Music has wings (Jai'Eagle)
Jonathan Parker, known to most as "Jai' Eagle" is a Miami native that is slowly, but most certainly captivating the hearts of so many people, one at a time. For years, he has been perfecting his talents and aggressively waiting on the Lord to grant him both provision and permission to share his ministry with the world. His journey is built upon Isaiah 40:31, which states, "They that wait upon the Lord shall have renewed strength; they shall mount up on wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and never faint"; hence the name "Jai' Eagle". He truly believes that in his obedience of waiting on the Lord, his testimony has been built; he's been broken and pruned, but also mastered and crafted into what God has called him to be so that his unique ministry can infect the hearts of everyone around him.
Jai' is now coming off of the release of his Sophomore album, Guns + Roses. The eclectic, soulful, unconventional work of art is truly a masterpiece. It's the story found written on the thin line between love and hate. It speaks on the emotional rollercoasters that he experienced during some of the most traumatic events in his life in going back and forth in between being extremely happy and extremely upset with God, his marriage, his friendships, his lifestyle, everything. This album truly does give you a first hand glance at his story.
Continue to read below of the amazing interview about his album, what different songs mean, and his journey creating Guns + Roses.
Zoë: So first I want to say congratulations on your first album. I’ve listened to it straight through and absolutely love it. My two favorite songs on the album is lions, tigers and bears and Jonah. What was the process like creating these two songs specifically?
Jai'Eagle: Thank you! Those 2 songs are very near to my heart. Lions, Tigers, Bears is the most unique song I have ever written; lyrically, sonically, and structurally. I was looking for a way to address the fears of life, as I see them, without specifically naming the many fears that I face every day. I wanted to give my life a “face” and my fears a “face” that anyone that chose to listen closely enough could identify with, no matter what they were going through. It was difficult, because even in fears I have overcome, I had to revisit them and experience them (in my mind at least) all over again to properly channel the emotion necessary to deliver the story. The great thing is that, in wanting to give the listener a resolution to the problem, I found the audacity to find the resolution for myself. The song hurt to write, but it healed me at the same time. It continues to, everytime I hear it.
Jonah was the first song I wrote for this album. One night, very late, I found myself digging into the story of Jonah in the Bible. No real reason (at least not that I knew in the moment), I was just there. The more I read, different translations, and interpretations, I realized how much like Jonah I and many of my friends truly were. Afraid to trust, slow to obey, not moving when God tells us to, and placing God in a position to force us to move. We end up learning the hard way. I needed a way to communicate the lesson in the story of Jonah the way I learned it that night to people that would probably never read that story for themselves. I wanted to stay true to every detail of the story while making it modern and attractive enough for people to actually listen. Then I figured, what if I were there? Knowing what I know now, what would I tell Jonah? Or what would I tell all my friends that are acting like Jonah right now? THAT’S IT! I will write this song to Jonah. Jonah is the listener. I hope Jonah hears it!
Zoë: What is your favorite song off your debut album?
Jai'Eagle: That is the hardest question to answer! Every song comes from the most real of places in my heart, so they all are favorites. If I had to absolutely pick one in this moment, it would be “Know Better”. I choose that because it is the most vulnerable, most revealing of any of the songs I have on that album. You want to know a piece of my truth without any of the sugar coating? Know Better is your answer.
Zoë: Your music is real, and very relatable we all have our own walk in life with God. How has your walk with him change you as a person and your music?
Jai'Eagle: Man, that is a loaded question! This walk is quite the experience. One thing I can surely say is that my love, gratitude, and admiration for Him and His love for me only grows as we walk together. I have begun to know God differently. For who He is. His intentions for me, my need to trust and obey. His faithfulness and commitment to me and my prosperity. As much as I don’t deserve it...grace abounds. When I look at my “could have beens” and “should have beens” and realize what He has kept me from, where he has brought me, and the little glimpses of the future that show me where He is taking me… I cannot help but love him more and more each day!
As for the music, man it has opened up a freedom I have always wanted, but never knew how to attain. One thing God has shown me is that much of what I experience in life, is for the sake of someone else’s freedom. He is giving me victory stories to tell, through the gifting of music, to help, heal, deliver someone else. What a freaking honor! It all comes full circle. My music isn’t “church”. I never wanted it to be. It’s difficult for some of my long-time listeners to get used to. But once people get past the sound and eat the meat, they realize, God is all up and through this. My relationship with him has helped me to understand how to unfold this huge umbrella of music to take my stories and tell them in unconventional ways that are attractive to the ears of the people that’ll need it the most. My aim isn’t necessarily to give folks some revelation on their way to Bible Study. If I do, that’s great too, but my real focus is to catch the ear of the person headed to the club to drink their sorrows away on a Friday night because they don’t know what else to do. To join the mission of saving the person who is the guy that I once was.
Zoë: How was the creative process of creating G & R?
Jai'Eagle: A long one. G+R took over 2 years to create. Many trashed notebooks and scribbled papers. Many repeat studio sessions. Many moments of giving up and then starting over. Much delay here and there, but everything surely worked out for my good! To truly answer your question, the best way to describe it is as an emotional rollercoaster. Many of the songs were written not in moments of reflection, but right in the midst of the storms. I think that’s why people can feel the realness. I had days when I left the studio, sat in my car and just cried in the parking lot, or drove until my eyes got too heavy to keep me awake. It was a lonely journey where I learned myself better...my strengths and weaknesses, my actual limits, my tolerance and impatience, but most importantly...I learned how to lean and depend on the only one I could trust to ALWAYS be there; God. And make no mistake, I still screw it up...and forget some of the very lessons I sing about on the album! I’m not perfect, but he reels me right back in when I start to trip. And I have G+R to keep me reminded of that!
Zoë: Last question, what are you planning on doing next? Is there another album in the works or any performances coming up?
Jai'Eagle: I don’t want to cheat G+R of its potential. I have years ahead of me of taking this baby as far as it can go. Listeners have much to keep their eyes peeled for! A Live, Acoustic presentation of the album, collaborations with local rappers and singers on some cypher remixes, Music Videos, and Visual Story Lines, G+R Poetry Book, and a Florida LIVE ‘Round Midnight Tour!
I’m still writing til this day, so the next project is surely in the works as well. As long as my life continues, my music will too!
I hope you all enjoyed reading this write up on Jai'Eagle. Please listen to his music it is not only relatable but it is really truthful! Click the links below to follow him and to stay connected with his music!
All of his music can be found on just about any musical platform that listeners have access to, including:
Apple iTunes Store
and is also available for download on the Official Website www.JaiEagle.com