They are the quintessential representation of Black Love. David and Tamela Mann are indeed a dynamic duo when it comes to the family business, and even with reality shows, movies, clothing lines and tours, the most important thing to the Manns is still a simple four letter word…LOVE!
As told to Hasan James
Root: You guys just completed a successful tour last year and now you are going on tour again with The Mann Family Tour. Tell us what we can expect from this tour?
David: I always tell people you’re going to expect the unexpected. It’s not something that you would expect. It’s worship, comedy, love…. a little bit of everything. So that’s why we’re excited to bring the people something that’s different, but like the young people say, We gonna turn up!
Root: I love it! I know you guys have a book coming out as well during the release of the tour. Tell us about the book.
Tamela: It’s us against the world, our secret to love marriage and family. We’re talking about our love for each other, our family and our family issues. We’ve had issues in our marriage and we’re just talking about the happy times. It basically takes you on a 30 year journey with us. It gives you the good, the bad and the ugly.
Root: I love that the two of you do so much together, whether it’s writing, singing, or acting. How do you keep your relationship fresh?
Tamela: I like him. I like him and that’s very important. It’s something I’ve always prayed for, you know, I wanted to be with somebody that understood what I was doing without, you know, the endeavors that I was diving into at the time. I spent a lot of my time at church and I wanted somebody to do the same thing that I was doing.
David: She was a church girl.
Root: We’ve had the conversation a number of times, but I remember when we used to travel up and down the road; I with Hezekiah Walker and Love Fellowship and you guys with Kirk Franklin and The Family. Did you guys ever think that sowing those seeds early on would lead to television, movies, books and tours?
Tamela: Never could I have imagined all of this. I was ok just traveling the world at someone else’s expense singing background, but then to actually go out on your own doing movies, plays, television and all of that other stuff is a dream come true. I would’ve never thought that all of this would happen.
Root: Now let’s talk about this duet album you guys are doing. I’m excited for this album because I haven’t heard David sing in such a long time.
Tamela: I know right!
Root: Usually when you think of a duet album, you think sensuality, not spirituality. Is it going to be a good balance of both?
David: What we wanted to do was create a soundtrack for the book and we wanted to do music for us, by us. When I say for us, by us, I mean couples, people that are married, Christian couples. We didn’t want it to be like we were a 50 year old couple trying to do R&B love songs. We just wanted to speak to the heart and do genuine good love music. So, it’s not a gospel album, but it’s still inspirational because it just speaks about genuine love.
Root: Tamela, will we still get solo music from you on this album?
Tamela: Actually, there will be duets from the both of us, as well as solo music from David and I. This is definitely a different lane for me. Like David said, some people will say that is an R&B album, but I call it Righteous and Blessed. It is somewhere down the middle and has a little twist to it. We mentioned in the book that our favorite song is Secret Lover and it’s along those lines, heartfelt soul music.
David: The good thing about it is you get to hear Tam tell in a totally different light. We are use to her taking us straight to church, but now she’s using her voice to make you want to make babies!
Tamela: Did you really just say that? (Laughter)
David: I wasn’t supposed to say that, I was supposed to just think that. But it’s not the “Slap the booty” kind of music, it’s really tasteful love music.
Root: I love that and I also love the fact that you guys gave my dear friend Thomas TC Clay a chance to write on Tamela’s album a few years ago. I remember when he called and told me that he got placement on the One Way album with the song Change Me. He passed away a few weeks after our conversation…
David: Man, we were told right in the middle of sound check and it literally took the air out of us!
Root: The fact that you guys released Change Me as a single and it went #1 is the perfect homage to TC.
David: He was right there during the LIVE video. Yo can see him in the background smiling…
Tamela: When I tell you my heart just bleeds every time I see TC on the video. I’m just like Lord, why? I guess The Lord was just ready for him to be with him.
Root: I truly believe that. Now tell us a bit about this clothing line you got coming out.
Tamela: It’s called At Leisure. It’s clothing that you can dress up or dress down. When women need to run their errands or run over to the school, this is clothing that they can wear. We have softer fabrics and it is great for day to day wear. It’s also perfect for when you finish your workout and you still want to be presentable.
David: It’s actually from her Mann clothing line.
Root: Where can the clothing line be found?
Tamela: I’m kicking it off with Ashley Stewart this November 2018.
Root: That’s awesome. You guys have a lot going on with the tour, the book and clothing line. What else would you like to do that you haven’t done?
Tamela: We did a Christmas movie this year that will be airing on TV One this December. It’s actually a love movie that I am the lead on and Davis is my co-star. It’s the craziest thing…
David: Yes, I’m her love interest in the movie.
Root: You’re her love interest? Isn’t that original! (Laughter)
David: Right! (Laughter) The thing is, she’s not really interested in my character. She’s too good for my character!
Tamela: We were old friends…
David: My character is an old country bumpkin and she is a bougie city girl and of course in the end, I get the girl!
Tamela: Oh man, ain’t nobody got time for that! (Laughter)