Jelly Roll is gearing up to release his highly anticipated new album, WHITSITT CHAPEL. And as the June 2nd drop date for the project draws near, he is sharing more details about the forthcoming collection.
Named after a little church in Antioch, Tenn., that Jelly Roll attended as a kid, WHITSITT CHAPEL includes tracks that center around spiritual themes. But, what might come as a surprise to some fans, is Jelly Roll’s 15-year-old daughter Bailee played a significant role in how the songs came together for the project.
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Bailee Ann Has Been On A Spiritual Journey
It turns out that while Jelly Roll has been working on his album, his daughter has been on her own spiritual journey. In fact, she was recently baptized and has grown deeper in her faith – something that has brought up old memories for Jelly Roll regarding his early relationship with his church.
“Bailey approached me about six, seven, eight months ago about this little church she’s been going to with all her cool friends,” Jelly Roll told the outlet ahead of the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards (ACM Awards). “And it’s off a back-a** country road, it’s in an elementary-through-high-school auditorium, maybe 80 people and 20 of them are youth.”
Jelly Roll didn’t name the church his daughter attends, but he did say that he has found several similarities to her place of worship when comparing it to the one he used to attend growing up.
“I, too, went to a 100-person church when I was a child,” he said adding, “She wants to go to church, I’m in. That’s my kid. If she wanted to play soccer, I’d start reading books on soccer. If she wants to play cricket, I’m gonna figure out what cricket is, you know? But lucky for me, I knew a lot about church.”
READ: Jelly Roll To Release ‘Save Me’ Documentary Chronicling His Turbulent Upbringing & Rise To Fame
His Daughter Bailee Recently Got Baptized
Jelly Roll was already in the midst of choosing songs for WHITSITT CHAPEL when he discovered Bailee’s relationship with God. With that newfound knowledge, he was inspired to change direction and started reworking the project from scratch.
“Somewhere along the way I stopped doing what I was doing and wrote an entire album that I can honestly say Bailee inspired because I thought about where I was at when I was 14,” Jelly Roll said. “I wanted to get baptized at this little back road church. I scrapped, like, 70 songs that I had written for the album, and I started writing the album that day, the day that I went to go see the church with her.”
“Her getting baptized, the crazy thing was just all the parallels,” Jelly Roll notes. “That’s how much her at this church, let alone the baptism, impacted me — that I wrote a whole album themed around it,” he added.
Jelly Roll Hopes WHITSITT CHAPEL Will Inspire Fans To Go To Church
WHITSITT CHAPEL will serve as Jelly Roll’s first full-length project via BMG/Stoney Creek Records. The 13-track project, which includes the rapper turned country artist’s current single “Need A Favor,” arrives on June 2.
And, once the album gets in people’s hands, Jelly Roll hopes it will inspire them to go to church.
“Wouldn’t it be cool to have the record do so well that people just stopped by [the church],” Jelly Roll told CMT. “Because you know, when you go to Detroit, you stop by Motown just to go to Hitsville and take a picture in front of the Hitsville sign. If I’m getting people to go to church, I’m doing something right. I don’t care if it’s to take a picture or not.”
READ: Jelly Roll Fulfills Lifelong Dream Of Meeting Garth Brooks: “I Have Been A Fan Of Yours My Whole Life”
Additionally, in July, Jelly Roll will take the road as part of his massive Backroad Baptism Tour. The trek, which wraps on October 14, includes openers Ashley McBryde, Chase Rice, Struggle Jennings, Caitlynne Curtis, Elle King, Merkules, Three 6 Mafia, Yelawolf, and Josh Adam Meyers on select dates.