There is a lot to be said about singing groups that manage to stay relevant after 20 years. Most groups barely make it to their sophomore project before someone wants to break solo or move on to other ventures in the industry. Some groups just disband altogether due to creative differences. And yes, the contemporary gospel group Just Believe In Christ (formerly Ordained INC.) has had it’s share of ups and downs, but after all this time, they still have all but one of it’s core members.
This group straight out of Columbus Ohio, has shared stages with the likes of Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary, Donald Lawrence, and legendary gospel greats such as Dottie Peoples and Dorthy Norwood. And although they have attained an “almost famous” status throughout the midwest, the group is just as content to serve a congregation in a store front church as they would be in a stadium audience.
As with most singing groups, there was a little dissension with a former group member, which caused the group to take a hiatus from the midwest circuit until they found their footing again. During that time, there were milestones & trials with the remaining members. Marriages, Divorces, Re-Marriages, births of children, and side business ventures/passions that would take precedence over the music throughout the years. However, the “engine” of the group Corey Winborn, would not let the purpose of the group die. Furthermore, while breaking ground in the Columbus fashion industry, Winborn would still continue to write music and seek out producers that would bring about a new sound for the times.
Since timing is everything, I caught up with the quartet as they get ready to reintroduce themselves to the world with a new name, new sound and a new attitude. Ladies and Gentleman…JBIC…
OTT: So fellas I’ve already told the people what your name is, can you tell us what your group is about?
Carl Jones: Well we started out back in the mid 90’s wanting to put a positive message out among the younger generation of people that appreciated the traditional gospel sound, but we also loved the vibe and movement of what was happening in R&B at the time. So that particular approach to music is what is now known as the JBIC sound. But what I love about our group is that we continue to reinvent ourselves so that our music doesn’t sound dated. We’re not that young of a group anymore, so we keep vibrant producers and song writers around, for inspiration and survey to make sure we are delivering a marketable product.
OTT: What challenges do you face being an equally talented all male group. Does testosterone and ego find its way into the group or are you all compatible for the most part?
Terrence McCrary: That was probably a challenge in the earlier part of our career, but you have to think, that was twenty some years ago. We were young and naive. We’re all a lot wiser now and we’ve learned from our mistakes. And to add to that, these days, we have to look at ourselves as role models for other young men. We have sons that look to us for guidance as to how men deal with other men and women, which means we have to be accountable and hold each other accountable for our actions.
We also represent a purpose larger than ourselves so if you’re in this thing thinking it’s all about you, you’ve missed the mark completely… Our music is there to save a lost generation from itself. We are only vessels of this mission ordained by God.
OTT: As I’ve seen your image progress throughout the years, you all dress to the nines, and it just keeps getting better. What role does your image play in the message you want to get across?
Corey Winborn: When I first got to the group, our image looked like a Jodeci or a Boyz II Men kinda feel with boots, big coats and baseball hats, but that was good for them not us. I mean we tried it with the Cross Colors and Karl Kani apparel, but for certain events, we would get suited up and the response was like night and day. I’ve been into fashion all my life and one thing I do know is that impression is everything! Once I started to teach the group about suits, fabrics and shoes, whenever we walked into a venue, if we weren’t the headliners people thought that we were. Add that with a hard work ethic and quality sound…with Christ we were unstoppable. In entertainment, you intentionally have to leave people with something to remember to stand out….if those people didn’t know one of our songs…they knew what we looked like lol. Presentation should never be one dimensional. Fashion is art, so why not explore all the possibilities.
There is also one other message we want to portray to young men. It’s okay to wear hip hop clothing, but you attract what you present. Suits attract a different female audience and I try to convey that in the classes that I teach, and the artists I design for.
OTT: So I notice you have a new member…What’s your name sir and how’d you get introduced to this group?
GB: My name is George Burton. And as we all know Corey is the recruiter of the group. LOL. I retired from the city about three years ago. I’ve been singing since I was six, but you know how it goes, singers respect other singers and word gets around. I was singing with Milton Ruffin’s Ol Skool funk band. I was on The Deele’s 2nd album, I was playing a cop, and ironically I became a police officer. So one thing led to another and I was approached by Corey, and after a few rehearsals it just a good fit.
OTT: So when is your project scheduled for release?
JBIC: Late spring, early summer 2017. We don’t want to set a release date yet, because this album is highly anticipated so we want everything to be right, but trust, we’ll be doing shows and releasing singles in the meantime. We haven’t even set up Instagram or Twitter accounts for the group as of yet because we want to have merchandise and tour dates lined up. We see groups all the time jump out too early, to create the buzz with no content. That will not be JBIC. We take our presentation very seriously. However, you can find us on Facebook under JBIC and we encourage everyone to go to that page and hit “like”. Share with your friends.
Keep us in your prayers as we embark on a new journey. If one thing we want you to take away from this project is to never give up on the promises of our Lord. If he can do it for us he can do it for you. -J.B.I.C.