|Meet the Artist: Mandisa
|Written by DeWayne Hamby
|Monday, 08 July 2013 03:12 PM America/New_York
American Idol alum Mandisa’s new album, Overcomer (5099960707420, $13.99), releases Aug. 27 from Sparrow Records (Capitol Christian Distribution).
What are some of the things that influenced you most going into the process of preparing for the new album?
I feel like God placed several “overcomers” in my life around the time I began working on this album. Being a small part of Robin Roberts’ story on Good Morning America opened my eyes to the strength someone fighting a similar battle must have. Being on GMA the week she went on medical leave for her bone marrow transplant, and being invited to sing “Stronger” the day she returned was one of the biggest honors of my life! The six months in between those two events were filled with walking with several “overcomers.” One was a friend who was pregnant with her second child when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Another was a friend raising her daughter while walking through a divorce after discovering that her husband was having an affair. These beautiful, strong, godly women helped me realize that an overcomer is someone who faces a battle and comes out on top. They inspired many of the messages on my Overcomer album.
What are some of the highlights of the new record for you?
One of my favorite things about this album was getting to write with and record songs written by some of my friends, who also happen to be some of my favorite artists. I have always been a huge fan of Plumb’s. I wrote one of the songs that means the most to me on this album with her. My brother John is not a Christian … yet! “Dear John” is basically a letter to him set to music about my desire for him to have the abundant life Jesus died for him to have. Matthew West and I have written many songs together. For this album, we wrote “The Distance,” a song about how God pursues us and closes the gap created by sin. Britt Nicole and Cindy Morgan co-wrote a beautiful song called “Where You Begin” about God’s strength being enough in our weakness. Israel Houghton is one of my favorite worship leaders. Writing a congregational worship song with him was a dream come true! When we worship God in the middle of a battle, it becomes a weapon. “At All Times” is a war cry of worship! After “Good Morning” (on my last album) became an alarm-clock song for many of my Twitter and Facebook friends, they overwhelmingly requested a nighttime song from me. Their wish is my command! I wrote, “Cradle Me (Patsy’s Lullaby)” with my friend and longtime Women of Faith speaker Patsy Clairmont. I’ve always wanted to write a song to my future husband. I finally got to write one with my boy, Chris August (who, to squash any rumors before they begin, I am not dating! We’re just friends!). “Praying for You” is the song I hope to sing to my future husband face to face one day. Until then, I’m pretty sure he’s lost and refuses to ask for directions!
Will you tour in support of the new record?
I have some concerts with Brandon Heath in the fall (dubbed “The BranDisa Tour”). In November and December, I’ll be on the Hits Deep Tour with TobyMac, Brandon Heath (nope, we’re not tired of each other yet), Jamie Grace, Colton Dixon, Chris August and Capital Kings. Woo hoo!
Do you consider your permanent tie to American Idol a challenge or a blessing? Does it still continue to open doors?
American Idol was an amazing launching pad for me. I love how my ties with it continue to provide a platform for me to share Jesus to a watching world. And it is so like our God to use a show with that title to teach that there is only one true and living God that is to be worshipped!