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.  Jay Eugene (formerly 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.

 

Born Jamar Frink in Jersey City, New Jersey (raised in Edison, NJ) 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 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 a 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.  Jay 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.”

Jay’s love for music remained with him into his new life and would soon discover one day alone in his room and listen 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 spent almost 10 years doing just that, not knowing what God had planned for his life and ministry.  By divine appointment, he 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 Jay would release his first album entitled “Next Level Living: The Transition”.  With songs like “My Heart” and “I’m His” he highlights the goodness of God and expresses his heartfelt 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 relationships we can have with Christ if we rely totally on Him.  What should we expect from Jay moving forward: he remarks, “My intention moving forward is to really allow the listeners in on the man Christ is making and molding.  I feel it’s important to be genuine and true because people need to hear that we aren’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination but it doesn’t mean God doesn’t have a purpose and plan for you.  Additionally, you can expect to hear a more soulful and sentimental sound from me.  God has impressed upon my heart to really target the hearts of people and to recall what caused me to fall in love with Him and the art from the beginning”.

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