Hello, Darling had the opportunity to chat with musician extraordinaire and mom-of-two JJ Heller this past week, and learn a little more about her music, her family and, of course, her favorite beauty product! JJ has also generously donated a song download to be included in this year’s MOPS Membership. Read on to find out more about this incredible gal, her music and her newest projects (hint: they are things your kids are gonna love!).
HD: What is your very most-favorite beauty product?
JJ: It would probably have to be POREfessional Agent Zero Shine face powder. My face tends to get shiny (totally NOT my favorite), so this face powder really helps.
HD: What are three words your friends use to describe you?
JJ: Thoughtful, kind and creative.
HD: So I’ve got this photo of your adorable family – can you tell me a little about them?
JJ: My husband Dave and I have the unique opportunity to travel the country, share the stage and write songs together. People often marvel at the amount of time we spend together without driving each other insane! I attribute it to God’s foresight in putting the two of us together. Don’t get me wrong, we have our moments, but for the most part we genuinely enjoy each other’s company.
Things became a whole lot more complicated when our two little girls Lucy (5) and Nora (2.5) came along, but now I can’t imagine life without them. Lucy’s favorite thing in life is talking. She’s probably the friendliest person I know, and will walk up to anyone and ask him or her to play (regardless of age). Nora’s favorite thing in life is eating. Mainly cheese. She’s starting to use her words a lot more, but would rather jump on the trampoline or snuggle than waste time chatting.
HD: When talking about album, LOVED, you said, “God’s helped me to see life as an adventure rather than a series of potential hurts. The world can be scary, but when we know we're loved, we can be open to risks because we are confident in our identity." Can you expound on that a little more?
JJ: I don’t know when or why it started, but I am petrified of failure. It’s hard for me to attempt something if I’m not sure I’ll succeed. I’m learning that life isn’t a tally of wins and losses to be categorized, but a moment-by-moment opportunity for growth and wholeness. At the end of it all, I could make the worst decision ever, but it wouldn’t change the way God feels about me. It brings an incredible amount of comfort to me knowing that his love is my safety net.
HD: Okay, so I’m really excited about your most recent projects – a lullaby album and a children’s book, right? Give us the inside scoop on how these came to be.
JJ: Over the years we’ve heard countless stories of parents using our songs to help their children (or themselves!) fall asleep. We decided to take this to heart and make a dedicated album full of soothing and peaceful songs. As parents, there are many things we want tell our children, but they’re so wiggly it’s hard to get them to listen! With that in mind, it’s our desire that this album will communicate truth, wisdom and love to our little ones when they’re still and their hearts are open as they drift off to sleep.
With the lullaby album already in the works, Dave had the idea to create a bedtime story to go with it! The two of us wrote The Golden Feather, hired our extremely talented friend, Luke Flowers, to illustrate it, and then published it ourselves. It’s a story about a little girl whose mother asks what she will dream when she falls asleep. The answer takes readers on an enchanting adventure. The last pages of the book are my favorite! The little girl says, “My mommy listens closely, like mommies always do. She says, ‘When I’m asleep tonight, My Love, I’ll dream of you!’”
Another fun fact about the book: our illustrator hid a bunny in the environment of every picture. Kids are really loving the hunt for hidden bunnies!
HD: What are you most excited about with the launch of this new album and book?
JJ: I’m thrilled that we’re meeting a need that we know is there. When we create a new record, it’s a collection of songs that mean a lot to us, almost like a diary of our recent past. We hope that our listeners will be able to relate to those songs.
In the case of this new record and book, moms were already asking us for bedtime material. To be honest, we thought it would be a boring project, but as soon as we began working in the studio, we began to fall in love with every single track. I feel like there’s something really special about this record and book. Of course, I’m a little biased.
HD: JJ, thanks so much for taking the time to chat. Our readers are going to love getting to know you and your music better (I know I have!).
JJ: Thanks for the great questions! I'm so excited to get more involved with the MOPS community. You all seem like a really special group of women.
Have you heard JJ’s music yet? Take a listen! For a short time JJ is giving away her entire “Deeper” album along with 2 of the tracks on her lullaby album (the full album will be released on April 29th). Connect with JJ on Facebook and Twitter @jjheller.