Unfamiliar with the name Jonathan McReynolds? We’re sure if that is the unfortunate case, after tonight’s BET “Celebration of Gospel”, that’s sure to change.
Touted as the next big star in contemporary gospel, the guitar-wielding ‘No Gray’ singer has been winning the hearts of music lovers for the past two years with his refreshingly smooth crooning that doesn’t slack on vocal chops, inspirational lyrics, and unique acoustic sensibilities.
A sonic delight with a relatable voice that fuses solid songwriting with ministry, the surprisingly humble hitmaker sat down with That Grape Juice recently for a few one on one questions.
As ever, this is one you don’t want to miss! Get to know Mr. McReynolds below:
TGJ: First, congratulations on being one of Gospel’s new successes!
JM: Thanks so much!
TGJ: As we prepare for your debut performance on BET’s “Celebration of Gospel,” tell us all about it. We know you’re a huge fan of India.Arie, so how was that for you?
JM: Amazing! How do you think it would be performing with someone you’ve admired for a decade? She’s awesome, a great person, and it was just a really cool experience.
TGJ: We can only imagine. When did you first fall in love with her music?
JM: [It] had to have been like early high school. I remember “Get It Together”and “There’s Hope.” Her genuiness, her authenticity, her uniqueness….she’s always true to herself. She’s only India and always only India.
TGJ: And, so do you apply that in your ministry?
JM: Absolutely! You have to do it the way you feel it. That’s the most effective way, I think.
TGJ: We agree. Switching gears a bit, we always like to ask newcomers: what has been the most surprising aspect of the music industry thus far?
JM: That’s a dangerous question. You hear the stories of the competitive, cut-throat, and it has that element, but there is definitely still a camaraderie there. There is a respect, a mutual love for music, love for each other’s music, and more. Yes, it might be fake some time, but it’s still a great experience to know that there are other like minded people.
TGJ: So, if the camaraderie or mutual respect is something that stands out about the music industry, who are some other artists you would love to work with in the future?
JM: The Jessica Reedys, the Kierra “KiKi” Sheards, the Mali Musics, all of those guys. I’m blessed to be apart of a new wave of Gospel music. All of these are people that I’ve met, know, and can call up, so it’s awesome to know that [there is] this new frontline wave and I’m really excited about that.
TGJ: With this “new wave” of gospel taking effect, where do you see yourself taking this ministry in the next 5 – 10 years?
JM: Honestly, I didn’t even see this. I sent a friend a text today and said, “I never saw myself being here, but I did see myself singing this music and bringing this message.” That’s all I know and I’m just grateful that God is making a platform for me. It wasn’t really thought out or planned out in front of me. But, we’re creating it as we’re experiencing it.
Interview by: Richard Pittman (That Grape Juice US)