Mary Mary Background Singer TaMyya J Comes to the Foreground With New Single “God’s Got My Back!”

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Hello World,

I’ve always said that I love all kinds of music from rap to gospel, but gospel music is the only music that can get you through when you’re going through! Y’all know what I mean! That’s why I’m pleased to introduce an exciting up and coming gospel singer TaMyya J to y’all! Her new single “God’s Got My Back” is truly an inspirational song. Below is a some information about TaMyya J followed by my interview with her!

For TaMyya J it all began in her childhood hometown of Willingboro, New Jersey. Singing in church became a regular part of her life at an early age. It wasn’t until 1998, at the age of 14, when TaMyya’s introduction to the professional music industry would solidify her career choice and inspire a dream.  Her group “Praise” won the 1st place prize for the Youth Division at the McDonald’s Gospelfest at Madison Square Garden in NYC. Since that time, she has ministered in song at events throughout the world and has built a well-rounded career in entertainment over the past decade. Her critically acclaimed independent album in 2005 entitled SUDDENLY even earned her a nomination for the Gospel Music Channel’s “Pop Video of the Year” Award.

In 2005, 2006 and 2007, TaMyya was selected by Fashion Fair Cosmetics, a division of Johnson & Johnson Publishing Company, (publishers of EBONY and JET magazines) to kick-off their spring cosmetic campaign by offering three songs from her album as a gift to their customers and by appearing at major departments stores across the country.

In 2007 she performed in the hit stage play “Who Do You Love” starring Erica Campbell (Mary Mary). In addition, TaMyya has spent the last six years traveling as the soprano background vocalist for mega gospel duo Mary Mary.

1.What inspired your new single “God’s Got My Back?”  I really like the message of feeling your not enough – whether it’s pretty enough, thin enough, etc. and then realizing with God, you are wise enough, strong enough, etc. Did you write this song?

Well, I was just at a place where I just felt like nothing was going my way, nothing that I planned to do or wanted to do. It just wasn’t happening. I got to a place where I was like, ‘Lord, I don’t know. Is it me? Is it that I’m not strong enough? I’m not pretty enough? I’m not good enough?’ And I heard the Lord clearly say that His timing is way better than my timing or our timing so that really inspired me to do this song. I wrote the song with Damon Stewart from IGA Talent. I came to him with my concept of the song, and we just came together and this is how it came out.

concert2. “God’s Got My Back” was released this month, and it is from your new album “Love For Your Name.” When will the album be released and tell me about it?

The album will be released early next year. We have a lot of different kinds of tracks on this album. We have reggae songs, worship songs, a little bit of gospel urban feel, and a little bit of pop feel too. I wanted to go in that direction because I didn’t want to be put in a box where I was in this one genre of music. And I have a DVD release coming too early next year, and we will be recording it at my concert on October 14 in Norfolk, Virginia. We have a lot of special guests – Jonathan Nelson, Goo Goo Atkins, the celebrity stylist; Resound, just to name a few. And then it’s my birthday month so I’m really excited about it!

3. You spent the last six years traveling as the soprano background vocalist for Mary Mary. What was that like and how did that happen?

That was the best experience ever! It was amazing! I learned a lot from them, and it was so much fun. I was actually working at a law firm in Philadelphia. I had just taken the job and was making good money at that time. And all of a sudden, I had the opportunity to sing for them. I saw them at a concert, and one of the drummers who played with them knew that I was a singer. The drummer said, ‘Oh, you have to hear TaMyyya sing.’ So they were singing a song, and they just handed me the mic. Tina Campbell handed me the mic, and I was like, ‘Oh, no, I’m so nervous.’ But I sang and from then on, it was like, ‘You’re going to be our background singer.’  I said, ‘Okay!’ I was just at the right place at the right time!

4. I understand that you, as a 14-year-old girl, along with your group “Praise,” won the 1st place prize for the Youth Division at the McDonald’s Gospelfest at Madison Square Garden in NYC. What was it like to perform at Madison Square Garden at 14 years old?

We were so excited and nervous and happy at the same time! Being that young, at 14, it’s like, ‘Wow!’ When we first won the first portion of the contest, it was like, ‘Wow, okay!’ And then we won the next part and we were like, ‘Wow, okay!’ We were like, ‘We’re going to have the chance to sing at Madison Square Garden!” It was an amazing experience, and we were very grateful and humbled. And then we got to perform on the stage with the top gospel artists Karen Clark Sheard, Timothy Wright, just to name a few. It was wonderful! It was the best experience ever!

