From Jay Eugene
Across the musical landscape you’ll find artists who tend to stand in the line that other artists before them have stood in waiting for their turn at sharing and expressing themselves in their gifting. The only problem most run into is that they seem to adopt the voices that precede them giving off a watered down, diluted version of the art and who they really are. J-Tre has emerged on the scene of Christian Hip Hop with a unique style, an individual voice and the uncommon and rarely seen ability to penetrate the hearts and pique the interest of generations young and old. His latest EP, “Then and Now”, lets us into his heart and shares his mind as it relates to where he’s come from and where God has him positioned today. While it’s a relatively common theme in the life of a believer, J-Tre encourages us in communicating the message that no matter what your past may be, it’s vital to leave it where it is and that God has the ability and desire to change us all.
Born Jamar Frink in Jersey City, New Jersey being a recording artist wasn’t in his plans. He explains, “Music has always played a major role in my life. As long as I can remember I’ve been a pretty emotional guy and music just touched and affected me in a way that nothing else could but never in a million years would I have predicted I’d be a recording artist. I always thought, along with everyone else, I’d be a professional athlete. I was incredibly active and athletic as a child and it was just assumed that was my destiny”. Through High School and into early adulthood, it became less likely that this would be reality as he seemed more interested in partying and fast living than anything else. Being raised in the church and the son and grandson of Pastors he knew Christ was calling him. J-Tre says, “It took me to hit rock bottom in order to come to grips with the fact that the path I was following wasn’t going to lead to anything I was prepared and willing to face. I then realized and felt that if I didn’t decide to give my life to Christ at the very moment I heard Him calling for me, I may not have gotten another opportunity.”
J-Tre’s love for music remained with him into his new life and would soon discover one day alone in his room and listening to his first Christian Rap CD (The Cross Movement’s House of Representatives) that he’d developed a passion for writing. Even then, it was simply therapeutic for him to do so. He’d spend almost 10 years doing just that, not knowing what God had planned for his life and ministry. By divine appointment, he met Sherrod White on the job and was given his first opportunity to record his first two songs “I Wanna Live” and “Let Them Know”. Upon listening to the finished product, he was brought to tears knowing that God wanted to do something special through him for the Kingdom of God.
A short time after, Righteous Vision was birthed under the leadership and direction of Sherrod White and J-Tre would release his first album entitled in entitled “Next Level Living: The Transition”. With songs like “My Heart” and “I’m His” he highlights the goodness of God and expresses his heart-felt feelings for people who won’t give Jesus a try. “Next Level Living” really puts in perspective what the people of God are entitled to as His children while “Keep Me” reminds us all of the incredible relationship we can have with Christ if we rely totally on Him. What should we expect from J-Tre moving forward: he remarks, “My intention moving forward is to really allow the listeners in on the man Christ has molded thus far. I feel it’s important to be genuine and true because people need to hear that we aren’t perfect by no stretch of the imagination but it doesn’t mean God doesn’t have a purpose for you and a plan for us all. Additionally, you can expect to hear a more soulful and sentimental sound from me this year. God has impressed upon my heart to really target the hearts of people and to recall what caused me to fall in love with the art from the beginning”.