Music World Gospel Artist & BET Sunday Best Winner, Joshua Rogers’ newest album, Unconditional, is just one week away from its release and I must say the new album is pretty incredible. Offering something different than what we’ve come to expect from the 19-year-old vocalist, this album showcases original material by Joshua, a newer sound, songs written by Joshua and a new side of the young singer. It’s been a little over a year since the South Carolina native won the fifth season of one of BET’s top shows, and since then he’s been touring, recording and doing what he has been called to do. With his new album slated for an October 29th release, Heed caught up with the Gospel singer for a candid interview on the  new music, his favorite artists and future plans!

Heed Magazine: How are you Joshua?

Joshua Rogers: I’m good man, just enjoying my one day home before get back on the tour to finish it out.

Heed: So you’re gearing up for the release of your new album!

JR: Yes sir, the release is on the 29th!

Heed: Wow, I did have a chance to check it out and I’m really feeling the vibe of album.

JR: Oh, thank you! Thank God for that!

Heed: So, what influenced the sound of the new music? The feel of the album is a little different from what I’m using to hearing from you, so what influenced this new sound?

JR: Well, you know for the most part when they mentor you on Sunday Best they tell you to be prepared to do anything, and there are not a lot of people out there who are as churchy as I am. Even with that, you just have to be prepared to step out of the box. And so, with this being my first full-length album of original music I tried to make sure that no matter what type of music it is, that listening to my album there would be at least 1 song that you would genuinely enjoy and fall in love with, so that’s where the variety of the album came from. At heart I’m a church boy, but I do listen to other music.

Heed: What is your favorite song on your new record?

JR: Honestly, I can’t say that I have a favorite. However, if I were to choose 1 I think it would probably be “I Got Joy”…I don’t know, the whole album is so personal to me, I really can’t choose a favorite!

Heed: That’s fair! So, how old are you Joshua?

JR: 19

Heed: 19? Wow! So, who would you say are your biggest musical/vocal influences?

JR: Well, of course Kim Burrell, The Clark Sisters, Marvin Winans, Rance Allen, Vickie Winans…is this just Gospel or all across the board?

Heed: Hey, whoever you’re influencers are! [laughs]

JR: Well, Jazmine Sullivan, Brandy, Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Leandria Johnson, it’s so many…[laughs] 

Heed: Man, you like voices of distinction! Which is a good thing.

JR: I do, I do.

Heed: Who did you work with on this new project?

JR: Well, for the most part the majority of the album was produced by Pierre Medor and Bruce Robinson. They offered me the opportunity to write on this album, so thank God for that!

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Heed: So you have writing credits. That’s incredible! So in thinking back to Sunday Best, what has been the most rewarding aspect of being apart of a show like that?

JR: Well, for one the opportunity itself! Looking back over the past year, I could have never imagined that I would be doing what I am doing now especially at the capacity that I am doing.  At this point I’m only expecting greater! I’ve met so many of the artists that I’ve looked up to and the had the opportunity to actually work with a couple of them and sit under them for a minute and learn. I’m just grateful for every experience and every step along the way! 

Heed: And for you, what was the most challenging part of being apart of a platform show such as Sunday Best?

JR: Well, the most challenging part was them challenging me. Challenging me to step out the box and show every part of who I was, artistry wise.  Thank God for that because it’s a great big part of what brought about this project “Unconditional”!

Heed: And I’m assuming you’ve probably built some lifelong friendships and professional relationships because of the show?

JR: Yes sir, definitely! Me and the other contestants try to get together as much as we possibly can. As a matter of fact, we just did a huge, huge concert here in South Carolina a couple of weeks ago. It was great! We’re all just like family and love each others company.

Heed: What is one misconception about the process of Sunday Best?

JR: Well, it’s a 12 to 13 week show on TV, but its taped within a span of 3 weeks. So when you think about that it’s very hard vocally and it’s very hard when it comes down to energy levels and all of that. But that’s one thing that people don’t know when it comes down to competing on such competitions, especially Sunday Best. I’m not sure how the others ones run.  It kind of wears down on you, you know? It’s a challenge but you know, you have to push through it!

Heed: What has been the most fulfilling thing for you about performing?

JR: Just seeing the looks on people’s faces. The enjoyment they get out of it, because I enjoy being up there. I just enjoy singing and ministering to the people and just letting God have His way. Just to hear how people, listening to my music are touched and their lives are changed, they’ve come out of whatever situations they’re in is very encouraging to me to know that God is using me to touch other people.

Heed: Finally, we’re excited about the upcoming album! Do you have any other goals that you’d like to see yourself fulfill?

JR: Yes, definitely! Win a Grammy! And maybe a couple of Stellar Awards from this album! You know, just some great things. At this point the sky is the limit! I may be half way there but I am looking to go there and beyond! You know, a lifelong opportunity of ministering before the people!

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