5. What do you feel is God’s purpose for your music especially since you’ve been singing you were a little girl?

I believe that God’s purpose for my music is to enlighten and encourage and to also let Him get the glory and reach others for Him. This is a gift that He blessed me with so I believe that it will bless others.

6. Some may compare you to Tasha Cobbs or Kierra Sheard or a host of other younger gospel artists about there? What sets you and your music apart?

Well, being compared to them, you know I love them! I think that’s great! I think with all of us our main goal is to serve God and serve people who listen to our music. I love what they do! It’s evident in their music and their ministry so being compared to them is awesome.

7. Tell me about your involvement with House of Esther Ministries?

This is a ministry based out of my church Calvary Revival Church in Norfolk, Virginia with Bishop Courtney McBath and Pastor Janeen McBath. What Pastor Janeen did is she created this housing for young moms or just young people who cannot provide for themselves or it’s very hard for them to get through school. So she provided a home for these young ladies and is helping them to get the education they need to get good jobs. It’s a great program for young ladies, and I just love being a part of that whether I’m giving clothes or money or whatever is needed.

Check out TaMyya J’s new single “God’s Got My Back” below!

TaMyya J’s music is available at all digital outlets!

Any thoughts?

7 Lessons We Can Learn About Life, Love & Creativity from the Life & Death of Prince…

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Hello World,

It’s been 21 hours and six days since Prince’s life slipped away from this earthly realm, and I doubt anyone will ever compare to him….I was off from work and running the last few steps of my four-mile run when a deejay broke into a song to say that various news outlets were reporting that Prince had died…I scurried to my car and sped to my house to get on my laptop to confirm if what I heard was true…I was stunned when it was confirmed that this horrible news was true…And ever since then, I’ve been compulsively watching various interviews with him and programs about his life, catching snippets of “Purple Rain” (I can’t seem to catch the whole movie), reading articles written by those who knew him and marveling that my generation’s Beethoven has made his transition…

I don’t profess to be a super fan of Prince although I’m certainly a fan…But still I’m somewhat surprised that his death has dominated my thoughts since I heard the news…I think it’s because his death is the third of three artists who redefined music: Michael, Whitney and now Prince…Their last names aren’t even needed because they reached icon status with their contributions to music and their music has been a mainstay in my life for as long as I can remember…But since this post is about Prince, I won’t delve anymore into Michael and Whitney for now…

I think we can learn from anyone whether emulating that person’s successes or avoiding that person’s mistakes. And in thinking about Prince’s life, there many lessons we can learn…Below are my Top 7…

1. Prince taught us to use all of our talents up and not be afraid of exploring new talents(Creativity)…What I respect the most about Prince’s life is that his creativity knew no bounds. He played various instruments used in and wrote the music and lyrics to many of his songs. He was so prolific that apparently he has a vault filled with music that very few people have heard yet. He explored colors and designs so much so that he is known for his love of purple and the paisley design. Although he had never made nor acted in a movie before and “Purple Rain” didn’t have the support of major studios, he demanded that “Purple Rain” be made according to his former manager Joseph Ruffalo. In a recent interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, he said, “Now, what kind of a guy was Prince? Like, when Prince said that, ‘We were shooting thanksgiving,’ it meant we better start shooting thanksgiving. And that started a process to make a movie outside the studio system. And, in fact, we did it independently.” His development of his talents reminds me of “The Parable of the Talents” in which three people were given talents by their master and were expected to develop them in his absence. When the master came back, two of the three had developed their talents and added more talents to the initial ones they were given, but one was too scared to develop his one talent (and probably mad that others had more than he did) and ended up being punished for wasting his talent. I know I don’t have the talent that Prince had, but I hope I’m never scared to develop and add to what I do have….

2. Prince taught us that we don’t have to broadcast our philanthropy(Life)…So I never knew how much Prince supported various organizations and causes over the course of his life until Don Lemon’s interview with Van Jones, a friend of Prince…. According to Jones, he helped to create organizations such as #YesWeCode, “a national initiative to help 100,000 young women and men from low-opportunity backgrounds find success in the tech sector” and anonymously paid for people in Oakland, California to have solar panels on their home. According to Jones, Prince was prevented from speaking about his philanthropic efforts in public because he was a Jehovah’s Witness, but Prince was so private (outside of his music) I doubt he would have said anything anyway. Prince’s approach was the opposite of the Pharisee in “The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector” who exalted himself because of his good works while God admired the approach of the tax collector who was humble.

