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Born and raised in Detroit, MI, gospel singer and producer J. Moss is part of a very talented family of gospel musicians, including his father, Bill (of Bill Moss & the Celestials), and his cousin, part of the group the Clark Sisters. Eventually, J. (or James) would start his own group, a duo with brother Bill called the Moss Brothers.

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This year he released his 5th album, V4…The Other Side. He took a moment out to talk with Elev8.

E8: What was the journey on this new record about?

It’s been a 3 year process.  I don’t know what my favorite is. We went against the grain on this album “Take Me” and “Caught Up In Love” are just great songs. We defy all the rules of gospel music on this one.

E8: How do you deal with the challenges in gospel music today?

Trying to keep the gospel industry as interesting as possible. I think we get comfortable with whatever is hot on the radio. It doesn’t have to be innovative. If it strikes up and it’s hot we just roll with it. If Beyoncé and them take risk and change we need to do the same. At least the industry is evolving. People just get bored. I try to bring new fresh sounds I want them to be excited about the good stuff there’s some fun.

E8: What is the J Moss sound?

I have a lot of great people who make up who J Moss is Nat King Cole is my all-time favorite. Just how he approached every song was creative. Some of their talents are just innovative.  Some of these kids are so talented with their vocal ability. The new day  is Kiki and Kim Burrell, 21:03 . Every process is different Sometimes we start with lyrics. We are totally open. There is no defined line. It’s based on heart. You just sit down and say two are going to write.

E8: What has changed over the years for you musically?

When I listen back I am a student of the game. In all the songs there is a part somewhere. I think myself I know how I have grown. It’s sometimes those imperfections made it better.

E8: What song is your example of perfection?

Lush Life Nat King Cole.  I would cover the whole album. It has lyrically incredible progressions. I love it. It is the perfect place of intimacy. I think he nailed.

Moss is the son of gospel star Bill Moss Sr., records and produces recordings under PAJAM Music. He has recorded several albums and has been a co-writer or produced for others, including Karen Clark-Sheard, Hezekiah Walker, N’SYNC, Michelle Williams, Trin-i-tee 5:7, Dru Hill and Boyz II Men. He has been nominated for a Grammy several times.