Gospel Artist of the Decade JJ Hairston is Not Holding Back by Ben Harrell, Global Music Link Editorial Team
Billboard Music Award-winning gospel artist, JJ Hairston, has released his 11th album, ‘Not Holding Back’ – an album that will remind you that God will bring peace in the midst of death, destruction, political banter and social unrest. Hairston has a message for listeners as they get settled into the New Year: “God will never give up on you.”
Last year was a trying year for people everywhere, however, we serve a God who continues to wake us up to fight another day. Keep the Faith had an opportunity to speak with JJ Hairston on faith, music and God. “In so many ways, 2020 has been a year of transition and launching for us. You would think that things would be calm and quiet because of the pandemic, but we were extremely busy last year. We launched a ministry and recorded a project. Normally, we would be out doing concerts on our normal schedule, but we had the opportunity to focus on what God had assigned us to do. I am really thankful to God for allowing us to grow in the season.”
The growth that Hairston spoke of would take him back to one of his first ministries – his marriage. Hairston and his wife recently released a book together, ‘A Miracle Marriage’. He talks about the experience of writing a book with his wife, and how this book could help support marriages. “Writing a book with my wife was incredible. It was easy. It’s just us sharing our story. We were in a really bad season with our marriage; we were separated and considering divorce, then God revived and restored it. He actually used us to take certain steps to revive our marriage. So the book ‘Miracle Marriage’ talks about those steps, and how we did it. If there are any married couples who are facing challenges, they can follow those same steps and hopefully get the same results.”
Moving on to music, Billboard just named Hairston number 11 gospel artist of the decade. He touches on how this recognition affirmed his journey. “Well for us, we try not to associate numbers with impact. You could be number 50 but still impact nations. It’s just that the impact cannot be measured. So while we truly appreciate Billboard noting our industry effect and our industry impact, there is nothing that can measure your ministry impact. I’m truly grateful that God has used us to impact people all over the world with our music, and we would never take that for granted. We will keep releasing music that will hopefully reach His heart and people all over the world.”
Now, coming off ‘Miracle Worker’, an absolutely incredible album recorded in the States and in Nigeria with Rich Tolbert, Jr Tim Godfrey and Mercy Chinwo, Hairston is now releasing ‘Not Holding Back’. He speaks to Keep the Faith’s readers in the United Kingdom, Africa, Australia and in the States about this outstanding project. “We haven’t been able to gather the way that we normally would because of the pandemic. We wanted to find a way to have that same experience we have in church. The same declaration that we would normally have in a church building and bring it to you, so you can have the same experience in your home. So ‘Miracle Worker’ was a record that celebrated the greatness of God and what He’s able to do. Now this album gives you the opportunity to celebrate Him in your home.”
JJ provides a personal message of faith to his fans, listeners, followers and worshippers of God around the world about ‘Not Holding Back’. “The album is talking about not holding back your worship. We are also pushing the theme of not holding back anything. Many of us are trying to save our prayers, trying to save our worship, trying to save our effort, because we are not sure of what the future holds. But if we trust God we can give it all to Him now. So don’t hold back anything. Go all in with your energy and your worship, and watch God do what He’s going to do the next day.”
We do not know where 2021 will take us, but we need to have faith in God. Hairston has blessed worshippers with ‘Not Holding Back’, which gives us the steps via music to help us navigate through dark days. JJ Hairston is making a bold declaration that God is mighty, and we all need to take note.