Barely a year after his 2012 debut album ‘Well Done’ lived up to its moniker critically and commercially, BET ‘Sunday Best’ champion Joshua Rogers unleashes its follow-up ‘Unconditional’ (in stores today).
Continuing to follow the phenomenal path its predecessor carved, 19-year-old Rogers’ newest work showcases yet again an instrument that is tuned far beyond its years. And, via our recent sit-down with the young star, his sophomore album will also illustrate artistic growth to match – a feat evidenced by his writing contribution to each song on the project.
Already christened one of the year’s most anticipated gospel offerings, tuck in for more on Rogers’ new album, news about a reality show, and so much more:
Joshua Rogers Shouts Out That Grape Juice!
TGJ: Joshua! It’s almost been about a year since the last time we talked! Fill us in on what’s been going on since last December.
Joshua: It’s been a great journey. I’ve had some ups, downs, and many accomplishments, but I thank God for it all. Last year, I released my first album ['Well Done'] and it debuted at #1 on Gospel Billboard charts. Now, I praise God I have the opportunity to put out a full length album of original music.
TGJ: Yes! We’re excited about your sophomore album ‘Unconditional’ (in stores October 29). What inspired the album title?
Joshua: It’s actually a track on the album. As we were coming up with the songs, my manager encouraged me to come up with something “heartfelt”. Something like the love of God…unconditional. And, we just went from there and started writing.
After recording it and listening to it, I knew it just had to be the title of the album.
TGJ: We hear that you contributed to the album yourself by writing or co-writing on the album tracks. How was that process for you?
Joshua: It feels great to have the world listening to your words and how you really feel from the heart. I look forward to many more opportunities to do so.
TGJ: The album’s lead single ‘So Good’ is on heavy rotation over here at TGJ HQ! Why do you think it was the best single to kick off the album?
Joshua: It was actually the first song we recorded for the album and was also another song I’d written for the project. It really conveyed a message that I wanted to put out to the world. It also seemed to be the best candidate for radio.
TGJ: We hear there’s a music video in the works for it as well. When should we expect it?
Joshua: Can’t wait to premiere the video. It’s a great music video that will show the youthfulness of myself. It should be coming out in the States soon.
TGJ: What makes it different from its predecessor?
Joshua: I really want to catch a younger crowd with this album. I captured the older audience with the last album because it was traditional and traditional gospel is the way I grew up. There are still traditional songs on this album, but overall we did take a very Urban approach. I think it’s very well rounded.
TGJ: Continuing in that same lane, what are you hoping listeners get from “Unconditional” that “Well Done” may have not shown them?
Joshua: With ‘Well Done’ being an album of covers, it kind of lacked who I was artistically. With this album I hope people experience who I am as an artist and enjoy the music from my heart.
TGJ: Well, we certainly have enjoyed chatting with you Joshua. Before we end, we must ask you: with gospel reality shows being such a huge hit on TV now (i.e. Mary Mary, “The Sheards”, “Preachers of L.A.”), what are your thoughts on joining the reality circut?
Joshua: It’s ironic you ask. My label and other business partners have positioned that to me. If the opportunity presents itself, I don’t have a problem with welcoming the world into the world of Joshua Rogers.
TGJ: We look forward to it. In the meantime, tell our readers where they can go to keep up with you?
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Interview by: Quinno Rashad (That Grape Juice US)