Being gospel music royalty may appear glamorous, but “We’re The Campbells” will change that assumption.
The new docu-series, featuring Warryn and Erica Campbell along with their three children, gives viewers an up-close-and-personal, behind-the-scenes look at the serious effort that goes into balancing family, church ministry and careers. A digital after-show, “With Warryn and Erica,” is also part of the production.
Warryn, an award-winning veteran music producer, is also the pastor of California Worship Center (CWC) in North Hollywood and founder of the record label My Block Inc. Erica, one-half of the famous gospel duo, Mary Mary, has a flourishing solo career, the nationally-syndicated show, “Get Up! Mornings with Erica Campbell,” and serves as CWC first lady.
Despite their full lives, their number one role is as parents to Warryn, Zaya and teenager Krista and like most parents, they strive to give their children the all of the love, inspiration and necessary tools to live productive lives.
With “We’re The Campbells,” viewers will see Warryn and Erica juggling all areas of their busy lives as they raise a family in the spotlight and deal with issues of faith, sexuality and societal norms in the age of social media.
“I am excited to let people in and share our family’s story,” said Warryn. “It is super important that folks will get to see a strong, beautiful Black family, a loving couple and nothing but the Hand of God and the Grace of God on our lives through everyday situations, both good and bad.”
“I’m really excited to change the way people see African Americans. All brothers are not in jail, all fathers are not gone, all mothers are not bossy and all kids are not sassy and disrespectful. There are families that love each other,” added Erica.
“Our faith plays a big part. Trust in God and believe that there is something better out there than what we see. My goal as a wife and a mother is to make my family never falls second to my work, that they never feel that I give better energy and better love to the radio show than to them,” she said.
As for incorporating their children into the new program, the Campbells believe the foundation of faith, values and principles that they have instilled into their youngsters will keep them grounded as they move in the television industry.
“In our family, we don’t allow our children to do anything if several things are not done. For one, you’ve got to have good grades. Those types of guidelines and things we have put in place have prepared our children,” said Warryn.
Using her childhood as a model, Erica noted, “Growing up as a preacher’s daughter, you are kind of ‘out front’ whether you want it or not. You learn and understand what it means to represent the family – act honorably and realize you’re in a position of privilege, extremely blessed and not entitled.
“They have to clean their own room. Those kinds of things keep them grounded. We want them to understand the possibilities that they have and what they are doing.”
While “We’re The Campbells” is clearly faith-based, nonbelievers will find that the show presents several topics of discussion that may prove helpful to their lives.
“Everyone has or comes from a family, so you can relate on that level. Everybody has ambition, you can relate on that level. On the music side, I have done secular music – Snoop Dogg, Brandy, Luther Vandross. The show is faith-based, but there are other aspects as well,” remarked Warryn.
According to Erica, “I absolutely believe nonbelievers will enjoy our show and it will resonate with them. Whether you are a person of faith or not, there are always answers that we want in life.
“We all want love and acceptance and healthy relationships. Faith happens to be our base, but there’s a normal side to us that I think nonbelievers can definitely relate to. Whether people go to church every Sunday or not, they still understand wanting the best for your family, wanting the best for your life, how to achieve your goals and dreams and how in the world to get there,” she said.
Tia A. Smith, senior director of Original Programming and Production for TV One, commented that “We’re The Campbells” has a universal appeal that will engage multiple demographics.
“Audiences of all ages will identify with this docu-series and see themselves in members of this family, as they deal with the same issues we all do and get through them with humor and humility,” Smith said.
“We are a normal family that wants a healthy relationship with healthy and happy kids that will impact the world,” says Erica. “I think families will see us deal with the same things they encounter in life. I’m so very excited.”