Recently, native South Central Los Angeles singer-songwriter-producer-pastor Montell Jordan valiantly returned to the Rhythm & Blues genre with a heartfelt new love song, “When I’m Around You,” an ode dedicated to his wife of nearly twenty-five years, Kristin. This is Jordan’s—most famously known for his 1995 classic hit single “This Is How We Do It”—first R&B selection in over a decade. Montell Jordan’s previous album Let it Rain was released back in 2008.
We caught up with Montell to talk new music and much more. Check out the interview below.
Parlé Mag: Let’s hop right into this brand new single “When I’m Around You” — Tell me about this particular composition; how did it even come to fruition?
Montell Jordan: My wife Kristin and I do marriage ministry together. We have spoken at Friday night events and Saturday morning conferences where couples are rekindling and retooling their marriages. Couples are coming to learn how to stay married forever and singles want to know how to do the same thing once they say “I do.” This single is a reminder that even though you have been together in a marriage or relationship, the feeling of wanting to impress the object of your affection should still be present, even years into the friendship. This song is the beginning of the soundtrack for couples who want to keep their marriages and relationships fresh, but want the feel and context of someone who loves and believes marriage was designed to last a lifetime.
Parlé Mag: “When I’m Around You” features Lecrae and also signifies your return to secular music, what prompted this decision, especially after being absent for nearly eleven exceedingly long years?
Montell Jordan: It is a supplement to marriage ministry, and the musical gift I have been given by God may be used to reach lots of different people right where they are. I have toured with “I Love The 90’s” and “MC Hammer’s House Party” and I still lead worship in my church. What I do in worship is give my musical gift, from God, back to God. What I do on concert tours is share my musical gift, from God, with people.
Parlé Mag: Now for those few on the planet who have still yet to see your popular episode of TV One’s Unsung, what all exactly had/have you been up to, both personally and professionally speaking, during this decade plus musical hiatus?
Montell Jordan: In 2011 I went into full time ministry. I am a licensed and ordained Christian minister, and I am an executive pastor at Victory World Church in Norcross GA, where I am responsible for Music Ministry, Men’s Ministry and Marriage Ministry with my wife Kristin. I have written an autobiography titled, ‘Becoming Unfamous; The Journey From How We Do It to How HE Do It.’ I also co-authored a book with my wife Kristin titled, ‘This Is How We Do It! Making Your Marriage A Masterpeace.’
Parlé Mag: “When I’m Around You” comes courtesy of your long overdue, eighth solo collection. What specific details; i.e. title, favorite tracks, producer credits, cameo appearances, etcetera, can you reveal and/or divulge about upcoming project at this particular point in time?
Montell Jordan: The new album is titled Masterpeace and is scheduled for mid summer, 2019. Producers include Travon Potts (Grammy Award winner), Ricky “Slikk” Offord (Grammy Award winner) and the first single with an upcoming producer/songwriter named Doramus Roberts. The first single features Lecrae (Grammy Award winner) and the project will also include a duet with me and my wife Kristin titled, “I’m All In.” Some additional track titles include, “Masterpeace” and “First Date.”
Parlé Mag: How does the new material either differ and/or compare to previous Montell Jordan efforts?
Montell Jordan: Masterpeace is a completely indie produced project. This material is all birthed from my desire to see marriages strengthened and singles encouraged towards marriage. The themes of the songs go beyond normal relationships, but dive deeper into covenant—or eternal relationships.
Parlé Mag: Switching gears here, how has not only the music industry itself, but even more-so you as an individual, either changed and/or evolved since your whole inception into music?
Montell Jordan: The entire business model of the industry has changed. The sound of music has changed. The way to reach old fans and new audiences has changed. Love stays the same. The objective of this project is to show the world the heart of a man who has evolved over the last 10 years in a love that never changes, and reintroduce this constant love to an inconsistent world. The world feels more at peace when these songs reach their hearts, and I believe true fans of good music will identify the heart behind why this new music feels relevant, hot, nostalgic and inspiring from a familiar voice from the past.
Parlé Mag: Longevity, what do you attribute yours to?
Montell Jordan: I’m 50. God redeems time. Music transcends time. I try to create music that transcends time and reinvent myself so God redeems time. Longevity, for me, is based on continuing to create “timeless” projects in my music and in myself.
Parlé Mag: What do you want people to get from your music?
Montell Jordan: I love God and I love marriage. I love people, I love people enough to want them to know the joy I have found in God and in marriage. I want them to feel that through the music.
Parlé Mag: On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of R&B? And, even more specifically, where exactly do you “fit in” when it comes to today’s current/trending sound-scape?
Montell Jordan: H.E.R., Daniel Caesar, Indie Arie… there’s great music out there. There’s also garbage out there, but it’s important to have the garbage out there to make people long for and make room for the good stuff. I’m not sure where I fit in, or if “fitting in” is even a good thing, opposed to “standing out.”
Parlé Mag: Do you have any other outside/additional aspirations, maybe even completely away from music?
Montell Jordan: I am a husband. I am a father. I am a friend. I am a pastor. I am an artist. I am a public speaker. I am an author. I am a songwriter. I am an actor. I have many gifts and one lifetime to use as many of these gifts here on earth. When the opportunity comes to create something great for God in any of these areas, I will consider.
Parlé Mag: To date, what has been your greatest career achievement(s), at least thus far anyway?
Montell Jordan: Pastoring has been my greatest career achievement. Creating content is success. Creating life change is significant. I chose a life of significance over success.
Parlé Mag: As for the immediate, what’s next for you, Mr. Jordan?
Montell Jordan: Building a strong marriage ministry platform with my wife while faithfully serving in my local church. Using music opportunities to reach the world is another way to minister to people outside of the church.
Parlé Mag: Is there anything I left out, or just plain forgot to mention?
Montell Jordan: The Jordans celebrated 25 years of marriage June 18th 2019. If people want to contact us, or need assistance or prayer for their marriage, we can be contacted at:
Parlé Mag: Any “closing” thought(s) for our readers?
Montell Jordan: Thanks for the opportunity to share my story. Kristin and I chose marriage over music, family over finance and significance over success. These decisions have been the most fulfilling in our life.
Montell Jordan ‘This Is How We Do It! Making Your Marriage A Masterpeace’ Available NOW! Album coming soon.
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