Renowned, Macon, GA-based singer-songwriter JJ Weeks has released his first EP since signing his exclusive agreement as a solo artist with Radiate Music. The six-song recording, The Sound Of Freedom, is available now on Spotify, Apple Music and iTunes from https://ffm.to/jjweekssof.
Known for writing and leading hit-making songs like "Let Them See You," "Alive In Me," "What Kind Of Love" and "Do Not Be Afraid," the new EP features Weeks' most recent radio singles "Choices," "Days Like These" and "The Sound of Freedom."
Taking the hopeful and encouraging messages of his new music and fan favorites on the road, Weeks is featured on the Winter Jam Tour Spectacular, Christian music's largest annual tour that hits top venues in 42 cities around the country before concluding March 29 at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland.
Despite his busy schedule, we are honored to catch up JJ Weeks for this exclusive interview.
Q: JJ, thank you for doing this interview with us. You must be on the Winter Jam Spectacular Tour right now, how's the tour so far?
Thanks for taking the time to talk! It has been so good! WinterJam is an amazing thing. The heart of the leadership behind the WinterJam is so focused on ministry it actually reminds each of us what we are really out here for!!
Q: Congratulations on the upcoming release of your new EP. Did you approach the making of this new record any differently, especially since this is your debut solo effort?
So excited about this new music. It was a little different. Kind of felt like I went back to the way I used to write. Back to when I just wrote what was on my heart. A lot of times in the industry you feel pressured to write for radio or for a certain sound. Was super nice to just write what the Lord gives me.
Q: What or who inspires you to write? And how do you find your inspiration?
Honestly, I get inspiration in so many different places. Sometimes I see it in my kids or in my quiet time out of the word. I've even been hit with a thought mowing my yard. Haha. So anything can spark a thought.
Q: Out of the 6 songs on this new record, which was the most challenging to write? And why?
"Days like These"! It is always hard to put into words when life is tough. To define the frustration of feeling like God is nowhere to be found but also knowing that he is there, and He is trustworthy to walk us through each and every valley! That is always tough to put into words.
Q: Talk to us about your new song "The Sound of Freedom." Why are you excited about this song?
After the very tough season I had that birthed the song "Days like These," I remember God finally letting me look back on that season and remembering the feeling of being bound up and strapped down. I thought to myself how different it felt then to where I was now and the only word I could think of was freedom! I remember thinking, I want everyone to feel this freedom. It took me back to when God found me. Just a lost sinner looking for a home but being bound to my sin. He just spoke a word and my chains hit the floor.
Q: As I was listening to your new record, I find myself captivated by the song "I Need Jesus." One line of the song says, "I Need Jesus more than I need me..." Most songs and even sermons today are so focused upon "me" and what Jesus can do for "me." So, your song is really arresting. Why should Jesus be more important than "me"?
The Bible says in Him we live, move and have our being. Which means because of Jesus we have our breath and heartbeat. So the truth is, without Jesus, there is no me.
Q: Another song I really like is the power ballad "Here with Me." It's so raw and dripping with emotions. Tell us more about how this song came about?
I brought the idea of this chorus to a couple writers and it really hit home with one of them. He had just walked through a battle of cancer with his wife and he could remember sitting bedside in that hospital asking the question, am I all alone? In the same thought he can remember feeling like God was sitting right beside them through it all. So though we have questions, we also have this confidence that we know in our heart that He is right there through it all.
Q: "Days Like These," another song I have on repeat, talks about God's sovereign purposes even in the times of trials and pains. Can you tell us a time in your life when you experienced the faithfulness of God even in the midst of pain?
I shared a little in the question above. 2018 was an incredibly tough year. Like one thing after another going wrong. Finances, cancer in my family, death in my family, struggle after struggle and after a bus wreck, I quit doing music and said I was through. Walked away from 17 years of singing on stage after stage and proclaiming Jesus but living the last year feeling like he was nowhere to be found. After getting the bus home I laid down in bed that night and prayed to God, 'Thank you for 17 years of ministry and using me. Now help me to end this ministry well.' I will never claim to have heard the audible voice of God, but it was as close as I had heard it that night. I heard him say, 'You may be through son, but I'm not!' What a reminder that was that He has been there through it all and He can turn it all around!! That's the season where this song came from.