Joy Enriquez and Rodney Jerkins
A Joint Interview

Joy Enriquez has released a multifaceted album, Atmosphere of Heaven, which while pulling on her soulful pop roots, is all Gospel. Production was handled by her husband, Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, along with a few others. GOSPELflava.com spoke with both Joy and Rodney concerning the album, the ministries that Joy is involved with, and lots more!

GOSPELflava.com: As the wife of Rodney Jerkins, some might have expected an album that is fully urban/pop. But that’s not the case! Would you classify this album as more of a praise and worship album?

Joy EnriquezJoy Enriquez: You know, when we went in to do some music, I come from a secular pop world, but I was such in a worship mode. I wanted to give God all of the praise which He deserves at all times, no matter what kind of music we’re doing. On this record, a lot of praise songs were submitted by a lot of great writers. We were such in a praise mode at the time, that I would say that it is a praise/ rhythm and praise record. It has that effect on you. We just had to do what God called us to do.

We have many more records coming. The next one could be more R&B or street. You never know what God will put inside the both of us.

GOSPELflava.com: Do you feel pressure having a superproducer as a husband?

Joy Enriquez: There is no pressure. We are actually on our way to New York, he’s working with Beyonce. I came home after traveling a great deal. I said, “Babe, I thought we were going to spend a little more time together. I’ll be in Jersey while you are in New York, working with Beyonce.” He said, “No you’re not, you’re coming with me”. He’s a cool cat. He knows how to be cool all around. Everyone loves him, but I love him the most. He knows how to balance, and God has given us a great way to balance our marriage. I truly stand on the fact that God will never give us more than we can handle. God knew that we could both handle all that we do. We work together, we play together, we pray together. It makes it a little easier.

GOSPELflava.com: Can you tell us something about songs such as “Get to Know Him”, and why you chose to redo “Revive Us”.

Joy Enriquez: “Get to Know Him” hits home for me because there is always that someone, whether it’s a family member of a friend —they’ve seen you as a Christian, they know you as a Christian, but they may not be saved or living the Christian life anymore.

I have to be honest. I have a younger brother who went to college and law school. He had so much schooling that he was starting to question God. It was like, “God. Jesus. I am so smart, but I think that I can do this on my own.” We were raised Christian. To see my brother question God was hard to see. It was hard on my family. Singing “Get to Know Him”, hit home for me. It just made it since I have a brother in that situation, and I know that everyone has someone close to them that needs to know Christ. So I pray every time that I sing that song that someone would be touched by it. I pray that the lost sheep would run back to God.

On “Revive Us”, Chip Dixson, one of Rodney’s genius writers, brought that old hymn to us. It just made so much so sense especially with what is still going on in New Orleans. We need a revival. I believe that the song is going to heal people. We did one part of it in Spanish because that’s my roots.

We tried to hit a little of everything on this album. We like the hip hop culture, that’s why you hear a little bit of R&B on “Get to Know Him”. “Revive Us” hits home.

GOSPELflava.com: What are some of the ministries that you participate in?

Joy Enriquez
CD Things get started with the simple praise song, "In His Name", which is backed by all live instruments, and features Joy Enriquez out front as worship leader. Her impressive soprano vocals are understated on...

Read full album review.

Joy Enriquez: I’m involved with Rescue Ministries, which is a young girls’ ministry out of Nashville, TN. It is a ministry where young girls from all different walks of life come to a home. Some of them might have eating disorders. Some of them have cut themselves. There are a lot of self esteem issues. This ministry embraces these young ladies and they live in the home for as long as they need to, until they get better. They really accept God, the One who is going to bring them out of the darkness. This ministry is not only in Tennessee, but it’s all over the world. I give my time to the ministry. I go and stay with the girls and minister to them.

This is also my second year of singing at CeCe Winans’ Always Sisters Conference. She also ministers to young girls. I really love being involved, mentoring them and being the role mode that they need right now.

I also work with a ministry back home with girls over 18 who were in foster homes, but are no longer in the system. They’re unwanted. They live in a home in California.

GOSPELflava.com: Now we'll ask some questions of Rodney Jerkins. Rodney, people know you for your urban tracks. They know you for pop records. Do you think that people will be surprised to hear that you used live instrumentation on most the songs on the album?

Rodney Jerkins: That’s funny. I’ve usually had live instrumentation on my productions. I’ve always used live bass players and guitar players. I think the only thing that I’ve changed is probably the live horns. I’ve been doing that a lot lately. I’m just trying to bring a live element to it so it won’t be so machine driven. They might be shocked and then they might not. I really don’t know.

GOSPELflava.com: Who do you want Joy’s music to reach?

Rodney Jerkins: It has to reach nations. I like to know that we’re reaching the goals that we set. We set a goal to give you different flavors. We wanted an album that had praise and worship, stuff for the young folks. We wanted a little bit of Latin and something that might go in the CCM market like “Take My Hand”. I wanted her to be able to do a youth concert with Tye Tribbett and then go open up for Michael W. Smith. Then go neck and neck with Yolanda Adams and Martha Munizzi. That’s what this project is. There are no limitations.

Rodney JerkinsJoy has been on TBN seven times in the last six months. There are millions of people watching, and I can guarantee that millions of people will be touched by her ministry. I also see it as an encouragement to my wife. It’s my goal as a husband to give 100% to her ministry.

GOSPELflava.com: From a production standpoint, tell us how you came up with “Get to Know Him”.

Rodney Jerkins: That is a special song because of the way that it happened. Joy and I were recording a different song, and she got up to go to the restroom. Now, I’m the kind of person that will do a track on every chance that I get. The next thing you know, I came up with the melody. If you really listen to the song, it puts you in the frame of mind of “Heartbreak Hotel” by the Jacksons. What’s really special is that we could be funky for God. Lyrically, it like, if you haven’t gotten a chance to really know God, He’s the coolest thing out. Everyone has the different name brands that they are wearing, and the different films that they are seeing, but nothing can top God. If you’ve tried everything else, why don’t you try God? Try Someone who can really change your life. That’s basically what that song is saying.

GOSPELflava.com: You have some hot writers and producers in your camp. Tell us what Lashawn Daniels and Chip Dixson bring to your camp.

Rodney Jerkins: I have a very incredible team. Chip Dixson’s musicianship is unbelievable. One of the first tracks that he sent me was “In His Name”, on Joy’s album. I asked, “Chip, who played the bass on that song?” He said, “I did.” I asked him who played the drums. He said, “I did”. He played the guitar also. It’s incredible for someone to play multiple instruments so well. He had to be part of the team.

Lashawn Daniels has been with me since I was 19 years old. He’s so catchy from a writing standpoint. From a person that can write, “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child, and then write a song called “In His Name”. Then he wrote on “Get to Know Him”. He’s so diverse. He can write a song that’s praise and worship, and then he can write a song to get the young kids dancing. I call him the “CEW”, the Chief Executive Writer. He is just on a whole ‘nother level.

GOSPELflava.com: When you are in the studio with secular artists, how do you let your light shine?

Rodney Jerkins: I have a job. My job requires me to be in the studio with a lot of different artists. One thing that I practice is not to get caught up in the artists, because you can get star-struck in the studio. I walk in there with a word that’s going to bless someone. I think that I’ve been able to impact different people’s careers. I think that’s why God keeps rewarding me. Everyone doesn’t know Rodney Jerkins and what I’ve been through in my life. I definitely let my light shine, no matter who it is and the artists know that.

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interview by Dwayne Lacy

  All content in GOSPELflava.com © copyright 2006. No information to be reprinted or re-broadcast from this site without the expressed written consent of GOSPELflava.com. All rights reserved.

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