J Moss

In the third chapter of the Book of Ecclesiastes, it says: “For everything there is a season/And a time for every purpose under heaven.” J Moss’s life has been one filled with changing seasons—almost all of them revolving around music and ministry—and the release of THE J. MOSS PROJECT marks the unfolding of still a new era in the life and career of one of modern Gospel music’s most prolific talents.

As a third of one of urban contemporary’s hottest production companies, the three-man team known as PAJAM which also includes Paul Allen and Walter Kearney, have been the writers and producers behind some of the biggest artists in both Gospel and secular music for the better part of the last decade, including Karen Clark-Sheard, Hezekiah Walker, N’SYNC, Michelle Williams, Trin-i-tee 5:7, Dru Hill, Boyz II Men and Kelly Price.
But unknown to many, J Moss, the “man behind the mixing board,” is an equally gifted singer and performer, who for most of his life has prayerfully and carefully sought and waited for his time to step from behind-the-scenes to the forefront. With the arrival of THE J. MOSS PROJECT, that moment has clearly come, and one listen makes it abundantly clear it was well worth the wait.

Though PAJAM have built their reputation in large part by cutting a sharp and decidedly urban swath through Gospel music, THE J. MOSS PROJECT is most notable for its striking stylistic diversity. Threads of hip-hop, modern R&B, pop, and traditional Gospel are all ingeniously woven together into a work that is cutting-edge contemporary but with a perfect touch of familiarity and tradition. THE J. MOSS PROJECT is a collection of 11 PAJAM signature songs, as unique and arresting as they are accessible and always irresistibly catchy.

J Moss, born and raised in Detroit, where he still resides today, also arrives on the performance stage with a highly impressive pedigree as the nephew of Gospel’s legendary Dr. Mattie Moss Clark, cousin of her daughters, the inimitable Clark sisters, and son of Bill Moss, Sr., founder and leader of popular ‘70s Gospel act Bill Moss & the Celestials. Singing since the age of four, at his father’s insistence, while his pals were out making mud-pies and playing dodgeball, J grew up in an environment where music was the focal point of life itself.
In 1996, J came to the attention of mainstream giant Island/Def Jam Records, which signed him to a recording contract. Once again, J’s efforts as an artist generated relatively sparse attention, as Island also signed his cousin, Karen Clark-Sheard, around whom most of its promotional muscle became centered. Once again God demonstrated that there is a time and season later to come for the J. Moss Project, as Clark-Sheard’s first solo album became a smash gospel hit in late 1997, and also heralded the official debut of PAJAM, which produced four of the album’s songs.

For the better part of the next two years, during which time J and his partners in PAJAM saw their own star as a production team begin a rapid and notable ascent, contributing to projects by both major Gospel and secular artists. Still, J’s dreams of being an artist in his own right never waned.

“I have to admit that, at the time, when things came apart for me again as an artist, I was getting a little discouraged,” J recalls. “I couldn’t help wondering when it was going to be my time. I prayed over it, and I felt God telling me to trust Him, because it still wasn’t time for that yet…that there were still other steps to be taken on the journey, largely out of the public eye. I needed to continue maturing as a writer, and to learn what goes on in the studio in the making of an album, and dealing with artists and businesspeople effectively.

The early-to-mid 2000s saw PAJAM’s roll turn into an avalanche, as they added even more stellar writing and production credits to their resume that included Dorinda Clark-Cole, Virtue, Patti LaBelle, and both of Karen Clark-Sheard’s subsequent projects and their own artists, starting with Ramiyah. J and his PAJAM partners continued to hold fast to the vision of his career as an artist, even when preoccupied with demands for their talents as a production team, God also moved them into creating their own artists, which became a sacrifice because of the time, attention and investment that it required. In 2003, J and Paul wrote and recorded THE J. MOSS PROJECT in a four-week outburst of inspiration, and it soon became clear that J’s long-awaited “season” was in fact at hand. The album immediately captured the attention and excitement of Gospo Centric/Jive Records, and J’s dream finally came to fruition.

I had to truly be prepared and able to go before people and tell them they can make it, even when all hope seems gone, if they really believe in the Lord, and that He loves them, and that He will care and provide for them. I had to believe that, know that, and be able to say it with complete honesty and conviction. And no matter what happens with this album now, I know that I can do that without any question or doubt. I hope this CD does for others even just a portion of what God did for me in making it.”

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