Marvin Sapp is one of the most celebrated artists in contemporary gospel. The superstar pastor and singer is stepping into a new phase of his career with the release of his first holiday-themed project, Christmas Card. While many may expect Sapp to take a “traditional” route with the seasonal album, he says that he decided to go in the complete opposite direction.

“Out of the 12 that were recorded, 10 of them are original music,” Sapp explains. “Not only that, but it showcases me in a different light — something that’s more contemporary and urban. People are more used to hearing me in a traditional atmosphere. This is more edgy.”

Sapp admits that he saw releasing a Christmas album as an opportunity to try musical styles he hadn’t attempted before.

“Honestly, the reason I did it is because I wanted to do something totally different than what I usually do. And I thought what better place to experiment than a specialty record?” he says. “When I record my next CD, in January, I’m going back to what I usually do. Keeping it churchy but funky.”

“You never want to lock yourself into a particular lane. you always want to make sure you’re an artist and artists take risks,” he continues. “And I think that the gospel music community has grown and matured to the point where we can stretch and come out of our comfort zone and still maintain our base.”

Despite his tremendous success, Sapp remembers how unsure of himself he was at the beginning of his career; and he admits that it took years before he really understood who he was as an artist.

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