Ma confesses his spiritual lapses and resurrection on the new digital album “Confession + Resurrection” that hits iTunes, Amazon Mp3 and other online retailers on December 3.
Ma is a successful motivational speaker, businessman, actor and spoken word griot but it was not always certain that he’d reach this level of achievement. During his teen years, the Chinese American entrepreneur ran with Vietnamese gangs in his San Diego neighborhood and became a self-described wild child.
“I did everything that was out there on the streets from drugs to partying and stealing,” he says. That’s all until an arrest startled him into salvation and for the next few years he was on a radical trek to evangelize the world. However, after the painful breakup of a significant relationship, he says, “I became disillusioned with life, ministry and my calling. I began to drink heavily and became an alcoholic.”
After his mother, a devoted born-again Christian, was diagnosed with stage IV cancer, Ma put everything else aside to take care of her and nurse her back to health. During that period his faith was renewed and his life is back on track now.
Jaeson Ma, who has collaborated with the likes of Bruno Mars and is now working on a rap project with Mase, says this isn’t a rap set. Although, his voice takes on the cadence of a rapper on some tracks, it’s really Ma telling his story through music.
The first half of the album serves as Ma’s confessions. “Still Undefeated” revolves around the lingering effects of his abusive father’s behavior (they’ve since reconciled) while “Beautiful Struggle” details his struggle to choose ministry over a relationship with his ex. The fallout of that decision leads him to alcoholism and a flirtation with past addictions on “Surrender.” However, Ma picks up the pieces and moves on with God’s plan for him on “Done With My Past.”
The last half of the songs explores the theme of personal resurrection. The rock-infused “Rise & Fall” discusses how all men fall but how all men can rise when they put their trust in God.
“Mama” talks about his mother unconditionally loving and praying for him through his many ordeals. With a nod to Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day, ” Ma testifies of God’s unconditional love on “He Loves Me” which is receiving some airplay on urban gospel radio stations. One of the closing tracks, “Bullet in My Heart” sums up the album’s themes of not just confession and resurrection but also of redemption.
“I learned the most powerful force on earth is forgiveness,” Ma says of the song. “I held such resentment and anger towards those who wronged me, more so, I held so much resentment against myself for failing God and others. I had to learn to forgive and let go, in order to be able to receive what God had for me.”