Mary Mary Up close and Personal

Gospel Today caught up with Gospel’s #1 Female Duo for an up close a personal talk about “life off of the stage!” Mary Mary shares interesting insight on where they have been, where they are now with the upcoming release of a new project and where they are headed!

{ G T } Has the way people embrace you, your music and God changed over the years?

{ E R I C A } Yes, things have changed. Parents don\’t take their children to church like they used to. Kids are kind of raising themselves; and because my Generation (Y) didn\’t want to be told what to do, we let our kids do what they want to do. Now, kids are like “I don\’t care!” and you wonder, ‘Who and what do you care about?\’ So, we try to make music that subliminally plants messages about caring about something and somebody other than yourself, about why you should care, and why you should love and be respectful. It\’s really deep.

I remember when Tina and I were kids, we were all like, ‘I don\’t want to displease my parents, and I don\’t want to displease God.” But now, kids are like, ‘I don\’t care! My mama don\’t care about me.”

It makes what we do even harder! But I\’m up for the task!

{TINA} I think when people see us off the stage—around our mother or with our children, or interacting with our husbands—that speaks to a level of respect of our elders and how we carry ourselves with some kind of dignity. Because sometimes you see things going down and you have to ask, ‘Is it the kids that\’s crazy or the mama?”

Who we are beyond the stage speaks to that. It\’s like, ‘Don\’t get it confused, just because you hear our songs on secular or Hip Hop radio doesn\’t mean that I\’m down with everything. Every joke ain\’t funny and I\’m not going to entertain every conversation or be in every circle.

I know that there are those that don\’t think we al- ways make the best choices. We\’re very cognizant of the position that we hold and we know that some- times our greatest weakness will be what people see when we\’re just out walking around or what they hear coming out of our mouths.

When we first came into the industry, we felt like we needed to dot all the “i\’s” and fix everything. But now, we understand that all we can do is plan and prepare and put forth our best, and however people perceive it and however it turns out is up to God.

Over the last 10 years, I have definitely learned how to separate personal from professional. There are certain things that I don\’t want to be a part of and I don\’t want to work with professionally, but it doesn\’t affect me personally. We\’ve learned that every battle is not worth fighting.

{ERICA} We\’ve learned to accept what God allows.

{TINA} Some things you don\’t have to speak to. God will avenge you. When you put forth your best effort and do all that you can do, you let God do the rest.

We\’ve learned lessons as sisters, as wives and as ministers. We\’ve learned to prioritize. I sat down with CeCe Winans one time, and I asked her, ‘How do you balance? You\’ve got grown kids that are good! By the time most artists\’ kids get grown, they\’re a ‘hot mess,\’” and she said, ‘You\’ve got to say ‘no\’ sometimes. You\’ve got to spend time with your family and make sure that they\’re OK.” We\’ve had our moments of being down, and while singing ‘In the morning…\’ [feeling like]—I\’m not alright and the morning ain\’t here and I\’m upset! But I\’ve learned how to deal with it, and I\’ve learned that God will never leave me. He\’s not sitting up there thinking, “How do I fix this for her?”

{TINA} You a can\’t learn 15 years of the business in 5 years. When we were new artists and wanted to know a lot of things, some of those things had to just come through time. I\’m comfortable in the skin I\’m in; I\’m OK with who I am. I want people to understand but I don\’t feel the need to explain. I sincerely love Jesus with everything that I have, and my heart will show.