Singer/Songwriter/Producer J Moss is on-fire like never before! He's come through the storm packing an electrifying testimony about how to thrive victorious on "the other side" of adversity. His 13-song gospel soul food smorgasbord titled V4: The Other Side (Moss' fourth CD for Verity Records) finds Moss and his PAJAM partners delivering the trailblazing techno funk praise that always sets him apart from the pack, as well as more traditional pieces that will touch the hearts of all who hear. Special guests on V4 include Kierra Sheard; Karen Clark Sheard; Hezekiah Walker; Dorinda Clark-Cole and James Fortune.
"We turned the feel-good energy up this time around...way up," Moss declares. "I'm getting away from sad songs. I am no longer the spokesperson for trials and tribulations. This is post-storm time - taking damage into account, while looking ahead for new starts and fresh directions. This record is a clear reflection of my life and where I am at this very moment."
The album opens with "God's Got It," a straight forward message stating not to worry about what he can't control - trust God. "Caught Up in Love" mesmerizes with a heartbeat pulse and a vibration of pure rapture. Meanwhile "Keep Your Head Up" and "Shout" are easily among the most crunk of J's praise jams to date, high celebrations of hand-clappin' sanctified pulpit testifyin'. "In spite of setbacks and challenges like the recession, the election, crime - it's time that we get glad about life again," J insists. "When we take the focus off of God, he has to do stuff to reel us in. We must maintain our faith in God at all times and celebrate Him."
The first single from J Moss' V4: The Other Side is "Good & Bad," a fervent ballad buoyed by subtly jazzy chord changes and building to a big-big finish. "The mindset of hopelessness that is so prevalent today was the inspiration behind this song," J shares. "People think God and church no longer care. 'Jesus ain't thinkin' about me.' I got tired of reading that on Facebook and seeing it in faces of the people all around me. People just want to give up, and the Lord gave me that song to give people hope during stormy times.
This is a theme Moss returns to again and again on V4: The Other Side. On "Take Me," J addresses the question 'Does God hear me? Have I strayed too far away?' "God doesn't run from us, we stray from him," J assures. "In your quiet time, think about where you are personally. Talk to your Father and restate your position. Sometimes we just get too far away from the fire...not reading the word every day. We need to get back to a more comfortable place."
Then there's the beautiful yet powerful liquid guitar ballad "Strong Enough," of which the first verse alone will speak mightily to the people. "This is what I was talking about when I mentioned a 'post-storm mentality,'" Moss explains. "You have to think, 'If I can get through what I got through, why am I still afraid and fragile?' Be tired of being afraid of what's coming around the corner. We can go to church all day to muster strength in numbers but at the end of the day, you have to make up your mind where you want to be in Christ. You have to walk through it alone. You have to have the spiritual perseverance to do it even when you feel weak."
A shining example of Contemporary Gospel at its hottest is "Good Day," a call and response spirit rouser of inspired focus featuring special guests Kierra Sheard and Karen Clark Sheard. "I wanted a huge universal song like the Black Eyed Peas' 'I've Got a Feeling.' Paul 'PDA' Allen gave me this track and I fell in love with it. We did it as a pop song first, but I loved it so much I had to do it for my record. So my son James L. Moss II helped me flip it...so proud. The message says, 'No matter how your day goes, tell yourself with God's help all things are possible.' I thank God for a great song...and a great family."
"You Did," featuring James Fortune is a powerful song about forgiveness and gratefulness. Powerhouse is the apt description for the roof-raising "The Prayers" featuring Hezekiah Walker and Dorinda Clark-Cole where a traditional congregational shout meets a new school beat.
Along with the reverent "Holy is Your Word" which Moss describes as "the blueprint...a universal church song that everybody can relate to'" he saved his deepest testimony for the title track "The Other Side of Victory." Blessed by the heart-tugging acoustic strings of a mandolin, the lyric says it all: "I see now/that you really/care about me, God/Thank you for delivering me/to the other side of victory." J says this was one of the first songs written for the album. "The Lord took me into deeper thematic contemplation for this one...and this is the message He wanted me to convey. There's always a lot talk about the storm but nobody talks about how we're supposed to be when we got on the other side. We have to celebrate our brotherhood. We have to know how to behave as stronger, wiser, better people in Christ."
Having just wrapped production on a CD for his Stellar Award-winning group 21:03 and wrapping up the McDonald's summer tour with Fred Hammond, J Moss is all about bringing direly needed uplift to the people. "A lot of gospel has become mundane and cookie cutter," he concludes. "We are honor students in this game that have graduated with the divine purpose of giving folks the best musical ministry message we possibly can."
Born in Detroit Christmas Day of '71, J. Moss hails from gospel music royalty as the nephew of Gospel's legendary Dr. Mattie Moss Clark, the cousin of her daughters - the inimitable Clark Sisters - and the son of Bill Moss, Sr., founder of the '70s Gospel act Bill Moss & The Celestials. J spent time as a part-time Celestial, then joined his brother, Bill Jr., in The Moss Brothers, which continued for the seven years, recording two major label albums. Having written much of the duo's material, J became a skilled songwriter by the time he headed for college.
J attended Michigan State University for two years before faithfully answering his musical calling. Enlisted by his college roommate to co-produce a musical variety show at the university, J developed a passionate interest in the music world "behind the scenes."J did two solo projects on an independent Detroit-based label in the early '80s that were invaluable learning experiences in his development as a writer, artist and producer. It was also during this time that he was introduced to Paul 'PDA' Allen and, later, Walter Kearney - the other two thirds of PAJAM.
In 1996, J and his cousin Karen Clark-Sheard were both singed to Island/Def Jam Records. Though his album languished while Karen's flourished, her success in turn officially launched PAJAM Productions. Clark-Sheard's album rode the Gospel charts for the better part of the next two years, during which time J and his partners in PAJAM saw their own star as a production team begin a rapid ascent, contributing to projects by both major Gospel and secular artists. Through all the years of developing the PAJAM company and its roster of stars, they never lost sight of their goal to launch J Moss as the Gospel star they knew him to be.
Four albums later, J Moss has amassed a loyal following via soul stirring gospel hits such as "I Wanna Be;" "We Must Praise;" "Livin' 4;" "Restored/I Gave it Up" and the 2012 remix smash "Rebuild."