Some people are afraid that the gospel music industry is in a state of decline, but singer-songwriter James “JJ” Hairston didn’t let that stop him from launching a new record label.

Instead of focusing on all of the risks associated with starting a gospel music label, Hairston leaned on his faith which seems to have paid off with his most successful single to date — “You Deserve It.”

“What I’ve learned in this process is that I really had to trust in God and trust that this is a vision that He gave me. And during this process the things that I spend money on are going to pay off in the end,” Hairston told The Christian Post. “Now that I see the reaction to the record and how well it is being received, it is paying off.”

Hairston is the leader of a choir and together they release music under the name JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise. The group released their album You Deserve It earlier this month, which marks the first under Hairston’s new label, JamesTown Music (eOne).

The album’s title track, “You Deserve It,” currently sits at No.1 on Billboard’s “Hot Gospel Songs,” “Gospel Airplay” and “Gospel Digital Song Sales” charts where it has remained for 13 weeks. The fact that JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise have been able to score their first No.1 Billboard song to date has left the choir leader in awe.

“People are saying that gospel music is fading and it’s not what it used to be. Its our first No.1 song at radio, first No.1 song at sales [and] it’s all on our own label,” he gushed. “To have music released and be embraced in this season is incredible. In this season for us to do well, this is awesome.”

In the midst of early success with the album’s lead single, Hairston still recognizes why some are concerned with the way the gospel music industry has changed.

Instead of focusing on hardships within the gospel music genre, the singer-songwriter and musical director at City of Praise Family Ministries in Mitchellville, Maryland, sees things from a broader perspective of the entire music industry.

“I think people are saying that people aren’t buying music. What we know of the core of music has changed,” he told The Christian Post. “Of course there’s internet, there’s streaming, there’s things that changed that dramatically.”

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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Christine Thomasos

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