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VBD MAGAZINE'S STAR POWER LIST: Jokia Williams

Delivering Soul-Stirring Gospel Music


“My mission is to capture the heart of God while simultaneously compelling others to an intimate relationship with Christ,” says Billboard Gospel Chart-Topping Artist Jokia Williams. A guitar playing singer and songwriter, Jokia aims to deliver music that moves every heart.


The gifted singer capitalizes on every opportunity to spread the gospel by unapologetically delivering powerful music which inspires listeners. Prior to the digital release of her debut single “Yahweh,” Jokia offered a soul-stirring performance of the song at Marquis Boone’s 2015 Discovered conference which landed her a demo recording deal. Since then, and with much dedication to her craft and devotion to God, Jokia’s ministry continues to gain visibility, amazing opportunities, and platforms. Still, she says, “the greatest gift of all is that I’m a vessel through which lives are changed.”


VBD Magazine had an opportunity to speak with the phenomenal artist about the gospel music industry, her passion for singing, and work-life balance. During our interview, Jokia was enthusiastic, sincere, and refreshingly forthcoming.


MUSICAL JOURNEY


Born in Compton, California, Jokia started singing and fell in love with music at the age of 12. Today, she is not only an accomplished singer, but she also has held many other positions—professional wellness coach, chaplain, mentor, worship team leader, and youth Sunday school teacher. Further, she is a former combat Army veteran who served in the U.S. Army for eight years.


“I went into the army after high school in San Diego, and I gave my life to Christ in the army. Prior to that, I didn't know about church life. It was an army personnel who was persistent about sharing the Word of God, that introduced me to the Lord. After that, everything in my life changed.”


Shortly after her conversion to Christianity, Jokia was invited to sing as part of an Army Soldier Show to improve morale and entertain deployed troops before being deployed herself. “While I was stationed in Iraq in the late 2000s, I got an acoustic guitar and began singing and dedicating my music to the Lord.”

After leaving the Army, Jokia moved to Texas where she played guitar for Shiloh Worship Center in Belton, which led to her ministering with other gospel singers, including Tasha Cobbs Leonard and Vanessa Bell Armstrong. Jokia earned her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Texas A&M University, and a Master’s in Counseling degree from Letourneau University. She also has music therapy training from GSUS Music Therapy Services and Center.


STANDING OUT


Jokia’s love for God inspired her to write and sing gospel music. “When I just got converted, I associated Gospel music with church choirs, so I really did not see any room for my sound or my style of singing and songwriting—gospel music with elements of Christian rock and an R&B-flavor. I want to write love songs and devotional songs for the Lord. There were times when I would ask people to create music for me but what I got was not the sound of worship.”


Her distinctive voice put her in a class of her own as Jokia brought a fresh sound to the genre. In May of 2016, Jokia released her first song, “Amen,” followed a year later by her first EP, “Not Forgotten.” The EP was produced by renowned producer extraordinaire Jeshua “TedyP” Williams, Jor'Dan Armstrong, and Micah Stampley.


Over three years ago, Jokia considered quitting her music career because she was discouraged. “It was a challenging time, but God met me in that season. I had to realize there was a difference between singing as a ministry and being in the music business. On top of that, God showed me myself. I needed to put God first. Eventually, I went back to the drawing board and made my focus and engagement more God-centered. As soon as I put God back in His rightful position, He began to open doors for me.”


Jokia leaned into her faith and found the inspiration for her single “Yahweh” which was distributed by Darkchild Gospel. She was thrilled when “Yahweh” hit the #1 spot on the Billboard National Airplay and Billboard Indicator charts. “Yahweh” marked her first #1 single as an independent artist on her own label, Jokia Music.


In 2021, Jokia made her debut as a reporter in the TV show “Double Cross” which is being aired on the ALLBLK network and We TV. She absolutely loved the experience.


CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Yahweh

• Billboard National Airplay #1

• Billboard Gospel Indicator #1

• Billboard Gospel Digital Song Sales #4

• Billboard Hot Gospel Songs #8


The Father

• Christian/Gospel Album Sales at #17

• Christian Album Sales #26

• Heatseekers South Central #7

• Nielsen Soundscan and GMA gospel sales #4


GET UP AND WIN


For aspiring gospel singers, Jokia encourages, “Be authentic with your sound. Do not replicate someone’s sound because what happens if you replicate someone’s sound, and that person shows up? Who would you be?”


When it comes to tips for building a successful music career, Jokia believes every artist needs:

● Favor with God.

● Favor with man.

● A team that’s on one accord.

●Someone who understands the music business.


“I had to learn that everything is not going to sound like heaven. It's a ministry but it’s also a business so I don't complain when pharaoh behaves like pharaoh.”


WORK-LIFE BALANCE


Jokia balances many responsibilities including being a wife and mother. She is the proud wife of Benjamin Williams and mother of 2 amazing daughters, Felicia and Jasmine. Jokia and her husband are the founders of the God Sent BW clothing brand.

When it comes to work-life balance, Jokia tells us, “I don’t do events every single day. I have some down time. I invite my family to be a part of all my events and activities. Sometimes, one of my daughters takes care of my hair, and the other helps with shooting my music videos. Work is like time for family fun.”


Jokia’s ministry continues to evolve, gaining the type of traction that is uncommon, yet impressive. “I see media and entertainment as a mission field. I want to inspire others to follow Christ.”


Click & Visit: http://iamjokia.com

Clothing Line: www.Godsentbw.com

For Booking: Faith Management, Apostle Dr. Veryl Howard, 910-644-1824

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