21:03 – A Friend

When 21:03 first hit the urban gospel scene with its watershed debut, PAJAM Presents Twenty One O’ Three, they were slowly finding their voice and place in an already cluttered marketplace. But standing on a good album, the group won a Stellar Award in January of 2008. Total Attention, the 2nd album, the trio cements its identity, assuring the world they’re not a flash in the pan. They’re here to stay.
Things were rough at first. Handpicked by production supergroup PAJAM from hundreds of candidates during a casting call in their native Detroit, then-hopefuls Evin Martin, Torrence Greene, and Jor’el Quinn were three strangers chosen on the basis of their faith, as well as their singing and dancing abilities.
Sensing the young men had great potential, and acutely aware of the short shelf life of assembled, teen-based urban acts, the PAJAM team—Paul “pda” Allen, Walter Kearney, and J Moss—went to great lengths to groom 21:03 into something more substantive: a trio that could really leave a long-lasting imprint for the Kingdom.
To that end, the production supergroup intentionally subjected their recruits to a six-month entertainment boot camp—a grueling period of artist development that harkened back to the glory years of Motown. After an intense season of vocal, physical, and spiritual formation, PAJAM finally cast the definitive vision for its protégés on January 21, 2003—the fateful day that inspired 21:03’s moniker.
As Evin, Torrence, and Jor’el matured in their faith and as performers, it wasn’t long until they realized that three passages taken from the beginning, middle, and end of the Bible—Genesis, Psalms, and Revelation 21:3, respectively—provided a deeper look into their mission. The near-prophetic verses reinforced in them that their purpose wasn’t to just sing, dance, or entertain, but to actually minister and impart truth to anyone with ears to hear.
“We’ve grown spiritually,” Evin says of the period between their first album and Total Attention. “We have a better sense of our ministry and our call. We know that there’s a dying world that needs Jesus and they need to see him in music, in the media, in the church, and in us. We want to be those examples.”
To get to that point, 21:03 faced its share of uphill battles, but none was bigger than the one Evin had to weather. Unexpectedly, the 21-year-old looked death straight in the eye when he confronted the back-to-back loss of both of his parents—his mother succumbed to multiple sclerosis right as the trio’s debut released, and his father lost his bout with cancer in the months leading up to Total Attention.
“The loss of one parent can be crippling. But the loss of two is devastating,” Evin says. The singer was not left alone: His unwavering faith in Christ and the unending spiritual and emotional support of his 21:03 and PAJAM brothers carried Evin through the storm, weeping with him and making sure he had a shoulder to lean on.
“People say your misery is your ministry,” Jor’el continues. “That’s something that’s been proven in this group. When Evin opens up his mouth now, you feel a little bit he has been through something. You know it’s nothing but the Lord—that God is with him.”
Evin concurs: “I can say with all assurance and confidence that I know that I’m called. I know that I’m chosen. I’m now officially known as a living, breathing, walking testimony of the power of Christ. I can definitely say I have more fervency. I have more wherewithal to do what I’m doing.”
Fittingly, Total Attention is a testament to the new level of artistry and ministry 21:03 has reached. Uninterested in following trends or stylistic conventions, the guys shatter any and all preconceived notions their first album may have created, for a well-rounded sound and consistent message that is bound to make listeners stand at full attention.
