When Tasha Cobbs took the stage on June 14, 2012 at Northview Christian Church, in Montgomery, Alabama, she did so neither as a nationally renowned vocalist, nor as a recording artist making her major-label debut.
Instead, with microphone in hand, she ascended the platform prepared to do what she had done every week since her teenage years---lead the congregation into worship.
It is no surprise then that the result of her effort, Grace, stands as a moving example of the raw power of a live worship experience. Produced by multi-award-winning artist and producer VaShawn Mitchell, the eight-song project reveals Tasha at her best as a psalmist, songwriter, and minister.
From the opening chant “Get Up” through the powerful declaration “Break Every Chain” (featuring celebrated vocalist Timiney Figueroa) to the show-stopping “Confidence,” Grace is overflowing with moments that are sure to be recreated by worship teams across the nation. Although this release marks the official introduction of one of the nation’s most talented worship leaders, the project is the culmination of a journey Tasha has pursued since the day she was born.
Graced with what she calls a “southern tone,” Tasha’s powerhouse vocals are reflective of her upbringing in Jesup, Georgia where she was raised in a home surrounded by music. “I’ve been singing all of my life,” she shares. “On my mother’s side of the family we all sing---all of my cousins and all of my aunts. On Christmas and the holidays, everybody gathers together, and we all sing. It’s just part of my life.”
While music was a constant backdrop to Tasha’s childhood, church ministry was the foundation. The only daughter of Bishop Fritz and First Lady Bertha Cobbs, Tasha made the transition from church member to pastor’s kid when she was ten years old. That year her father took a leap of faith, leaving the church her family attended to found and pastor Jesup New Life Ministries. The move catapulted the family to the forefront of church ministry and set Tasha on a path toward her own, unique public ministry.
In the years since, Tasha has developed her gifts as a songwriter and psalmist to become a nationally recognized minister. She currently serves as Worship Leader for the Young Adult Division of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship, leading congregations into worship and training fellow worship leaders in the development of their craft.
Tasha explains the heart of her ministry: “As I travel the country, I teach my fellow church singers and musicians that if the people come every week and they see your face on the stage every week, you are a worship leader because your life is on display.”
In addition to her work at Full Gospel, Tasha currently serves as Worship Pastor at the dReam Center Church of Atlanta, the thriving ministry founded by recording artist and minister Pastor William H. Murphy, III. There Tasha oversees four ministry departments connected to the arts, including worship, dance, and drama. Her commitment to authentic ministry pervades her lyrics as well as her performances.
For the songs included on this recording, Tasha chose material of personal significance to her as well as songs from her own catalogue. “The first time I heard ‘Break Every Chain’ I listened to it all night long,” she recalls. “I have ministered it at my church a few times, and it always has the same affect---chains are broken. I have messages on Facebook and Twitter from people who have been freed as a result of the song. It releases freedom.”
The highly melodic “Love You Forever” with its militaristic hook is a personal favorite of Tasha’s. “It’s not the typical scream, shout, emotional response type of song, but you sit down and listen to the words that most Believers would like to say to their Lord.” The last few lines have special significance in her relationship with God: “You won’t ever give up on me/ and all that I have will never be enough/ to show You how much I love You/ but I’m gonna try.”
The upbeat, infectious “Happy” has quickly become a frequently requested, signature song for Tasha. “I have to minister that one everywhere I go,” she says. “That’s a song that I wrote about four years ago. One of my cousins called me one day and said, ‘I just wanna know if you’re happy.’ I started to think that there are things in life that would make me sad or that I don’t like, but at the core of who I am I have the joy of the Lord. That means I can command my circumstances. The attitude of the Believer is that we have the victory in everything.”
Tasha wrote the title song after hearing a particularly challenging sermon by Pastor Hart Ramsey, the senior pastor whose church hosted Tasha and her team for the live recording. She explains: “One night God had just given Pastor Ramsey an amazing message on grace. He said, ‘I think more songwriters should write about God’s love. We love Him, but how does He love us?’ I pulled out my iPhone and I just started writing. I wrote the entire song on my iPhone that night.”
With the release of Grace, Tasha Cobbs is sure to become a recognized name in churchgoing households across the nation. Despite the broader platform, for Tasha the goal remains clear: “I know my assignment as a worship leader is to, without fail, lead God's people into His presence. A national platform only gives me a greater opportunity to fulfill that purpose.”