Since bursting onto the scene in 2012, Stellar & Dove Award-winning crooner Jonathan McReynolds has positioned himself as the unequivocal leader of contemporary Gospel’s new school.
Delivering hits like ‘No Gray,’ ‘Not Lucky, I’m Loved,’ ‘Make Room,’ and more, the guitar-wielding singer – at just 30 years old – has accomplished more in the last 8 years than many of his peers boast over their entire careers. And, as he exclusively told That Grape Juice, he’s just getting started.
Hot on the promo trail in support of his latest effort, the ‘People’ EP, McReynolds dished on the project’s beginnings, his role as judge on the revamped reality talent competition BET’s ‘Sunday Best,’ and much more
See it all inside:
That Grape Juice: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. How are things going where you are?
Jonathan: Well as can be to be honest. For a musician-songwriter who spends a lot of time alone anyway, I’m good.
That Grape Juice: If there has been any shake up to your schedule, what’s been the most difficult part about quarantine?
Jonathan: The worst part is the interruption to the stuff we were planning on doing or some places we were going to travel like all the festivals that have been postponed until next year.
It’s sad because we [my team and I] were looking forward to a lot of amazing new things this year, but God still has a plan.
That Grape Juice: That’s right and thank you for that encouraging word. I was watching your music video for your latest single, ‘People,’ and it’s such an inspiring song.
With an EP full of gems, why did you think this track was the best way to kick off the project?
Jonathan: It’s almost like a journal of what I’ve been through this year as my primary focus was reducing the significant opinions of people and move in life untainted by what people have to say or have done.
Also, to realize my own affect on the people that are close to me and remind that not only do we need grace from God, we need grace from each other.
That Grape Juice: As a body of work, what separates ‘People’ the EP from its predecessors?
Jonathan: Even though I experimented with new sounds, [the EP] was a return to some of my songwriting and production guys from the first couple of albums.
We just went into the lab, had fun, made some mistakes, and learned from trial and error. We got back to the old school way we did it where we tried stuff and felt what’s different. We saw what God blessed and we saw what we could pull off. I’m really excited about pushing the envelope a little bit.
That Grape Juice: In keeping with that same energy of newness, I always like to ask people who’ve been in the game for a minute what’s changed about their overall creative process.
Jonathan: I’m older, so all the things that go into [my content] are different such as my life experiences, the type of prayers I pray, and different lessons I’ve learned from the past. But, when it comes to the actual creative process, I’m actually happy that it hasn’t changed much.
That Grape Juice: I wasn’t expecting that answer, thanks for sharing that. Now, we’ve reached the segment we call “Five From Fans,” where we’ve collected five questions from some of your fans to ask you.
Are you ready for this?
- That Grape Juice: Who is on your non-Gospel collaborator wishlist?
Jonathan: Number one is John Mayer, for sure. Number two would be H.E.R., I love her. It would also be really cool to do something with the “g.o.a.t.” (greatest of all time), Stevie Wonder.
- That Grape Juice: The most popular question – is Jonathan single?
Jonathan: Yes, Jonathan McReynolds is single if anybody wants to know; you all will know when I’m married (laughs).
- That Grape Juice: What is the biggest misconception about you?
Jonathan: There are two. First, I’m way more of a nerd than a musician so everyone thought I was going to be a computer engineer at first. I even considered being a meteorologist growing up.
Next, I’m a lot taller than people think. I’m not 5’5 like everybody thinks I am (laughs).
- That Grape Juice: Any plans for another book?
Jonathan: I’m always writing. I don’t have any plans for a book right now, but I have a few things that I have started.
If it’s enough for an article, then I’ll put it out like that. If it’s enough for a book, then I’ll put it out like that.
- That Grape Juice: Wrapping up “Five from Fans,” what’s new with the next season of BET’s ‘Sunday Best’?
Jonathan: I think you will get to see a lot more of the judges’ processing and how we decide which people move on from round to round.
That will be very interesting, but scary for us as well because everybody will see how we think and I’m sure some [viewers] will disagree.
Jonathan McReynolds’ new EP, ‘People,’ is available on all platforms now!