Gospel artist Jessica Reedy, who first came to fame on BET’s “Sunday Best,” said her journey hasn’t been without its “valley” moments. After becoming the runner-up on her season of the hit singing competition show, she didn’t know what to do next.
However, she recently told Loop21 that she found support and that helped her release From the Heart, her debut album.
I read you got really depressed after ‘Sunday Best’. What happened?
Jessica: I got off the show and I had no direction. Nobody told me what to do next. I had no manager, no lawyer, I didn’t even know what to do or who to call. I said, ‘Well God, now what? I can’t believe you let me be on national TV. Wow, that’s amazing, but that moment is gone, now what am I going to do. Are you going to help me? I still got bills.’ Then I started thinking, I shouldn’t have went on that show. I should’ve stayed home and started looking for another job. I just got depressed. Then I sat in a closet, literally I sat in my closet, and I prayed a prayer. I said, ‘God, do you even see me?’…I had this peace and assurance that everything was going to be okay and that’s when I wrote the two extra verses on “God Has Smiled on Me.”
Were there any obstacles in creating this album whether it was honing the right sound or picking the right songwriters and producers?
Jessica: During this process, I’ve been belittled. I’ve been disrespected. I almost lost my son in a car accident. My house caught on fire. It’s been a process, but I’m not intimidated by anybody. I’m not thirsty. I didn’t have to do anything to get in these doors and I don’t have to do anything to stay here. Other than that, I’ve had favor with major producers who charge thousands of dollars who gave me records for free. And everybody said the same thing, ‘We just want to see you win.’
One of the people that believed in you was Faith Evans who appears on a track. How did that collaboration come about?
Jessica: Faith called my manager and said, ‘I know you’re not about to close this record and I ain’t on it.’ Then she called me and said ‘Jessica Reedy, y’all ain’t bout to close this record.’ I said, ‘No ma’am. We’re headed to Los Angeles right now.’ And when we got there, I didn’t know Faith would be in the studio. I thought she was going to lay the part for me, but Faith Evans was in the studio and she didn’t record her part until I got there and my flight was delayed. She stayed after I recorded my part and she took me to my hotel and said, ‘You’re an amazing person and it’s just been an honor to work with you.’ It was some kind of experience to have Faith Evans. I looked up to Faith Evans growing up. I wanted to be like Faith Evans and here we are on a record together.
Listen to "Put It on the Altar" from Jessica’s album.
—Joi-Marie McKenzie | reprinted with permission from Loop21.