Award winning Gospel Artist and praise & worship leader, Martha Munizzi is back with a new CD entitled, “Make it Loud”. It will be in stores everywhere on Tuesday April 26th and it is a wonderful offering to the body of Christ.
We recently sat down for an interview with Martha to discuss the CD and to gain her perspective on different issues. Her love for God can be heard in her responses.
BW: I absolutely love the cover. Who designed it.
MM: We have someone who works for us part-time that helps design along side myself and really I kind of had the idea from the beginning. I wanted to do something with the white background and something with some hot pink.. something really simple and different from anything I’ve ever done… and we talked about it and conceptualized about it and it was really a team effort. From our team of people that work on it to kind of make it what it is.
BW: It’s absolutely lovely. I love your hair on it.
MM: Thank you. thank you thank you
BW: What was the concept behind “Make it Loud” the song/CD? What do you want listeners to take away from Make it Loud?
MM: Well I’ve been thinking and really just in the last few years been noticing that so many voices that we’re hearing you know that have tremendous influence in media and pop culture, music, movies.. they’re speaking so strongly THEIR truth.. what they believe.. they’ve got really strong opinions, this next generation.. they’re not holding back, they don’t suggest their ideas. They insist that this is it and if you don’t accept it you’re wrong or there’s something wrong with you on so many different levels. So it just started to really concern me that we don’t all have to have the same idea but the ideas and opinions are becoming stronger everyday.. and here are opinions being passed off as truth and I said to my family it is just amazing to me as believers that here we are with THE truth and we should feel strongly about our truth and make it loud and not hold back and that’s where this kinda came from. Really the album is a collection of declarations.. with every song… it’s a declaration of who God is. There’s something powerful.. I noticed as a worship leader, something powerful happens when you declare who God is. When you sing songs about me or my faith that’s good but when you start to sing about who God is and make a declaration of truth then that’s when the atmosphere really shifts so that’s what I focused on with this album. Being loud is not about volume. That’s important too because the bible talks about singing with a loud voice worthy is the lamb and demonstrative praise.. it shows us throughout the word.. It’s more of a living life out loud. Living a life of purpose and loving louder, giving louder, making some waves where we are.. not in a confrontational way but in a joyful way and a celebration of who God is. That’s really what the theme behind this album is about.
BW: I’ve heard the first single from the CD, “Excellent”. It sounds like the soundtrack to a movie about how God created heaven and earth which is great because I can actually picture how BIG God is when I listen to it. What kind of feedback have you received from that song?
MM: I’m glad you said that because I really feel like when we were creating this album and brought in musicians and just began to brainstorm and create that I wanted it to feel like a soundtrack to a movie.
BW: “I could picture what you were singing and see how big God is while you were singing. I think the first single is great”.
MM: We’ve had tremendous feedback. We found out yesterday that it’s already climbing the charts number 25 on Radio and another chart it’s number 19 so it’s jumpin five and six spots at a time. I’m very excited. We were with Hezekiah Walker the other day and he loved it and was playing it on the radio so it’s exciting what is happening already so I’m ready for this release.
BW: What are your favorite tracks on the CD and why?
MM: Excellent is one of my favorite tracks. It’s kinda like for me to some of the songs I think I like are now becoming songs that I love the more that I get a chance to minister the songs. I love the song called “No One Higher” and it’s just an anthem and everywhere that I’ve sang the song it kind of takes over and it’s very explosive and impactful which is very amazing. It’s about who is like our God. There’s no one like him… no one higher than our God.. there’s no one. And again it’s a strong declaration of who he is and of course you know my daughter sings a song on there that she wrote that I’m excited about. She makes her debut on this album and I can’t wait for people to hear her and be ministered to. She wrote a song called “The Love of God” and it is so powerful and when she wrote it I said you have to sing this, you have to sing it. It’s on the album and it’s a major moment, but there’s a lot of moments on here. There’s a song with my sister in law that we wrote together and songs with William McDowell and so many others… “Make it Loud”.. Pablo Villatoro from Group One Crew is on that album, so there’s a lot… it’s hard to pick one song.
