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Interviews
: Martha Munizzi


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Interview with Martha Munizzi by Christopher Heron

::  Official Web Site  :: 
www.MarthaMunizzi.com

Current Project
The Best Is Yet To Come

Martha Munizzi

Listen to tracks from
"The Best Is Yet To Come"

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Glorious

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Shout

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Because Of Who You Are

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Martha MunizzTouted as being charismatic, inspirational and anointed, Martha Munizzi has emerged as one of the most celebrated and identifiable figures in Praise & Worship music today. Her transparency both on stage and CD has endeared her among thousands of Christian music fans who've recently discovered her very impressionable ministry.

In fact, Munizzi's incomparable performances and testimonies have earned her popularity among a cross section of cultural and denominational affinities like few recording artists in her circle. And, understandably so.

Her recognizable songs such as Shout and Because Of Who You Are have become worship anthems in churches across America. Karen Clark Sheard, Ron Kenoly and Alvin Slaughter are just a few of the countless Gospel artists enthused and inspired enough by Martha's compositions to record her selections on their respective albums.

Martha Munizzi's recent hit album - The Best Is Yet To Come - produced by Israel Houghton, touched a nerve among evangelical churches, gaining unprecedented success and acceptance among Black Christians everywhere. Her ascendancy on the Black Gospel Billboard Charts, as a White Independent artist, suggested a new day in the acceptance of ministry and music, regardless of color and culture.

BLACKGOSPEL.COM spoke with Martha Munizzi on matters surrounding her call to ministry, her success as an Independent artist in Black Gospel music and her commitment to being the best mother and husband God could create.

Christopher Heron: You're an acclaimed songwriter, recording artist and Praise & Worship leader. Which of your talents is your favorite gift?

Martha Munizzi: That's a great question! I believe songwriting is probably my favorite because it's a real connection with the Lord when I write. I really feel as though he's pouring something through me. It's the way the lyrics come to me. To see it come together when I work with a team and a group of musicians, to take it to another level and see the anointing flow out of that experience, is an incredible experience of creativity and excitement that's unmatched by anything else.

CH: And which ministry has the greatest call on your life at this point in your life?

MM: The greatest calling on my life is to my family, to be a good mother and a good wife. It's the real calling on my life. That's the hardest thing that I do, trying to be the mother that God wants me to be, the mother they dream of having. I think the scary part would be for them to grow up and say, "Mommy didn't do a great job. I wish mommy had been more..." It's more important to me that I fulfill all of their dreams. And then, ministry comes next. I love to minister to God's people, to sing and see people set free. I'm really enjoying everything God is putting in my hands to do right now. It's simply incredible.

CH: You've had the unique ability of crossing cultural and denominational boundaries through your music. What exactly do you think is responsible for that success?

MM: The main reason God has allowed me to do the things I've done is simply Him. He gets all the praise and the glory. He's opened doors that humans could never open. So, I have to give Him all the praise for that. And also, I think there comes a time when people appreciate a genuine smile and an artist that's real with their ministry or isn't afraid to reveal their pain and emotions or share truth about what they've been through.

I think that's one of the things that have endeared people to my ministry. I can't help but be that way. I think it's important that we come down to where the people are. Even as ministers, we're still human beings and face huge issues. And more than the music, it's just that kind of reality. It goes back to the song. The song is more than a great voice and a great melody. Songs touch people. And so when you have a song that people love and embrace and touches people and becomes a part of their experiences, that's really the peak.

CH: You're also one of the most successful Independent artists to emerge in recent years, both in Gospel and Contemporary Christian genres. What advice would you offer Independent artists and Independent ministries seeking to make a national and international impact as both artists and ministers of music?

MM: I think it's time for a shift. And I think that God is saying, "It's time to step out in faith." My faith is not in a record company. My faith is in Him. When my husband and I began this journey, we told God, "We're going to trust you throughout this journey." There were many times we thought, "When we get a label, then we'll put our cover together and mix it right." Then we realized we're waiting on something that might not happen. We also realized that everything we needed was right inside of us. It was just a matter of asking the right questions and pursuing the right things and really trusting God and going ahead and doing it, instead of waiting for someone to come in and make it happen.

