'Dream Again' and 'I Am'
James Fortune is a GRAMMY
nominated and Stellar Award winning gospel music artist, father,
husband, and author. He lives in Houston, Texas and is best
known for his transparent records that speak to the hearts and
souls of his listeners.
"Dream Again" is a collection of special announcements,
personalized just for you. The opening track will undoubtedly
pull listeners up or push them forward to a place of purpose and
possibility. There is a comforting and refreshing thread of hope
and faith that echoes throughout this body of work. These songs
are a wake-up call to not just wake up, but get up, come alive
and move on - believing it is in you, it is with you and it will
all work out for you.
The lead single, "I AM" is making an impact at radio and
resonating with listeners around the world. "I AM"
captures the signature "James Fortune" sound and he has
delivered yet again with this moving anthem that proclaims
because of God; we have everything we need. "I Am," has
already been at #1 on Billboard's Gospel Music chart for over a
Fortune's goal with this project is to help those who have stopped
dreaming to not only dream again, but to also dream bigger...to
not just believe in the life you can live, but to live
better...to know that if it's God's plan; what seems impossible,
"Dream Again", "Alright", "U", It's Gonna Happen" and "It Will
All Workout" are destined to become favorites.
Each song permeates the heart with reminders that God's love for us and
what He has prepared for us, makes it possible to live out those
moments that we once only dreamed of. Be reminded: there is so
much inside of us all, and no limit to how far you can go. It is
Fortune's prayer, that these songs will fuel you, as you
Tishelle from urbanbridgz.com spoke to James about "777," his
start in the industry and thoughts on the current state of urban
music. Hear the advice he has for new artists and who is on his
wish-list to work with.
Q: Congratulations on the new hit "I Am."
What made you want to release that first
for the new project?
A: You know, it's funny you ask
that because actually that wasn't the first single we were going
to release. There was another one that we had already decided
that would be the single, but something just so powerful
happened when we were recording that song. Also the young lady
who's featured on it, Deborah Carolina, also co-wrote on
that song with me. Even in the studio with the background
singers recording, it was just such a strong presence of God.
I had recorded this other song that I already kind of knew would be the
single and we were recording the rest of the album and it's just
crazy how that song took over us. When we were in the studio
recording it, it was just so powerful how much we all felt it. I
went to the label and said I think this is the one that we
should go with. This one is the one that God has anointed for
the first single for this album. Then we can look at the other
So, I just let them hear it and they felt the same way. I had never
really released a praise and worship song as a single. It's on
Billboard and doing amazing. People are being blessed by it. So
many churches and praise teams and praise dancers are
ministering this song. This is kind of just showing me how you
know that you have to lean out to your own understanding, obey
the voice of God and really trust God and what he tells you to
do and the results will be just mind blowing.
Q: This album is a testimony of sorts for
you, tell us about the road to completion.
From 2016 to the recording process of "Dream Again."
A: Yeah, the title of the album is
Dream Again. So, for me for a long time, you know for myself
and others, is that we have these big dreams and these big
goals. Somewhere along the journey of life, different things can
happen to you. You can go through different seasons in life that
can kind of knock you off course. You may feel like, maybe I
missed that moment, or maybe I missed that that season.
For me, to dream or for me to reach my goals or for me to reach my full
potential. And so this album is really helping my prayers that
will help ignite the passion inside of people. To be able to go
after those dreams and dream again. And not just to dream, but
bigger than ever! Realizing that God is so big and he's so
awesome. And he so enormous, there's nothing that happened in
your life that is able to stop the plan that God has for your
So, for recording it always starts out kind of like journaling or writing
and that's how many ideas come to me and then I end up putting
them in songs later. I like to write a lot about my journeys
through life. That's why so many are able to relate, all the way
back to the beginning. Songs that have hit people in a real
impactful way because it really comes from the heart and my life
experiences. And this album is no different, it's a journey
through my life. I would say the last 6 years since 2014. God
has kind of showed me and consoled me. To let me know he still
has so many plans for me, that I haven't even imagined yet.
