song but the power is felt in Erica’s delivery.
“When the emotion is so raw and genuine you can hear it on the record. For me that’s exactly what happened with songs like ‘Help’ and ‘Looking Like’ or ‘Changes’,” Erica said. “Because of the kind of year I had leading up to the recording this record and the process of putting it out … All the emotions, experiences, feelings made its way into that song. There is desire and resilience to overcome … it’s all in this music.”
HELP will also have you dancing from the EDM-styled “More Than A Lover,” the feel good “Looking Like,” and “A Little More Jesus” to the MJ-esque “Nobody Else” and chant-filled anthem “P.O.G.” Another get you moving track is the clear stand-out “You Are.” It is hip and fun as the band brings you in immediately. The guitar solo is bluesy and rock and lyrically it speaks to ALL that God is.
Writing super duo Gerald and Tammi Haddon contributed “I’m A Fan,” a sweeping ballad that offers admiration to all God’s creations. From designing the beauty of the world to the creation man, the song takes a moment to appreciate the miracles and works of God. While the poignant “Eddie,” is a rock-a-billy story-telling ode to Erica’s beloved father who passed away in 2013. “We always talked about doing a song for my dad … I cried through the whole process. I was literally wiping tears and writing lyrics. It was so hard, in the end you can hear the cry in my voice,” said Erica.
Executive producer Warryn Campbell offers variety with the Percy Bady penned “Changes,” a good-ole gospel ballad, “All I Need Is You,” a pared down worship song that showcases Erica’s amazing tone and the thought-provoking “The Question.”
“I wanted to make sure it was diverse musically,” said Erica. “But moving forward is the common thread … it is about looking to the future every day … that every day is a new day and a new opportunity. I’m not resting on past accomplishments … I’m looking ahead.”
This is all new for Erica and she’s loving the process. “I’m proving something to myself. It was a challenge to step away from ‘your normal’ … I’m hearing my own voice and I’m liking it,” she said.
Her hope for the album is simply to inspire people to keep moving forward. “Always be on a quest to be better,” Erica said. “Never accept your regular … always aim to be extraordinary.”