Jason Clayborn is keeping Rhythm & Praise Alive!
By Robert Hasan James
You may not know this man just yet but you will soon enough. His name is Jason Clayborn and his sound is Rhythm and Praise. He is the author behind Hezekiah Walker & LFC’s Praise and Worship smash, “You’re All I Need” and quite frankly his sound is what we need in the gospel music industry today. We know he is not the originator of Rhythm and Praise… J Moss and Dawkins and Dawkins coined that over a decade ago. He is however, keeping Rhythm and Praise alive with his infectious sound. JoJo Pada (CEO of Ignition PR) describes Jason’s sound as “Very unique, raw and uncut”. You be the judge..
Root: Let me first congratulate you on your project. It is very well put together.
Jason Clayborn: Thank you. I am just happy to be apart of this new movement that is taking place.
Root: The one thing I love about the project is the quality of not only the music but the packaging as well. So many times people who want to get into the industry hand you a demo and the presentation is all wrong but I can see that you took your time and invested in your dream.
Jason Clayborn: I tell all of my people who want to get in the industry that you must come with your best foot forward. I heard Ron Kenoly say that your name is all you have so I’ve learned that you have to be patient, be humble and do your best. Galatians 6:9 says “Let us not be weary in well doing for in due season we shall reap if we faint not”. I stick to that scripture. Your season will definitely come but we have to give the same quality that the world is trying to give us.
Root: How long have you been doing music? You are pretty young..
Jason Clayborn: What people don’t know is I have been doing this for quite some time. Back in 2001 and 2002 I was in a group signed to Tyscot Records called Righteous Riders. We were nominated for a Stellar Award in 2003 and we had a following. I am a writer also and God started giving me songs and I actually wrote on Vashawn Mitchell’s “The Promise” album and I also wrote “Your All I Need” for my God Father, Hezekiah Walker. Donald Lawrence insisted that we put that song on the album and now so many churches across the country is singing that song during Praise & Worship. It is a priviledge to be in the game and learn form the best of the best.
Root: I listened to the album and it is really good. It is mastered well and the songs will resonate well with the youth. What category do you put yourself in as far as genre?
Jason Clayborn: It would be kind of hard to put myself in a category because I do so much. If you put me in front of a choir, I will direct the choir, I can be a Praise & Worship leader and I love Rhythm and Praise music. So many young people are caught up on the beats but they are not listening to the words. So I wanted to give them the alternative of what the world is giving them so while they are listening to the beat, they are getting the word of Jesus at the same time.
Root: You have been afforded the opportunity to sing with Hezekiah Walker and LFC as well as Ron Kenoly, so you have a name for yourself. However, you live in the state of Kentucky where the music scene is not as big as it is in other states. How can someone from the state of Kentucky get their big break?
Jason Clayborn: There is so much talent here that goes unnoticed. There are so many prominent figures who are from here. People like Muhammad Ali and Pat Day and the whole Kentucky Derby scene. Rajon Rando from the Celtics is from Louisville, Kentucky also. It’s not that hard to break into the industry being from Kentucky, you just have to keep your face out there and get with the right people with integrity. You can be from anywhere on the globe but if God has his hands on your life, he is going to place you right where you need to be to make those relationships happen.
Root: What are your plans for this record? Do you want to sign with a label?
Jason Clayborn: I would like to sign with a label but I want to keep my creative control. I think people in the gospel music industry get scared when you try to so something out of the norm but sometimes we have to take risks like they do in the secular world. In the secular world they put out songs and see if they gonna work. I think our work ethic in the gospel industry should be better than those in the secular industry. Whether I get signed or not I am still going to do what I do because it’s about empowering the youth. It’s about staying on your grind constantly so you can be heard. I do believe I have an international ministry and if a big engine company puts some money behind it, it can be powerful.
Root: I think you are a unique artist in that you don’t really sound like anyone else in the industry right now. You have that husky tenor voice that’s not really prevalent in gospel right now..
Jason Clayborn: Thanks man. I am trying to develop my sound. We already have Kim Burrell, Kirk Franklin, Dewayne Woods and Vashawn Mitchell and I love all of them but you have to create the sound that God placed in your belly and in your heart.
Root: Being that you are an independent artist and your album is probably not at the major retail chains yet, where can the people find your project?
Jason Clayborn: You can find me on iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon.com. The name of the project is Rhythm and Praise, Volume 1. I have so many things coming up and I am constantly working hard like Diddy!!!