The invitation-only reception was held in Atlanta's Galleria area and played host to media, taste-makers in the music and inspirational arena. If you ask Dr. Rikki what can one expect from the 9th Annual Atlanta Gospel Fest, she'll tell you, "...much of the same but bigger and better!....and yes I will be performing!"
I ran into gospel powerhouse J. Moss and he was thrilled to be back again this year. "This is the city where I can come to any church and any festival and do any gig and it's done well. The people love me and you feel the love in the air. "
So we chatted for a few. My first question was why hasn't there been in album in two years and he was more than candid. Simply put, he didn't have to. With four top ranking singles off the album (God's Got It, Good Day, Good & Bad and The Prayers), touring and performing allowed time to simply fly! "We were just milking that record. We let people enjoy it!"
With the new album on the horizon, J. Moss is already releasing music such as 'Alright, OK'. He didn't need much pushing when asked about features on the upcoming album. He's sharing vocals with the likes of Lalah Hathaway, Faith Evans and Maroon 5! Surprised that he's using so many secular artists, I asked about his reasoning for moving outside the gospel community and if he cares what other gospel enthusiasts feel about his secular feature choices.
"We're trying to reach everyone. I do care what people think and I don't want people to feel like I disregard. What they have to realize is, well how did you get converted? Somebody's got to go out into the mall, somebody's gotta go onto the university campus, somebody's gotta go into the barbershop and to the salon. Somebody's gotta go to the grocery store and somebody gotta go to jail! We need ministers in all these places and there's a whole audience that PJ Morton may have that don't know nothing about J. Moss. But because he's on my record, that's going to introduce them to me. And now I gotcha!"
As for working with Maroon 5, he says, "Being a part of HIM and being a part of them...it just makes it all bigger! And that's what I like about it. It allows you to just reach across and grab so many others."
So after chatting for a bit longer, the subject came up about Willie Myrick, the young Atlanta boy who had been abducted and eventually released after repeatedly singing the Hezekiah Walker smash Every Praise. Listen to J. Moss' sentiments on that.
Lastly, and on a lighter note, the thing that has many talking is J. Moss' remake of Pharrell Williams' song Happy! Take a listen.