First it was Erica and Tina Campbell with WE tv’s “Mary Mary.” Then, Kierra Sheard, producer brother J. Drew and mom Karen Clark Sheard of the legendary Clark Sisters jumped on the bandwagon with BET’s “The Sheards.” Now, forever JONES is the latest gospel act to take to reality TV, giving viewers an intimate look at the intersection of music and family in their Bounce TV show, “Forever Jones.”
“I think what you’ll find in watching our reality show is that we’re not a perfect family at all, whatsoever,” said D’Jeniele, the eldest sibling who serves as songwriter, lead vocalist and guitarist for the band. “But in our family we’re keeping God center, where we’re allowing Him to guide [us] through our everyday issues that we go through and that we deal with like every other family out there.”
Comparisons to “The Sheards” and “Mary Mary” are inevitable, and there are definitely similarities, including the opportunity for fans to see what life is really like for the artists offstage. “I loved seeing KiKi talk about wanting to get an apartment [on ‘The Sheards’],” D’Jeniele said.
But there’s also a notable difference between “Forever Jones” and the other shows – namely that forever JONES the group, comprised of parents Kim and Dewitt Jones (married for more than 34 years) and children D’Jeniele, Dominique, Dewitt IV, Judah and Mya, is still very much a band on the rise, trying to expand beyond the success of their Grammy-nominated and Stellar Award-winning smash, “He Wants It All.” It’s a humble position to take and one they think will endear viewers and other up-and-coming artists.
“I think there are a lot of people who feel helpless,” said Dominique, the group’s vocalist, co-writer, acoustic guitarist and keyboardist. “They don’t know what to do. They’re trying to wait on God, and they don’t understand certain business portions of the music industry, so we’re so open to opening up those doors and letting people see that.”
Fans also see how a family of seven manages to put the group vision first, even while each member is pulled in a different direction. In the first episode, viewers learned that Kim and Dominique have been offered solo record deals by their label, EMI Gospel, in an attempt to generate more buzz for their collective efforts, with the next forever JONES album to be delayed for at least two years. Meanwhile, Judah is headed off to Kansas State University on a football scholarship and D’Jeniele is caught in the daily grind of singing while also serving as wife to husband Nate and being a mother to two young daughters.
Managing the chaos is par for the course for matriarch Kim, who added that “godly conflict resolution” is also a major theme of the show. In all things, the Jones family keeps God first, and it’s for that reason Kim believes they have succeeded in music and in life. “One thing I’d love for [viewers] to take away is that family is doable,” said Kim, “but don’t do it without The Creator.”
Keep up with the Joneses on Bounce TV Wednesday nights at 9 ET/6 PT.
Watch the “Forever Jones” supertrailer
Watch forever JONES – “He Wants It All” (live)