Singer Canton Jones Brings R&B Flavor to Gospel Music
Published: Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Updated: Wednesday, April 22, 2009 10:04
With a style sounding more like R&B, you may not realize you're listening to gospel until you hear the lyrics of inspirational singer Canton Jones.
Jones is a singer, songwriter and producer from Deerfield Beach, Fla., making a name for himself as an urban gospel artist in the industry. His latest CD, titled "Kingdom Business," debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Gospel Music Charts.
"My passion comes from struggle and making it through life's situations," he said.
He began singing at the age of 5, in his church and local shows. Jones said he even dipped into rapping before finding his niche and rededicating his life to Christian music.
"People didn't know whether they should play my music at the club or take me to the church," he said.
A graduate of Morehouse and former member of the Glee club, Jones has sold more than 100,000 units independently and has countless award nominations, including a 2009 Dove Award nomination for Urban Album of the Year, alongside Kierra "Kiki" Sheard, Kirk Franklin and Deitrick Haddon. Most recently, he has appeared on BET's new gospel countdown 106 & Gospel, and was the only gospel artist among names such as P. Diddy, T.I. and Mike Jones at Radio One Miami's Spring Fest a few years ago.
While Jones is currently traveling to promote his work, he was one of several artists invited to perform at Howard last week, but due to a decision by the organization hosting the event, the concert was moved to George Washington University.
"Canton was very disappointed that he did not get to perform for the students of Howard University [on April 10]," said Dexter Humphrey, a representative from Jones' label. "We hope to have another opportunity to perform for the students at Howard in the near future."
Having been compared to "R. Kelly vocally, with a hip-hop swag," Jones said, "When I'm on stage, you'll probably see a bunch of goons behind me."
Jones said his musical influences range from Fred Hammond to Dr. Dre, although he does admit to having a church voice.
"There is a science to Christian music," he said. "I want people of all religions to be at my concerts."
Trying to inspire people to live life positively, Jones has taken many initiatives to help the community, such as his launch of National Hater Day in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., during which he encouraged everyone to do something good for their haters.
"What better way to get through life than with Jesus Christ? It's not whack," Jones said. "It's only whack when you don't stand up for it."
He encourages everyone to "step up, be real, and be bold" and "never let anybody talk you out of what is true."
Aside from his music, Jones said family is, most important to him. He has been married for seven years, and has a 4-year-old daughter, Love Jones, and a son that is 2 months old, Dominion Jones.
"I work hard to make sure my family is tight," he said. "You can't tell the world what you haven't first told your family."