Take the progressive, buzzed-out digital single “You.” The song is unlike anything 21:03 has recorded in the past—a daring, forward-thinking piece of danceable electro-pop that testifies where every good and perfect thing comes from. The rhythmic title track picks up where “You” leaves off, a blazing banger with steady beats-per-minute and a frenetic, Indian-like whistle that rouses the world to direct its mind and affections to that which truly matters.
Respectful of the gospel legacy upon which their music is built, 21:03 take it to the old-school in “Riverside,” a contemporized remake of the traditional gem “Down by the Riverside” that recalls Take 6 and the Winans but with 21:03’s unique stamp. Total Attention’s showstopper, though, is “Cover Me,” the debut radio single, a heartfelt prayer featuring three titans of gospel music: Fred Hammond, Smokie Norful, and J Moss. Reaching the #3 spot on the R&R charts and holding, this song is now nominated for a Grammy in the category of “Song of the Year”. They will be among superstar artist like, Kirk Franklin and Mary Mary.
Now 21:03 is preparing for the release of their 3rd album, “Evolved… from boys to men”. The album is set to be release in May/June with the single “Incredible” starting it out. Other internet singles have been released such as, “Favor”, “Still Here”, and “Loving You”.
21:03 Music:
Concept birthed by PAJAM on January 21, 2003, thus 21:03. (Genesis, Psalms, and Revelation)
51I2tny8nRL._SL500_AA280_1st album – “PAJAM Presents 21:03” (2006)
#34 on Billboard Christian Album Chart (Peak)
#11 on Billboard Gospel Album Chart (Peak)
I’m Sorry (single) Top 20 MediaGuide/R&R Radio Charts
I’m Sorry Video (Heavy Gospel Rotation) BET
Stellar Award Win for Rap/Hip Hop CD of the Year
Wow Gospel 2005 – Sweet Spirit – Gold Selling
Gotta Have Gospel GOLD! (I’m Sorry)
Yolanda Today Tour w/J.Moss and Nuthin’ But Stringz
Major Performances/Appearances
9th Annual BET Celebration of Gospel
24th Annual Stellar Awards
Word Network Rejoice in the WordBET’s Bobby Jones Gospel
Gospel Superfest
BET’s Lift Every Voice
Hal’s Jacksons Talented Teens International (Miss Black Teenage America)
T.D. Jakes MegaFest – Youth “You’re Not Forgotten Concert”
Christian Music Awards
Twist Magazine
Teen People
Right! On
Jet Magazine
Gospel Today
IMAGE Magazine
Xii Magazine
B.L.A.C Magazine
Burgeoning fanbase in UK, Bermuda, U.S. Virgin Islands and East/South African Countries
I’m Sorry is a big hit in Africa!
Studio Session Work or Songwriting
Byron Cage “Invitation”
Byron Cage “Live at the Apollo”
PAJAM Presents: Sing to the Lord
J.Moss – V2..
Maranatha Top 25 Praise and Worship Songs
Dr. Bobby Jones “Ambassador”
Melinda Watts “People Get Ready”
Chris Clark “Freshman Year”
2nd album – “Total Attention” (2008)
#4 on Billboard Gospel Album Chart (Peak)
#3 Cover Me (single) on Billboard Gospel Songs Chart/R&R (Peak)
#1 Itunes Gospel Songs “YOU”
Grammy Nomination for Best Gospel Song “Cover Me”
#1 Video on GMC “YOU” for 12 weeks
#1 Video on GMC “Time for A Change”
Nominated for Best Pop Video GMC 2008 and 2009
Over 1 MILLION views on our 21:03TV Youtube Channel
Listen Up! Artist of the Month – July 2008 (Gospel Music Channel)
TV/Film Projects
BET Generation Gospel (2009)
Blessed and Cursed Movie (2010)
Tours (2009/2010)
JoyFest Amusement Park Tour w/Fred Hammond, Donald Lawerence, and J Moss
College Tour
McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Tour w/CeCe Winans, J.Moss, Regina Belle, and 21:03
3rd album – “Evolved… from boys to men”
Sets a trend and breaks boundaries with the controversial “All I Do Is Win” (“Favor” Remix) over 10,000 viral mix-tape downloads
Released first single “Incredible” that reached the top 15 songs in airplay.
Released second single “Still Here”
Release date set for September 6th
Giving Back
Local Detroit Career Day Motivational Speaking
Red Kettle Drive for the Salvation Army
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk
BET Be Heard Vote Campaign

Other outstanding songs by 21:03

Leave a Reply