One of the most resonating voices on today's gospel scene belongs to newcomer, Casey J (Casey Janice Hobbs). The 28-year old worship powerhouse is among a cool clique of young female singers such as Michelle Williams, Jekaylyn Carr, and Alexis Spight who are collectively flexing their girl power and making room for themselves at gospel music's male-dominated welcome table. Though young in age, Casey J is a seasoned veteran who has experienced her share of heartache and pain but stands strong through her tears to deliver a soul stirring worship experience through the first single on her debut album, "Fill Me Up" (Marquis Boone Enterprise), released Spring 2014 and has already hit Top 20 on the Gospel Music Billboard chart.
We are very honored to be able to catch up with Casey for this exclusive Hallels' interview.
Hallels: Thank you so much for your time. For some of our readers who may not be familiar with you yet, can you tell us how the Lord has called you into the singing/worship ministry?
I have been singing since the age of 2. I've always had a heart for both music and ministry and thankfully, now, am graced to operate in both of those passions.I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and have been singing my entire life. I have been given the opportunity to serve Fresh Start Church through worship for the last 5 years.My service there really served as the catalyst for my hearing God clearly enough to know when he released me to do a project that would have an impact beyond God's local church. This is how "Fill Me Up" and my upcoming project was born.I've really just served and sowed my way to a place that God could trust me with a bigger "Yes".
Hallels: In your bio, you said you have both elements of traditional and non-traditional Gospel in your music, how would you describe your musical style?
I think the root of my musical style is just a heart for genuine worship experiences. You can definitely hear my tradition gospel upbringing in some of my singing, but there's also a clear influence of my love for soul music, jazz, and neo-soul expression.
Hallels: Congratulations on the release of your new "Fill Me Up" which I know is climbing up the charts, tell us what is the song about?
This song has been a personal testimony of mine for the past two years. I was at a place that I knew that God was preparing me for full time ministry, yet I couldn't see how God was going to make that happen.I was still sitting in my elementary classroom. I was spending all day teaching and then driving over an hour to serve at my church.I got so upset that I basically asked God, "Why haven't you done it yet?!?"I literally heard a response from Him in the middle of that classroom- "You're asking Me for something that you haven't even made room for in your life."At that very moment I gave God the biggest Yes I had ever given. But this time, the difference was that I put action to my Yes. 'Fill Me Up' is simply a result of that yes.
Hallels: When will your album be released? Do you have a title for the record yet?
We are actually working on recording a project before the end of the year. I haven't quite tacked down a title yet, but the core of the message will be about the truth of who God is meeting the truth of who we are as people.
Hallels: Who are you working with for the album?
I will be doing a lot of work with the same production team that I worked on for Fill Me Up. Chris Carter and Marquis Boone will be doing more work for the project. I will also be doing a lot of the writing. I can't wait to share what God has given me for His people
Hallels: Being someone who is a worshipper for the Lord, what does Jesus mean to you?
I think for me, the realization of the nearness of Jesus. I think we often live our lives with the subconscious reality that He's somewhere "out there." When in all actuality, He's HERE. That truth can change the entire landscape of your life- if you allow it.
Hallels: For our readers who would like to find out more about you or purchase your new single, where can they go?
The best way to find me is at www.caseyjmusic.com.and I'm also on twitter and instagram as @caseyjmusic.