Pastor Marvin Sapp is by far one of the mot successful gospel recording artists, amassing number one hits like; “He Saw The Best In Me” and “Never Would Have Made It.”
Now after recently releasing his milestone 10th CD, You Shall Live, and debuting at number one again, ESSENCE sat down with the busy singer to discuss staying relevant in the ever changing music industry, dating and the enormity of releasing 10 solo projects!
How does it feel that you are now on your 10th solo project?
It feels good to still be relevant. To have the opportunity to say something people are still receptive to is a blessing! I have been blessed with a solid fan base, so they still look for my music. Luckily my last 4 records have done exceptionally well. I’ve kind of found my niche musically.
Is it hard to stay relevant as music changes?
I’m a music head. I listen to a lot of different genres. Depending on the day, it could be anything from Country to Hip Hop and everything in between. But I also bounce stuff off my 3 kids. They’ve been around the music industry their while and now that their mother is not here, they play a very big part in shaping my career. My son definitely knows the trends in music. I also have a great team of guys and I like to give them the opportunity to shine and share their gifts. There is actually a song that I loved that I wanted to go on this album and when I played it for kids, they said absolutely NOT! It was funny, but when they speak, I listen!
You probably get this question all the time, but will there ever be another Commissioned reunion project?
You have to ask Fred Hammond. He’s the architect…the ball is in his court. I really would like to see another Commissioned record, BUT I only want to do it if Warryn Campbell and Eric Dawkins are producing it. They grew up listening to Commissioned and with their production and musicality; I think it would do very, very well. So I’m putting it out there.
What is something that people would be surprised to know about you?
I love Disney World! I usually go about 4 or 5 times a year. Most times when I go now, I just walk around and take it all in. I think Walt Disney is the most amazing man that I have been able to study for a short period of time. He was a cartoonist who created an entire world from a mouse. It’s mind blowing when you really sit and think about it. I’ll usually come back from trip with ideas for my church.
Have you starting dating again since the passing of your wife?
I do date. Dating is different though now. I was married my whole adult life. I got married at 25, so marriage is really all I know. Nowadays it seems like everyone is in a hurry to get married. After 90 days they want to know where it’s going. I come from the school of getting to know someone and taking it slow. Sometimes I just want to go out to dinner. I enjoy the companionship, but that doesn’t mean I want to walk you down the aisle.
Let’s go back just a little, what do you remember about your massive crossover hit, “Never Would Have It?”
I could have never imagined that “Never Would Have Made It” would end up spending 49 weeks at #1! But what people don’t know is the version of “Never Would Have Made It” that was released, was not what it originally sounded like. It actually has two verses and a bridge that most people have never heard. Now this goes back to what I said earlier about listening to my family. So when my wife heard it she didn’t like it. She wanted me to take out the bridge and kill one of the verses. So I said, “I’m not recording it.” But she kept bugging me and bugging me, and I finally put it in a medley just to appease her. I’m so happy I listened to her because it is one of the biggest gospel songs ever.