Growing up in Baltimore, Maryland, as the son of a Pentecostal preacher and twin brother of gospel recording artist James Nelson, Jonathan Nelson has been no stranger to creating music that has exemplified his faith and belief in God. With the release of his new sixth album, Declarations, on Sept. 14, Stellar Award winner Jonathan Nelson is affirming God’s desire and ability to heal, deliver and restore those who are lost, sick, bound and broken.
With the 12-track album including the upbeat singles “I Agree”, “Redeemed”, “Great God” and “Jesus You are Lord,” Nelson expresses how believers can speak good things into existence and then, in faith, wait and watch them manifest.
Produced by Nelson and his longtime collaborator Kenneth Shelton of KenHe Music, the new album shows off the singer’s signature vocals, lyrics, and sound. Featured artists on the album include gospel music legend BeBe Winans on “Because You Are,” Anaysha Figueroa Cooper (“Jesus You Are Lord”), and Jalisa Faye (“The Blood”).
Rolling out recently had the opportunity to chat with Nelson about the inspiration behind Declarations and what longtime fans and newcomers to his music can expect from his latest project.
What inspired you to title your album Declarations?
The title was inspired because of the lead single “I Agree.” I started doing research on the word agree and words that would match. The word declaration came up. Once I saw that I started finishing the album before I finished the song “I Agree.”
How important is it for you to declare spiritual affirmations over your life?
If you’re a believer, every day you should make a declaration over your life. You should speak positivity over your finances, your family, your health, etcetera. As a non-believer, you should acclimate your voice to speak positivity. It’s essential.
On your song “Redeemed,” you include lyrics from a gospel classic “I’m Free.” What inspired that?
My father is 84, and my son is 18, and my daughter is 11. My father has always taught me to talk to my elders. “Redeemed” is a 2018 version of “I am Free.” When you are talking to your 2018 audience — millennials and centennials, and elders — you’re talking to two different audiences. I always considered my music for an audience of all ages. This song was inspired for my elders and young adults.
What are some Scriptures that you’ve declared over your life and your family’s lives that have gotten you through tough times?
Proverbs 18:21: Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
2nd Corinthians 4:17: For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
My mother uses this Scripture for declaration. Psalm 46:1-2: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.
What was your favorite song to record off this album?
“Jesus, You Are Lord.” You hear the maturity of my songwriting along with Kenneth Shelton. Fans have been stating it’s their favorite song off the album.
You’ve been touring for the album in Chicago and Atlanta, among other cities. I’ve noticed that it’s been more than a concert, it’s a worship experience. How has the response been for you?
Absolutely incredible. I can’t put in words what I’ve been experiencing in our concerts. It truly has been a worshiping experience. Everything is connecting. It’s gone beyond my expectations.
What’s next for you?
I would love to win a Grammy. I would love to be a Dove winner. I would love to tour with my brother Jason. Declarations is by far one of the best projects I put out so far by the audience response. I have dreams and goals for the album that I want to be accomplished.
Jonathan Nelson’s new album Declarations is available now to stream and download on all digital music platforms. Check out the video for the lead single “I Agree” by clicking here.