With the ever-evolving sound of music, it’s difficult to see the honesty in an artist’s presence. Whether it be R&B, Gospel or Hip-Hop, there are some artists who choose to put out the type of music that is attractive to the masses opposed to the music that they feel the most.
Gospel artist Jessica Reedy is just the opposite of that. Preparing her sophomore album Transparent for release this year, the 25-year-old singer has become just that. Providing more than just honesty on this album, Jessica has poured her full heart, an immense amount of sweet and even more tears into the process of its creation.
Impressively enough, the lovely songstress will also be releasing this album on her own imprint, Purity Records. Described as a transitional label, Jessica is ready to help other artists build, execute and create their own business. While this upcoming release may only be her 2nd album, the now brunette is prepping for a life long name in the industry.
Taking some time to chat with JubileeMag.com, Jessica dished on her upcoming album, the current single “Better”, new record label, her struggles during her time off and much, much more.
Jump into the exclusive interview below:
Your upcoming album is set to be released this Spring. Tell me a little about the album. What’s the official title?
It’ll be titled Transparent and basically the songs are my heart. I wrote 10 out of the 12 songs and it’s just a testament of my true emotions and my true feeling. I went through a lot in my process to get to this moment and one thing I thank God for is that He allowed me to go through it privately. He taught me a lot. I went through a lot of phases where I was down and nobody knew it. I was really questioning the reason for what I’m doing and why didn’t this add up to this. All the while, it was just boot camp. God was just taking me through some spiritual journeys to strengthen me. The album is just a testament of what happened in my life. This album could be called so many things, but Transparent just seemed so much more appropriate.
I definitely understand that. I know your current single for the album is called “Better”. What was your thought process behind creating that specific track and what made you lead with that specific song for the album?
Well, to be honest with you, the original title was “It Gets Better”. We had Elroy Smith over and Radio One listen to it and he said, “No, no, no, no, no! You call it “Better”!” And that’s how the title came about. The song was picked to be the single because I broke down after I heard it. After I finished recording it and writing it, I like broke down. I started feeling better and I started feeling the release. I couldn’t move past it. I had to hear it over and over. It was like it was digging out stuff in me and I said, ‘Man, this is a powerful song’, and I just was crying like, ‘This is the song, guys’. I just couldn’t stop crying. We had like five other songs for me to record and cut that same day and I couldn’t do anything else – I was stuck. I couldn’t move.
Can we expect any collaborations on this album?
There are two collaborations actually. One is still in the works, but there’s a collaboration with me and my mother. She is one of the best singers in the world to me and I wanted to do a song with her so it will be something that I would have forever. I’m the youngest of five and she always wanted to be a singer. Now, me and my siblings have an opportunity to watch her and the world gets to know who she is. Somebody in the world who she’s never met is going to hear her sing. Then on top of that, Lord forbid she leaves before time, we’ll always have that. It means way more – and the way she’s singing, I cried hearing her voice [laughs]. I cried a lot on this album. Now mind you, the songs aren’t sad. They’re very encouraging, but I was just so heavy.
How has your fame really impacted the relationship you have with your siblings? Has it motivated them to go out and follow their dreams or inspired them to just go after the things that they want?
Well honestly, they’ve never cared about my fame. My siblings they didn’t care. They’re like, “What? Who cares? Get your butt over there” [laughs]. In the Reedy family, nobody cares. It’s equivalent to saying, “Jessica went to the mailbox” [laughs]. This Christmas – my sister is an Account Executive for Coca-Cola – she was sitting in the room and thinking about how she was gonna make some more money. She handles millions of dollars a day and she was like, “I wanna do this and this”. So, I looked at her and said, ‘Hmm, very interesting. You’re promoted like what? Twice a yea, maybe? Here you are trying to figure out how you’re gonna make somebody else a million. Very interesting. You’re never going to own your own business? Whoever you’re making money for is on vacation.’ I don’t know at what moment that triggered her mind, but every since then she’s like, “Oh my God, I’m gonna figure out something.” I kind of told them all that the Bible says, “A wise man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children.” I asked them what are they gonna leave for the kids? Me starting a label is not only for the mission that God has me on. There’s a purpose behind this label. It wasn’t because I just wanted to keep all of the money. There’s a very significant purpose. One of the reasons is because my son will have something. Right after me, I’m already training him to know money, to know how to speak, to know how to do business. He’s very articulate. He’s going to leave it to his kids and it’s going to be a family thing.
That was actually one of my next questions. What made you catapult into starting Purity Records? Most artists wait until they have three or four albums on a label if they’re not already an Indie artist before they decide to branch off into starting their own label. So, what made you catapult into it now on your second?
