Q&A: Erica Campbell, Gospel Musician and Radio Host (2022)

Erica Campbell, gospel musician and reality TV star (“Mary Mary” on WE tv), is bringing her faith—and her following—to broadcast radio. On “Get Up! Mornings with Erica Campbell,” syndicated in 40 markets by Radio One’s Reach Media division, Campbell blends gospel music, topical conversation and inspirational talk.

About a month into the show, she spoke to Inside Radio about her broadcast debut, how her program differs from other gospel radio shows and how she juggles all of her platforms.

You are already juggling a music career and a reality show. Why add a radio show into the mix?

Radio is a very direct way to communicate. It is a regularly scheduled conversation with people who have been listening to my music. With a TV show, there is editing, and a concert is just one hour. This is four hours of my feelings and my emotions and those are hard to hide when you’re in the thick of it. Radio allows you to really get to know your listeners and for them to really get to know you. We get a lot of calls and call-ins are great. We also get questions on social media too, from Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. A lot of people say they’re trying to get through and it is busy. We’ve been on the air less than a month, and we already have callers who are regulars.

(Video) Erica Campbell - Positive

How is your show different from other programs in the market?

It is different because of my perspective, and being a Christian in 2016 that is not closed-minded. The world is bigger than the church I go to. Knowing how to reach people gives me a different perspective than another churchgoing radio host. As [half of the group she shares with her sister] Mary Mary or a solo artist, I have a lot to say and a lot to share. Radio is the perfect place to do that. My cohost Griff and I, we have a lot of fun. We are not stiff or rigid. We have a good time and inspire people and get them ready for the day. Like today, we were talking about how do you deal when your minister or pastor or church leader has had a moral failure. The phones went crazy and we had strong opinions. You have to be real with people and you have to be honest and tell the truth. It is not what you might always hear on a Christian radio show, but you don’t want to talk over people’s heads or minimize their problems. It not like you can say, ‘You just pray and it all goes away.’ That is irresponsible. You have to give them practical ideas to deal with real-life issues. Sometimes, my answer is, ‘I don’t know. We’re walking through life together.’ That level of honesty allows me to connect with the audience.

How do you think gospel radio can grow and expand its reach?

I think it is about understanding that a person in 2016 is very different from someone in 2009. The Millennials are different. They are a little more progressive. They are inclusive and they are curious. They want you to explain why and they want to understand. You have to have answers to that question and that call for that audience. I’m right in the middle where I have a lot of respect for my elders, but I so understand the Millennials and questions and reservations they have. They don’t just jump on a bandwagon because someone says to. My older aunts would say: ‘Because they say so’ and I would say, ‘Who are “they” and why do we listen to them?’ Asking those questions makes you think clearly. You have to find out why you believe what you believe and where that came from. Is it just because your mama said it or have you had a real experience to solidify what you believe?

(Video) Unsung | The Story of Erica Campbell | NEW 2022

I have had many experiences and I’ve been so blessed. I do not doubt my faith, not one iota. It is not because of what someone told me, it is because my heart was broken and God fixed it. I had a personal experience and I was in my car and asked a question and I got an answer. It makes your faith so solid and it makes me so excited to share that with the audience. And now, I can take that to radio and get more people participating and listening. If you take that honesty and realness to radio, people will feel you.

How did you prepare to host a radio show? Four hours, five days a week is a lot of time to be on the air.

(Video) Erica Campbell x Warryn Campbell "All of My Life" (Official Music Video)

Having been a gospel artist for 16 years and having a reality show, I’ve done a lot of interviews and I’ve sat in for Steve Harvey and other gospel radio shows. I pay attention. Radio is something I’ve always loved and I like to talk to people. As far as research, it was me doing interviews and doing drops and going to stations and affiliates and talking to sponsors and understanding the fans and who is listening and how they feel connected to people on radio. Listeners believe what you say on the radio. You need to be honest. People feel that way about me and it is an honor.

