Janice Gaines is an amazing female vocalist whose contemporary sound continues to expand the reaches of gospel music. She is set to release her debut Motown Gospel release Greatest Life Ever. The songs are clever and innovative, a definite result of her working with super producer and Grammy Award winner LaShawn Daniels (Tamar Braxton, Whitney Houston, Brandy, Michael Jackson).
Yet what stands out about Janice Gaines is her extraordinary compassion and heart for God. She literally beams when talking about her 'greatest life ever,' which isn't because of what she has but because of the God in her life. Janice was also well-known on the Women of Faith Tour in the past few years connecting with audiences with compelling vocals and lyrics and a style that are relatable to all audiences.
Hallels: Thank you so much for doing this interview with us. Let's start with yourself, how did you feel God's call to sing for Him? And how did you get signed to Motown Gospel?
Thank you! I probably felt and realized "the call" over time. I've always enjoyed singing and secretly wanted to do it. I was just afraid to go for it. It wasn't until I was teaching seventh grade math in the Bronx and using my singing to get my students to behave that it started to really hit me. I could see that they saw it as a gift, and I was finally ready to trust God with it and follow Him.
After moving to Nashville with my husband, attorney/manager EJ Gaines, I began singing full-time. Ken Pennell and the team at Motown Gospel took notice of me and, when the time was right, it was just a good, natural fit.
Hallels: In your bio, you said you don't want your music to be put in a box. In what ways is your music "out of the box"?
I believe I've made music on this album that represented me and what what I've learned about God in my own relationship with Him. Because this is an industry, it's really tempting to make music for the places that you know it will work. Producer Lashawn Daniels and I agreed that we'd make good music without shying away from the message of Jesus. Those were our goals, and I think we stuck to them.
Hallels: Why do you call your new album "GREATEST LIFE EVER?"
I honestly believe that life with Jesus is the greatest life ever. It is definitely not always easy, but when it's hard, Jesus brings us through. When it's good, Jesus makes it that much more amazing!
Hallels: LaShawn Daniels who has produced records for Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and Brandy produced this new record, how did you get to meet him? You have cited Whitney Houston as one of musical heroes, how does it feel to work with one of Whitney's producers?
Wow! It feels amazing! Everyone knows that Whitney is a legend! I met Lashawn through a mutual friend, Attorney Denise Brown-Henderson. She and my husband, EJ Gaines, had worked together and become friends. She passed some music I had done independently on to Lashawn, and he said he wanted to make a full gospel album with me, which he had never done before. I was SUPER excited, because I know all about what he has contributed to our culture musically. And you'd never know by how kindly he treats everyone.
Hallels: I believe the opening song "Love" is a deeply personal song to you, tell us what this song means to you?
You're so right! Good ear! This song is about how I came to know Jesus personally. I was deeply affected by His love when in a season where I didn't feel that lovable, and it changed my life forever!
Hallels: One of my favrite songs is "The Break-Up Song," tell us what's the song about?
Ahhh, yes! The Break-up Song is a fun way to remind us that God calls us to break up the fallow ground of our hearts, prepare the soil of our hearts to receive all He has for us. We have a role to play in living the greatest life ever. See what I did there?!...
Hallels: For our readers who would like to find out more about you and your music, where can they go?
I'm on all social media outlets as @janicegaines and if they talk to me, I'll talk back! My website janicegaines.com is also a hub for all of those outlets.