Tonya Reeves & Michael Walker/UMeek Images
“This is not an assignment that man gave to me. This is an assignment that God gave to me," she told us.
Tasha Cobbs Leonard is getting ready for overflow. The anointed vocalist and worship leader released her fourth album Heart. Passion. Pursuit. on Friday and has already rocked the world with her distinctive sound and God-inspired message that journeys to the depths of worship and captures the power of a heart lifted in praise. The album was recorded live in studio and instead of using traditional background vocalists she asked worship leaders from churches across the nation to join her.
“That was one of the most special parts because I have a huge heart for worship leaders and leaders of our generation around the world and to see so many of us come together was amazing. Everybody’s personality just kind of meshed. You had strong leaders all in one room and there was no confusion or conflict. It was just amazing,” Cobbs Leonard told ESSENCE.
“We did it live in the studio. Including the band and worship leaders, there were maybe 30 people in the room. We were the singers and we were the audience. It feels very intimate when you listen to it. I’m so used singing in front of an audience and it was such a stretch, but my husband was so great throughout this process. He just told me to do it just like you would in a crowd.”
The album features Pastor William Murphy on “Forever at Your Feet,” and Christian artist Jimi Cravity on “You Know My Name.” She also partnered up with her good friend and fellow gospel maven Kierra Sheard, for “Your Spirit,” a song Leonard wrote with Kim Walker, Matt Redman, and Jonas Myrin. “The Bible talks about iron sharpening iron. Kierra’s definitely one of my iron sharpeners and our friendship comes through on these songs. You put us behind a mic together and there’s a chemistry we can’t explain.”
Gospel fans and Christian leaders have publically criticized her choice to feature the rap artist on her album. While Leonard has decided not to address specific dissent publically, she stands by her decision to feature Minaj on the album.
“I’ve seen the Nicki that is off the stage and that Nicki has a great relationship with God,” Cobbs Leonard said. “My assignment with this song was for a particular audience. Some [of the listeners] have never experienced God ever and she exposed that audience in her way, to the God that she loves.”
“The testimonies that have come because of this —I would absolutely do it again. I’ve had thousands of people say to me ‘This is the first time I’ve ever bought a gospel album. This is first time I’ve ever felt God. I didn’t believe in God until I heard this song.’”
“This is not an assignment that man gave to me. This is an assignment that God gave to me, and He prepared the way for me, as only God could,” she added.
In addition to celebrating her album release, Leonard is also prepping for a tour. She will be making stops at intimate venues like BB Kings in New York and Howard Theatre in DC, and has plans for larger venues in cities across the nation.
“It is absolutely the joy of my life to be on stage in worship.”
You can purchase Heart. Passion. Pursuit. on Itunes.
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