So, that's what I encourage people to do. Don't wait on someone else. If God puts it in your heart to do it, step out in faith, trust Him and do it. You don't have to spend thousands and thousands of dollars. There are other ways to do it. Go for it. If you have anointed music and great songs, that's what touches people's hearts. Also, be willing to go any and everywhere to sing. Don't say 'no' to anything. Just be that person that says, "God, I'll witness in the prison. I'll witness in the nursing home. I'll witness in the smallest churches. I'll go in the highways and byways" because that's what God is looking for.

It's not just about having a record. Anyone can have a record but unless you're willing to get it in the hands of the people, then no one is going to know how special it is. You've got to be willing to pursue some things, not be embarrassed to pick up the phone and say, "I'm available to come." You've got to be willing to take those chances and hear God. I believe that through God anyone can make things happen. He's available to us. And if we just step out in faith, these things can be bigger than we imagine. And that's what's happened to my husband and I. As we became more faithful and pursued things, God said, "They're serious. Now I can bless." I know we were obedient, from the smallest things to the biggest things. And so, God has opened up tremendous opportunities. So, I encourage others to go for it.

CH: Your music and ministerial collaborations with Israel Houghton has yielded enormous fruit. What was the sequence of events that led you to invite Israel to work with you as a producer on your latest album - Best Is Yet To Come?

Martha MunizzMM: My husband I met Israel about eight years ago at a church where we were both ministering at. I can remember feeling so inspired. I had just become a musical director for the church choir. And he just sparked something within me. And I said to myself, "Wow! That's what I want to be like." I loved his ministry and I loved his anointing and songwriting. He went on to travel, while I stayed at the church in Florida. And our paths didn't cross more than once or twice over the years. After serving as the music director for many years and building a big choir and church in Orlando, Florida, my husband and I decided to leave their for something new, which was the hardest thing we had ever done. Looking back, it was the best thing we've ever done.

When we had finally left, I remember saying, "I need to get some music for my spirit." So, I grabbed Israel's new CD at the time, New Season (Integrity). And it just ministered to my heart. Sometimes when you leave one season in your life to go to the next season, it's a totally different experience. You have to trust God and believe God. It doesn't always take 24hrs. for God to turn everything around. Sometimes it takes a while before you begin to see God make things move. And so, we were going through that period when it seems like an eternity, just waiting for God. And his CD just ministered to me more than anything else. New Season, Your Latter Will Be Greater were such anointed songs. I just began to sing those songs all the time.

So, I called Israel one day and told him, "I want you to know how much your music blessed me." So, we talked some more and eventually, God opened up some more doors for me to do another album, but this time with him. Israel said, "I'd love to help produce it for you." That was the beginning of the whole journey. The collaboration just escalated. Then he asked me if I'd like to record the album at the Lakewood Church in Houston, which was really an exciting idea. I told him, "I'd love to". That door also opened. The project kept getting bigger and bigger. God continued to multiply to the plan. Looking back, it's just amazing how God carried us through all of that. Israel and I have been like brother and sister, ever since.

CH: You're successfully balancing raising three children, being a loving wife and managing your blossoming Praise & Worship ministry. Can you offer any counsel for those adults attempting to find harmony with a multitude of both personal and professional obligations?

MM: Well, I am working on finding this balance each and every day. God is teaching me this experience. I try to keep my eye on what's important. I also try to learn how to say "no" to some requests. I've taken counsel from great ministers who are much further down the road than I am. It's a whole other thing to follow that advice. Sometimes, that's where I've missed it in the past and wondered why things didn't come to fruition. I've had some great ministers tell me that I don't have to say 'yes' to every request.

Sometimes, it's hard because you're afraid that a certain opportunity will not come around again. But that's just a lack of faith. We have to trust God on everything. Right now, my husband and I are home-schooling our children. We're also trying to bring them with us more often when we travel to minister. It's quite an undertaking but we're trusting that God will send us the right people in our lives to make this transition very smooth. He has and He will continue to do so. Prayer time and spending time with the Lord for revelation is so important. The whole experience has blown our mind how God has just showed up.

 

For more information on Martha Munizzi visit www.MarthaMunizzi.com

To contact Martha by email for booking, public appearances and well wishes, email her at martha@marthamunizzi.com.

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Were you blessed by this interview? Please send feedback to features@blackgospel.com.

Posted: 22.November.2004

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