Jelani Aswad is a native of the Bronx, New York and spent most of his formative years growing up in Spring Valley, New York. In church, he discovered his ability to sing and perform as a way to honor the Creator who gave him his gifts. Jelani strayed for years wondering who he was as he experienced the unique challenges of city and suburban life in New York. Those experiences and neighborhood stories always intrigued Jelani as he developed a deep desire to catalog those stories through music and poetry.
The gospel of Jesus Christ transformed Jelani’s life, but he still felt that the untold stories, deep groaning, and the heartfelt lamentations of the community he was raised in could bring transformation to a world so desperately seeking peace in temporary places.
After returning to college in 2012 to study pastoral ministry, Jelani eventually became an Associate Pastor at Grace CMA Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and was ordained by the Christian & Missionary Alliance in 2020. Jelani feels the time to share those stories through music is now. 10 years of marriage, 3 children, 6 years of full-time ministry, developing his craft with his best friend and writer of Free DA 9, Cliford Gray, and the loss of his dear mother Joanne, have all enriched Jelani Aswad’s music ministry and set him on a course for Kingdom impact. Don’t be surprised by the wide array of styles featured in his debut album, The Revival Project with multiple features by Geoffrey Golden. The nations are the audience and the message is that Jesus is the hope of the world and you can find peace in Him.