Five years ago, VaShawn Mitchell set gospel music on fire with his six-time Stellar Award-winning R&B-worship anthem, “Nobody Greater.” The smash single’s crossover appeal set the GRAMMY-nominated producer-songwriter-performer on a celebrity trajectory seemingly overnight. But Mitchell’s musical heart—curated through weekly worship leadership at his local church as an early adult—began, and remains, in the church.
Now, a dozen-plus years later, having traversed the globe to aid audiences in raising their praise, the Chicago native’s ministerial spirit is as alive as ever, evidenced by the tone of his latest release, Secret Place: Live in South Africa (Motown Gospel—buy). Featuring fellow gospel artisans and close friends, Tasha Cobbs and BeBe Winans, Secret Place utilizes locale, collaboration, a magnetic set list and, of course, the spiritual magic of music to prompt listeners in spiritual worship as Mitchell once again assumes the role he knows best—worship leader.
Opining here on what worship is, and how music aids the spiritual effort, Mr. Mitchell offers CCM Magazine an exclusive question-and-answer resulting in a conversation worth spreading around.
CCM Magazine: As one of today’s most prominent gospel artists, how did the decision to make an entirely worship-focused project transpire?
VaShawn Mitchell: Praise and worship have always been my passion and assignment. Worship is the place for those who seek refuge to connect with God in an intimate manner. While we know this is the place where God dwells and there is safety and security there, it is often challenging for believers to understand the freedom and liberty available to them in approaching God. This is the very essence of a personal relationship with God.
[I felt] it was important to capture the sound live that gives listeners an in-depth journey into this “secret place!” This project was purposely focused to encourage listeners around the globe to find shelter with God.
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