Marvin Sapp- “Winning”
By Thomas Warren
Marvin Sapp has been in the industry for over 20 years. His mainstream introduction was through the famed gospel group Commissioned. That platform led him to a successful solo career where he is currently one of the most sought after artist in the music industry. Last month, Pastor Sapp released his 9th solo CD and despite a very rigorous schedule, I was able to catch up with him while he grabbed lunch.
Root: Good afternoon Pastor Sapp, how are you?
Marvin Sapp: I am doing well, please excuse me but I am in between meetings so I am grabbing lunch as we speak.
Root: Not a problem. I am certain you are busy and I am happy to have this opportunity to speak with you.
Marvin Sapp: My pleasure.
Root: So let’s talk about the new CD- “I Win.” This declaration seems very deliberate, especially after the unfortunate loss of your wife. Why make this statement at this time?
Marvin Sapp: Well it was my desire to let people know that we are victorious, we are winners. No matter what we go through in life, God never fails and all of it works to our good and for our good. It was important to me to make sure people know that in spite of my loss.
Root: How are you getting over the loss?
Marvin Sapp: Well I will never get over it. When you spend that amount of time with one person who you love, you just never get over it. My wife was an integral part of my life and a part of my ministry so the loss is felt. But God is a healer and we (me and my children) are in the process of healing and growing as a family.
Root: That’s great to hear. The songs are very encouraging and talk of God’s faithfulness and his power to deliver.
Marvin Sapp: Yes the CD is really aimed at delivering the message of victory to the listener.
Root: The new single “Testimony” is a prime example of the message delivered on the CD.
Marvin Sapp: It really is and as much as it is a personal testimony, it is one that most people can identify with. In spite of calamity, God still has a plan. It is real to life.
Root: So how are you balancing all of this? You’re a pastor, a gospel artist, a father…
Marvin Sapp: Well I don’t believe in balancing. Anything that you balance can be dropped or become unbalanced. I believe in prioritizing. I am a father first, then a Pastor and then music and so on. There are multiple things at work at once. God shows me how to prioritize things as needed and it works.
Root: So you mentioned that you and your family are healing. With your schedule as rigorous as it is, how do you ensure you (and your family) are physically and mentally healthy?
Marvin Sapp: Well we try to eat right and I have a gym at home that I use, and have begun to use more often. We also see a family therapist to assist us in coping with our loss. As a father, I am aware of my children and how this has affected us all. So I work to ensure that we are as healthy as we can be.
Root: When you are having your downtime, what music do you listen to?
Marvin Sapp: Not much. I listen to mostly preachers (he laughs). I am really a preacher at heart and a student of God’s Word. I am sustained through the preached word of God so when I am in my car or listening to anything, it is mostly to preachers. Recently, I had to listen to a lot of music to prepare for the recording this CD.
Root: That’s interesting because as a music artist, I’d think you’d listen to a lot of singers?
Marvin Sapp: Well I support good music. I like artists who are true to the craft of music and not those who are following trends. I am aware of many good artists, but I don’t listen to them regularly. Actually, I do have the new Dawkins & Dawkins in my CD changer in the car.
Root: OK. Are there any new artists you’d recommend our readers to keep an eye out for?
Marvin Sapp: I would recommend good music and people who are true to music. Mali Music and Lecrae; these are newer artists who most probably already know of.
Root: So there have been rumors of you dating a certain young lady on Basketball Wives by the name of Imani. Are you interested in commenting on this? Please excuse me for being forward with this question but it is apparently a part of social discussion, so this may actually be an opportunity for you to clear the air about this.
Marvin Sapp: Yes I know… I’ve been asked this question a lot in recent interviews. The answer is- I am not dating her. We are friends and that’s all. So if people have seen us at dinner or out, this doesn’t mean we are dating.
Root: Well enough said on that topic and thank you for your honesty.
Marvin Sapp: No problem.
Root: You mentioned there are multiple projects at work. Is there anything worth mentioning now?
Marvin Sapp: Well my newest endeavor is the opening of my new school- The Grand Rapids Ellington Academy for Arts and Technology (G.R.E.A.A.T.). This was a vision that my wife Malinda worked tirelessly on with me so it is a dream come true to finally be able to bring this vision to fruition. Of course we are still working in support of this new CD, “I Win” as well. There are some other ventures in review but those haven’t been finalized as of yet.
Root: I’d like to thank you for your time and wish you continued success with all that you are working on. We will talk again soon.
Marvin Sapp: Thank you as well. God bless.