On the 10of October, Je’kob Washington released a promo album called “Pocketless Souls” for his fans. The concept behind the album “We are all spiritual beings who all too often get caught up in the rat race of life. It is an encouragement to prioritize your life around the reality that we can take nothing we acquire here with us into the afterlife. The most important thing we can do with our time here is to truly make it worthwhile & passionately spread the Good News every chance we get.” Harry Itie got a chance to interview the incredibly talented rapper and songwriter. Enjoy
YADA: It has been over a week since the release of Pocketless Souls. How has the response been?
JE’KOB: The response has been great. I think many people can really relate with the record. It is honest & real. Musically it is a different vibe than most of the material listeners have heard from me, but that was for a reason. I wanted it to be raw, & feel much less produced throughout. I wanted the mood & message to really come across.
YADA: What inspired the writing process for this album?
JE’KOB: The goal was to be transparent. I wanted to speak on, & share some issues that I struggle with myself, & that many people in the world are really struggling with today. In our history, we learn that increases in suicide rates & depression have been linked to economic downturns. According to the CDC, one of the top contributing factors leading to suicide amongst our generation tends to be a feeling of worthlessness, & the inability to find, or feel successful in school or life. I will not go into detail about my thoughts on prosperity preaching in general, but I believe strongly that Christ’s very last concern is the treasure we attain here on earth. I believe that if he were here in the flesh today he would not be driving a bentley or kickin’ back in a mansion. I am not saying you cannot be a Christian & have those things, but I do believe that the word of God is pure & true. God knows the hearts of men. It is harder for a rich man to get to heaven than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. The obvious reason for this is that it is a slippery slope. It is very easy to become attached to our wealth, & the things we attain here. If we are not incredibly careful those things can easily take the place of God in our hearts & lives. We begin to live for them instead of for Him. It is ultimately a heart condition that myself, along with many men go through that I wanted to address. Pocketless Souls is meant to be an encouragement to grasp, & continually come back to the things that truly matter in this life. God, Faith, Family & helping those in need.
YADA: What artists inspired the sound for the album?
JE’KOB: Nobody in particular. I have been listening to a lot of classical & ambient music lately. I did not really want to be inspired to one style or another on this record. I just wanted what was in me to come out as pure as possible.
YADA: Have there been personal testimonies from your fans as regards the impact the album has had on them?
JE’KOB: Yeah I have received a bunch of comments & messages in the last week about how people really needed to hear this right now. How it is so easy for us, even as Christians, to get caught up in this bad economy, job losses etc. To be honest, people’s testimonies are what really keep me going, & make me realize that this is what God has for me to do. I remember a guy telling me that he was ready to commit suicide because of all the hurt & drama in his life. He said he had planned the date and everything. He said a buddy gave him some music to encourage him, & one of my groups songs was on it. He said he made the decision to stay & live for God because of that song. Sometimes we do not have a clue who is being touched through the art/message God has given us to show the world. It’s so easy for us to get discouraged when you don’t see all the fruits of your labour right in front of you. It is crazy & surreal to think that God could use someone as messed up & broken as myself to that degree. I am not worthy, & I will fall. It’s just the nature of things, but I will keep telling people about Him in one way or another until I’m gone.
YADA: From what I have read on the blog and from what I heard, I can see you are trying to refocus the mind of your listeners to Jesus and not on earthly possessions. Are there instances when you are caught in between following Christ and focusing on earthly possessions?
JE’KOB: Everyday man. I think the struggle will always be a part of us as long as we are inside of these vessels. I am in the middle of writing a devotional/book also called “Pocketless Souls” that talks a bit deeper on this issue. After I got married, I really felt the burden of being “The Man”. Even though throughout our marriage my wife has been an angel, God has provided, things have been amazing on the financial side, & I have had no reason whatsoever to feel uneasy, I still did. To be completely honest, I am just recently learning how to deal with those feelings better in my life. It is a definite daily struggle. Thoughts of providing for our future kids, college tuition, & our financial future in general flooded, & continue to flood my mind. Satan knows it is the one place that really knocks me off my center so he goes for that every time. That is why I say that this album is first & foremost for me. It is a digital copy of my hearts current position. God has been teaching me that the reason I am feeling uneasy is because I am not trusting him solely for those provisions. I have been letting Satan tell the man in me white lies, & influence my mind to focus on “Me” & how “I” am gonna provide. God does not want us there. He created us to “NEED” Him.
YADA: Talk to us about the new album coming out next year
JE’KOB: The album is entitled “Love Is All”. This is a triumphant record. (Laughs)I just like that word. The record focuses on God’s Love, Grace & Mercy. It touches on Love in the form of relationships between Man & Woman as well on a few songs. There are a couple songs that are pretty deep on the record. “Can’t Have My Soul” & “Hot X Cold” are a bit darker but in the end encourage the listener to shift focus onto Christ & his Love. Stylistically it is nasty! It blends, dub, heavy pop, hip-hop, & a splash of live rock. It is overall a very fun album.
YADA: We also heard there is a remix album coming from The Washington Projects. Can you tell us about that and what we should expect?
JE’KOB: Yep. It is still in the works but it will most likely be a 10-song remix record, featuring remixes of the most popular songs from the last two WP albums. Stylistically is will be Pop/Dance driven. Most of the record will be remixed by FlatlineRemix. This cat is incredible.
YADA: What non-music projects are you currently involved in now?
JE’KOB: My first book. I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to writing a book, but I had no idea what I was doing on my first record either & God used it, so I pray for the same with this. I am also working on a couple cool website projects. Both are concepts that are based in music/media industries & will hopefully be ready to launch mid-2012. I am kind of a nerd at heart.
YADA: How do you relax?
JE’KOB: Going to the beach with my beautiful wife & our dog Bentley. Listening to dark, atmospheric, classical music, & thinking of Christmas 365 days a year.
YADA: A final word for our readers
JE’KOB: Be you. You were created to do so much more than you know. Step out in faith into where you are being led & quit trying to fit in with the crowd.
Current songs on your playlist
Pandora “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” Playlist 24/7
Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir & Paul Hillier – Pärt: Da Pacem
Glitch Mob – Warrior Concerto
Last movie you saw
TV show you are watching now
I Shouldn’t Be Alive
TV character most like you
Jack Bauer (24)