3. Prince taught us the components of a truly good love (and sexy) love song(Love)… So in the days since Prince’s death, I’ve been trying to break down what made Prince’s love songs (my favorite of his songs) so doggone everythang…I’m thinking it’s because they were so sensory…you could hear, see, touch, smell, and taste his love songs…Here is an excerpt to “When 2 R In Love”: “Come bathe with me. Let’s drown each other in each others emotions. Bathe with me. Let’s cover each other with perfume and lotion. Bathe with me. Let me touch your body ’til your river’s an ocean. Bathe with me. Let’s kiss with one synonymous notion. That nothing’s forbidden and nothing’s taboo…when the 2 R in love.” The words of Song of Solomon have a similar effect…”Your stature is like a palm tree. And your breasts are like its clusters. ‘I said, ‘I will climb the palm tree, I will take hold of its fruit stalks.’ Oh, may your breasts be like clusters of the vine, And the fragrance of your breath like apples. And your mouth like the best wine!’ ‘It goes down smoothly for my beloved. Flowing gently through the lips of those who fall asleep.”

Feast on this song for yourself…

4. Prince taught us to preserve the sexy…While we are talking about sexy…(Life)…Getting older is no excuse to let yourself stop, drop and roll to speak…I know Prince was a man and men do have an easier time of maintaining their weight in my experience, but doggone if that man didn’t maintain his slim hips till the very end! And his hair…chile…was always a top priority…so much so that he kept his do-rag on in the rain when he performed at the Super Bowl…Folks laugh at me because I have locs but I run with a do-rag on…My do will be maintained, okay…Prince demonstrated that Psalm 139:14 is true…”I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works (me and you) are wonderful. I know that full well.”

5. Prince taught us to support other artists…(Creativity)…Prince was The Artist, but he lavishly supported the artistry of others as well…Sheila E., The Bangles, Sinead O’Connor, Morris Day & The Time, Chaka Khan, etc. are just a few of the artists who have been associated with him…And his giving to others enlarged his own legacy like what is demonstrated in Luke 6:38. “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

6. Prince taught us that being young is not a reason to not explore your talents…(Creativity)…This lesson is for my younger artists out there…I’ve wanted to be writer since I was six years old, but in those early years, I wondered if I really had anything to offer…I found this post on thatericalper.com in which Prince, as a teenager, was interviewed by his high school newspaper and his focus was apparent even back then…The article was titled “Nelson Finds It “Hard To Become Known.” Here is an excerpt: “Prince was born in Minneapolis. When asked, he said, ‘I was born here, unfortunately.’ Why? ‘I think it is very hard for a band to make it in this state, even if they’re good. Mainly because there aren’t any big record companies or studios in this state. I really feel that if we would have lived in Los Angeles or New York or some other big city, we would have gotten over by now.’ Although he had confidence in himself, he did doubt that he would be discovered…But obviously, he persevered and we all know what happened…It even says in the Bible in 1 Timothy 4:12, don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young…

symbol7. Prince taught us not to be afraid to stand up for yourself and know your worth…(Creativity, Life, Love)Prince’s battle against the record industry has been well documented over the years so I won’t rehash it here…I mean he was known as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince for years behind trying to get the rights back to his music…And before he died, he secured ownership of his music publishing…His taking on the music industry is the ultimate David and Goliath story…

I’m sure that many other lessons can be gleaned from the life of Prince Rogers Nelson, but these are uppermost in my mind…what have you learned from the life and death of Prince?

Rest in Purple Prince…

Any thoughts?

 

 

The Top 10 Blog Posts and or Articles for Black Christian Women in February 2016

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Hello World,

Well, Black History Month 2016 is a wrap, but I’m still doing my monthly post in which I list interesting blog posts and or articles for black Christian women from last month that intrigued me as a black Christian woman ( but you don’t have be a black Christian woman to to check them out:) ! ) As usual, let me know if you like my list! Enjoy and share!

1. “Dancing 106-year-old Describes the Day She Charmed the Obamas: ‘I Can Die Smiling Now’” by

Excerpt: Deeply faithful, McLaurin attends a weekly Bible study, and she said it’s helped her stay upbeat and healthy. That, she said, and a diet of fried beans and peas. Other than a back surgery about 50 years ago, she hasn’t had any major health issues. See more at: washingtonpost.com.

