JJ Hairston of Youthful Praise chats on new record x couples ministry

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With all the negativity and chaos going on the world, especially against African American’s, we can seem to loose our minds. We’re feeling like the World is against us right now and at times we also feel like some of our own people don’t get what is going on around them and are failing to “Wake Up!” Other’s may not be worried about that, but may be trying to figure what they’re next move is. Whatever the case maybe we need to lean on to positive forces. One of the things that helps is to lean on to our Faith and to tap into some sort of source that will help us unleash that Faith.

Gospel recording artist and lead of Youthful Praise, JJ Hairston, recently sat down to chat on the phone about his recently released record, “I See Victory”, which hit the number 1 Spot on the Gospel charts. This record in particular serves as a testimony and an answer to everything that we feel we need an answer to. I recently listened to it, and I will say that it is definitely life and mood changing. JJ also spoke on him and his wife’s marriage ministry, “Amazing Love” that is in the works to help young couples prepare for and navigate their way through marriage successfully.  Scoop the interview below:

Your album, “I See Victory,” hit the number 1 spot on the Gospel Charts, how was that experience and what went through your mind at the time?

I was really humbled to know that people really loved the album that much that they would go out and get it. Today people are more willing to watch or stream music and are not willing to purchase, so the fact that people actually purchased the album was really humbling. I am grateful that people appreciate the music.

Do you have any show’s lined up for the rest of the year? 

This Saturday, (July 25) we’re doing a Unity and Community Day for Baltimore. After the uprisings and issues in Baltimore they decided to have a big Gospel event to bring everyone together to heal and celebrate the good that is happening in Baltimore. There are a a lot of great artists that are lined up. In addition to that, I have a lot of shows lined up to promote the record.

Nice! Can you go into  little detail about Saturday’s show? 

It’s being sponsored by Praise 106 of Baltimore. It will be myself, Tamala Mann & David Mann, Willie Moore Jr. (who’s the new radio host in Baltimore), Vashawn Mitchell, Richard Smallwood, and more great artists. We were one of the first artists that they asked to be a part of it because we recently moved to the DMV area.

What is the #1 thing that you want people to take from your record “I See Victory”?

I’m hoping that the record will help them to build their faith. So many times when you listen to music you just  plug it to the ear and turn it off when you’re done. We’re hoping that  this music will help them look at their situation differently and see it as stepping stone that will push them to another place rather than feeding the problems and seeing it as a stumbling block.

For those who have not gotten the album where can they pick it up at?

It’s available in iTunes and Amazon right now. On iTunes it’s actually a deluxe version which is 18 songs all for the price of $9.99.

Are you working on any other music projects?

Actually, I am helping produce other independent artist. One is a young lady out of Shreveport, LA named Kelisha, as well as a few others. What I really want to do for the next year is help promote some of the artists to push them out to the world.

I also know that you and your wife Trina are starting a marriage ministry called “Amazing Love.” What was the inspiration behind starting it? 

We’ve been married for 21 years now. We got married very young. We didn’t know much about what marriage was or how it was supposed to work, but we just wanted to be married. So we got married and because of that we had no counseling and went through like 6 or 7 years of a really rocky marriage. So what we decided to do [with the ministry] is to hopefully have younger couples hear from the experiences that we learned so they know what to except, what not to except, how to deal with situations, and hopefully we will be able to give them a stronger marriage teaching before they get married or while they are in their initial stages of marriage. Even those that are thinking about divorce or getting a divorce, we’re hoping to change their minds and help them build their marriage and get it back strong again.

I know that you guys are on the East Coast, so will the ministry be live streamed for people in other areas of the Country?

Absolutely! We’re going to be streaming and looking to travel as well. We want people to be blessed and empowered by what we teach all around the country, not just on the East Coast.

What is your advice for couples who are dating that want to eventually get married in the future and to those who are engaged and already planning their weddings?

Learn how to talk to each other. The physical portion of marriage is always going to be there, but it is not the only thing that marriage is about. So many people think that you get married to be physical, but it has to be so much more than that. Learn to be each other’s best friend. If you are able to share before you get married you’ll be able to share after you get married. So communication and just talking is one of the most, if not the most, important thing of marriage.

Agree. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I just love to relax with my family! As a matter of fact as we speak, when I finish this call we’re going to Disney World! We’re actually in Florida today (July 21). We just like to enjoy ourselves and watch movies, and do normal stuff to enjoy each other. We travel so much, so we like to spend our downtime with our families.

What are you most looking forward to in your career in the 1-3 years?

Seeing all of the solo artists that are part of Youthful Praise really push their ministries so that when  we get together to record the next record, it will be like a reunion of great singers rather than backup singers.

And how can people keep up with you? 

I’m all over social media! You can follow me on Twitter @JJ_Hairston, on Facebook at Facebook.com/YouthfulPraise, and Instagram @JJHairston, and it’s really me answering [back]. I like to talk to people that support us.

Is there anything that you would love to leave the readers with? 

I just want to tell everyone who have purchased the record, thank you so much for your support. We appreciate it! And for those that don’t have it, please go to your store, iTunes, or Amazon and get the record “I See Victory”. I believe it will be a blessing. Our goal was to change your thought about what you go through, and we’re praying that after you get it you’ll see victory in every situation of your life!

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Naomi K. Bonman is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University where she holds her Bachelors of Arts in Mass Media Arts with a concentration in Journalism. She also holds her Masters of Public Administration. She is the Founder and CEO of Awakened Media Enterprises, Inc. which owns Purposely Awakened. She has been in the media field since 2006 covering beats that range from social justice, community, entertainment, sports, fashion/beauty, and culture news.

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