What can you say about a young woman in the gospel music business that not only sings, but has aspirations to reach the masses through many portals? If you’re Jekalyn Carr, who just ended 2016 with dual Billboard magazine music chart-toppers with an album titled “The Life Project,” and a single “You’re Bigger,” both reaching #1, those words defy expectations. One would truly believe that actions define the person, not the words.
Spiritually grounded in what she does, this phenomenal young woman has been bestowed with many accolades but she is humble in how she goes about doing what she does in order to retain maximum results. Even with the rigors of a demanding music career, she has made time to write a book, premier a fashion line, do public speaking and appear in a yet to be released movie. It’s a good thing she’s 19-years old, because it takes time to bring it all together. However, time seems to be her ally as her goals will become evident and accessible to the public very soon.
So where, did the West Memphis, AR native get the drive and motivation to embark on her life’s journey to this point? It’s not too much of a mystery but it began in 2011, releasing an independent album “Promise,” followed by a label released album entitled “Greater Is Coming.” This was at age 14-years old and by 15-years old she was already getting recognized in the Billboard magazine 200 breakthrough releases on the Gospel Album and Independent Albums charts. Changing labels in 2014, she released the “It’s Gonna Happen” album and was charted again on the Gospel Albums chart.
But being nominated for a Grammy is a major game-changer for anyone in any genre of the business, how does she handle it? Carr believes and acknowledges the fact that people appreciate her music because of what she puts into it in order to appeal to their hearts, minds and souls. It’s what she has always wanted to do, what she does now and will continue to do. She wants her fans and even the uninitiated – especially young people of any age – that what she does in attainable.
“It does not matter where you come from, how old you are, greatness is in you. It’s not something you have to become, you’re already great. All you have to do is tap into it.”
Carr’s passion goes beyond music these days. Besides her other endeavors in the works presently, her focus is on a clothing line that will premier later this year. To describe the style as classy, it’s not what you wear but how you wear it. Carr stresses that you are fashion – fashion is not you. It’s about what’s inside you not what you have on. Also in June look for the national release of her first movie she’ll appear in titled “I Never Heard My Father Speak.”
As a motivator, why music as in a varied career? Besides the inspiration it can truly give, it’s about her purpose. Carr is in tune with her audience so the feedback is just fuel to push her. She has the fight to accomplish more things and more people to reach. Still, she knows music is a business and she shares with those aspiring to do what she does. Carr stresses to those looking to this as a career, make sure it’s what you want to do.”Just because you know how to do it doesn’t mean you are supposed to be doing it. You can only function for so long outside of purpose but once you get into purpose, believe in yourself and push yourself. Things are not going to happen overnight.” Truer words were never spoken.
Jekalyn Carr is a symbol of what humbleness, appreciation and purpose is about. To listen to her words only proves what an asset she is to the life she pursues. Never forget and always remember is a mantra she goes by daily.
“I remember where I once was and now I’m able to help others – people who are trying to be successful. It’s something that I always do: reach out to people and never forget, staying humble. It took a while to get to where I am but it will take no time for me to get back there, so that’s why it’s important to stay humble.”
- Joseph Walker, III
Check out Jekalyn Carr at www.MYJEKALYNCARR.com or Twitter @JekalynCarr