Tamela Mann may easily be the hardest working woman in Gospel.
When not cranking out hits ‘Take Me To the King,’ ‘Change Me,’ ‘I Can Only Imagine,’ ‘Touch From You,’ and more on stages across the country, she’s penning books, collecting GRAMMY, Dove, and Stellar Awards, and tackling film and TV screens aboard Tyler Perry productions like ‘Meet the Browns’ and ‘Assisted Living.’
Pair those happenings with a Weight Watchers campaign and new album ‘Overcomer’ (available now), and – as Mann exclusively told That Grape Juice – you’ve still only touched the tip of the iceberg.
While the demands could be overwhelming for some, the Gospel diva dished on how the challenge of balancing work, spirituality, and her personal life has only fueled her desire to conquer even more uncharted territory.
Hop inside to be reintroduced to the multi-talented overcomer who – at 55-years-young – shows absolutely no sign of slowing.
That Grape Juice: First, we want to congratulate you on the weight loss! You’re giving us all the inspiration we need to get “summertime fine”?
Tamela: That’s actually a part of my new album, ‘Overcomer.’ I realized I had to ask somebody for help because I was trying to do it on my own and it wasn’t working; so, I teamed up with Weight Watchers. Health and wellness is just trying to make good decisions on what we eat.
It’s a mental thing and I’m still working on it, but – thanks to Weight Watchers – I’ve lost 55 pounds.
That Grape Juice: Speaking of ‘Overcomer,’ the album hit shelves August 6. Before we talk about the project specifically, do you ever get nervous when it’s time to drop a new album?
Tamela: Do I? I’m nervous now (laughs). I have to really depend on the Lord to not let my fears overtake me. You just never know what people are gonna like. You hope you put out your best work and that people receive it.
That Grape Juice: What will we hear in ‘Overcomer’ that we’ve yet to hear from Tamela over your past solo projects?
Tamela: These songs are affiliated with my life and the last few years of things I’ve been dealing with. I talked about the weight, getting older, dealing with menopause, and needing healing in areas of the mind and of my body because of what I’ve gone through with myself and my family.
It’s just been some great parts of my journey that I’ve just talked about in this album.
That Grape Juice: You explored songwriting in this project more than some of your previous. Why was that so important for you?
Tamela: I sat down and talked to [other songwriters] about what I wanted to sing about, and all of us came together with those things to add actual words. I was sitting in the driver’s seat – songwriting and producing.
I just interjected more than I ever have on any of the other albums, and played more of a part than I ever have.
That Grape Juice: Other than the songwriting, what are other areas of artistic growth you hear in ‘Overcomer’?
Tamela: I used to be so afraid to be standing out in the forefront that I was still singing with my eyes closed. I’m at the point now where I believe what I’m singing about because God sent me to be an encouragement. I know that for a fact.
He chose me for a reason to help those people that are like me. I learned to fight for what I feel like is right and to really follow my gut. At first, I was letting everybody else choose for me.
That Grape Juice: We know all of the album’s tracks are like your babies, but what would you say is a standout?
Tamela: There are actually two that resonate with me the most: ‘He Did It For Me.’ Why? Because He’s shown me favor. I mean, it took a little time but I’m here now and I’m not going anywhere. I don’t feel guilty for anything because I’ve worked for everything that I’ve gotten.
The other song is the current single, ‘Help Me.’
That Grape Juice: Given all that you’ve accomplished in your illustrious career, what do you feel is left to do?
Tamela: What really is left for me to do is to get to a size 40 (laughs). I also want to get my clothing line, the Tamela Mann Collection, going really well. It’s important for me to have things for us and by us because I know that we want to look as cute as the little person.
I just want to be closer to God and I want to make Him proud.
Click here to stream ‘Overcomer.’