Cheneta Jones is on her way.
Winner of the KATZ Hallelujah Praise Alive Talent Search in 2008, the St. Louis native is a singer, songwriter and recording artist with a new single, "My Everything."
“Growing up in the church, I sang in the church and that’s all I knew,” Jones told TBGB during a recent conversation. “When I turned sixteen, I met some people putting together an R&B girl group. I joined that group, then I went solo, then I was in another group. But that’s where I started recording and singing on a professional level. It was strictly R&B at that time.”
Jones’ vocal group met with representatives from various labels, and was even in negotiations for a contract. But in January, 2008, right in the middle of negotiations, Jones headed in a new direction. “God showed me that this wasn’t the destiny He had in store for me. I had to be obedient. I removed myself from the group.”
After a month of soul-searching, Jones auditioned for the KATZ Hallelujah Praise Alive Talent Search competition. “I made it through the finals and was deemed the winner. I feel that God was showing Himself, like, ‘See, this is what I have planned for you and I’ll continue to open more doors as long as you stay in my will.’”
The song that helped the singer win the competition was Kim Burrell’s “I Come to You More than I Give."
Jones exclaimed, “First off, let me say that I love Kim Burrell! The song was on the list that they gave us. I sang that song, and Donnie McClurkin and Percy Bady were some of the judges and they said, ‘That’s not an easy song to sing, but you executed it so well.’ Not too many people can sing Kim Burrell, so I was nervous!”
Winning the competition afforded Jones new opportunities almost instantly. It was the genesis of her first album, The Cheneta Jones Experience. She began opening for top gospel artists such as John P. Kee, Lisa McClendon, and Fred Hammond when they appeared in St. Louis. “That was where it all began,” she said, “when I started recording and singing as a gospel artist. It was a major jumpstart to where I am now.”
“My Everything,” written and produced by Percy Bady, is now available on iTunes. “The response to the single has been wonderful,” Jones said. “People say it’s such a pure song, it’s such a welcoming song. I’ve had nothing but good comments about it.”
Jones is in the early stages of recording her sophomore album, scheduled for release next May. She indicated that the new project might possibly include a few songs from The Cheneta Jones Experience, but if so, they would be redone. Most of the material will be new.
“I’ve been writing. I love to write,” Jones stated. “There’s much that I have been through in these last two years that I want to share. I have more to say, more to testify, more to encourage.”
As far as guest vocalists for the album, Jones replied, “I do want to collaborate with gospel artists who are well known. We are looking at a few people, but nothing is set in stone yet.”
The Real Talent Media Group (realtalentmg.com), an independent label, will release the new album.
“I’m the first artist on their label, and I know the President and CEO very well. It’s been great to work with people you can connect with, who you are on the same page with. We just want to get the gospel message out there and go forth and do what God has called us to do.
“I’ve been singing for my entire life," Jones reflected, "so to be able to sing full-time has always been a dream of mine. God’s given me a gift to share with the world, and I know He will make ways for me to go forth and fulfill the will He has for my life. I’m excited about what’s to come.”
Cheneta Jones is a member of Faith Miracle Temple (Pentecostal) in Florissant, Missouri, where the Pastor is Bishop Larry J. Baylor.