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Erica Campbell Gets Personal on Debut Album, “Help”


eOneErica Campbell is breaking away from her gospel duo, Mary Mary, to release her debut solo album, Help. Erica says despite the album’s moniker, the album aims to encourage people going through different situations.

“It is a cry for help, but it’s a strong kind of help, and there’s a bunch of that on the record,” Erica explains to ABC News Radio. “[And] there’s a lot of crowd participation on the album so I invited people into what I was going through, and allowed them to connect what they were going through to what I’m going through.”

One song that has already connected with listeners and critics, is Erica’s debut single, “A Little More Jesus” as it nabbed her a Grammy Award nomination. The song was co-written by her sister Tina, the other half of Mary Mary. Tina says she couldn’t help but jump on the track, especially since she was personally dealing with her husband’s infidelity and the passing of their father, Eddie Atkins.

“[Erica] was writing a song and I walked into the studio and I said, ‘Oh, I need this song for my life.’ And they were like, ‘Well, we need another verse.’ And I said, ‘And I got that for you because I’m living this song,'” Tina explains. “So I walked over into the corner and I wrote this song in about 15 minutes. I was like, ‘Yeah, I need a little more Jesus because I’m a little ungodly right now with the things that have happened to me.'”

Tina adds that her sister’s album is perfect for anyone who’s living in negativity. “Now the stuff is danceable and musical and all that. I can appreciate it creatively and just as a fan of music, but it’s saying something to me and I need that because if I surround with all of the negativity and all of the things that I could attach myself too — especially considering what I went though — I could be in some negative space, acting a fool; justifying it, qualifying it,” she says.

Erica says her debut album is deeply personal, especially because she dedicated a song on her album to her late dad, who passed away from cancer last year. Erica admits the song, titled “Eddie,” also proved very difficult to record.

“From the time I sung the first line, I broke down and so my husband was there and he was like, ‘Well, do you not want to record it? Do you not want to write it?’ And I was going, ‘No, I can do it.’ You know, my daddy taught me to be a soldier so tears don’t stop me,” she tells ABC News Radio.

“My husband was there and he was trying to be as respectful as possible because he’s usually very pushy and aggressive in the studio and kind of mean. But with that song, he was very tender with me,” Erica continues. “He actually came in the booth and kind of held my hand when I was singing. And it was just a beautiful process for me to be able to immortalize my dad in a song.” 

Erica’s debut solo album, Help, hits shelves today.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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