BROTHA J.D.: Praise the Lord, man. It's good to see you.
BRISS: He's worthy, brotha. It's good to be here again.
BROTHA J.D.: No doubt. Let's talk about the first album. How did you feel about The Journey? Was it a platinum success?
BRISS: In my heart I can say that "The Journey" was a success. The music has been played all over the country and overseas. It didn't go platinum or bronze (laughter). In fact, though you couldn't tell by the good amount of airplay it received, sales were modest. I'm not ashamed at all. God used the modest sales of "The Journey" to help me see that success in ministry is not measured in units sold, notoriety, or the awards you win. They are all nice if it comes that way. But I learned that God's standard of success is measured by our obedience to Him. "Am I doing & saying what God told me?" "Did I give Him the glory in everything?" That's real success. "The Journey" touched many people's lives... more than I could ever know. No amount of sales can compare to that.
BROTHA J.D.: Amen Brother! I hear that. Well, tell us what have you been up to since The Journey was released.
BRISS: Well, I can definitely say I've been enjoying marriage! Shout out to my wife, Bev. We're going on our 4th year. I've also been serving as the Minister of Music at Ocean Avenue Baptist Church, in Jersey City, NJ. This is my 6th year. The Agape MusicWorks Ministry is growing as well as our website ministry and e-newsletter with on-line meditations. And I have been called to give workshops with youth and on Praise & Worship. God also kept me busy with concerts, outreaches and the "The Time Song" music video which aired in over 15 million homes world-wide.
BROTHA J.D.: I see you've been busy. So tell us about the new album, FOCUS.
BRISS: This album is about gaining focus, maintaining focus, losing focus, and finding our focus again. Every song deals with some aspect of those areas. The album takes places over the course of a day. That could be a single day or it could represent our lives. From the moment we wake up we make a decision about what we will focus on...will it be Christ? Our circumstances?..ourselves?... Everyday we encounter tests, trials, or temptations in life that can either distract our attention from Christ or point our focus towards Him more. If we don't keep our eyes on Christ in the midst of it all then...like the disciple Peter who looked at the winds after stepping out on the water... we will fall. Falling is not pretty. In music it's like hitting a bad note. But the beauty of God's grace is that He is there for us to call on to help us be in harmony with Him by finding our focus on Christ again and again.
BROTHA J.D.: Tell me about some of the songs? Do you have a favorite?
BRISS: I like 'em all!
BROTHA J.D.: How did I know you'd say that!!! ( both laugh) Tell us about a few...
BRISS: Well, "Pray For Me", is a ballad that really helps us take a look at ourselves. We're so concerned with ourselves that we miss people we see everyday who are crying out for prayer! "Determination" has that philly neo-soul vibe. Anytime we try to do something for the Lord, we have to be determined. "The Edge" is about focusing in marriage. The divorce rate is climbing among Christians. It takes a lot to stay and work things out. But ultimately, that's what God desires for us to do. "Great Is Thy Faithfulness (Great Is Your Love)" is an arrangement of my favorite hymn. I feel God is reminding us that when we fall, He's faithful to be there when we call even though we're unfaithful to Him. "Feels So Good" is about how good it feels when we trust God instead of complaining. I think we (Christians) complain about the little things too much sometimes.
BROTHA J.D.: Can I get a "Amen" to that?! (laughter) Now..uh..before you go, can you clear up the name thing?
BRISS: My full name is William Brister Jr., My friends call me "Briss." for short. I just combine them from time to time.
BROTHA J.D.: OK, you artists! (laughter). Well, "FOCUS" is HOT! And saints, buy it - don't burn it! Support the ministry.
BRISS: For sure. 'Cause at the end of the day how we live for Christ is what really matters. Let's all remember to FOCUS.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Feels So Good
2. It's All You
3. Breakfast with Brotha JD
4. What Really Matters
5. Count It All Joy
6. Pray For Me
8. Mid-Day Prayze with Ms. G.
9. The Edge
10. Give It Up
11. Whenever I Take My Eyes Off You
12. Great Is Thy Faithfulness
13. I Need You
14. I Yield To Thee
15. At The End of The Day