Trials and tribulations only make J. Moss a stronger musician and a stronger man. Just weeks after a devastating house fire destroyed everything he owned, the Grammy Award-winning producer spoke with ESSENCE.com about his faith, his new album, Grown Folks Gospel, and how his life has changed for the better.
“It was so traumatic. In about 6 minutes time, I saw my whole entire house go up,” Moss says of the fire that destroyed his family’s home in Michigan. “After you finish crying and things of that nature, you’re in that quiet time with God and you’re going Lord, ‘Why? I know I’m supposed to not question you but why is this happening?’”
But his faith, though tested, did not waiver. Moss believes that God used that tragic moment to help bring people closer to God.
“He’s saying: ‘Now, when you sing your songs, on this new record, now when you sing them, watch the conviction, watch the passion, watch the results in the eyes of the people. Watch their hearts come forward and out to Me because now I’ve moved you closer to Me which, is ultimately going to move them closer to Me.’ So, it’s a blessing and all of that,” Moss says.
And things are certainly looking up for the singer-producer. Less than 24 hours after the devastating blaze, someone gifted Moss and his family a brand new, fully furnished home. Moss believes his personal tragedies set the tone for his records, helping him uplift anyone who listens to his music.
“It’s like He has to give me that message, that tone for the people and I was like, ‘Lord, you keep taking me through these, this could easily be my last record because these are getting harder and harder,’ “ he says. “Higher the promotion, you know. Higher the elevation level, the harder the task.”
The resulting tone is something he calls “Grown Folks Gospel (GFG),” something that he says will help mature people going through mature stuff.
“This record speaks to that love component, it speaks to that worship components, that inspirational component. It speaks to all of those facets in a very, very deep level,” Moss says.
And something real and inspiring is just what gospel music needs these days. Moss admits that the gospel music industry is slowly fading away.
“If you look across the board, you know on TV, we’re losing shows, we lost the Celebration of Gospel. You know we had a show 106 and Park Gospel. You know the radio stations are fading and now the stores,” Moss says. “We gotta change that because eventually we’re going to lose our gospel outlets everywhere. We got to do better.”
But ever faithful, Moss believes his latest album is reaching his audience and helping people get closer to the Lord.
“A lot of [people] around the country are Instagramming and tweeting the song “Alright, OK,” which is the single out now. They’re setting up the dance groups with it and things of that nature,” Moss says. “It is just the concept of real issues, talking about real stuff without any sugar coating and then it creates a real intimate relationship.”
J. Moss’ sixth studio album, Grown Folks Gospel, is out now.