In the music industry there’s this unspoken rule of how you are supposed to look. I don’t look like that. I don’t think I’ll ever look like that. But because I am able to work this out so publicly, it’s spreading awareness about, “Let’s make this about the gifting and the talent and not about a person looking a certain way.” 

CCM:  I was so moved by the lyrics on Freedom. It seems you have a keen awareness of brokenness. What inspires this vulnerability in a society where openness seems to be discouraged rather than encouraged?

Mandisa:  I feel like I was forced into it, to be honest. Simon really did open that door for me. I guess I could’ve said, “I don’t want to talk about that.” But who wants to hear that?

I’m convinced that all the struggles and difficult stuff that I’ve been through is, one, developing me to be more like Jesus. But it’s also helping some other people who are going through similar trials. It basically comes down to just knowing that God is gonna’ use it. If I’m quiet and don’t say anything, He doesn’t have as much to work with. So I’m gonna’ give Him lots to work with.

CCM:  Tell me about Freedom. What are you excited about sharing with listeners?

Mandisa:  Because breaking free from this stronghold has been the most difficult thing I’ve ever been through, I think that makes [Freedom] more real and honest.

There are a lot of people that God wants to set free from some things. Some of them are struggling with their weight like I am; some it’s alcohol or drugs; some are bound by their past and some their present circumstances.

This album has a two-fold message in encouraging people and in letting them know God is able to set you free. I’m excited that what’s been going on in my life is being reflected in this music and hopefully will be used by the Lord to set some other people free.

Listen to CCM’s full interview with Mandisa.

For more info on Mandisa, visit

© 2009  All rights reserved.  Used with permission. 

**This interview first published on April 1, 2009