You only move as fast as your revelation – as fast as what you know. God has given me quick understanding that in no way, shape, form, or fashion should I be contractually bound to anything. Once the season is up, the season is up. Being with Light Records was an amazing experience. They saw something in me, they signed me, they took the risk and investment. But no contract would keep me there because God has given me understanding. The understanding that I’m a lender, I’m not a borrower. So, how do you take the position of a lender if you’re always a borrower? You have to change your position. You have to change where your feet are standing. Once God showed me that my season was up, I asked him to open up the door for me to walk out and He did just that. Once I saw the door, I did not get afraid, I walked and they gave me their blessing. It was peace and it was easy and that’s how I knew it was God. Afterwards I said, ‘Lord, now what?’ and He said, “I’ll teach you. Every thing that you just went through was for this moment. You’ll run it. You know how to talk.” God kept me on a quiet spell for a really long time. I didn’t say much. I would just smile because I was learning. Then he said, “Now you talk.” If we let God, He’ll show us when and where. He’ll show you when to say something and when to be quiet. Now this label is in place because I’ve been on the artist side and I don’t like it. They’re not treated right. Purity Records is in place because it is a label that will not hold you long. You’ll get signed, you’ll get artist development, you’ll learn how to manage your own business, you’ll learn your numbers and how to create your own budget sheet, you’ll learn how your percentage has come about and then you’re gonna start your own business. It’s a transitional label. You’re gonna learn and you’re gonna do your own thing.
What would you say the difference is from your first album, From the Heart, and this new album that you’re dropping this year?
I would say From the Heart was an album that I sang from my heart, but all those words weren’t mine. Those songs were co-written by other people. This album, I’m singing from the heart and it’s actually my heart [laughs]. They are my words. It is my tears. It’s the truth on how I’ve really been feeling and the Holy Spirit just showed me how to sing it. I didn’t write any song trying to be radio friendly. Nothing was radio intentional. I didn’t care. I just wrote it and prayed y’all liked it [laughs].
If you could give anyone advice to help get them to the position that you are now, what would it be?
I would say don’t you dare do this unless God told you to. Unless he told you to or gave you an assignment, don’t you dare try to be an artist just because you can sing. It may not be your assignment. If you do, the people are going to destroy you. They’ll break you and break your spirit. You’ll want to quit. It’ll make you depressed because you have no ultimate reason for doing it outside of just yourself. When God gives you an assignment, you know you have a purpose. If you don’t have a clear perspective and a clear view on what God wants you to do, don’t you dare do this. Don’t you dare open yourself up to this world – it ain’t what you think. God is real and we are wrestling with spiritual attacks. If you are not prepared and you think this is just fun and games, don’t. Save yourself. Don’t do this unless Jesus gives you validation and says, “I’m gonna paint the path for you real clear”. Don’t do it – that’s what I would say.
Those were some great words. I think those are things that people really need to hear. We have so many people coming along just doing things to do them, but not receiving the validation from the one who matters the most.
OK – so my next question is if you could interview anyone, who would it be and why?
It would be my father. My father died in 2001. I would interview my father and ask him why were you so hurt that you hurt? Once I can find his answer, I can heal my wounds and I can heal my sibling’s wounds. Then we can be better people and be more effective. I would interview my daddy because my father was very smart and very wise, but very hurt. He hurt people. I would sit him down and I would grill him [laughs]. I want to know what happened. What did you lack? What did you really desire? How could you have been helped? He was in our lives. He wasn’t absent or a deadbeat. He was right there. So yeah, it would be my father.
Lastly, Valentine’s Day just passed, but we wanted to get your opinion. What would be the perfect date for you and what advice would you give to couples?
The perfect date for me would just be somebody that’s into me. I don’t know what we’re doing, I don’t know where we’re at [laughs]. Just be into me. Don’t take me to a movie if you all into the movie. Just be into me. Be into what I’m saying. Like, actually think my jokes are funny. Let me feel the love – not literally, but you know what I’m saying [laughs]. But let me feel loved. Right in this moment, you’re here. You’re not thinking about your phone and nothing else matters. In this particular moment, you are right here. That would be the perfect date. The advice I would give for a man to his woman is….be there doggonit! [laughs]. Get in the moment! Be in that moment! Don’t let that moment end. Don’t let that day be the only day. People need love. Do what takes sacrifice. You gotta get creative. Be in the moment. I would tell the girl to expect more. Don’t just settle for the material things, those things are easy. Not this time. This time, sit down. Let’s just play a game or sit down and talk. Let’s just be in the moment. That would be my advice.
-Interview by Ni’Kesia Pannell