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James Fortune Talks
'Dream Again' and 'I Am'

   James Fortune is a GRAMMY nominated and Stellar Award winning gospel music artist, father, husband, and author. He lives in Houston, Texas and is best known for his transparent records that speak to the hearts and souls of his listeners.
  "Dream Again" is a collection of special announcements, personalized just for you. The opening track will undoubtedly pull listeners up or push them forward to a place of purpose and possibility. There is a comforting and refreshing thread of hope and faith that echoes throughout this body of work. These songs are a wake-up call to not just wake up, but get up, come alive and move on - believing it is in you, it is with you and it will all work out for you.
  The lead single, "I AM" is making an impact at radio and resonating with listeners around the world. "I AM" captures the signature "James Fortune" sound and he has delivered yet again with this moving anthem that proclaims because of God; we have everything we need. "I Am," has already been at #1 on Billboard's Gospel Music chart for over a month.

  Fortune's goal with this project is to help those who have stopped dreaming to not only dream again, but to also dream bigger...to not just believe in the life you can live, but to live better...to know that if it's God's plan; what seems impossible, is possible.

  "Dream Again", "Alright", "U", It's Gonna Happen" and "It Will All Workout" are destined to become favorites.

  Each song permeates the heart with reminders that God's love for us and what He has prepared for us, makes it possible to live out those moments that we once only dreamed of. Be reminded: there is so much inside of us all, and no limit to how far you can go. It is Fortune's prayer, that these songs will fuel you, as you Dream Again.

  Tishelle from urbanbridgz.com spoke to James about "777," his start in the industry and thoughts on the current state of urban music. Hear the advice he has for new artists and who is on his wish-list to work with.

Q: Congratulations on the new hit "I Am." What made you want to release that first
for the new project?

  A: You know, it's funny you ask that because actually that wasn't the first single we were going to release. There was another one that we had already decided that would be the single, but something just so powerful happened when we were recording that song. Also the young lady who's featured on it, Deborah Carolina, also co-wrote on that song with me. Even in the studio with the background singers recording, it was just such a strong presence of God.
  I had recorded this other song that I already kind of knew would be the single and we were recording the rest of the album and it's just crazy how that song took over us. When we were in the studio recording it, it was just so powerful how much we all felt it. I went to the label and said I think this is the one that we should go with. This one is the one that God has anointed for the first single for this album. Then we can look at the other song later.
  So, I just let them hear it and they felt the same way. I had never really released a praise and worship song as a single. It's on Billboard and doing amazing. People are being blessed by it. So many churches and praise teams and praise dancers are ministering this song. This is kind of just showing me how you know that you have to lean out to your own understanding, obey the voice of God and really trust God and what he tells you to do and the results will be just mind blowing.

Q: This album is a testimony of sorts for you, tell us about the road to completion.
From 2016 to the recording process of "Dream Again."

  A: Yeah, the title of the album is Dream Again. So, for me for a long time, you know for myself and others, is that we have these big dreams and these big goals. Somewhere along the journey of life, different things can happen to you. You can go through different seasons in life that can kind of knock you off course. You may feel like, maybe I missed that moment, or maybe I missed that that season.
  For me, to dream or for me to reach my goals or for me to reach my full potential. And so this album is really helping my prayers that will help ignite the passion inside of people. To be able to go after those dreams and dream again. And not just to dream, but bigger than ever! Realizing that God is so big and he's so awesome. And he so enormous, there's nothing that happened in your life that is able to stop the plan that God has for your life.
  So, for recording it always starts out kind of like journaling or writing and that's how many ideas come to me and then I end up putting them in songs later. I like to write a lot about my journeys through life. That's why so many are able to relate, all the way back to the beginning. Songs that have hit people in a real impactful way because it really comes from the heart and my life experiences. And this album is no different, it's a journey through my life. I would say the last 6 years since 2014. God has kind of showed me and consoled me. To let me know he still has so many plans for me, that I haven't even imagined yet.

Q: What’s one of the most personal songs
on the album for you and why?

