Fill Me Up
Over the course of a few
months, a quiet Atlanta elementary school teacher named
Casey J, who just happens to sing on the side,
has graduated from the classroom to the Top Ten of three
different Billboard Magazine sales or airplay charts
with her powerful debut radio single “Fill Me Up”
(Marquis Boone/Tyscot Records). The uplifting praise and
worship anthem anchors the 29-year old vocalist’s CD “The Truth” (Marquis Boone/Tyscot
Records) that hits stores and online platforms
everywhere on April 21, 2016.
This isn’t Casey J’s first
time on the charts though. She first surfaced as one
quarter of the gospel girl group 4LOVE that was
featured on The Brown Boyz’ Top 30 hit “Better
Dayz” in the spring of 2012. They also made some
noise with the concept music video for their bouncy
radio tune “Praise.”
Praise has been an essential part of Casey J’s life from the start.
Both her mother and grandmother Dorothy Mae sang in the
gospel choir at Lily Hill Baptist Church in Atlanta and
is also on Casey's new album.
“Singing is part of who I am,” says Casey J. “I used to think it was the
normal way of life because that’s all I saw my
grandmother and mother do. I grew up thinking that
singing in the church choir is what all kids did because
it was my way of life.”
Casey J Hobbs is a
self-confessed Flower Child and attributes her
creativity to her father who passed away when she was
five years old.
“He was a carpenter by trade, very smart and creative,” she remembers.”
At the age of 12, she joined the Atlanta Young Singers of Callanwolde
and sang with them until she enrolled at the
University of Georgia. After college, she began teaching
and sang with 4Love before signing with Marquis
Boone’s management company and launching her solo
career last year with the radio smash “Fill Me Up”
that has spent 7 weeks at #1 on Billboard Magazine’s
Gospel Airplay chart and #1 on its Hot Gospel Songs
chart for 3 weeks.
The current chart still has her at #2.
Click Here to
Current Top 15 Gospel Music Chart
“Fill Me Up" is a
flashback of the true worship experience I remember
having during church in my grandmother’s basement” says
After years of few women on
the gospel charts, there are now a handful of ladies
making some noise such as Tamela Mann and two
other Atlantans, Tasha Cobbs and Jamie Grace
and now Casey J, who is also a worship leader is being
added to the mix.
The single's success preceded
the release of the album by several weeks. The 12-song
set of songs was recorded live during a standing room
only concert this past January at the Fresh Start Church
in Duluth, Georgia where Casey J serves as the Sunday
morning worship leader.
"Fill Me Up"
The soul-stirring album is like an earthy,
organic worship service led by neo-soul icon India Arie and
Israel Houghton who fuses Pop and Soul into his own
“When I grow up, I want to be like Chrisette Michelle or India
Arie,” she chuckles. “Although, they are not gospel artists, they
have a similar style as me. People and worship are my heart. I want
the environment of my performances to be about the worship and not
so much about me personally or my artistic persona. I admire Israel
Houghton because his music is for everybody.”
The praise and worship set was produced by
keyboardist/guitarist Chris Carter (who produced “Fill Me
Up”) and Korey Bowie who’s collaborated with artists
ranging from Angie Stone to Cece Winans.
Casey J’s music director Rick Watford, who’s played guitar on
recording sessions for artists as diverse as Dorothy Norwood and
R&B crooner Will Downing, supervised the rock flavored band.
Singer Jason Nelson, known for his
Top Ten hits such as “Shifting the Atmosphere,” and
“Nothing Without You” has a duet with Casey J on one of the
tracks, the summer groove, "Have Your Way."
See a feature we did on Nelson in our last issue. (Click
Casey J’s 84-year young
grandmother Dorothy Mae Choates joins her for the hymn
“No, Not One.”
The songs range from festive, upbeat mantras such as “Let It Be
Known” and “I’m Yours” to deeply personal ballads such as
“The sound of “Fill Me Up” doesn’t have a solely traditional
church sound- it’s worship in its purest form” says Casey J. I love
that “Fill Me Up” makes listeners feel like they are in a
personal worship experience… it captures the authenticity of
worship… its different” explains Casey J.
Casey J takes on a non- traditional
approach to her style and considers herself a “flower child who
loves to express my creativity.”
“Although I grew up in a very spiritual home in a very churchy church,
I’m not a super churchy person. I like singing in the trees, I like
piercings, tattoos, head wraps and fresh foods from the earth,”
explains the free spirited artist.
This young lady was
born to lead people into worship. Her soulful, yet prophetic voice
captures and expresses the heart of God. She has the ability and
gift to command atmospheres and take people into a place with God
they may have never been before. Casey J desires to create music
that offers accessible worship to a very awesome and accessible God.
"My heart is most full when I see God's people respond to who He is
through worship," she explains.
On her new album's title cut, the singer
calls God the Truth and the Light but her fresh sound is bringing
Truth and Light to a new generation of gospel listeners.