Marvin Sapp explains the “funky” feel of his album, ‘Chosen Vessel’

Marvin Sapp says he wanted to keep his latest album, Chosen Vessel, “churchy” and “funky.”

Sapp tells ABC Audio he doesn’t mind “pushing” the boundaries of gospel music after getting his musical start with the “controversial” gospel group, Commissioned.

“And the reason why I don’t mind is because, it’s where I come from,” he explains. “When I look back, my musical start was with one of the most controversial musical groups in the gospel music industry, Commissioned.”

“I come from a world where you always kind of push the envelope,” he continues. “But at the same token, I just believe that if you keep it church and a little funky all at the same time, you will always win.”

He said the key to maintaining your audience is about the song’s “lyrical content.”

“Music is music,” Sapp continues. “An E flat is an E flat in Jazz. It’s an E flat in R&B. It’s an E flat in hip hop. It’s an E flat in gospel. What makes gospel music different is its good news.”

In the nineties, Sapp was a member of the four-time Grammy-nominated gospel group Commissioned, who stood out for taking gospel in a new direction, incorporating stylistic elements from secular R&B, hip hop, and pop music.

After 30 years in the industry, he acknowledges the fact that some “church folk” are going to “critique, question, [and] attach labels” to gospel music, no matter how “funky.”

“But folks that love what we do will embrace it and those that don’t, [well] they don’t have to embrace it,” he adds.

Marvin also confirms a biopic about Commissioned is currently in the works, which he imagines as something like the 1991 film, The Five Heartbeats, but “on steroids.”

By Rachel George
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