Christopher Heron: Let’s talk about the album, Jesus Revealed. How would you distinguish the sound, style and spirit of this album from your previous releases?
Jason Nelson: It’s an evolution of who I am musically and who I am as a songwriter. Jesus Revealed is telling a story but it’s telling a different kind of story. This shifting is kind of an indication towards worship. Whereas Jesus Revealed is an invitation into a better understanding of who Jesus is and how He’s represented throughout the Bible, this album is a little bit more musical. It tapped more into my musical roots, my musical expression. It’s not a departure from who I am authentically but it is definitely a more musical offering, a more musical expression. I think the lyrical content is really strong. I really believe this is the sound God wants the Earth to hear right now from me.
Christopher Heron: Why did you make the title of the album, Jesus Revealed? What does it mean when you say, Jesus Revealed?
Jason Nelson: About two years ago, we were in a series at our church. I was teaching a series called, The Revealed God. It was dealing with the names of God and how God has chosen to express Himself throughout the cannon of scriptures and ultimately culminating in the name of Jesus. The night we were covering this topic, I spoke to my producer. I said, “You know what? I really feel like this time we need to reintroduce people to Jesus again because the Jesus of this culture is very diluted. People have manipulated the message of Christ to fit their ideology or to fit their lifestyle. I think it’s time for the world and church to really know the Christ of the Bible. That’s what this record is all about. It’s a reintroduction to Jesus. So when the Lord led me to do this record, He gave me songs that would come into my thought process, songs that would reintroduce people to the concept of who Jesus really is.
Christopher Heron: You have a track on the album that features your label-mate Tasha Page Lockhart. Could you tell me a bit about the song and why she was the perfect fit to accompany you on this recording?
Jason Nelson: Well, first of all, Tasha is amazing. She’s an amazing person. She’s my little sister and I lover her very much. This song was written by a friend of mine named Jamel Strong from Huntsville, AL. He sent me material for his upcoming album. When I heard that song it pierced my heart. I was like, “Wow, this song is amazing.” The song is written from Isaiah 6:1. It says, “I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up…”
On the demo, there was another vocalist singing the song but I wasn’t sure she would be available for the recording, so I kind of went through my mental rolodex for who would work. Aaron Lindsey, as a matter of fact, recommended Tasha Page Lockhart. He said, “What do you think of Tasha Page Lockhart for that song?” I said, “Aaron, that’s absolutely amazing because Tasha would be amazing for this song.” So I called her up and asked her if she was available. She said yes, we sent her the song and it was like God just made it happen. She came in and when I say she destroyed this song, I mean she put her heart on the line when she was singing this song.
Christopher Heron: Most of us have come to know you from some of the cameos you’ve also done in the past with Voices of Unity and on your brother – Jonathan Nelson – album, and of course on your own recordings. Few of us outside of the DMV area are well aware of your ministry as Bishop of the Greater Bethlehem Temple Church. My question is whether pastoring or music ministry is your first love.
Jason Nelson: Well, I think they go hand in hand. I don’t know if I would articulate it as my first love because honestly I’ve been pastoring as long as I can remember. I grew up as a pastor’s kid. So, part of my dynamic was, “I don’t want to be that.” because I didn’t want my kids to have to deal with the dynamics that we had to deal with while growing up. So, I ran from that. Singing has always been my first love and will always be my first love. Pastoring is my assignment and I embrace it wholeheartedly. One of the things that I truly believe is God allows me success is it relates to my music career because I’m so faithful to my assignment as a pastor. I believe He’s graced me to work ambidextrously. Neither one lacks while I’m working. So, I can sing and be a pastor, I can be a pastor and still sing. Neither one suffers as a result of having a duality in ministry.
Christopher Heron: How do you succesfully prioritize your time and your energy when it comes to the needs of your family, the needs of your church and now supporting the very important release of Jesus Revealed?
Jason Nelson: I’m smart enough to know that family is the core. Family is the first ministry, the first assignment God ever gave to man wasn’t to tend the garden, it wasn’t to take care of this, that and the other. It was to build a family. I strongly believe that family is your first ministry. You will build a heirarchy of ministry assignments. God is at the apex and right underneath that is family. Ministry is subsequent or relegated underneath family. So, family comes first for me. It’s very important to me. They’re the reason I work as hard as I do. They’re the reason I like coming home after I finish working. My family is extremely supportive of me. I reciprocate that to the best of my abilities. I’m just learning the art of saying no. If something is going to keep me from being there to celebrate the small accomplishments of my family, then some of that stuff I just say no to. I’d rather see my kids win and them know that I support them, then to look at pictures after the fact or look at videos after the fact.
Christopher Heron: I’m going to end our conversation with a final question back to the album, Jesus Revealed. If there’s something that you pray people will take away once they’ve heard the whole album, what is that enduring, lasting impression?
Jason Nelson: Honestly, my hope and prayer is that people will desire a deeper relationship with God as a result of hearing these songs. From the beginning, we talked about the greatness of God. When the record ends, we’re singing about the worthiness of God and how praising our worship is a requirement because of the worthiness of God. For me, my hope and prayer is when people hear this record, they understand that God is and infinitesminal & inexhaustible. No matter how much time you’ve spent with Him, no matter how impacted you’ve been by the presence of God, there’s another side of Him that He’s more than willing to share with us if we open up our hearts to Him and seek to love Him a little bit better.