Mandisa shares journey from darkness to light in ‘Overcomer’
Some artists have the gift of reaching into their lives and, from their struggles and joys, creating music to share with others.
Mandisa’s project, “Overcomer”, was inspired by her friend Kisha’s battle with cancer. Soon after that project was released, however, Kisha succumbed to her illness.
After Kisha’s passing, Mandisa feel into a deep depression, shutting herself away from friends and family. A group of friends tried to reach her after a trip to a movie cinema.
Kisha says, “As I walked closer to my car, I realized a bunch of my friends had been sitting there waiting for me. They insisted that I get counseling and that is what helped me finally start dealing with my grief. If that hadn’t happened, I probably wouldn’t be here today.”
Eventually the talented singer/songwriter began to deal with her grief.
This period of intense struggle is at the centre of Mandisa’s latest project, “Out of the Dark” from Sparrow Records. The album was produced by a number of talented artists including Seth Mosley and David Garcia.
Mandisa doesn’t shy away from the pain she felt during this time of darkness. “Out of the Dark” opens with a voicemail playback of several friends calling the artist to let her know they care about her.
As track two opens, Mandisa begins the musical journey of letting her listeners know about her struggles and how God has brought her through the pain, even when she doesn’t understand. “Out of the Dark” lets listeners hear how God has pulled Mandisa from the dark of despair and “into the light.”
“Unfinished” is one of my favourites. Mandisa doesn’t shy away from the truth that the Christian life is not always without its struggles but she sings, “my God’s not done... He started something good…. His work in me ain’t through/ I’m just unfinished.”
Mandisa also brings in her friends Kirk Franklin and TobyMac on “Bleed the Same”, which speaks to the heartache of racism that permeates our world.
“Comeback Kid” is a testimony to the power of God making it possible to be a ‘comeback kid’ who won’t give up, despite the hardships.
Mandisa is just as quick to share her joy. “Dear John Praise Report” is her announcement that, after years of praying, her brother John had come to faith in Christ.
“Good News” is an exuberant tune of celebration. “Shame Off”, “Keep Getting Up” and “Back to Life” are all reminders of hope and joy.
Through all the honesty of her struggles and triumphs, Mandisa shares her heart with her music, a blend of gospel, pop, dance and hip-hop. The music she shares is beautiful and the message behind it is even more so.
Contagious melodies permeate the album and make it one that will be heard again and again. I am so glad Mandisa shared her heart and talents with “Out of the Dark.”