Q: What’s one of the most personal songs
on the album for you and why?
A: One of the most personal
songs on the album is Dream Again. For me, sometimes we
deal with this competitive thing. We're looking at people's
lives or feeling like okay. I'm so much further behind then
where they are. Or they're doing better there, their life is
moving at the right pace and I'm just behind. The dreams and
goals I had are no longer attainable...that it's time to give up
on that and settle for just an average life.
God had to really kind of shake me and say wake me up. That eye hath not
seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of
man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him (1
So, there's a lot more that he's prepared, but a lot of the time we can't
see it. Because we're blinded by our own resentment for our self
worth. Blinded by our own limitations, realizing that we can't
do it... but God can. That song really speaks to that message
and one of the main lines of that song, other than Dream
Again; is it's not too late. And, as I minister around that
it's not too late, I'm giving people just encouragement and
uplifting words. To help them realize that it's not too late. It
can still happen and it will still happen!
Q: What do you want people to get out of
'Dream Again' after they listen to it?
A: When people listen to this
project, I want them to leave realizing that God still has big
plans for their life. Of course there are songs of worship and
songs of praise and songs that just just make you feel good
about yourself and your day...not so much because of who you
are, but because of who God is and how awesome and special he
I think this album is going to help everyone learn that it's not too late
and you can still make it happen. You can still obtain those
dreams and will achieve those goals. If you can just trust God
and believe, that's what it's all about. Believing in God and
believing in yourself, it can happen.
Q: Take us back to how you got your start
in the music business?
A: My dad was a pastor and he
did that for 40 years, retired now. I was just a church boy
doing music at my dad's church. I never thought about albums or
making it a career at all. Coming out of high school, I had
regular goals, I wanted to be in television, film and acting and
things like that. So I went to California state, but after two
years, my heart wasn't that anymore. I had a strong calling to
come back home. So I came back to Houston, Texas and I started
See James Fortune's official music
"I AM" feat.
Deborah Carolina -
James Fortune & FIYA's'
official video of,
"Favor of God"
James Fortune & FIYA's'
official video of,
"I Forgive Me"
But we were still local and just kept
building momentum. So, I released my first single, You
Survived. It end up going #2 in Billboard. So that was
really totally mind blowing. Then I started getting invited
places around Texas. The next album was when I released I
Trust You. It went #1 and stayed there for seven straight
That is a song I wrote during a season where I was homeless for seven
months. Me and my family didn't have money or a place to live. I
was like, God I trust you, that's where that whole message came
from. It's still impacting millions of lives even today.
After that year, all of the goals I had, like Stellar Awards, Celebration
of Gospel on BET. I did everything within that time period, God
sort of like blew me up. Like an overnight success, even though
it was something I had been doing for awhile. It just kind of
took off from there. Even to this day it's still mind blowing I
was able to do that. I came from nowhere and the song kind of
took me and my life to a whole other place.
Q: Being your dad was a pastor, did you
have to do gospel or did you ever want to do any other kind of
music when you were younger?
A: I never wanted to do any
other type of music outside of gospel because it's
inspirational, uplifting music. Of course, being in church all
my life, I've had seasons where I was like okay. I wanted to
stray away from the church itself, you know, just because, you
know, you can deal with different types of church heard. Just
feeling like the church is not really there for you in the time
that you need the most. But as far as doing music, it's never
been anything other than gospel for me.
Q: What's been one of your greatest
accomplishments as a recording artist?
A: Oh wow, hard one. Good question.
For me even 'til this day, after awards and things, nothing
really compares to when I get testimonies from people. Where my
songs in their words, have literally saved their life. Songs
that have literally ministered to them at some of the most
darkest seasons of their life. Whether it's a woman who told me,
on her way to commit suicide. She had dropped her son off at
school and, of course, didn't plan to return. She had already
prepared for it and on her way home she heard I Trust You
on a secular station. She pulled over crying, and went back and
got her son at the moment. And she was standing before me and
said my son is here today and we're here together because of
your song I Trust You. To me, that far exceeds any award,
amount of money or anything else, to get those type of
testimonies from songs that God has given to me. It really feels
like the biggest accomplishment that I feel I've ever had.
