Last week, Motown Gospel artist Tasha Cobbs released her second album, One Place Live. Recorded at Redemption Church in Greenville, South Carolina, the album received five of five stars from the Journal of Gospel Music.
JGM’s Bob Marovich caught up with the award-winning vocalist last Friday, the day of the album release.
JGM: How do you prepare for a recording like this?
TC: I’m truly blessed to have an amazing band, amazing singers, and throughout the year we travel together. So it’s almost like us doing what we do on a weekly basis, just with a recording truck. That was my approach to the team: I didn’t want to change the experience that we have when we travel week to week. I wanted to document that on an album, and that’s exactly what we did. We came together, everyone flew into Atlanta, we had rehearsals for a week, and we bussed everybody to Greenville.
About 5,000 people came from around the world [to the live recording event]. It was overflow. It was amazing, and you can hear that on this album, so we knew we had to call this album “Live.” Whatever the name of the album would be, it had to be tagged with “Live.” I’ve always wanted to capture the live worship experience, and with VaShawn [Mitchell] producing, he helped us capture that moment in a spectacular way.
JGM: Did anything happen during the recording that surprised you?
TC: There’s this moment [on the Limited Tour Edition] called the “Christmas Praise.” Kierra [Sheard] and I did a song called “Put a Praise on It.” I’m a church girl, and I know how to keep my praise cute, but the praise was so high, it overtook me and I couldn’t keep my cute anymore.
God spoke to me and said, “You just gave me a Christmas Praise!”
A Christmas Praise is when you say “Thank you, Mommy, thank you Daddy,” for everything you see under the [Christmas] tree, and then they say, “Well, go outside.” And you open the door and there’s something outside with a big red bow on it and you lose your composure. You just start screaming! And so when God spoke to me, he said, “You’ve been looking at the things you can see. But what you can’t see is that I have something outside the walls of your mind that is so much bigger than you can ever imagine. Now give me praise for that!”
When I told that story, the room went ballistic! I didn’t think I’d tell that story that night, but it happened and they documented it and put it on the Limited Tour Edition. We’ve made up a new praise now!
JGM: Tell us about some of the songs that you wrote for the album.
TC: There are several songs. “Put a Praise on It” is one of my songs. There’s also the title track. I love talking about “One Place.” About seventeen years ago, my mother wrote that song and she’s singing [it] on the project with me. But she only had a chorus. For all of these years, I’ve been waiting to get the rest of the song, and last year it finally came to me. So she and I wrote this song together. It’s really near and dear to my heart.
I think that a lot of songs came out of moments. I’m sure you know that I lost my father last year. These were some of the songs that I would sing to help me through those moments and bring me to a place of peace and worship. So we put those songs on the album. Writing is one of my huge passions and it was a focus for this album.
JGM: I know “Jesus Saves” has been on the radio a while. How’s the response been to it?
TC: It’s been great. We’re still working it. A lot of the radio PDs [program directors] love it, but everybody is also still loving and singing along with “Break Every Chain” and “For Your Glory.” With time, as those songs transition out, “Jesus Saves” will build up. But it’s an honor just to have songs that people cling to and they use for their worship moments. So we can’t take “For Your Glory” off the radio yet. They would kill me if we did that!
JGM: The album has the perfect pacing for a worship service. Is that exactly how it happened live, or did you have to go back to the studio and switch some tracks around to get the flow you wanted?
TC: They did switch some songs around, but for the most part, they left it with the flow we had that night.
JGM: What are some of your plans to promote the new album?
TC: Once we get through the promo tour we will have the One Place Live Tour. It will start in the fall. I’m really excited about it. We have Kierra Sheard. Brian Courtney Wilson will be doing some of the dates.
JGM: With everything going on, how do you take care of you?
TC: I found that with each transition in life, you have to find a new sense of balance. I think I mastered it with the last album. Now that everything’s picking back up, I’m in that place now, learning how to balance in this new place in life. My focus is mainly to keep my health together: eating right, drinking water, taking care of my vocal cords, resting.
My family is a little concerned that I’m not resting as much as I should, but trust me, I get my sleep in! You learn how to sleep on the plane, you don’t hang out after church, you go straight to your room. I think that’s the way I’m going to be able to maintain throughout this next season. You pray for me that I’ll be able to do that!
For more information about Tasha Cobbs, visit www.motowngospel.com.