Questions and Answers with Ja'Van
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I grew up in Grand Blanc, Michigan. It’s a small town about an hour North of Detroit. I’m the oldest of 3 Children. My parents instilled strong Christian values in me at an early age.
Q: What made you realize that music was your path?
A: At the age of 16, I constantly had musical melodies running through my mind; around the same time I started to put rap lyrics together in my head. During Christmas of that year I got a keyboard, and from there I started rapping and making beats. Writing and producing went hand in hand for me. It allows me to share Biblical principles with people from various backgrounds. I have a passion for music, I can spend hours upon hours working on songs.
Q: How would you describe the music that you typically create?
A: Biblical, Stimulating, Enlightening, Fun, Intense. The songs that I write encompass many different emotions that a person goes through while living life. I pack a lot of information into my lyrics because I have a lot of points that I want to communicate to the listener. At the same time I try to do it in a way that’s not overbearing, but engaging.
Q: Who are your biggest musical influences?
A: First and foremost God (and His Holy Word, The Bible). As far as recording artists I really like the 70’s Gospel Music (from a musical composition standpoint). Some of the artists from that era that I enjoy listening to are Andrae Crouch, and Keith Green. I like the passion and lyrical content they exemplified in their music. Both brought a unique sound to the industry.
Q: What makes your music unique?
A: I would say my lyrical delivery. I use different types of rhyme schemes, to convey the messages I write about. I also come with a lot of concept songs, some of which require the listener to listen to the whole song before everything comes together (kind of like riddles). And in general, I would say my perspective on life has played a part in the uniqueness of my music. I feel like I’m a minority within a minority (within a minority). I’m a young black male, who’s a devout Christian. I got saved (converted to Christianity) at an early age. This has allowed me to share some experiences with listeners that are different from the norm.
Q: Has there been one particular moment in your musical career that you're most proud of?
A: One moment that sticks out in my mind took place back in February 2004. I participated in a talent show that took place on a college campus in an environment that had gotten very hostile at times (An Apollo Style Crowd). People were getting boo’ed off the stage, and as it got closer to my turn, I felt a lot of pressure man….but God was with me (Thank You Lord!). I went out on stage and rapped with confidence. The crowd showed me a lot of love, and I was able to proclaim the name of Jesus Christ! Another Moment that sticks out is when I (along with the other recording artists I collaborated with….What up Oaklin, Tommie, and Brandon) finished The Christian Rap Album “The Way, The Truth, The Life”. It was a great time; we had a lot of fun, and completed a project that has reached many people.
Q: What's next for you?
A: Continuing to tell people about the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I plan to release my Fourth solo album "The Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit" in the future. My wife and I have also launched a clothing brand called Johnson Team Apparel.