Article By TJ White:: EEW Magazine News & Entertainment
When it comes to music, Dove and Stellar Award-nominated gospel recording artist, Jonathan McReynolds, 24, is unapologetically gospel. Unlike those who water down their message to gain crossover appeal, he sings about Jesus and is still winning over mainstream artists.
Grammy-winning R&B force, India Arie, with whom McReynolds performed a duet on BET’s Celebration of Gospel, which airs April 6, is a fan of the “I Love You” singer—something he calls both “cool” and “amazing.”
“We talked before and after the show, of course, and the fact that she was a fan of my music and is somebody that I consider one of my primary influences, I just thought it was incredible that she had heard of me,” he said in an exclusive interview with BET.
McReynolds added, “She was tweeting about my music and tweeting about my lyrics and she was maybe as much a fan of me as I was of hers. That was really cool.”
Speaking of cool, when the gifted musician was asked if he aspired to be a part of the proverbial Cool Kids Club, better known as the “in crowd,” he admitted that he once had that desire back in college, but not so much anymore.
“There's some things you feel like you should be doing or you wanna do just to be with the ‘in’ crowd. When you get out of college it's not so much being cool but there's definitely still a part of you that wants to,” he explained.
“You see how much fun people seem to be having, you see what people do without any regard for morals or standards and sometimes you just wonder ‘What if I step out and do all that stuff?’”
But, according to McReynolds, who is set to perform on BET’s flagship series 106 & Park Monday, March 31, his curiosity doesn’t win, all because of a greater power that rules his heart. “It's the Holy Spirit; it's my conscience; it's my integrity,” said the artist, who is soon heading back into the studio for work on his new project.
“I believe that I'm living a wiser life and I just have to know that my hope is in Jesus Christ,” said McReynolds of his relationship with Christ—the One about whom he openly sings and upon whom he lavishes worship.
While well-known artists from the faith genre like rapper Lecrae Moore and inspirational singer Jamaal “Mali Music” Pollard call the “gospel” or “Christian” music label limiting, McReynolds embraces it.
When BET asked if "religion" ever stopped him from writing songs about a particular subject matter, McReynolds responded, “I make very few songs that aren't Jesus-centered, and those ones are more just love songs based on my own relationships or feelings at that time, but it's never really a conflict because this is how I chose to represent myself."
He proudly waves the Jesus banner.
“This is actually what I chose to represent and I don't regret that ever. It's the greatest subject you can talk about.”