Warryn Campbell is a Gospel and R&B music producer widely known for being married to Erica Campbell of popular R&B/gospel groups, Mary Mary. Warryn is a nine-time Grammy winner and is very vocal about R&B music within the industry. He was nominated this year for Best R&B Song for “Shame,” the soulful ballad performed by Tyrese and Jennifer Hudson. His production credits run deep, having worked with everyone who’s anyone including his wife Erica, Xscape, Total, Dru Hill, Luther Vandross, Kanye West, Jill Scott, David Banner, and many more.
Warryn is planning to release new music from new artists on his label My Block Inc. He sat down with us to talk about his Grammy nomination, working with Tyrese and Jennifer Hudson, thoughts on R&B’s representation at the ceremony, standards of Gospel music, and much more.
So how does it feel to be a nine-time Grammy winner?
It feels pretty good. I equated it to a basketball player winning a championship. When it comes to the Grammy’s, the Grammy’s is a really cool feeling and special accomplishment my kids can look up to.
Did you enjoy the Grammy’s this year as far as performances?
I actually did. I loved Andra Day and, of course, Kendrick. The opening with Taylor Swift was also cool, and the Lionel Richard tribute was great.
How do you feel about the Grammy’s representation on R&B artist and music these days?
I can’t front and say that I’m in love with it because I am kind of disappointed especially when I look at previous Grammy’s clips where R&B and Gospel were more included. It’s like, why don’t we have it anymore is because the message that is sent is negative, saying that people don’t like R&B music anymore, which is completely false.
Do you think that’s why people of color should appreciate programs like the BET Awards and BET?
Yeah, absolutely. Contrary to what Stacey Dash was saying, I feel like we need those programs. It’s one of those things where you take the Grammy’s or the Oscars; it ’s somebody’s party you’re not invited to, and you can’t get mad if you’re not invited, but the BET Awards is something we do to express our culture. Not saying we should exclude other cultures.
What was it like working with Jennifer Hudson and Tyrese on your Grammy-nominated song “Shame“?
I mean what can I say, they are both the premiere artist of R&B music. I’ve been friends with Tyrese before he even made an album. Jennifer and I go back to her first album where I produced a song for her so you know it was cool to see the two come together. Tyrese was the one who called Jennifer to make it happen, so it was great because I produced the song nine years ago and he was the one who wanted to do the track.
What can we look forward to on this upcoming season of “Mary Mary”?
There ’s a lot of drama on the show between myself and the ladies and between the two by themselves. But we are family first, and this business comes second. We always vow not to let our business get in the way of family.
Is it hard to balance your work life and family life since you and your wife are both in the limelight of music?
Fifteen years of marriage we’ve never told one another “I don’t want you to do that” or “I want you to come home.” At the end of the day, I have to understand her job and adjust, so I usually go with her. We understand each other very well, and we did before we got married.
Do you think Gospel artists get criticized more because they’re supposed to have that Christian lifestyle representation for others?
Yeah, I think Christian artists are held to higher standards, and sometimes that can be a little unrealistic. The gospel artists sing for God and about God, but they are not God. You can’t make them inhuman. They’re not perfect; they ’re just people like everyone else. There is some Gospel artist that judge people in the mainstream so they can’t be mad when they get criticism back. My wife loves artist in the mainstream and is friends with some of them.
Is there any music or upcoming projects in the future we can look forward to?
My label, My Block Inc., will be putting out a Musiq Soulchild album. His single just hit radio, and that’s going well. We also have a new artist, Joy Star, who’s my younger sister. We also just signed Jon B, who is doing an album now and a few other new Gospel artists that will be coming out.