Have you and your cohost Griff ever worked together before? How is your on-air chemistry?

We’ve met casually over the years and we have a natural respect for each other. We always said it would be great to work together. When we did our first calls, I said it was going to be insane. We have a connection. I was born and raised in L.A. and he is from L.A. too. It allows us to connect and bring a whole lot of fun and inspiration. Plus, we are both family people who are married with kids. There are some things you’ll only learn when you’re married for a while and it brings light. This is a music show, and I love gospel music and all of my artist friends. We also talk about artists and stuff going on in the world, like right now, the whole world talking about [the gorilla] Harambe and the boy at the zoo. We talk about current events, we have a fashion segment. We talk about the stuff most people are interested in.

What do you listen to on the radio?

(Video) Erica Campbell 🙏 Top Gospel Songs Praise And Worship 2022🙏 Best Songs Of Erica Campbell

When I’m in L.A., I listen to Steve Harvey in the morning. There is also a station in Los Angeles that’s owned by Stevie Wonder, [urban AC “Radio Free 102.3”] KJLH-FM Los Angeles and I’m a huge supporter. They’ve always supported me, and reached out to me when I’ve experienced a loss and they advertise my concerts. They feel like a friend of mine.

Beyond the broadcast, radio hosts are active on social media too. How do you juggle it all?

During the songs, we Tweet and post and take pictures. There is a team and I have my assistant with me. Everything is real-time these days, and you have to respond to people or they tune you out. I like the social media, but I don’t drink the Kool-Aid. People will love you or hate you in 40 minutes flat. They’ll pray with you and then tear you down. You have to be very confident. I come with a whole lot of love. I show a little compassion or block them if they are too ignorant. But it is rare that I do block someone. I think that if they are negative, I am just the thing they need to follow.

—Edited transcript

(Video) Gospel star Erica Campbell says Christianity doesn't equal conservatism

FAQs

Where does Erica Campbell live now? ›

Personal life. She is married to Warryn Campbell, with whom she resides in Los Angeles, together with their three children, Krista Nicole, Warryn III, and Zaya Monique.

Is Erica Campbell a gospel singer? ›

Erica Campbell is a multiplatinum gospel singer (both on her own and as part of the duo Mary Mary, with her sister Tina). Her album Help won a 2015 Grammy Award for Best Gospel Album, as well as eight Stellar Awards. She is also the host of the nationally syndicated daily radio show Get Up!

What station is Erica Campbell on? ›

Mornings with Erica Campbell | Hallelujah 1600.

Who sings the song positive? ›

Erica Campbell, one half of the gospel duo Mary Mary, has released a new single titled “Positive.” The uplifting anthem was produced by Warryn Campbell who also co-wrote the song with Campbell and Juan Winans.

Did Erica Campbell have a baby? ›

Campbell's representative says Zaya Monique was born Tuesday. The baby weighed 6 pounds, 12 ounces. Erica and her sister Tina comprise the gospel duo. It's the third child for Campbell and her husband, producer-songwriter Warryn Campbell.

Does Erica Campbell have kids? ›

Erica Campbell

Videos

1. Believe Big: A Conversation with Warryn and Erica Campbell and Albert Tate
(Albert Tate)
2. Erica Campbell Shares The Truth about The Gospel Music Industry & Social Media!! (Hold My Mule News)
(Hold MY Mule)
3. Balance and Boundaries Ft. Erica Campbell | MOMS ACTUALLY Talk About Marriage and Motherhood
(Moms Actually)
4. ERICA CAMPBELL Making NEW MUSIC w/o TINA After SHOOTING UP Husband's Car @ Super Gospel Fest 2022
(Broadcast Houston (Culture))
5. KITCHEN TALK EP 68 - "Focus On Your World" | ERICA CAMPBELL'S START IN MUSIC, HER FAITH AND MORE!
(MainoTV)
6. Erica Campbell-The Question (HQ/HD)
(MMmusic x)

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