BW: Since you brought your daughter up, I did hear some of that as well and she’s got a beautiful voice. I could feel the presence of the Lord even just listening to the little clip that I did listen to on that song when she was singing so her song on the album… Should we expect something more from her in the future or was it just a one time thing
MM: Absolutely! It is definitely my introduction for her into my fan base. I’m letting them hear her…the people that listen to me. She is a great writer. She writes different styles of songs. She’s not just one style. She really is even more eclectic than I am when It comes to writing. I don’t think that she’s even reached…. she’s just starting.. I’ll put it that way… she’s really just scratching the surface.. She goes to college in the fall so we are deciding do we do an album real quick before you leave or do we wait so I think we’re going to go in and do an album for her and let her release that before she goes to school or while in her first year at school but definite plans for her own album.
BW: You had some great praise and worship leaders on the CD with William McDowell, Michael Gungor, Johnathan Stockstill, Lori Morison and Eric Groves. How was it working with them and what did they bring to the CD/experience?
MM: It was really great. Over the years we’d all kinda talked at different times and said we need to work together and on this album they kinda individually… we kinda reached out to each other and said let’s do something. Let’s work together. It wasn’t anything that we had a huge conversation about. I ran into Michael Gungor and said you know we need to write together and when I was starting to put the album together and musicians together he texted me one day out of the blue and said let’s write… so I said let’s write and come be a part of my album so that worked out great and then William McDowell.. we live in the same city and we’ve been friends for years and we’ve been holding EPIC worship events in Orlando for the last several years.. just nights of worship and William is a big part of that so it just made sense that he is a part of this album. Jonathan Stockstill is a great friend and I said I’d love for you to be a part and it all kind of just came together so easily and so quickly and it was a great experience. Everybody was younger than me which is the way it is right now… it seems like everybody’s younger, but it was great experience just to glean from their gifting and their talent and their anointing and it really was a great mix. I enjoyed every second of it. It was easy, it was effortless, it was drama-less. Everybody made it about the bigger purpose and it was a fantastic experience.
BW: That’s a good thing. So you brought up the EPIC Worship experience. Tell us how the EPIC Worship Experience (Experience a Passionate Intimate Connection with God) came about and how can listeners attend a worship event or where can they go to get information?
MM: We are at this point have been them every three months and we have them at a different church each time in Orlando and the doors are opening to have them outside of Orlando but if you stay in touch with us on Facebook, on Twitter…just follow us and you will know because we get the word out consistently or you can let us know we want to get all of the information that’s coming out of Martha Munizzi Ministries, you can email us and we can add you to our list and make sure you get all of our information. We do these consistently and we are in the works of planning the next one. The date is not set exactly yet but we will be planning. We’ve got some things planned for the end of summer and going back to school and into the fall so we’re really excited about what God is doing. We’re just being obedient. It’s really just about creating a worship experience for people to hear from God. For people to be rejuvenated, be refreshed and do what they’re called to do and make an impact in our city and beyond.
BW: You made your producer debut on “Make it Loud” is that correct?
MM: Yes, Yes… I worked with some great musicians on this album, yes.
BW: So what were some of the valuable lessons that you learned while serving in that capacity because I can image that it might be different to be the actual producer as opposed to the person out front but you were both
MM: Yes, I worked with Christian Dently who co produced the album who was really my hands and helped take my ideas and bring them to life. He really just kept me on track and said you don’t have to lean.. you have it in you… let’s make this happen. Whatever you want we’ll do it. So he really helped me stay confident and I think a part of this going into it, I’ve learned more than ever to not second guess myself. I think that kind of happens. My personality is I’m just going to do what God tells me to do and there are times where I’m really confident and other times I go this is what I think is good, we’re just gonna go for it…you know just to be strong and that it’s in me. That I can do this…it’s something that I really learned. It was tremendous confidence booster. It helps me to really tune in to hear the voice of the Lord more than ever.. to do this from beginning to end and stay involved because sometimes creative people, we’ll be a part of a big event but sometimes we kinda miss it on the little details and we kinda don’t stay plugged in to the little details that a lot of people that are considered doers do but in this capacity all the details fell on my plate and so I couldn’t unplug for one second. I had to stay on top of it from flights, arrangements and all of those things. And my husband of course he makes so much of that happen. I lean on him so much. So this was interesting. I couldn’t unplug. I couldn’t say oh that’s somebody else’s job this time so that was a lot of responsibility which was good. I showed myself that I could do this and I’m excited about doing it again.
