Mandisa is like most of us. She has battled being fat for the longest time– can you relate? She has been clinically depressed… another thing millions of people go through. She has had her fair share of ups and downs in life. You might remember Mandisa from her time on American Idol. She was the bold contestant to sing “Shackles” by Mary Mary, a Gospel song, which Simon Cowell called “self-indulgent.” It didn’t matter– Mandisa endeared herself to many fans after that performance. Since then, she has carved out a space in the white male dominated Christian music industry. She often tours with TobyMac, who is a white guy with a black approach to music.
Did you know Mandisa won a GRAMMY® for her past work? It has been a couple years since she put anything new out, so fans are looking forward to her latest release from Capitol CMG. It’s called Out of the Dark. It’s about her depression and, naturally, how God helped her get out from the pit of despair.
“My hope is that people will be on this journey with me,” explains Mandisa. “When I began, I was in a really dark place, but where I am today is so much better and so much lighter!”
The first single, “Unfinished,” is one that Christian “safe for the whole family” radio will play. On it, she sings, “Not scared to say it; I used to be the one; Preaching it to you; That you could overcome; I still believe it; But it ain’t easy; Cause that world I painted; Where things just all work out; It started changing; And I started having doubts; And it got me so down.”
I wish Mandisa wasn’t stuck in the Christian music ghetto where only “saved” people will hear her. Since she was on American Idol, though, there’s a slight chance her music might still connect with non-believers who follow former Idol contestants’ careers. We shall see. A woman like Mandisa deserves a much bigger platform than just Christian radio and church concerts.