If you do not know who gospel singing sensation Micah Stampley is, you are doing your ears a great disservice.
As the last decade has seen the hitmaker lend such memorable numbers as ‘The Corinthian Song’, ‘War Cry’, ‘Take My Life (Holiness)’, and countless others, his newest project ‘Love Never Fails’ (in stores now) looks to add a few more gems to his already noteworthy catalogue.Array
That Grape Juice recently caught up with the Motown Gospel star to chat about the new project, but also get his thoughts on the recent gospel scandals to rock the net and even weigh in on fellow gospel superstar Le’Andria Johnson vs. Matthew Knowles’ Music World Gospel (see more on that here).
Tuck in below to see and hear what Stampley shared about these topics and so much more. He doesn’t hold back…
Micah Stampley Shouts Out That Grape Juice
TGJ: We are so excited to talk to you about your new album ‘Love Never Fails’ (in stores now)!
Micah: I’m so excited about this project. In my opinion, this is my best work to date.
TGJ: Really? How does it differ from your previous projects?
Micah: First, I’ve grown as a producer, vocalist, and writer. My hearing is different. My ideas and creativity are different. Every album I’ve done I tend to learn something from the one prior to it.
I believe this album displays a variety of textures and sounds so much so that you can hear the maturity and my development.
TGJ: Awesome. Share with us some other things we should expect from the new project.
Micah: I’ve had the privilege of working with Aaron Lindsey, one of the greatest producers of our time. I have a few cover tunes on there and my wife and I wrote most of it.
Musically, I took a different journey. I even have my first reggae song! I’m really excited about that and can honestly say the album is near and dear to my heart. I pray the listeners enjoy it.
TGJ: Why did you feel ‘Our God’ would be the best way to kick off the album?
Micah: First, I’m a huge Chris Tomlin fan (laughs). I love his material! “Our God” is one of those songs that has really blessed me for years. I got a call from the president of Motown Gospel and he asked me what I thought about the song and if I wanted to record it. I told him I absolutely would.
TGJ: One thing we like about “Our God” and a lot of your other work is that it seems to straddle so many genres. From contemporary Christian music (CCM) to traditional gospel, you do a bit of everything.
Micah: It’s nothing contrived or that I’m forcing. I think it’s just all the different types of music I love. I grew up COGIC (Church of God in Christ). Very strict background and anything outside of gospel was considered a sin. Growing up, the only time I could hear music outside of gospel was on my school bus.
I heard Michael Jackson, Prince, Cyndi Lauper, Aretha Franklin, etc. Now, you’re just hearing the influences from my childhood. My wife and I actually write country music and we’re pitching it to some of the top country artist. I hope to get it to Taylor Swift or somebody so I can retire (laughs).
TGJ: Well, we weren’t expecting that! Now, kind of changing gears here, we know the name “Micah Stampley” has become big in gospel quarters in the past decade. However, as we look over your albums, we seem to never see you collaborate with other big artists. Is that a conscious decision?
Micah: I’ve reached out to the big names. But, for what ever reason, things didn’t work out. I would love to do cameos on other artists albums, but I just haven’t had the invitation.
It’s kind of lonely though (laughs). Hopefully, they’ll read this interview and reach out to a brother.
TGJ: Hopefully! Now, Micah, let’s switch gears once more. The net has recently been rocked with a number of scandals from the gospel community. What are your thoughts on them?
Micah: Well, you won’t hear about any scandals out there with me. I’m faithful to my wife, family, and ministry.
TGJ: Now, that’s what we like to hear! But, what advice would you give to gospel singers out there presently dealing with those types of falls from grace?
Micah: The thing that I will probably say is we have to be very guarded and not put ourselves in “situations”. Everyone has struggles and thorns in their fleshes that have to be worked through. We know that we’re not perfect. But, our job is to reveal Christ to the people, not my job to be transparent about our humanity.
Micah (continued): I’m not saying we should live a sinful life in secret. However, there are so many scandals that are going on. If you read the comments of unbelievers, they always [look at the scandals and say] “this is why I don’t go to church, believe in God, etc.” How can one effectively be a witness to people when they are constantly putting themselves in these positions?
I’m not targeting anybody, but don’t do anything that will come back to bite you in the future. I have sons and a daughter so I’m constantly thinking about how the decisions I make affecting other people. When things hit the media they’re there for all eternity.
Bonus (listen): Micah Stampley Weighs In On Gospel Acts Collaborating With Secular Artists Who Promote Sex, Violence, Etc…
TGJ: Lastly, we know that you were briefly signed to the Matthew Knowles-helmed “Music World Gospel” label. Grammy winning gospel songstress Le’andria Johnson, also on the label, recently took to Twitter to slam Knowles for being “a crook” [the tweets were later retracted].
Micah: Really? I haven’t seen the tweets.
TGJ: What are your thoughts on that situation?
Micah: I think that frustration and pain cause people to react certain ways about certain issues that they have with their labels. There are a lot of artists in that same position.
I don’t think artists should “go there” on social media. What we should do is read the contracts. Bishop T.D. Jakes taught me “you will never get everything that you want, but you will always get what you negotiate”.
Listen (Micah Stampley Weighs In On Artists In “Bad Contracts”):
TGJ: Tell us more about your experience with Music World Gospel.
Micah: My tenure with them was a one-album deal. That’s what we agreed to. I’ve been an independent artist since my second album. Interface Entertainment (my company) did a joint venture with Music World Gospel, but I wasn’t signed directly to them as an artist.
That’s the difference between myself and Leandria, Joshua [Rogers], and them.
TGJ: What advice would you lend to artists in have grievances with their labels? How do you handle situations like that?
Micah: If I get stuck in a contract I’m not happy with, I’ll just have to live through it until it expires then move on. That’s just business. A lot of artist – secular and gospel artists – they sometimes sign contracts and don’t know what they’re signing.
Artists need to wake up and stop putting their lives and careers in other peoples hands. Read!
TGJ: Amen! Now, to bring it all home, give us one reason why we should buy your new album ‘Love Never Fails’?
Micah: This album is a musical journey. It’s lyrically rehabilitating. I’m a firm believer that “your ministry can never minister to anyone else, unless it’s ministering to you.: My daughter was in a coma and the song ‘Our God’ pulled me through.
I hate listening to myself (laughs), but this album – I have not been able to put it down. I pray the listeners experience what I’ve been experiencing with this album. I want it to be a blessing to everyone’s life.
Interview by: Quinno Rashad (That Grape Juice US)