BW: I read that you used musicians and singers from your hometown of Orlando on your new CD “Make it Loud”. In your opinion, how important is it that musicians and singers be planted and working in a local ministry?
MM: I think it’s imperative. I know speaking from experience, for years my husband and I have been planted in a local church whether it was my mom and dad’s church or churches in Orlando when my parents were not pastoring. We have always been planted in a local church. For almost ten years we were planted together raising our kids in a local church before we started traveling so we went straight from serving in our local church onto traveling full time and it’s exciting and it’s fun…it’s great but you cannot survive the road without a local house. I’m just telling you now, you can’t do it. You have to have roots, you have to have family, you have to have connection, you have to have accountability… Nobody can make it.. there’s not one person on the planet that can make it traveling and ministering and pouring out that is not planted somewhere or have a covering. I can tell you that from experience because we’ve traveled and and tried to find a home church, tried to find a home base and it’s very difficult. I tell people, you’re crazy you don’t understand…”well I don’t feel appreciated by my home church” well nobody’s appreciated. If you’re looking at being appreciated none of us are are appreciated. Let’s get over that and understand that that’s not what we’re there to be. We need to learn to appreciate and see what it is that we’re there to receive and what we’re there to give. I meet people all the time all over the country all over the world and everybody has the same story and if you sit and focus on the negative nobody feels like they’re praised or getting what they’re worth. You know in the kingdom God’s response to us is greater than any man’s response to us and His percentage and interest rate is beyond what man can ever give us. So we have to serve with a heart of I’m not here to just be appreciated, I’m here to serve and to do what God’s called me to do and that’s why I did this this way because I know that the local body has raised up musicians and singers that had that mentality and had that understanding. We were working together during the EPIC Worship events. We were already working together so I thought these guys are so mature they so get it… I don’t have to baby sit them on any level. They just came right in. They got it. They’re leaders leaders and so that’s what made it such a great experience working alongside with them because I didn’t have to mentor them along the way. They got it so that was great!
BW: If you had to pick one golden nugget of wisdom to share with worship leaders everywhere, what would it be?
MM: Stay planted. I would say stay planted, stay close to the Lord… just do what you do with passion and know that you’re called for this, that God’s called you for it and you don’t have to shrink back from it. Stay pure stay right before God…submit to people in authority over you and there’s absolutely nothing that God does not see and in due season if you don’t quit, He will reward you and you’ll reap. You’ll reap great reward. I’m a witness to that.
BW: Who came up with the idea of streaming the recording live on the internet? That was very innovative.
MM: I’ve heard so many churches streaming and I was like it would be so great to stream. It was actually my original idea and I wanted to do like a pay per view so that people that couldn’t come and maybe give, they could at least be a part of it and so I didn’t know how it was going to come about but my friend Pablo Villatoro, he travels and ministers with Group One Crew.. he’s fantastic minister and hip hop artist… He’s a great friend of ours from Orlando. I just kind of mentioned it to him and he said I’ve been looking on the internet to find someone else who had done it and I hadn’t been able to find anyone and he helped me put it together. And I worked with a team from my sister’s church and they actually set it all up and we did it. I pushed it through really the week of to make it happen so we’ll do that again. We’ll definitely do that again.
BW: How has where you are spiritually in this moment in life affected and enhanced your songwriting?
