JJ Hairston and the impeccable voices of Youthful Praise continue to raise the roof with their new blockbuster album, Resting on His Promise.
Featuring the talents of Myron Butler, Dorinda Clark Cole, and Shirley Caesar, JJ delivers a collection of music that continues the Youthful Praise legacy for passionate worship mixed with that East Coast “bounce” that the world just loves to hear.
JJ Hairston talks about the making of the album and the early days of growing up in Brooklyn, NY.
James “JJ” Hairston & Youthful Praise have become one of the most sought-after choirs in the gospel music industry.
With four major label recordings – 2001’s ‘Awesome God,’ 2004’s ‘Thank You for the Change,’ 2005’s ‘Live: The Praise…the Worship’ and 2007’s ‘Exalted’ — Youthful Praise has become a mainstay.
An actual church choir based in Turner Faith Temple in Bridgeport, Conn., Youthful Praise has carved out its own niche in the faith-based genre by fusing a traditional gospel sound with the popular praise-and-worship style.
Under Hairston’s direction, Youthful Praise showcases the best of its sound on the forthcoming release ‘Resting on His Promise.’
“Well, I think what’s most exciting is being able to put out music that not only renders praise and worship to God, but also encourages and lifts people. Every time we’ve sang these songs live, people have told me that the songs really minister to them. That’s exciting to me,” Hairston told MyPraiseATL.com
Hairston said YP’s crossbreed gospel is reflective of the music at the group’s home church.
“It’s what we’re used to doing,” he explained. “We’re from sort of a hybrid church. Our church loves to worship, but if you play some churchy chords, we’re ready to dance. So our sound has kind of been birthed out of that.”
Having worked with everyone from Destiny’s Child to pop star Joan Osborne and Coko of SWV, its no wonder that ‘Resting on His Promise’ features a bevy of special guests.
“I wanted to make my dream CD. So the first person I wanted to sing was my favorite female gospel singer, Dorinda Clark Cole. Her voice is mesmerizing to me. Then I had a song that was sort of traditional, so who better to sing it than the reigning queen of traditional gospel, Pastor Shirley Caesar? Then, of course, my good friend Myron Butler. We were actually supposed to do a song together on the last record, but it didn’t work out, so we knew we were going to do it on this one. Then with Lorraine Stancil, I wanted to bring everyone back to the beginning of YP. Lorraine sang on our first record. Then Troy Bright and Stephen Hurd participated in the recording, so I threw the mic at them,” said Hairston.
The Stellar Award and Soul Train Award nominees, who have appeared on shows like ‘Good Morning America’ and ‘Late Night With Conan O’Brien,’ have a specific goal for the new release.
“I want people to be encouraged by this CD,” Hairston expressed. “I know some people have the ministry to win lost souls, and I praise God for that. However, I feel like our ministry is to help build people that are already in church but need to be encouraged. And when people come see us live, I try to take them on a journey, just like the CD does. We go from praise to worship to church every time. So there’s excitement, tears and good old-fashion foot-stompin’ church! I think all audiences, regardless of nationality or church upbringing, can enjoy they journey.”
‘Resting on His Promise’ hits stores Sept. 1.