Jason Alvarez On His Journey from Being an R&B Star to Drugs to the Gospel & His New Album
Four decades after first topping album charts worldwide, Jason Alvarez is back with his brand new solo album, Time For Miracles. The music industry first came to know him as the husky voiced singer of R&B act Brother to Brother (whose "In the Bottle" moved over a million copies in 1974), followed by his partnership with singer/songwriter Sylvia Robinson in the groundbreaking group Shirley & Company, who topped the worldwide dance charts with the #1 international hit "Shame Shame Shame" in 1975. That song is commonly considered the early blueprint for the disco explosion that dominated the decade.
With Shirley & Company, Alvarez toured worldwide, performing alongside Mick Jagger, Patti LaBelle and Elton John, among others. But with the fame, wealth and pressures of being a superstar came an addiction to drugs that nearly cost him his life.
Alvarez eventually found God and signed with Christian music label Light Records. He toured extensively with evangelists R.W. Schambach and Nicky Cruz, before quitting music to start churches. Ordained in 1982, Alvarez currently serves as the pastor of The Love of Jesus Family Church in Orange, New Jersey. Decades later, Alvarez is back at the microphone with his new album.
Hallels: Thank you so much Pastor Jason for your time. Many years ago you were part of the highly successful Shirley and Company where you've toured with many big stars like Mick Jagger, Elton John and Patti LaBelle. What were some of the major highlights for you from that era?
Touring with amazing artists and musicians in particular meeting a great writer named Scott David English, who had at that time written many greats hits. My favorite being "Under The Boardwalk".
Hallels: But then you became involved in drugs, how did that happened?
I was greatly disillusioned. I thought success or having a number one hit record and traveling the world would bring me happiness and fill the void that had been eating away at me for many years, but it didn't. So I resorted to drugs and alcohol.
Hallels: How was your life turned around and how did you come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior?
I was going to kill a man on a Thursday night. I remember I was enraged but something kept telling me: "Don't you do it! Don't you do it!" So I asked my wife, are you going to that crazy place? She answered, you mean church and I said, yes church, she said yes. I said, do you mind if I come? She said No. That day I went and heard the Gospel for the first time, gave my life to Jesus and I have never ever been the same... Praise God.
Hallels: Later on, you felt the call to be a full-time pastor, how did you realize God's call?
I was in NYC in a small church, where my wife was ministering, when I clearly heard the voice of the Lord asked me: Do you love me? And I said: "Yes Lord, I love you." He said: "Feed my sheep". Then he asked me second time: "Jason do you love me?" I answered: "Yes Lord", he said: "Feed my sheep". After Lord asked me for the third time, by this time I was weeping uncontrollably and I told the Lord that I love Him again. After that experience with God I obeyed the call and entered into full-time ministry.
Hallels: So what prompted you to release your brand new album "Time for Miracles'?
I personally believe, that if there was ever a time in a human history when people needed to experience miracles is NOW.
Hallels: How would you describe the sound of this new record?
Eevry song but one (Como No Creer En Dios) was birthed by the Holy Spirit in one of our Sunday night services. So these are songs of the Holy Spirit.
Hallels: What are you most excited about this new album?
The response I've seen in people who have heard it and the impact its making in so many lives. Its awesome and I'm truly grateful!!!
Hallels: If our readers would like to purchase your new album and/or find out more about you, where can they go?
Jamm.org or iTunes
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