Tasha Cobbs Leonard recently spoke with Billboard about her Nicki Minaj collaboration on her single “I’m Getting Ready” off her latest album “Heart Passion Pursuit,” and one day working with Celine Dion.
How did “I’m Getting Ready” come together? Was collaborating with a rapper something you were always interested in, or did you want to work with Nicki in particular?
Nicki and I have a friendship that started a couple of years ago. I had done this show, and she saw it on television and reached out to me on Twitter just to say how she was very inspired by the song. Maybe about two years ago, she started commenting on my Instagram, so we communicated back and forth there, which started our friendship. One day on Instagram, she posted saying, “Tasha Cobbs, when you’re done with this album, shoot me 16 bars.” Of course, both of our fans started going crazy: “Are they really going to do this?” When I sent it over to her, she immediately responded, “This is the song I was hoping you would send.” I guess it was just a song that spoke to her and where she is. It gave her space to tell her testimony, and that’s what you hear on her 16 bars.
Did you expect Nicki’s verse would create this polarizing reaction?
I knew there would be a reaction. I knew that some would agree, and some would not agree, and I believe I’m perfectly fit for that. I always tell people, “There are more people that are for us than are against us.” There will always be people who don’t understand, and that happens. We’re forever evolving, and sometimes people will fight change, but I know that this is something we both had to do, and it gave her an opportunity to share her heart and her story on a different platform. She’s said that several times — in a post the other day, saying, “This is the first time I’ve been on the gospel chart.” She came from a Christian home, and I think this has given her an opportunity to share her testimony. It’s been great just to read people’s comments that say, “Hey, this song has really been blessing me this week,” or “This is the only thing I’ve been listening to this week.” Just to see those comments is huge for me. Everybody can relate to it. It speaks hope, and I believe our world just absolutely needs that. “I’m getting ready to see something I’ve never seen.”
You’ve talked about seeing Nicki’s devotion to God that some of her fans don’t realize is there. Is there a specific moment that comes to mind when you think about Nicki Minaj in relation to religion?
There are several conversations that we’ve had where we talked about her relationship with God. Like all of us, we have areas of our life that we must continue to work on, and she’s very verbal about that, but one thing that she never denies is that she’s not ashamed of her relationship with God. I remember when we first started to talk about it, she kept saying, “This is the first time I’ll get to expose my relationship with God to the world.” I still believe she’s really excited.
Tasha was asked if there is anyone she would like to work with in the future, and she said one of our favorites, Celine Dion.
But yeah, I would do it again. I was telling someone the other day [that] I was a fan of Celine Dion. If she called me tomorrow, I would fly to wherever she is. I would love to sing with her. She has one of the most phenomenal voices in the world. If you were asking me about another collaboration, I would say Celine Dion, hands-down.
A Celine Dion/Tasha Cobbs Leonard collabo? We’re so here for it!
To read Tasha Cobbs Leonard full interview with Billboard click HERE