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Behind the music: Mississippi Mass Choir's award winning producer Stan Jones

Mississippi Mass Choir 'God's On Your Side' ft. Le'Andria Johnson and Stan Jones [photo courtesy of Mississippi Mass Choir; used with permission]
Mississippi Mass Choir 'God's On Your Side' ft. Le'Andria Johnson and Stan Jones [photo courtesy of Mississippi Mass Choir; used with permission]
Mississippi Mass Choir, Declaration of Dependence, Gods On Your Side, Stan Jones, LeAndria Johnson

Garnering Grammys, Stellar awards and so many more accolades, Stan Jones has been the go to producer for some of the Gospel music industry's top songs and albums. Newly released Mississippi Mass Choir's album "Declaration of Dependence" charted at number nine on iTunes' Top 100 Christian & Gospel Albums its first day, according to Popvortex.com. In an interview Tuesday morning with producer Stan Jones, he shares the birthing process behind some of the music, including the choir's hit single "God's On Your Side".

The proof of anointing is the fruit of a person's life. It's rare that you find a person that is genuine and will hold to their word regardless of what the cost is to them. Just as God spoke to Abraham regarding finding any righteous people in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible, so it is in the music industry where integrity is only a facade. Stan Jones, born and raised in the state of Mississippi, regards his integrity as a badge of honor. Jones spoke of the time when he worked for a company in which he was not being treated fairly. Struggling to make ends meet, he didn't have enough money to put gas in his car, so he walked to and from his job because he wanted to keep his word and follow through on his commitment. Out of the hurt he encountered from that situation, he penned the song "I Can See Victory".

One of the most humbling circumstances to endure is when you know you have done all you could to be right and still be mistreated. However, through life's tests, if we "endure hardness, as a good soldier" (2 Timothy 2:3 KJV), the reward we reap is much more greater than what we've had to suffer. Tests and trials of life don't come to break us, but to build our character, to strengthen us, and to increase our faith in God. If Stan would not have endured the test, he would not have had a testimony and without the testimony of deliverance "I Can See Victory" would not have been written.

Jones as a youngster listened to Mississippi Mass Choir, under the direction of their late founder Frank Williams, in awe. Never did he fathom that he would one day produce an album for them. Walking into his purpose, Stan began working with the likes of The Williams Brothers and others. Reminiscing, he fondly mentioned how he was told that he embodied the spirit of Frank Williams and he had never met him. What a compliment.

After Stan received word that he would be the producer over Mississippi Mass Choir's new album, he submitted the song "I Can See Victory". Even though when the song was written it was hard to endure, Stan tapped into the emotional circumstances of that time to convey with conviction that he can "raise [his] hands in victory...singing hallelujah...I've come too far to turn around now." Another song in which the choir's executive team saw a good fit for them was Jones' song "God's On Your Side". Written during a time, when he found out that a friend's mom was in the IC Unit and not having the words to adequately express his feelings, "God's On Your Side" was a song written to encourage to his friend. Despite what you don't understand, the tears and seemingly lonely nights, God is always on your side.

Stan Jones has dedicated himself to producing music that will be a source of encouragement to those in need and to bring back the days when Gospel music convicted the soul. Only would such music be effective if it were not for passing life's tests. Obtaining victory, Stan's life has bared the ripe fruit of success. Jones continues to diligently create music for a number of artists, including Beverly Crawford who's new album became her first number one album on the Billboard chart.

Endeavoring to keep choir music alive, the McDonald's Inspiration Gospel Tour placed Mississippi Mass Choir on the bill. The tour, which has already begun, includes Erica Campbell, Anthony Brown & Group Therapy, Jonathan Slocumb, Kurt Carr and others. Next stop on the tour is in Stan Jones' home state of Mississippi in the city of Jackson June 19. For those in the city of Chicago, we'll get a chance to see this magnificent choir June 28 at the Chicago Gospel Fest in Ellis Park.