We had the good fortune of connecting with A.J. Wells and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi A.J., how do you think about risk?
I believe that risk taking is an opportunity for growth, a chance to learn, and every experience has no other choice but to make us wiser. Sometimes in our risk taking we find great loss and tribulation but it is never failure. What we gain in those experiences that didn’t give us what we expect or desire, ultimately teach us how to get closer to our targets. My mother Regina is like a walking proverb, and one of her most potent sayings relates to risk taking. As a musician we often live a life of risk taking. From auditions where we sign up to be scrutinized and potentially rejected. To bearing our souls with creative content to the world. She always reminds me that, “It’s better to be a ONE hit wonder, than a NO hit wonder”. This phrase encourages me to be content with my successes but it still charges me to keep trying.
Individuals that have “HIT” or achieved goals, plans, or artistic projects did so by taking the some times hard but necessary risks.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a Gospel, Soul, and Funk artist. As a vocalist I’ve been told that I don’t sound like anyone which sets me apart. I believe the new music that I am releasing doesn’t sound traditional or contemporary, I pray it’s timeless. Although I’m still young and to many a new artist I’ve been in the professional music business for 17yrs. The majority of it was spent in the background on major stages and the in studio accompanying others incredible works, but I am extremely excited about my now.
Like most artist I’ve experienced the highs and lows of being in the industry but in addition my life has been met with heart break, betrayal, abuse, health crisis, and depression. One of the lowest points was when I experienced a nervous breakdown. I remember every day feeling like it was in slow motion, my body was in shock, and my mental state as weak. I felt like a failure because I couldn’t physically and financially take care of myself. I prided myself on being integral, hardworking, and loyal so I questioned God on why would my life be filled with such pain. The answers I received caused me to look within and I had to become gracious, forgiving, and more loving to myself.
Ultimately I’m grateful that I survived it. Instead of being discouraged I am extremely optimistic about the future. I pray that my life experiences can be lessons for other people and it gives someone hope.
I want the world to know the source of my happiness, strength, and joy. And I plan on telling my story of that though my music.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Because I love to travel and I am an all over Tennessee boy. I’d drive down to Chattanooga to experience “Fall Creek Falls” and the amazing “Tennesee Aquarium” for a day. Then I’d hop back on the road heading west to Memphis for maybe two days because that’s where the soul and best foods are found. You can’t beat the afro culture, bbq, jazz/ blues music venues on Beal St., and the famous/ most delicious Honey Gold Wings at almost any home grown restaurant there. Of course the center of it all Nashville’s amazing Downtown experience can’t be matched with all the live Country/ Rock restaurant and bars. It’s filled historical greatness like it’s music museums and auditoriums. And Nashville is also known to be the hub of HBCUs, and touring these campuses are a treat in itself.
Lastly finish the week off and head to Knoxville for a relaxing but fun getaway to Dollywood at Pifrom Forge. Between any of these places you are sure to have an amazing time and you’ll probably run into an host of todays stars and a few living legends.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My mother Regina Wells, who is most encouraging, wisest, and strongest person I know. It is because of her that I am fearless in my pursuit of happiness. I attribute the introduction to my greatest love, which is Christ to her. As it relates to my “swag”, according to Oxford Dictionary, 2018 derived from swagger, used in slang to denote ‘bold self-assurance in style or manner’, or ‘an air of great self-confidence, is what I most definitely, “get from my Mama”. And lastly she hasn’t allowed me to give up on what I am most driven and passionate about, and that is music.
Other: All Music Outlets https://linktr.ee/MrAJWells
Bobby Wesley Tonya Bounds Melvin Smith