On Tuesday April 3, Marvin Sapp will release I Win, his ninth solo album. I Win is filled with songs that will resonate with listeners, as Sapp continues to delivers songs that speak to the heart of the believer, identifying with their struggles and triumphs through faith.
The lead single, “My Testimony,” is a beautiful ballad that speaks of overcoming loss and being able to continue to stand. Sapp says the song “is more about me sharing how I got through it, not just that I got through it.”
The album, recorded live October 2011 at Evangel Cathedral in Upper Marlboro, gives a nod to DC with the go-go styled, “Teach My Hands to War” which encourages believers to fight their battles with praise and worship.
Songwriter Darius Paulk (“Nobody Greater”) wrote the mid-tempo “Deeper,” calling listeners to a deeper relationship with God. “The Hymns Medley” is the result of spontaneous worship that erupted during the live recording. Gospel standards “Bless the Lord” and “The Blood Will Never Lose it Power” are part of the medley and the medley’s power is captured richly on the album as the audience worships. “Keep It Moving,” honors his late wife, MaLinda and was a phrase she often used with their congregation.
Baltimore-based singer Brittney Wright and Joshua Lay wrote the title track, “I Win.” Sapp heard Wright sing the song at a conference. “When she sang it, I was like ‘This is my life.’ She really expressed what I was going through, had been going through. She expressed it so vividly and clearly that night, I literally lost it.” Sapp asked Wright if he could record the song and she agreed.
“I didn’t tell her that night that I was going to make that the title track,” he recalls. “But, that’s been my declaration over the past 20 months, that I am a winner in spite of the things that I’ve had to go through. That’s what really made me name the record that, because it really just speaks to my life and what I’ve gone through” he goes on to say.
About Wright, the singer says, “She is a gift, she’s a phenomenal writer, a phenomenal artist, she deserves this platform. I just hope that I did a good job on what she articulated in her concepts, thoughts and ideas. I’m just thankful that song is on my record, because it speaks to me.”
Committed to giving back
Marvin Sapp sent out a request for songs for I Win via Twitter and Facebook. “We got over 2000 responses. I listened to everything and I think three of the songs actually made the record. It’s just about giving opportunity.”
A daunting task, no doubt, but Sapp is committed to helping others along the way “We wanted to give others an opportunity by placing it on social media. Sapp has more than 113, 000 Twitter followers and 487, 000 that follow his Official Facebook page. “We have a ton of people that we’re able to connect to on a daily basis.”
Marvin’s Motivational Moments
The Stellar and Dove award-winner also stays connected with his followers with Marvin’s Motivational Moments that he began posting on his Official Facebook page shortly after MaLinda’s passing.
“Marvin’s Motivational Moments actually started as something that was actually therapeutic for me. I would sit up late at night after my wife passed trying to adjust to being alone. We were together almost 20 years. So many nights since my wife passed I was reaching across the bed, trying to you know feel for her and unconsciously not knowing she wasn’t there, but consciously knowing she wasn’t and I wouldn’t sleep.
“I started Marvin’s Motivational Moments because we would sit up in bed many nights when I got home late. We would sit up and talk half the night about ideas and I began to remember a lot of the things we said. So I just started it as one liners and it just blew up.”
“Now we have people that look forward to it and let me know how it’s been a blessing.” Sapp writes all of his Facebook posts himself “I didn’t hire somebody to do it. I just believe that whatever I post should be my content.”
Many want to know how Marvin Sapp and his children are doing after their tragic loss. In addition to single fatherhood, he serves as pastor at Lighthouse FLC church in Grand Rapids, Michigan and of course, has a very successful music career. How does he get it all done?
“I don’t juggle, because anything you juggle you can drop,” he asserts. “I have to prioritize: father first and then a pastor and a recording artist, and entrepreneur. I try to put everything in proper perspective, and then the proper priority. I know that if I do that God will bless it.”
But, it’s not always easy, “Of course when you have been in a relationship all of your adult life, I’d been with my wife since the age of 20, it’s a major adjustment. Everyday you have to get up with the mentality of ‘it’s going to be better than yesterday’ and you know that’s how I’ve been thriving and surviving the kids as well.”
Sapp and his children also see a counselor on a per call basis. He highly recommends it for those dealing with the grief process.
“Without question. I’m a preacher, pastor, teacher and I believe very strongly that you pray. But, I also believe that you need other people in your life that will help you process and that are non-biased. My wife was a clinician by profession, so it was a natural progression for us that when she passed, that we needed to do grief counseling so that we could have somebody that could talk us through, help us process. I strongly recommend it.”
Watch a video of the live recording of “My Testimony.”
A new book
Sapp recently completed a book, “I Win: How ToWin In Life, Love and Legacy” that will be coming to store shelves soon.
“I’m excited about being able to put out a book that will be encouraging its different concepts that speak to things that you need to know in order to win in life, love, in establishing legacy. The worse thing in the world is for an individual to live, breath and exist and leave this earth, die and not make impact.”
I Win will be available in stores April 3, iTunes, Amazon and other outlets.
© 2012 Sarah Hearn All rights reserved
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