  A: One of the most personal songs on the album is Dream Again. For me, sometimes we deal with this competitive thing. We're looking at people's lives or feeling like okay. I'm so much further behind then where they are. Or they're doing better there, their life is moving at the right pace and I'm just behind. The dreams and goals I had are no longer attainable...that it's time to give up on that and settle for just an average life.
  God had to really kind of shake me and say wake me up. That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him (1 Corinthians 2:9).
  So, there's a lot more that he's prepared, but a lot of the time we can't see it. Because we're blinded by our own resentment for our self worth. Blinded by our own limitations, realizing that we can't do it... but God can. That song really speaks to that message and one of the main lines of that song, other than Dream Again; is it's not too late. And, as I minister around that it's not too late, I'm giving people just encouragement and uplifting words. To help them realize that it's not too late. It can still happen and it will still happen!

Q: What do you want people to get out of 'Dream Again' after they listen to it?

  A: When people listen to this project, I want them to leave realizing that God still has big plans for their life. Of course there are songs of worship and songs of praise and songs that just just make you feel good about yourself and your day...not so much because of who you are, but because of who God is and how awesome and special he is.
  I think this album is going to help everyone learn that it's not too late and you can still make it happen. You can still obtain those dreams and will achieve those goals. If you can just trust God and believe, that's what it's all about. Believing in God and believing in yourself, it can happen.

Q: Take us back to how you got your start
in the music business?

  A: My dad was a pastor and he did that for 40 years, retired now. I was just a church boy doing music at my dad's church. I never thought about albums or making it a career at all. Coming out of high school, I had regular goals, I wanted to be in television, film and acting and things like that. So I went to California state, but after two years, my heart wasn't that anymore. I had a strong calling to come back home. So I came back to Houston, Texas and I started my group.

See James Fortune's official music video for
"I AM" feat. Deborah Carolina  -
Click Here

See James Fortune & FIYA's' official video of,
"Favor of God"
- Click Here

See James Fortune & FIYA's' official video of,
"I Forgive Me"
- Click Here

  But we were still local and just kept building momentum. So, I released my first single, You Survived. It end up going #2 in Billboard. So that was really totally mind blowing. Then I started getting invited places around Texas. The next album was when I released I Trust You. It went #1 and stayed there for seven straight months.
  That is a song I wrote during a season where I was homeless for seven months. Me and my family didn't have money or a place to live. I was like, God I trust you, that's where that whole message came from. It's still impacting millions of lives even today.
  After that year, all of the goals I had, like Stellar Awards, Celebration of Gospel on BET. I did everything within that time period, God sort of like blew me up. Like an overnight success, even though it was something I had been doing for awhile. It just kind of took off from there. Even to this day it's still mind blowing I was able to do that. I came from nowhere and the song kind of took me and my life to a whole other place.

Q: Being your dad was a pastor, did you have to do gospel or did you ever want to do any other kind of music when you were younger?

  A: I never wanted to do any other type of music outside of gospel because it's inspirational, uplifting music. Of course, being in church all my life, I've had seasons where I was like okay. I wanted to stray away from the church itself, you know, just because, you know, you can deal with different types of church heard. Just feeling like the church is not really there for you in the time that you need the most. But as far as doing music, it's never been anything other than gospel for me.

Q: What's been one of your greatest accomplishments as a recording artist?

  A: Oh wow, hard one. Good question. For me even 'til this day, after awards and things, nothing really compares to when I get testimonies from people. Where my songs in their words, have literally saved their life. Songs that have literally ministered to them at some of the most darkest seasons of their life. Whether it's a woman who told me, on her way to commit suicide. She had dropped her son off at school and, of course, didn't plan to return. She had already prepared for it and on her way home she heard I Trust You on a secular station. She pulled over crying, and went back and got her son at the moment. And she was standing before me and said my son is here today and we're here together because of your song I Trust You. To me, that far exceeds any award, amount of money or anything else, to get those type of testimonies from songs that God has given to me. It really feels like the biggest accomplishment that I feel I've ever had.

Q: God is so great, this is like a segue. But, to be honest, I can say with your album, The Transformation, that was awhile back. But in my life at that time, I was a young mother. That album really helped me pull through.

  A: Wow!

Q: It's crazy, because gospel music when a lot of people hear it they just hear church music. But I can say as a gospel artist, you have some of the most inspirational music I've ever heard. From any gospel artists.
You genuinely are an inspiration and I will say that and I thank you for that!

  A: That means more then you even realize. Thank you so much for sharing. Those types of testimonies like you just shared are my greatest accomplishments. It just reminds me why I do what I do.

