|Meet the Artist: Montell Jordan|
|Written by Felicia Abraham|
|Tuesday, 06 November 2012 10:07 AM America/New_York|
Shake Heaven (7-28028-23155-7, $16.99, Victory World Music/Lucid Artist), the new album-DVD package by Montell Jordan, R&B singer turned worship pastor, is being re-released in December 2011. Felicia Abraham spoke with Jordan about the project and his ministry.
Tell us about Shake Heaven.
It’s going to be re-released very differently on Dec. 11 this year. It has new artwork, songs were added, and it’s going to include a live DVD on the project as well. It’s going to be good. On the DVD, we have the live features from Israel Houghton, Ricardo Sanchez, Rachael Lampa and Martha Munizzi, to name a few. We did a concert last year on 11/11/11 and it was amazing. We captured that and that’s the DVD that’s in the package now with the live album.
What do you want people to take away from this album?
A new sound.
You are worship pastor at Victory World Church in Norcross, Ga. Did you build the worship part of your church’s ministry?
The church has been around for 22 years, but the worship has changed throughout the years because the ministry wasn’t founded on worship. It was founded on the Word, it was founded on missions, it was founded on a lot of other different things, and because it wasn’t founded on worship, naturally the worship is something that changed. When they came to me and approached me about the position and I took it, I literally looked at God and said, “OK, what do you want me to do?” Because the difficulty here is that Victory is a very unique ministry. It’s one of the largest multicultural churches in the nation. We have 109 different nations represented in a body of over 10,000 members. [So when the church worship leaders asked what we were going to do,] I said, “God is going to give us a new sound because if He gives us something new, then this body can take ownership of it,” and so that’s where “Shake Heaven” came from. … What God groomed me to be able to do in the world, to create songs that are not white, black or hip-hop, [I] do the same thing in ministry and so “Shake Heaven” came. And it’s not a black song because urban radio hears “Shake Heaven” and it’s not really a gospel song, AC radio hears the song and it’s not really an AC radio song. So, what is it? It's just a new sound that God is birthing that anybody of any nationality can worship to and feel the presence of God in the same way you'd be in a stadium and feel the presence of, the energy after a team. That’s what we wanted to try and capture that same type of energy, but towards Jesus.
How has your congregation received this new sound?
They love it and it is amazing to see. I cannot explain it, but if you hear the song “Shake Heaven,” first of all it’s going to be difficult to imagine that a church actually worships to that song. … Kids and the youth love “Shake Heaven.” They’re doing their dances to it in their youth ministries. … It's worship for the next generation, and I love that.
What would you like listeners to take from this album?
I don't know if there's a specific message outside of it just being Jesus and not to be cliché, but I think if there's a theme of the album, it is that I don't think Christian music should be less than what people in the world get, and I can’t explain it any different than that. … I believe we're in a time right now where God's people are supposed to get the best. … I guarantee you put on the Shake Heaven album and the first song kicks on, you will think to yourself, “Is this a Christian album?” and it doesn’t have anything to do with it not being Christian-themed or not having Jesus in the title because it's very Jesus-driven, very anointed throughout the entire project. It’s just that when you initially hear it, he that wins soul is wise, and so if I'm trying to get kids to listen to “Shake Heaven” as opposed to listening to Gaga or Katy Perry, if I want my daughter to not hear "I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It" and be trying to deal with sexual identity, but still have the feel of what’s drawing them in, I’ll do that. I’m willing to take that hit. I’m willing to take that criticism. Say what you want to say. You know, we’re not supposed to be like the world or this or that. God used the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and I’m one of those foolish things and so I’m willing to go and create the music to get our youth turned back to Christ. … Victory World Music is not just for Christians. Victory World Music is for those who love music.