Q: God is so great, this is like a segue.
But, to be honest, I can say with your album, The
Transformation, that was awhile back. But in my life at that
time, I was a young mother. That album really helped me pull
Q: It's crazy, because gospel music when a
lot of people hear it they just hear church music. But I can say
as a gospel artist, you have some of the most inspirational
music I've ever heard. From any gospel artists.
You genuinely are an inspiration and I will say that and I thank
you for that!
A: That means more then you
even realize. Thank you so much for sharing. Those types of
testimonies like you just shared are my greatest
accomplishments. It just reminds me why I do what I do.
Q: Outside of things like this,
what motivates you as an artist?
A: You know it's just really my
passion. For me, I love it. It's almost like I can't believe
that this is a career because it's something that I love waking
up doing. I love ministering, I love traveling, writing songs
and people being able to worship God and praise God. Through the
songs that God gives me. It's something I'm not tired of or
burned out from. It's a calling on my life and even if I wanted
to stop I don't know if I could. God has a way of a positioning
us and rerouting us, in his own way to make sure that we're
doing what he wants us to do. And I just love it, something that
keeps motivating me is just the passion I have to do it and how
much I love doing it.
Q: What are your thoughts on urban music
right now as a whole?
A: I love it. You know. I just
received an ASCAP Award in Los Angeles during the BET Awards
weekend. I love music and so, to just be there. People like
Cardi B., Migos, Ella Mai were all there. There's so much
talent and new fresh talent coming out. H.E.R. was also
there and is another one of my favorites. So to be in a room
where it's not just gospel or just rap artists, but all of us
together. We were able to appreciate and celebrate each other.
Also, with my kids, we don't just listen to gospel. So I'm aware
of other types of music and artists. So, we listen to everything
from Old Town Road to Beyonce.' So, I love all of
the urban music out here right now.
Q: What's next for James Fortune?
Because you have been consistent and that's an accomplishment in
What can we expect next from you?
A: Yeah, I'm excited, of
course, with the album Dream Again. We're also going to
be touring for that. Gonna do some radio and television as well.
Like I said, I initially went to college to do radio, television
and film. I had a syndicated radio show for awhile, now I have
some new opportunities and offers coming in. So I'm looking to
get back into radio. And eventually I have some television ideas
that I think will be great. Also my passion is developing new
and upcoming artists through my record label. So be on the
lookout for that as well.
Q: Any advice for new artists?
A: Yeah, it's that balance of
making sure that you don't get so caught up in the business,
that you do lose that fire and that passion. Keep prayer and
keep God the real priority in your life, doesn't matter what
genre you're in. I believe prayer keeps us about His all levels.
A relationship with God should always be the most important
relationship. You can lose a sense of who you are, if you deny
that relationship. I'm speaking from experience, not from
anything I've heard other people say. You can be winning on the
road, but losing in a major way at home. In your own personal
life and mental health. Even though life hits you and you're
going through some stuff. It's easier to get through it, if
you're walking with God.
Q: Who are some artists that you want
to work with?
A: I would say the only two,
because I've been able to work with so many. She's also from
Houston, TX and that's Yolanda Adams. And I haven't
worked with Donnie Mcclurkin, those are two artists that
I want to. Me and Donnie were on tour last year and talked about
it. I think Yolanda Adams is a legend, one of the best to ever
Q: What do you want to leave your fans
A: Be encouraged, my supporters are so
gifted and talented. They're always tagging me in videos and
things on social media. Go after those dreams, I don't care and
it doesn't matter who doesn't like your idea, your song, your
poem or whatever. Whatever it is, go after your dreams and
goals. You only have one life to live. You don't have time to
waste it on being discouraged by who doesn't like you or what
you're doing. Do what God has placed inside of you, use that
gift. And that gift will make room for you.