Fifteen albums into his solo career and Marvin Sapp shows no signs of slowing down. The singer-songwriter and pastor has been a mainstay in gospel music since performing with Commissioned in the early ’90s and, soon after, launching his own solo career. On Substance, he takes what he does best—crafting catchy, message-oriented tracks rooted in soulful pop-gospel and R&B—and sneaks in some contemporary flourishes, like the pitched-down beat on “Your Way Is Better” and the larger-than-life arrangement on “All in Your Hands.” He also revisits one of his earliest hits, 1997’s “Grace and Mercy,” on a special 25th-anniversary remix of the track. “This project gives everyone, no matter what age, demographic, or even genre-focus—it gives them all that opportunity to hear something that meets all of their particular musical needs,” Sapp tells Apple Music. “So, I’m excited that I was able to do this 15th project and still remain relevant in this musical environment.” Below, Sapp walks Apple Music through several of Substance’s key tracks. “Your Way Is Better” “I did something totally different than I’ve ever done before: I pulled in a group of individuals, new writers, my original team, and I had a three-day retreat here at my home, and it’s actually where we recorded the record as well, in my own studio. We began to talk about how we’ve tried all our own ways. And what we came to realize is that, no matter how hard we tried to figure it out in our own strength and our ability, we came to the realization that His way is always better than ours, and that’s how that song came about.” “Serve the Lord” “When I was a little bitty boy in my local church, those were the kinds of songs that the male chorus and my church sang. We would call those songs ‘hip-slapping songs.’ And I wanted to make it a quartet kind of style. I’ve never done a quartet song before, never done anything like this before. And I said, ‘Well, since it’s my own label and since I’m executive producing it, and since I'm the CEO of my own company, I decided that I wanted to try something new, different, but still wanted to have that Marvin Sapp signature to it.’ So, Stan Jones, an amazing writer, but not only that but he comes out of that quartet world, along with some of the most gifted young men out of the city of Indianapolis, Indiana, a group by the name of The Williams Singers from Indiana, they sang on it.” “All in Your Hands” “That’s our first single and we started—myself, Aaron Lindsey, Stan Jones—we sat down and we really began to talk about the anxiety and the pressures and the stresses that we endured during the pandemic. Being an artist, not being able to travel, not being able to do concerts, and how that’s a part of your livelihood. We became very anxious. We began to wonder how, and if, we were going to be able to make it. And we knew that if we were feeling this way, that we weren’t the only individuals that had those feelings. And that’s how that song was actually birthed. It came from us just saying, ‘You know what? We are just going to tell people, look, I know it’s rough. I know it’s hard. I know it’s difficult, but just put it in His hands because He cares for us and He’s going to handle whatever issues that we face.’” “You Kept Me” “We can look back over what we’ve had to endure over the last two and a half years, and the fact that we’re still alive, the fact that we’re still in our right minds. We can literally tell God, ‘You know what? I'm so grateful that you kept me. You kept me from danger seen and unseen. You kept me through my challenges and my struggles. You kept me.’ And that song is another song that, I believe, will absolutely resonate with people because of the simple fact that we didn’t get to this place in our own strength and in our own abilities. We got here because God decided to keep us in spite of us.” “Medley: Grace and Mercy” (25th Anniversary Remix) “Grace and Mercy, that album came out 25, 26 years ago. And that was the CD that kind of catapulted me out there. I did my original CD, Marvin Sapp, my self-titled CD, and then a year or two later, I did the Grace and Mercy project. And that CD really was one of my biggest sellers. I look back at all of the music that I’ve done and I said, ‘If I had the opportunity to redo something, it would be two songs.’ One of them, which is on the CD, is ‘Not the Time, Not the Place.’ And then the other one is ‘Grace and Mercy.’”

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada