Juggling Two Worlds: Warryn Campbell talks Producing Christian & Secular Music with Black Enterprise
EEW Magazine News & Entertainment Editors
It has been long debated in the church whether Christians should use their musical talents to solely glorify God, or allow for making a living even if the music compromises their standards of holiness. In an interview with Black Enterprise, Warryn Campbell, husband of Mary Mary’s Erica Campbell lends some insider perspective to this controversial issue.
The My Block Inc. record label CEO has produced hits for various artists ranging from the holy to the profane. His resume includes Kanye West, Yolanda Adams, Alicia Keys, Luther Vandross, Tupac, Jennifer Hudson and others, and of course, his wife and sister-in-law that make up Gospel duo, Mary Mary.
According to the article, “With a faith-based background, yet producing for secular acts, Campbell faced criticism as well as a moment of self-doubt about being involved in both types of genres.”
So how did he reconcile all of it? Campbell says his father was instrumental in helping him see a different side to things. “He told me, ‘You are a musician. This is your occupation. If you want to do secular music, it’s your occupation. You can’t let your occupation run all over your salvation. Simply do it with integrity and standards.’ ”
The Christian producer took his dad’s words to heart, though sometimes, he still fought with his crisis of conscience. “I recall being at Death Row Records and working on music. And mainly that’s what we were doing, and maybe Tupac or Snoop would come in later to put the lyrics down. [After the songs were finished,] I would hear what they’re saying on top of that music at the time and think ‘Oh my God, I can’t put my name on this,’ but once I became a more well-known producer, I could pick and choose what I thought upheld a certain standard.’”
For Warryn Campbell, the most important standard is his own, and he says he works hard to be a light in a dark industry—even when his job takes him to clubs, parties, and places Christians would not expect to be seen in. “It’s my job in those places,” he explains. “I will be the only one not doing the things other people are doing. One of my best friends was Heavy D, and I remember him saying something to me. We were in the studio, and he said, ‘Hey, I notice you don’t curse or anything like that. You don’t do none of the stuff.’ I like to lead more by example.”
Read the full article in Black Enterprise.
What are your thoughts? Is it possible to do separate your faith from your profession and shine the light of Christ? Tell EEW Magazine what you think.