Q: Outside of things like this,
what motivates you as an artist?

  A: You know it's just really my passion. For me, I love it. It's almost like I can't believe that this is a career because it's something that I love waking up doing. I love ministering, I love traveling, writing songs and people being able to worship God and praise God. Through the songs that God gives me. It's something I'm not tired of or burned out from. It's a calling on my life and even if I wanted to stop I don't know if I could. God has a way of a positioning us and rerouting us, in his own way to make sure that we're doing what he wants us to do. And I just love it, something that keeps motivating me is just the passion I have to do it and how much I love doing it.

Q: What are your thoughts on urban music right now as a whole?

  A: I love it. You know. I just received an ASCAP Award in Los Angeles during the BET Awards weekend. I love music and so, to just be there. People like Cardi B., Migos, Ella Mai were all there. There's so much talent and new fresh talent coming out. H.E.R. was also there and is another one of my favorites. So to be in a room where it's not just gospel or just rap artists, but all of us together. We were able to appreciate and celebrate each other. Also, with my kids, we don't just listen to gospel. So I'm aware of other types of music and artists. So, we listen to everything from Old Town Road to Beyonce.' So, I love all of the urban music out here right now.

Q: What's next for James Fortune?
Because you have been consistent and that's an accomplishment in itself.
What can we expect next from you?

  A: Yeah, I'm excited, of course, with the album Dream Again. We're also going to be touring for that. Gonna do some radio and television as well. Like I said, I initially went to college to do radio, television and film. I had a syndicated radio show for awhile, now I have some new opportunities and offers coming in. So I'm looking to get back into radio. And eventually I have some television ideas that I think will be great. Also my passion is developing new and upcoming artists through my record label. So be on the lookout for that as well.

Q: Any advice for new artists?

  A: Yeah, it's that balance of making sure that you don't get so caught up in the business, that you do lose that fire and that passion. Keep prayer and keep God the real priority in your life, doesn't matter what genre you're in. I believe prayer keeps us about His all levels. A relationship with God should always be the most important relationship. You can lose a sense of who you are, if you deny that relationship. I'm speaking from experience, not from anything I've heard other people say. You can be winning on the road, but losing in a major way at home. In your own personal life and mental health. Even though life hits you and you're going through some stuff. It's easier to get through it, if you're walking with God.

Q: Who are some artists that you want
to work with?

  A: I would say the only two, because I've been able to work with so many. She's also from Houston, TX and that's Yolanda Adams. And I haven't worked with Donnie Mcclurkin, those are two artists that I want to. Me and Donnie were on tour last year and talked about it. I think Yolanda Adams is a legend, one of the best to ever do it!

Q: What do you want to leave your fans with?

  A: Be encouraged, my supporters are so gifted and talented. They're always tagging me in videos and things on social media. Go after those dreams, I don't care and it doesn't matter who doesn't like your idea, your song, your poem or whatever. Whatever it is, go after your dreams and goals. You only have one life to live. You don't have time to waste it on being discouraged by who doesn't like you or what you're doing. Do what God has placed inside of you, use that gift. And that gift will make room for you.

~  from urbanbridgz.com ~

James Fortune
"I Am"

(from
Dream Again)


Choir leader and vocalist James Fortune follows 2017's Dear Future Me with a twelve track set of soulful gospel worship. Features guest appearances from Zacardi Cortez, Keith Wonderboy Johnson, and others. Includes the first #1 hit single, I Am.

James Fortune
(The Collection: XIV)


Texas native and Grammy-nominated choir director James Fortune offers this powerful collection of gospel greats. This nine song set features guest vocals from Zacardi Cortez, Monica & Fred Hammond, and Le'Andria Johnson.
Includes the hit,
Favor of God.

James Fortune
& FIYA

"Favor of God"
(from Dear
Future Me)


Choir leader and songwriter James Fortune returns with a powerful seventeen track set of anthemic contemporary Gospel originals. Dear Future Me features guest appearances from Tasha Cobbs, Zacardi Cortex, Kiera Sheard, Isaac Carree, and others. Includes the hits "I Forgive Me" an "Favor of God."

James Fortune & FIYA
"Grace Gift"

James Fortune & FIYA
(Identity)

Zacardi Cortez
(The Introduction)

 

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