2. “DeVon Franklin to Suggestion in Church That Wife Meagan Good Should Cover Up: ‘She’s Going to Wear What She Wants to Wear in the Name of Jesus’” by Yesha Callahan

Excerpt: “This is not offensive, but I was at the grocery store and I looked at a newsstand and I saw you, and you had your breast showing,” one woman in the audience said. “So, so, I wasn’t gonna come here, I wasn’t, but the Lord brought me here to see you. You’re beautiful. You are a beautiful young woman, and your testimony is awesome. It’s awesome. Amen. Amen! And the Lord let me come and push past the judgment … because you have to make sure what you say and what you do match up, you understand? So we gonna cover up, right?” See more at: theroot.com.

3. “Too Sexy for Church Appeal: When Does Cleavage Become Sinful?” by Charlene Aaron

Excerpt:  Ayesha Curry, wife of NBA player Stephen Curry, received a ton of backlash from people who said she was shaming women who dress less modestly. Actress Meagan Good, who is also a Christian, has often been criticized for wearing clothing viewed as too sexy. See more at: cbn.com.

4. “They Lost Trayvon, Eric, Sandra, Jordan, Dontre. Now These Mothers are With Hillary” by Juana Summers

Excerpt: As rain pelted the rooftop of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist church on Monday afternoon, five mothers — united both in their grief and their purpose — came to share their stories. The women, from five different cities, had each lost a child to a high-profile case of violence. And each had thrown her support behind Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. See more at: mashable.com.

5. “The Legacy of Women in the Black Church” by Pastor Tiffany Thomas

Excerpt: Black women have a long and intricate history with the church. Women, making up 70 to 90 percent of black congregations, have always found the institution of the church a place of refuge, of solace and hope. As far back as African American history begins, during a time when their bodies were bound by the violence of slavery, black women gathered to worship communally a God who gave freedom and liberation in the salvific power of Christ. See more  at: christianitytoday.com.

6. “Black Women and the Imago Dei” by Austin Channing Brown

Excerpt: In the late ’80s and early ’90s when I grew up attending a predominantly white private school, words like diversity and multiculturalism had not yet been popularized. So schools were still developing curriculum and experiences largely devoid of cultural depth. In my experience, all of my teachers were white, as were the principal, librarian, and other staff members. We regularly used illustrated Bibles, storybooks, and movies in which all the characters were also white. When teachers posted pictures of Jesus in the room, Jesus was always depicted as white. See more at: todayschristianwoman.com.

7. “Meet the Incredible Woman Chosen to Lead Mother Emanuel Church After Last Year’s Shooting” by

Excerpt: Clark is unabashed about being a woman at the pulpit. During a part of service where visitors to the church introduce themselves, one particular gentleman calls out, “I’m going to ask, like I do every year.” She begins to fan herself. “Will you be my valentine?” The church erupts into laughter and cheers. “The answer is yes,” she says to her husband. More laughter and clapping. See more at: fusion.net.

8. “Charleston Shooting Survivor Jennifer Pinckney: ‘I Want to Carry on (Clementa’s) Work’” by Jesse James DeConto

Excerpt: The first lady of Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church offered two enduring images: her late husband’s smiling face lying in a casket, and the bullet holes that riddled the church walls when she went to clean out his office a week later. See more at: religionnews.com.

9. “Professor Who Donned Hijab in Solidarity Announces Exit from Christian College” by Women in the World Staff

Excerpt: A college professor at a Christian college in Illinois has agreed to leave her position at the university after she posted a photo of herself wearing a hijab in solidarity with Muslims on social media. Larycia Hawkins drew ire from the administration at Wheaton College over the photo and her remarks on Facebook, where she wrote that Christians and Muslims “worship the same God.” See more at: nytlive.nytimes.com.

10. “First Female African-American General in the Army National Guard Visits Windsor Church” by Jenna DeAngelis

Excerpt: “I’ve had many people, both black and white, tell me that, ‘C’mon you can’t do that.  You’re never going any further than this.’ and to me that was always a challenge,” Cleckley said. Every challenge became an opportunity and every opportunity became another page in her book, A Promise Fulfilled. See more at: fox61.com.

Any thoughts?