JJ Heller Interview - ChristianMusic.com
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DECEMBER 2010 CONGRATS... “What Love Really Means” is a hit single by J.J. Heller. The top female Christian song of the year, this single is from her album, “When I’m With You.” A hurting child, a lonely woman, a man in a prison cell--all wonder, “who will love me for me?” “I will love you for you,” they hear, as the voice within their hearts points to Jesus as the answer.

jj heller

MISSION / GOAL STATEMENT: "These songs are a reflection of my heart, and it is my prayer that they will be a source of hope, encouragement, and peace to those who hear them." - JJ Heller

Favorite Scripture which is is meaningful to JJ Heller and has influenced her spiritual walk and music.

JJ Heller shares with ChrisianMusic.com, "I have always love Phillipians Chapter 2. Paul talks about having an attitude like Christ (which is a pretty tall order). This means being humble, authentic, willing to serve, and entirely dependent on the Father."

ChristianMusic.com: How would you describe your music?

JJ Heller: "I would describe it as acoustic, lyrically-driven, folk-ish music."


MORE ABOUT JJ Heller and Her Music...

JJ Heller graciously shared with ChristianMusic.com about her life, her influences, her spiritual walk with the Lord, her musical process, and her songs.

Her relationship with the Lord Jesus began early and evolved as she came of age, deepening in her adult life.

JJ Heller shares, "I grew up in San Jose, California in a Christian home, and gave my life (the best way I knew how) to Christ at the age of 5. I feel like I’ve had a really firm foundation as far as Biblical knowledge, but I don’t think I truly claimed Christianity for myself until college. I started to question things, and search out the answers for myself, and because of that, developed a stronger sense of what I believe. Since then I’ve been trying to figure out how to truly live out a relationship with God instead of just trying to follow a list of rules."

Any personal testimony you would like to share to encourage others, what the Lord has done for you?

JJ Heller - "I’m simply amazed that God would choose someone like me to be in a relationship with Him. He knows my weaknesses better than I do, and yet He still loves me. He has kindly and gently shown me that the way to His heart is not in doing good things, but in chasing after Him with all that I have."

Mentors? Who in your life as been a source of guidance, reinforced your character, taught you your important values?

JJ Heller - "My parents have been a great example of what a godly marriage looks like, and what it means to be obedient to Christ. They have also proven over and over how much they support me and believe in the music that Dave (her husband) and I are sharing with others."

Musical Influences: Artists (secular and Christian) which influenced you growing up or now which have influenced your singing style, performance skills and / or composing.....

JJ Heller - "I’ve always loved music, but my family didn’t listen to a whole lot of it when I was growing up. I remember hearing Jennifer Knapp for the first time, and being blown away that Christian music could sound like that. It was just so different than what I was used to hearing. Recently my husband, Dave, and I have been really intentional about expanding our horizons as far as music goes. My absolute favorite songwriter is Patty Griffin. I also enjoy Damien Rice, David Gray, and a whole bunch of amazingly talented independent artists that we’ve met since moving to Nashville."

What was your early musical experience? First performances?

JJ Heller - "I started taking piano lessons when I was 5, and later got involved in children’s choir both at church and at school. I was given a few solos during this time, which I loved but which also made me extremely nervous!"

How did the Lord prepare you for your life of service through music?

JJ Heller - "He definitely started me out with a good dose of humility. I was in a vocal ensemble in High School, and I was rarely given solos. It wasn’t until I went on a missions trip to Africa early in college that He began to birth the dream in me to be a singer/songwriter."

How were you led by the Lord to use the artist’s musical gifts to write and sing songs?

JJ Heller - "It was a very gradual process. I started to write songs during my sophomore year of college, and eventually started to play with a band (that included my future husband, Dave) at some open-mic nights at coffee shops. From there we landed our first real gig which made me a nervous wreck during the days leading up to it. The more gigs we played, the more I fell in love with it. I realized that when I'm sharing my heart and my thoughts through songs, I'm doing exactly what God created me to do. I feel so at home doing what I love."

JJ Heller continued, "So, as Dave and I moved closer to graduation and our wedding day, we felt like God wanted us to keep playing music. We didn't know what in the world we were doing, but we decided to go for it. We've been full-time musicians since we've been married, and I wouldn't trade our experience for anything."

Any life-molding experiences that you would like to share with us, which were pleasant or were difficult, but molded your thinking, music, Christian walk, outlook on life?

JJ Heller shares, "A huge experience would have to be simply making the decision to play music full-time. After interning at the Arizona Republic newspaper in Phoenix, my husband, Dave was offered a job as a staff photographer. It was the job he'd been working toward since he was in elementary school and I didn't want him to give up his dream for mine. I told him that the decision was his, and after praying long and hard about it, he knew that God was calling us to music. He said that he felt more fulfilled playing music than taking photos. It definitely wasn't the most logical decision, but we've never regretted it."

JJ Heller

The JJ Heller Video Song Samples...