Singer/songwriter Jovonta Patton makes his national debut this week as his third album Finally Living (Jovonta Patton Ministries) trailblazes its way onto three coveted Billboard Magazine charts – without the assistance of radio airplay and no established sales history for the artist – for the week ending August 6. The project opens at No. 1 on the Billboard Gospel Albums sales chart, No. 12 on the Billboard Christian & Gospel Albums sales chart and No. 21 on the Billboard Independent Albums sales chart.
“We count it an honor to be able to introduce the next generation of artists to the world,” says MBE Enterprises CEO Marquis Boone who manages the careers of Millennial megastars Casey J and Briana “Bri” Babineaux. “Jovonta is a great talent. We are excited that he hired our firm to assist him in introducing his music to the world. I think Jovonta has a long, wondrous career ahead of him.”
Some of the eleven-track set of R&B-flavored worships songs was produced by drummer Varo Johnson and the remainder was produced by keyboardist Daniel Weatherspoon, a longtime collaborator with Patton’s musical hero, Donald Lawrence. “I used to read album credits and I’d see Daniel’s name and I wanted to work with him some day,” Patton says. “I love Donald Lawrence’s music because he writes from the Scriptures and through his music, he teaches me the Bible.”
Taking a note from Donald Lawrence, “Finally Living” is also rooted in scripture. “It’s based on John 10:10,” Patton says. “That’s where the Bible says Jesus has come that we have life and have it more abundantly. This project is a journal of where I am in life. I’m married. I have a one year-old baby and one more on the way. A lot of financial commitment and other responsibilities come with that but with God there is no worry. There’s a song on the album, `Nothing To Worry About.’ Now, I’m no longer existing; now I’m living because I know Jesus. It was therapeutic.”
A part of his personal therapy is working as a social activist in the crime-infested North Minneapolis neighborhood he calls home. “I’ve seen so many friends and family die because of gang violence and drugs,” Patton adds. “Philando Castile was killed just three miles away from where I live. I went to school with his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds so my connection to all of this is direct and I want my music to help build a bridge to encourage people to come out of the street and come into the church.”