MM: It’s everything. It’s going through storms and through resistance or dealing with just the issues of life or just things that come up that are nuisances…all those things prepare me to write songs and give me inspiration for songs. Usually it goes back to I can rehearse the problem or we can just get right to the answer.. that’s kind of where I live. I don’t want to rehearse the pain and the disease… we know that. Let’s get to who God is you know let’s just get to where we are declaring how great He is and bring us up out of this feeling of hopelessness or despair and that’s where I live. Life inspires me and going through.. life can be a roller coaster… things can be going great and things can be not so great and during those times I just really seek the Lord and I just learned that as much as I don’t enjoy those moments I know that some of the best times with the Lord come out of those valley moments. So I really try to pay attention to what I’m feeling, what I’m going through so when it’s time to make an album I tap into that… So God you know here’s where you’ve taken me and here’s where I’ve been these last six months.. this last year and I just write from that place. You know and again as much as I hate those places I also know that they are gifts to us because in our weakness he’s strong.
BW: Did you write all of the songs on “Make It Loud”?
MM: I co wrote all of the songs. I really felt like it was time to give some other up and coming song writers, worship leaders an opportunity and God just kept putting people in my path that I was in relationship with and they would say let’s write let’s do this and so that’s what I did. I just took the songs that I felt like were right for this album. I think everything was a co-write. Michael Gungor and I wrote three songs together.. Christian Dently and I wrote several songs and William McDowell performed a song with me. My daughter and I co-wrote so this is definitely a collaborative effort of a lot of great creative worship artists and musicians.
BW: Your style has been described as merging Gospel and Contemporary Christian Music.. you’ve broken barriers… You appear to be a wise business woman with your own label, now serving as producer on “Make it Loud”.. What’s next on your agenda to further carve out the legacy of music that you are clearly on the path to achieve and how does you family fit into all of the plans?
MM: A lot it is just defining.. It’s not desire or ideas.. we were laughing about it the other day we were talking about the next level and bringing somebody in and helping… I said I don’t need anybody that just has ideas, I got ideas all day long. It’s implementing those ideas.. finding the time and finding the right resources and the structure to make those things happen, but the next thing for me and my list of one hundred ideas that I want to see happen in my lifetime… I really believe that God is calling me to mentor and I’ve been doing that over the years but I really feel like it’s time to direct that into something that is more consistent. So we’re working on just the structure of that now, but through EPIC we also have EPIC life. It’s an offshoot of EPIC (our worship events).. It brings the people that are a part of the EPIC team in and they come to my house once a month and we minister to each other and I mentor and teach and impart. So I know that God is saying just give that away and then He’s gonna show me the next phase of it. I’m already starting to see just the pattern of what we’re supposed to go into after this year is over. That’s the thing, just taking this next generation and teaching serving, authority, submission, and songwriting. Just really doing that on the next level. My family fits into that because they are coming of age to be able to sit under it and also be a part to serve along side. My children.. my oldest daughter is 18.. she’s getting ready to go to college, and she’s going for music business so that’s exciting to see how God is going to be developing her to help us and then help her for her future.
BW: This next question has absolutely nothing to do with you album. Your hair always looks great and I’ve seen pictures of you with blonde and some with brunette or highlights. Have you settled on a look or are you like the rest of us… love to switch it up?
MM: You know I think I’ve settled on long hair, my husband likes my hair long, I think that I’ve settled on. I’m gonna wear it for a while but I just kind of change different colors and I have a great hairstylist. I’ll just say do whatever you want and she has different ideas so that’s kinda where that comes from. She’s very creative and I just let her do her thing.
Be sure to pick up Martha’s latest CD, “Make it Loud”, in stores everywhere Tuesday April 26th!
“Make It Loud” Track List
- Make it Loud
- Excellent Reprise
- My God is a Big God
- My God is a Big God Reprise
- No One Higher
- I Know you Love Me
- Set Me Free
- Fill Me
- Your Love Oh God
- Never Stop Singing