Not Lucky, I’m Loved
What was born in his dorm room in the presence of a few friends has graduated to Christian music’s biggest stage picking up fans like Stevie Wonder, Lalah Hathaway, Kirk Franklin, Cece Winans, Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj and Tori Kelly along the way. And Jonathan, now 29, did it with an incredible voice and a beautifully honest approach to songwriting.
His latest full-length album Make Room debuted #1 on Billboard Gospel and garnered a historic 1.3 million streams in the first week. It has already been hailed as his best work, the best album of 2018, and an instant Grammy favorite. “Not Lucky, I’m Loved”, from this album, gave Jonathan his first #1 song on Billboard in September 2018. His second album Life Music: Stage Two features another superstar fan in India.Arie and remained #1 on the Billboard Gospel chart for 4 weeks. It then went on to grab a Grammy nomination, multiple Stellar nominations and a Dove Award win. He brought on yet another popular talent, Tweet, on his latest EP “Sessions.” This unannounced, surprise release reached the top of the iTunes Christian chart in one night.
According to the Chicago native, Life Music is everything he’s truly about. “My albums are about being authentic and genuine, pure and transparent. That’s who I try to be as a person,” he says. “I’m direct, I’m blunt. I’m not a fan of church clichés and ‘Christian-ese’. Life Music is concerned with showing others and reminding myself how the Faith doesn’t just fit every part of life, but should frame every part of life.”
In May 2015, Jonathan attained his Masters of Arts in Biblical Studies from Moody Theological Seminary. His contribution to society outside of music is important to him as well. With that, he is an adjunct instructor at his alma mater Columbia College, an official contributor to Huffington Post and the founder of Elihu Nation, a nonprofit organization that promotes wisdom and has awarded $30k in scholarships. He was recently named a new member of Mensa, an international high IQ society, as well.
2018 has certainly been an incredible one for Jonathan. In March, he broke major ground for gospel, when his one hour TV special aired multiple times on TV One. He was also the first in his genre to form a major partnership with Tidal. His appeal stretches across generational, cultural, and musical lines. It is shown in the buzzworthy performances that have marked his last four years including Black Music Honors (2018), BET Celebration of Gospel (2014, 2016) Essence Fest (2014, 2015), 106 & Park, Stellar Awards (2014, 2015), Joyful Noise, Revolt TV Live, and the Dove Awards (twice). In addition to headlining monster shows as far as Oslo, London, and Port-of-Spain, Jonathan has toured with India Arie and Lalah Hathaway.