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Journey's Jonathan Cain Says 'It's a Move of God' Kanye Is Making Christian Music

Jonathan Cain
Sheila Withum

Jonathan Cain

As he closes the year with some new Christmas music, count Journey's Jonathan Cain among those welcoming Kanye West to the ranks of Christian music.

"For me it looked like a move of God, and I'm thrilled he's doing it," Cain -- who began his own Christian music career with 2016's What God Wants to Hear, the following year's Unsung Noel and this year’s More Like Jesus -- tells Billboard. "He's moving people. People are being ministered to. People are getting saved. They're coming to Jesus. He's using his influence, and I applaud that.

"It shows the aggression of someone who has influence and is called and wants to take that influence up this mountain and raise the flag. I love seeing it. It's a blessing to have him part of the kingdom, for sure."

West, of course, made waves this year with his long-anticipated Jesus Is King album and his series of Sunday Service concerts, as well as upcoming events with Joel Osteen. Cain, who's married to pastor and White House adviser Paula White, remembers well some of the raised eyebrows he got when he began spreading The Word but never allowed that to deter him. This year, in fact, he's released a new holiday song -- "Wonder of Wonders," a collaboration with Newsboys Michael Tait. He's also released a Christmas concert, Unsung Noel with Jonathan Cain, via Amazon Prime Video and is planning to put out a new series of spiritual singles starting in January, with an album to follow.

Cain also thinks Journey could "take a crack" at doing a Christmas album in the future.

"I know Arnel (Pineda), he loves Christmas so he'd look forward to something like that," notes Cain, who's nominated for the Songwriters Hall of Fame with Journey mates Neal Schon and Steve Perry. "Neal would be game for Christmas, too. He and I have already dabbled in that; We did sort of instrumentals of, like, 'Joy to the World' just to send on a cassette to radio stations. It was fun to do that back in the day. (Schon) might have put one on one of his solo albums, too, so I think we could make something really good."

Cain's main focus, however, will be making some new Journey music, the band's first since 2011's Eclipse, which he predicts will be an EP rather than a full album just to "break the ice" after the long gap. "I have quite a bit of ideas lyrically," Cain reports. "We have the beginning of a really good song and we've even got a title for the next record. For me it works best with just Neal and I in a room and we come together rather than trying to dictate what it is."  This also means that Cain and Schon have righted their relationship after a very public fracturing, including some vitriolic social media posts by Schon, during the summer of 2017.

"We've mended our friendship and moved on," Cain says. "Neither one of us liked the way all that went, and neither did the fans. It was just a lot of misunderstanding and things that were taken wrong. In a relationship that's 40 years you’re gonna have bumps in the road like that. I think it was just a matter of, 'Wait a minute...We don't like this. Let's get rid of it' and we did. And that's what brothers do. I think we both learned a lot, and it shows that our relationship is better than that and we shouldn't come against each other."

Journey plays the next edition of its residency in the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas starting Dec. 27, including a New Year's Eve show. Its summer tour with Pretenders kicks off May 15 in Ridgefield, Wash., with arena and amphitheater dates into September.


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