Gospel music icon Marvin Sapp is senior pastor of The Chosen Vessel Cathedral in Fort Worth, Texas, and host of the nationally syndicated Marvin Sapp Radio Show. Sapp began his career with the group Commissioned during the 1990s before beginning a record-breaking solo career that has included several chart-topping songs and albums. His latest album was Chosen Vessel in 2020 and he has a new single in 2021 titled, “Thank You For It All.”
Marvin Louis Sapp
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Hobbies/Interests Apart from Music:
I am an avid collector of fine writing instruments.
Last Netflix Binge:
None…I have never watched Netflix
The Winans, Teddy Pendergrass, Peabo Bryson , The Hawkins Singers
Very First Musical Purchase:
Love Alive II – Walter Hawkins
CCM: If you had only five words to describe your new album, it would be…?
Transitional, Encouraging, Uplifting, Transcending, Strengthening
CCM: Do you have a favorite song from the new album? Why?
My favorite song on this project is “Don’t Be Afraid.” It speaks to my transition from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Texas. After moving from a city I had been all of my life, to someplace I had never been for longer than a day or two, I had to keep reminding myself that I do not have to be fear because God is with me.
CCM: What led you to pursue a career or ministry in music?
It really was something I started at a very young age. I started singing in church at the age of 4. Then, once I became an adult, I joined a group called Commissioned. I loved it, but didn’t think it was something I would be doing this long. 30 years later, I’m still here.
CCM: Do you remember that moment when you realized you wanted to make an actual career out of music?
Yes, I do. It was when I joined Commissioned. I felt like that was something that I could do for a lifetime. I just don’t think I imagined that is what would actually happen!
CCM: What are your hopes for the new project?
I hope that it does well. I hope that it resonates with people like my other projects have. I’ve really tried to consistently make music that encourages and ministers and meets the needs of people. In this particular season of COVID19, people need music that inspires and uplifts. That is what I hope they get from The Chosen Vessel.
CCM: What was the last song you listened to on your playlist or stereo?
‘The Question Is’ by the Winans
CCM: Name a song that you wish you’d written (and why).
“I Want to Run to You” by Whitney Houston. I just think that is an amazing song. I think that song, if you flip the lyric, it can be for the church as well as for a person that you love very much.
CCM: How did you arrive at the name of your new album?
First, that is the name of my new church. The church that I took over a year ago, which is the reason I moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, is called The Chosen Vessel.
Second, many people don’t really understand who they are in God. They feel like because they have made mistakes or fallen short, that they have been disqualified. God keeps reminding me that no matter how many mistakes you’ve made, if He chose you, you are qualified for whatever He wants you to do, be and become.
CCM: What can listeners expect in terms of the sound, style and lyrics?
I’ve always said that my goal is to create music that is churchy yet funky all at the same time. So, with that goal in mind, I think that when people hear Chosen Vessel they will hear a classical Marvin Sapp CD that is musically tight, lyrically sound and sonically appealing. It is going to sound great all the way around. That is our goal when we put out any project.
CCM: What was the songwriting process like on this record?
It was amazing. I am a strong believer in being a conduit. So, I make sure I use gifts from everywhere in order to come up with a wonderful gumbo of music that encourages and uplifts people in a refreshing way. A lot of the writers on this record will be unfamiliar to a lot of people, but I partnered with them because of their gifts—not their popularity—to bring this particular project together with power and authority.
CCM: How important is your faith or spirituality within your music?
It is absolutely important, simply because that is the reason that we do what we do. It is certainly the reason why I do what I do. I don’t do this just to put music out, but I do it because it is a part of my conviction and lifestyle. I think that’s important if you are going to be about this business of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as it pertains to music, you need to be sure that you live what you sing about.