Dreaming again with James Fortune by Ben Harrell with Milton B. Allen

Mega gospel singer, James Fortune, has released ‘Dream Again: Live from Rock City’ – a live version of his ‘Dream Again’ studio album. Fortune looks to bring listeners to a place of worship with his Broadway-style delivery.

As a Grammy Award-nominated singer, James Fortune has used his music to spread God’s love – a message that is echoed by every note, melody and beat. At an early age, a foundation birthed in the church would prepare him to use his talents to make a mark on the world. Fortune understood that he had an aptitude for serving, which translated into the inspiration of others.

Fortune was blessed with the ability to musically transform pain into peace. His music would remind us that joy would be the rainbow after the storm. Even in times of his own tribulations, Fortune refocused himself to the lifeline of his existence: God. With his testimony embedded into his music, Fortune aims to remind listeners that God can bring you through any situation. 

Keep The Faith had an opportunity to speak with James Fortune on how God allowed him to dream again.

Your 2019 chart topping ‘Dream Again’ album touched many people. Here we are in 2020, and you have recently released ‘Dream Again: Live from Rock City’. What contributed to the decision to make a live version of your album?

The pandemic, you know, COVID-19. We recorded the live version of ‘Dream Again’ on August 23rd of 2019. We were preparing this year to tour for the ‘Dream Again’ album. I was on my way back from South Africa and COVID-19 had begun to spread, and everything started to lock down. At that point I was talking to my producer, and we realised we had this album release concert for ‘Dream Again’. We talked about getting it mixed and mastered, and releasing it digitally. 

We did songs from ‘Dream Again’, as well as songs from other albums. Looking at where we were at the time, we thought it would be a great time to release it, as people would be blessed by it. So we got it mixed and mastered. I talked to eOne, they were on board and excited about it. We had no plans of releasing‘Dream Again’ live, but without having concerts and the ability to tour, it gave us time to figure out what was next. We thought that this was a great time to get this message out while people were quarantined at home.

Your ‘Dream Again’ albums give listeners a glimpse into your testimony. How does your music paint a picture of redemption?

My songs have always been a reflection of my life. I think that’s why I’ve always tried to encourage people through my songs from my own life experiences. When you look at the message of ‘Dream Again’, understanding all that I went through six years ago, I felt like my dreams had been shattered. I didn’t have any more opportunities to do what God was calling me to do. It felt like my dream was over. But going through the whole process of counselling therapy, and just seeing how God changed my life, gave me hope. It gave me the message that I could dream again. As I began to dream again, I wanted to encourage other people regardless of their setbacks that they could dream again. 

You have the ability to deliver worship music with a passion that is relatable to a variety of generations. Both millennials and those in their twilight years gravitate to your music. What contributes to your success in appealing to these groups?

I think it has a lot to do with me growing up in the church. With my dad being a pastor, I’ve always had a church background. When I started in ministry, I started with a youth group. I was always ministering to the youth, as well as having an old school church foundation. I think that’s really continued over the last 15 years with my music. When I release projects I try to make sure the message and music are relatable to both demographics. When I write music, I try to think of something that my mum and niece would love. I may have an old school message, but will use the music to attract the younger generation. 

Your ‘Dream Again’ albums underscore your strengths as a preacher, choir leader, master of ceremonies and worship manager. How did you incorporate these talents to breathe life into your ‘Dream Again’ albums?

It has always been my passion to use the gifts that God has given me. Whether it was songwriting or to encourage people, I just take what God has given me and use it for His glory. A lot of times people are always trying to compare themselves to what other people are doing. They think that if they can’t do it as well as someone else, then there is no place for them. But people have to remember that God has a place for all of us. He has given all of us gifts. He has given all of us talents. 

It is our job and responsibility to trust God. We need to pray and discern what His plan is for our life with the gifts that He has given to us. God has given us all gifts and anointing to reach people at different levels. I thank God for the group of people that He has given me to minister to and edify for the Kingdom of God.

2020 has been a trying year. It is easy to feel overwhelmed with all the events that have taken lives, affected finances, or simply challenged our faith. What song can you recommend to listeners to remindthem that God is still God, and that we are not alone?

I would point listeners to my newest single, ‘Nobody Like Jesus’. There is a Name that has been given to us that is above every name, it’s even above the name COVID-19. This song reminds us, as we run down God’s resumé, that He is our healer, joy, strength and Redeemer. Sometimes we have to be reminded of who He is. We get so focused on what is around that we forget about the One that lives on the inside of us. No matter what you are facing, God is more than the world that is against you.

Many people have spent the better part of 2020 trying to make sense of everything that has transpired. Whether it’s dissatisfaction with the government, surviving COVID-19, race relations, the economy in general, unemployment, healthcare, crime or our relationships, there are plenty of areas that keep us from sleep at night. James Fortune delivers an album intended to shift the focus from our problems to our God. His message is to stand tall in your faith, rely on God’s promises, and operate in His peace, so that you can dream again.

James Fortune’s new album, ‘Dream Again: Live from Rock City’, is available on all major digital retailers and streaming platforms.

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