The gospel girls Mary Mary are wrapping up a successful reality show on We tv. Some may be surprised to find out neither one is named Mary. Erica Campbell and Tina Campbell are two sisters who are doing it for themselves as well as their family.
The duo changed contemporary gospel music by mixing in elements of R&B with their hit song “Shackles (Praise You)’ and worked with rappers such as T-Pain on “God in Me.”
They have a new album called Go Get It that was just released and features remixes of past songs that will keep their gay Christian club goers dancing in the aisles.
Mary Mary has just been renewed for season two of the show proving that success is currently raining down on them.
Nunn talked to them at a GCB luncheon in Chicago about the show and more…
Jerry Nunn: Congrats on the show, ladies. It has some very funny moments.
Tina Campbell: We are human and we hope that resonates in people’s homes. We have a show about women that love God.
Erica Campbell: We are not ashamed to say that and I was telling T that it is not a Christian show but there are Christians on it.
TC: I hope we inspire people and make them laugh. I also want them to know my name ain’t Mary!
EC: Fans can see our family and our homes. We get to share that.
TC: The idea was first pitched and I thought not a chance. I thought if the world likes Mary then why do they need to meet Tina? It is a little scary sometimes just living your life out loud. When you are doing a reality show that is what you are doing especially the way that Erica and I did. It was very important that our reality show was our real lives. We didn’t want a trumped up, star-studded, celebrity fueled show because regular life is not that way. You can be a celebrity in your workspace with people catering to you but then you go home and accommodate everyone else. There is no makeup and there is not cuteness because you have tasks and responsibilities. We do school projects until 2:00 in the morning sometimes.
JN: That sounds exhausting.
TC: It is important to show that and we don’t feel like we have seen so many entertainers or celebrities that were in that space. We figured we would do it and hopefully people will be inspired by women juggling children and a marriage. We still love our husbands and would marry them again. Sometimes we stress out like in the first episode but we love our lives. It is real life and a way for people to connect with us. On or off TV folks got to live real lives!
EC: Hopefully people are entertained by it. We have a really big crazy family between mom and dad and all of the sisters it is just a lot of things going on at all times. We have a sister who is our stylist and our amazing manager. You can see how it is interacting with him.
JN: Were you worried that some people would judge you on this show?
EC: Absolutely. I think that is one thing we have gotten wrong as gospel artists. We feel like we have to be perfect. If we were perfect there would be no need for forgiveness.
TC: It is a little scary because not everyone is going to say nice things. I understand that.
JN: Has there been some backlash because people say you are not traditional enough?
EC: I watch the social media stuff and there have been some very interesting comments. Our last record they said we didn’t say Jesus enough. I am like what the heck were they listening too? I can’t let people distract me. I believe what we are doing is good. So I will just rest in that and be comfortable.
JN: Why did you pick WE tv?
EC: WE was a perfect fit for us. It was all about families and shows with life as we know it. We did go to other meetings with people. We sat down WE tv in New York and we felt they got it right. It didn’t feel like they had an agenda at all. It felt like a partnership. We even got personal e-mails from them and you don’t always get that from corporate relationships. It was perfect for us.
JN: Were you able to ignore the cameras in your homes?
TC: You can forget that you’re wearing a microphone sometimes. Having them being in my space for quite some time I would unplug that microphone when it needs to be. Sometimes you can’t do that though. There have been frustrations on the show before between me and Erica before a big event. Those moments can be hard.
EC: There are times I have to say, “Cut” for the moment because it is going to get real dangerous in here! They got real life but it was important for us to protect our family, who we are, and what we stand for. Sometimes there was a moment that would compromise that. It didn’t happen all of the time. Who we are as sisters had to be intact all of the time. Shows will come and go but that has to remain intact.
TC: Our kids took a minute to get used to it, “Mommie, can those people stop looking at me?”
JN: Were you skeptical about exposing the children to the camera?
EC: We sat with our husbands, sisters, and our mom to find out how we would do it as a family. We felt like we were blessed with an opportunity and I take comfort in that.
JN: Was there a time when you had to draw the line?
EC: We were pretty open.
TC: It is all PG. We came to an understanding with our families and we are the executive producers on the show. It is not just about talent, we wanted to have a voice. What is important that my marriage and children are protected. We keep that always in mind.
JN: Did you watch Joan Rivers or The Braxtons show on the same network?
EC: I was actually a fan of The Braxtons before we even went into the meeting with the network. I like the show.
TC: Tamar and the dot coms!
EC: Someone said Tamar needed to answer for something she did and she said, “Did Jesus come back? No, he didn’t. Well, then I will not be answering any of your questions.org!” I was a Tamar fan after that.
TC: I love her. She is crazy.
EC: I love the whole family and their dynamic. We have a big family so we get it.
JN: How do you take care of your voices with all of the touring and traveling?
EC: I don’t know if we follow the rules about taking care of our voices.
TC: We used to get sleep and drink lots of water, but now we are just trying to…
EC: Drink water!
TC: Exactly! I try to get all of the rest I have when I am on the road. When I go home I don’t rest. I am a mother and have a responsibility. I used to hate going out on the road but now I look forward to it because it is the only time that I sleep in my life.
EC: With this baby, I won’t sleep for about two years!
More on Mary Mary can be found at www.mary-mary.com. Can I get an Amen?