Tamela Mann wanted to hit all the emotional notes on her new CD.
The award-winning gospel singer does just that while stretching vocally on the 12-track “One Way,” which was released this month.
It ranges from the up-tempo title track, “One Way” which has a bit of a retro feel to the inspiring “God Provides,” which was written and produced by her longtime friend Kirk Franklin .
“I wanted it to be a stretch for me,” said Mann, who will be in Atlanta at 7 p.m. today at the Wal-Mart store, 2427 Gresham Rd. S.E.
“My goal this time was to stretch and show more elements of myself and not put myself in a box. The world has a way of putting you in a box - like having you do only slow songs. I didn’t want to have everybody crying for 45 minutes to an hour. I want it to be like a roller coaster ride. When you’re with me in concert, I want to have have an experience, not look at it like a Sunday night musical.”
“God Provides, ” slows you back down and lets you think about all the ways God has opened doors for you even when you think it’s the end.”
In some ways it’s complements her big hit “Take Me To the King”.
She said Franklin was a bit worried about following musically so closely to “Take Me to the King,” but she prayed about it and spent time with the Lord.
Eventually “Mama mode” stepped in and she asked him not to change the song. It worked.
“That’s what I love about my God,” she said in a telephone interview from her home in Texas. ” He can bring a calmness over you that nobody else can give you. He can use anyone to get something to you.”
The song was so profound that while recording, the studio got into worship mode.
The album’s all-star guest producer credits, in addition to Franklin include Eric Dawkins, King Logan, Shaun Martin, Timbaland and Myron Butler.
The CD became a bit of a family affair with the involvement of husband comedian and actor David Mann and son, David Mann Jr.
So what was it like to work with someone with whom you share so much?
“He was a lot more hands on this time,” she said. “He’s my baby daddy, my manager, my boyfriend. He’s all of the above. But it really worked out well. His ear is really good. A lot of time he hears what I can’t. We collaborate really well.”
It was also good to be back in the studio with Franklin, whom she has known since they were teenagers.
He’s such a great producer,” she said. “He knows how to pull things out of you.”
A native of Texas, Mann is the youngest of 14 children and began singing in church when she was eight. By the time she was 12, she was the featured vocalist at Holy Tabernacle Church.
But singing isn’t the only thing occupying her time. She has starred in numerous Tyler Perry productions as Cora Simmons. She and David Mann starred in the No. 1 TBS comedy series, “Meet the Browns.” The hard-working couple has wrapped filming on the third season of the popular Bounce TV sitcom “Mann and Wife” and their own family reality show “It’s A Mann’s World” on BET.
Mann said they also want to write a marriage book and are considering a cooking show, which is still a work in progress.
“We’re just trying to bring some good content for families,” she said.
So, in 2016, her shows are doing well. Her record is already climbing the charts. For her part, Mann is not forgetting who gets the praise.
“I really want to thank God for everything he’s done.”