#ChristopherHeron chats with @TashaCobbs about her music & her ministry :: Interview with Tasha Cobbs.


Tasha Cobbs - 2013

Tasha Cobbs

2013 was a year of confirmation for church girl, worship warrior and Motown Gospel recording artist, Tasha Cobbs. Her album, Grace, which featured the popularized song of the year, Break Every Chain, went from relative obscurity to the #1 position on the Billboard Gospel music chart, where it occupied it’s top spot for most of the year. Tasha received additional favor from God and honor from the music industry, as a recipient of a 2014 Grammy award for the Best Gospel / Contemporary Christian music performance.

Yet, inspite of her accomplishments and trending stature, Tasha remains an earnest and devoted Christian who would rather refer to God in all of her decisions, credits and plans for the future. Tasha Cobbs offered an exclusive interview to discuss her Christian upbringing, the important people who helped shaped both her ministry and musical career and the many transitions and battles in life she’s confronted.
 
Christopher Heron: The Break Every Chain Tour was a big hit in 2013 and only helped fuel the success of the album and your ministry. How did you find the experience of ministering your album across the country?
Tasha Cobbs: The reception to the tour was absolutely amazing. I’ve been ministering that song – Break Every Chain. I’ve received testimonies through Twitter, Facebook about how chains have been breaking off of families, strongholds and generational curses letting go. I’ve come to realize that everywhere we ministered, people would begin to break out in praise, worshipping as they fall on their faces. I was praying and God spoke to me and said, “I’m bringing momentum back to the church.” A lot of people have been stagnant, held bound in bondage from a lot of things going on in their families. God said, “I’m breaking those chains.” The response to this album has been absolutely amazing. I’m overwhelmed. God is just blowing my mind every week as I go across the country.
Christopher Heron: I remember first discovering Tasha Cobbs from your first independent album, Smile, and discovering your anthems such as, I Trust You, Happy and Smile. Then, I started to notice how praise warriors and women of worship across the nation were singing your songs. This trend was going on beyond the Full Gospel Baptist churches, who first introduced you and your recordings. Did any of this popularity and favor come as a surprise to you?
Tasha Cobbs: I wouldn’t use the word surprise. I would say I am extremely grateful. I could also use the word, Grace, because the grace of God is what chooses me every day. There’s nothing so great that I could do to deserve to be used in this capacity but God’s grace and His favor is on this release. Even back then, people would send me tweets saying, “We sang Happy today in church.” People in Canada, across this country and in many nations around the world would send me messages. I would just say to God, “God I’m so grateful you would choose me.” So, it’s not a surprise. From a young age, my parents raised me to be a leader. They would tell me that I have an anointing on my life. I’m just grateful God chooses to use my anointing in this manner.
Christopher Heron: Let’s talk about the spiritual nurturing you received at home from your God-fearing parents and how you cultivated your spiritual and musical talents at your home base, Northview Christian Church.
Tasha Cobbs: My father, the late Bishop Fritz Cobbs, pastored a small church in Jesup, Georgia. He started pastoring when I was 10 years old. So, I’ve been in church since the day I was born. He was the Assistant Pastor at the church I grew up in as a child and when I turned 10 years old, he started his church ministry. I’ve operated in ministry all of my life. Around the age of 11 years old, my uncle who is a praying man, told my father that there’s something special about Tasha. He told my father, “God is saying you need to protect her anointing. I’m not saying to be overprotective. She’s still going to be a child and there’s some things she’s going to get into but God is saying to protect her anointing.” My parents took that counsel seriously. They protected my brother and my anointing. They prayed about who we were called to be on Earth. They told us who we were. I honestly believe that when God entrusts a parent with a child, God is entrusting parents with the calling, the anointing and the assignment they have here on Earth. If you tap into it and pray over that child, God will reveal what it is and who it is he is placing into your hands. That’s what God did for me through my parents.
My father pastored a church called, New Life Ministries in Jesup, Georgia. He celebrated 22+ years of pastoring, up until he passed away. So, my parents raised me up to be an anointed leader. They taught me how to cultivate my anointing. Around 2006, God instructed me to move to Atlanta. It was one of those things where God is saying for you to do this but I didn’t see it. I didn’t want to leave my father. I was operating heavily in his ministry but God was telling me, “Tasha, it’s time for you to move.” I didn’t know where I was going. I didn’t know what was going to happen. It was a huge leap of faith. My father released me because he knew I knew the voice of God and so if I said God said it, then he believed me. So in 2006, Pastor William Murphy opened the Dream Center Church in Atlanta. I was among the first to join. From the beginning, Pastor Murphy took me under his wings and began to mentor me, as it pertained to worship, artistry and the music industry. I travelled the world with Pastor Murpy for five years. After those five years, in 2010, God told me it was time to release your sound with the independent album, Smile.
Christopher Heron: I can remember experiencing the anointing of William Murphy leading worship one Sunday at New Birth Ministries in Atlanta, back in 2001 or 2002, and knowing right then his ministry was special. So, tell me how has his powerful ministry affected and influenced you over those five years of service at the Dream Center Church?
Tasha Cobbs: It’s been a huge effect! I call William Murphy my spiritual father. I believe we have many fathers who will usher us into different transitions in our life. My natural father built a foundation that will never be shaken. God would then send me to Pastor William Murphy who already had an international ministry. God had already given him that mantle, so that I could be trained and he could teach me. Most of what I do as it pertains to worship and leading people in worship, I learned it from my spiritual father, William Murphy. A lot of people tweet me and say, “You sound just like William Murphy when you hit that note.” (Smile) That’s because he trained me.
