Gospel Artist Delivers Fresh Sound with New Album
Janice Gaines is living her Greatest Life Ever, and music lovers are reaping the benefits. Gospel artist Janice Gaines is preparing to release her debut album. Having been involved in the music scene for a few years, Gaines is not new to the music industry. However, it’s her first solo endeavor.
From the very first note, it’s apparent Gaines was born to sing and share her gift with the world. Although it’s her first album, she boasts a mature and veteran sound, one she categorizes as Urban Pop Gospel. It’s more progressive than the traditional sounds of generations gone by, but as a graduate with a master of divinity, she adamantly defends and maintains that it’s never to be mistaken as anything other than Gospel.
“It’s uber important to me that all the songs I sing about God be biblically sound and correct. People should grab a hold to it, even though they don’t know they are grabbing a hold to it,” Gaines said. “It has edifying lyrics that I would listen to all day.”
Although Gaines is not an ordained minister, she has done her fair share of ministering the Word of God in various manners. In addition, she teaches a women’s Bible study at her local church.
From the very beginning, before one word was written or one note was sung, Gaines and producer LaShawn Daniels decided they were setting out simply to make good music that unashamedly talked about Jesus Christ. The caveat was that they weren’t going to try to fit into any people’s or group’s box, or the usual definition of what that music had to sound or look like. With that purpose in mind, Gaines is confident that the result is perfectly who she is.
“It’s my life. It’s my heart. It’s my relationship with God,” she said. “It’s the things He has told me. It’s the things that I hold dear, and it’s the things that I would tell other people about God in love.” Explaining the album title, Greatest Life Ever, Gaines said, “It’s truly about the greatest life ever if we are living it with God. We get to live our greatest possible life on earth when we are living it with God.”
As mature and confident as Gaines is in the musical gift and ministry that God has placed within her, it wasn’t that long ago that she wasn’t so sure. She spent her days and nights preparing lesson plans and strategizing ways to keep her students motivated. Gaines was a seventh grade math teacher in the Bronx. Though the two professions may appear as far apart from one another as the sun and moon, it shows the beauty and obvious hand of God in Gaines’ life.
“I grew up in a family where everybody could do it (sing or play an instrument), so I didn’t see it as anything special,” she said. “While I was a teacher, God said to me, ‘I want to use your gift on another platform.’ To get [my students] to behave, I would tell them, ‘If you behave all week, I will sing you a song on Friday, or you can teach me a dance and watch me try it.’ More often than not, they would want me to sing. It was watching their responses when I realized people hadn’t just been encouraging me because they were my family or my church family. Watching them be blessed by my gift is when I said, ‘Okay, Lord. I’ll answer the call, even if it’s scary, even if it’s unpredictable.’ All the things I was previously doing were predictable, like school and grades. But I was using it as a crutch not to trust God. It was with those kids that I learned that God put something in me that’s intended for other people, and I need to be a good steward of his gift.”
With two songs already released over all major digital platforms, including the song of Gaines’ heart, “Wait on You,” and the cleverly pinned “The Breakup Song,” Greatest Life Everreleases late summer 2015. Meanwhile, her schedule is ramping up with ministry dates across the country as she joins Erica Campbell’s Help 2.0 Tour, which features several fellow recording artists.
Whether she is ministering in her home church or traveling the country singing praises before crowds, Gaines gets the most joy and strength out of the hope and freedom she has received through Jesus Christ. It’s the freedom of being who God created her to be that she uses every opportunity to encourage others, especially women, to release fear and begin to be adventurous in Jesus.
“What have you been wanting to do?” Gaines asks. “Who or what is stopping you?”