Newcomer Jac Ross calls himself the “Faith Dealer.” One listen to his music and you’ll understand why. Already building buzz and a fan base with his first two singles, “It’s OK to Be Black” and “Saved,” Ross premieres the video for his latest single, “Questions.”
Reminiscent of the social, cultural and political through-lines that connect predecessors such as Sam Cooke, Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye, Ross’ brand of message music is a welcome oasis of honesty, hope and love in a pandemic-stricken world. Produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins (Beyoncé, Michael Jackson, Sam Smith), “Questions” tackles tough issues that everyone has struggled with or will at some point in their lives.
“Oftentimes we’re left to piece together the puzzle of life only with questions,” says Ross of the song’s genesis. “My team and I literally tossed around some of the toughest questions, things like, ‘How do you trust headlines when the words are hidden?’ ‘What if they beat you down and treat you like you don’t have any rights?’ ‘How do you discipline your child when you talk and he or she doesn’t listen?’”
Backed by a chorus of voices harmonizing to a mid-tempo rhythmic track, Ross subtly punctuates the thought-provoking “Questions” with warm yet urgent vocals. The song as well as Ross’ two prior singles will appear on the singer-songwriter-musician’s forthcoming debut EP from Darkchild Records/Island Records.
Hailing from Live Oak, Florida, Ross gave himself seven years to make a career in the music business after graduating from high school. During that time, the self-taught pianist endured struggles of his own—including his daughter being born with a paralyzed arm and eviction—before his co-writer Mezo happened to meet Jerkins at a Florida mall. After recording 88 songs with Ross, Jerkins began shopping the artist’s music to various labels. Island president Darcus Beese signed Ross in 2019.
Of working with Jerkins, Ross says, “From day one we naturally just clicked and locked into the music. I don’t think we realized how much music we had made. But when you’re focused and having fun, you get a lot done.”
Now available to purchase and stream across all DSPs, “Questions” is a song that Ross hopes will give people needed peace. But he believes the only way that will happen is to confront one another with truth.
“Many of these questions are tough,” Ross acknowledges, “but they provoke the mind to search for the truth. The goal of this song is for listeners to be thoughtful about what’s going on in their lives, to ask themselves, ‘What changes can I make to improve myself?’”