When you have natural children, they do things or have the mannerisms of their parents. It’s the same way in the spiritual realm. There are a lot of things he taught me. You will see that I have a lot of gestures of William Murphy…and that’s because he’s my spiritual father. I will always honor him. He took me under his wings. I always say, “I was just a country girl. I knew how to do church and I knew about my anointing…but he saw something greater in me and he pulled that out of me. He’s definitely a trainer. There were times I didn’t want to go farther but he would push me. So I honor him for everything that he did for me.
Christopher Heron: The CD cover is a beautiful artwork. It also reveals quite a personal transformation you’ve gone through over the years, Tasha. Is this physical transformation deliberate? Did you intend to present a different, a healthier, a more self-confident Tasha Cobbs on Grace versus what we see on the previous album, Smile?
Tasha Cobbs: Absolutely! It was definitely intentional. I turned 30 years old in 2012 and I was walking through the mall one day and I saw a reflection of me somewhere. I was always athletic but I also struggled with my weight. And for the first time, I felt the presence of my weight. So, I began to pray about it and asked God about it and God revealed to me that even as we lead during worship, there are people watching you. I had to get my health in order. Not only am I singing but my life is leading worship and my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. So, I went on a journey and I’m still on it to this day. I have to make sure that my health is in tact. Even as I travel the country, I don’t want to be sick, I don’t want to be on medication or insulin. I have to gain control of my health because my health is also a ministry. I made a conscious decision that I’m going to fight this health battle. It’s not about being skinny. It’s about being healthy so that God can use you to the fullest capacity.
Christopher Heron: I’m sure a lot of producers lined up to help you produce your first major release. Why did you elect to go with Vashawn Mitchell as the producer for Grace?
Tasha Cobbs: Good question. Everybody knows the song, Nobody Greater, which he produced and recorded. A few years ago, Vashawn and I created this brother-sister relationship. He’s one of my coveted brothers but many people don’t think of him as a producer. I was praying about it to God asking, “Who are we going to use for my album?” God kept reminding me of this special relationship. Then one day, I was speaking with my managers and they said, “Why don’t we just ask Vashawn to do it?” He’s extremely talented, not only when it comes to songwriting. He’s an extremely talented producer as well. If you look on the credits of his albums, you’ll see he’s produced so much of his work but you rarely see his name on productions for other artists.
So, I called him one day and said, “What would you think if I asked you to produce my album?” He said, “I’ll do whatever you ask me to do.” That’s the type of relationship we have. He believes in me. I believe in him. Later on, he told me he wanted to jump up and down when I asked him to produce the album but at the moment, he was just being cool. (Smile) So, that’s how it happened. The album turned out to be awesome. I expressed to him how I wanted it to sound. I want to hear that Live sound where you could hear what happened the night of the recording at Northview Christian Center. He did exactly what I asked for. He was phenomenal throughout the entire process.
Christopher Heron: Before the release of your album, Grace, you were an independent artist that found safety flying under the radar of most people. Now, you are a Grammy award winning artist on the Motown Gospel roster, alongside other award winning artists such as Tye TribbettSmokie NorfulCeCe Winans and others. How does your new profile as one of the faces of Gospel music feel to you today?
Tasha Cobbs: It is an awesome feeling today. Motown Gospel is a family. We’re a team of people. What you find with each artist is that there is something that makes each artist stand out. There’s something special about each artist. They’ll say, “Tasha, you’re a worship leader. We’re going to maximize your gift. We’re going to get you in as many venues as we can, so you can lead the people in worship.” It’s the same with every artist. They find a way to make each artist feel comfortable, feel like family, feel like what your assignment in the earth is very important.
So, it’s been an awesome relationship with my label and with all of the artists. I’m getting to know Anita Wilsonand Sherri Jones-Moffett and all of the artists who are a part of the label. We support one another. I think in this season of Gospel music, God is bringing the focus in Gospel music back to Jesus. We’re all selfless. We text message each other, tweet each other. It’s so tight a relationship. I think God is honoring our effort to support one another and make Gospel music what it’s suppose to be.
Christopher Heron: This Grammy award winning album, Grace, is filled with a lot of treasures. Break Every Chain is an anthem, but is there a particular song that stands out for you or has greater meaning for you?
Tasha Cobbs: Great question. It changes by the week but right now it’s, For Your Glory. I tell you the story behind this song. I told you before that when I left my daddy’s church to move to Atlanta, the first day I attended Pastor William Murphy’s The Dream Center Church, the worship leader got up. For Your Glory, was the song she sang. I felt like God was confirming to me, “If you trust me, I will give you my glory.” So, that song through the years has been one of those songs that I’ll minister to myself in my time of worship. That song just ministers to me after all these years. That one is very near and dear to my heart.
Christopher Heron: Finally, what is the lasting message you want the listener who has yet to hear this album to experience when the final song is played on Grace?
Tasha Cobbs: My assignment on the earth is to bring God’s people into His presence without failure. So, my desire is that any worshipper will encounter the grace of God, no matter where they are. I want them to encounter the authentic, undisturbed, undistracted presence of God. That’s what I want them to experience. That’s also been the testimonies I’ve been receiving from people all over the world.

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