BJ Communicates, aka Dr. Brad Johnson, is an influential Kingdom Writer, Bible Teacher, and Communication Practitioner. His life’ assignment is to help people, particularly urban people, articulate their experiences in an effort to find healing and wholeness. Dr. Brad is also the CEO and owner of Communic8 Life Consulting; a communication consulting firm that specializes in helping couples, families, and business teams develop better interpersonal communication and conflict resolution skills. Using the pen name BJ Communicates, he consistently releases a gambit of music, podcasts, books, and digital platform shows aimed at inspiring and encouraging urban people.
Dr. Brad has released six singles with the latest, 2021’s You’re Real, being his highest streaming offering to date; garnering over 260k streams on Spotify in two months. He has also released two books; 2009’s Removing the Graveclothes and, his first venture into the genre of Urban Fiction, 2021’s Hard Conversations: Book 1 Breadcrumbs to the Past. We Empower Magazine got an exclusive interview with Dr. Brad.
When did you know you were walking in your divine purpose personally and professionally?
I think that I am still discovering my assignment. I think throughout life bits and pieces of what God has placed us here to do unfolds. It’s like breadcrumbs that lead us to where we are supposed to be as we actively follow them. There was a time when I thought I wanted to be a full-time artist because I can sing, and write, and produce. I thought my purpose was that, but I discovered that it was leading me to a greater gift of writing. Sometimes it takes us walking down one path to discover that it opens up to a broader highway of gifts that God has put inside of us. As we live this life, who God has called us to unfold and if we listen closely and obediently, we began to be the gift to those around us. We all have an audience waiting to discover what we have to offer.
With your many talents and great works, what is it that gives you the most fulfillment and why?
I am most fulfilled by writing. There is something that flows out of me when I am writing that fully articulates my emotions, thoughts, and experiences. Whether it is an editorial piece, or a book, or a song, I am most free with a pen in my hand. I have to continue to keep my phone or pen near me because it literally comes in waves. I remember hearing Missy Elliott talk about when she was a teenager and how poor her family was. She said that she couldn’t afford paper so she began to write on the walls of her bedroom because she get the ideas out of her head; I totally understand and relate to that. Writing has brought so much healing and clarity to my life.
What are some of the most memorable moments in your career so far?
Probably the response to my new book series Hard Conversations. It is my first venture into Urban fiction, but it was the easiest book I have ever attempted to write. The stories flowed out of me over a three-week period. It was amazing. Some of the audience has said that the fictional characters in my book felt like real people or familiar relatives; that was the intended goal. I wanted to tell everyone’s story, while in reality not actually telling someone’s story. Also, the response that I have gotten from my song “You’re Real” was inspired by the book. In the first month of its release, it already had over 200k streams on Spotify; that’s crazy to me.
What is the best advice you ever received?
Probably it would be the statement my late grandma used to say; she would always say, “you betta start out how you can hold out.” Her saying meant don’t ever begin one way with people to impress them or fool them when you can’t keep it up for the long haul. I carry that statement with me to always show up as my authentic self in every situation. I’ve learned from her to be the same person in private that I am in public, and to give people the option to decide their place in my life based on always being truthfully me. I have learned that I won’t be everybody’s cup of tea, but if I am pleasing God and it’s okay with him, then it gotta be ok with you or it’s fine for you to exit.
As you look back at the pandemic so far, what is your greatest lesson from this moment in our history?
I really mentally struggled at the beginning of the pandemic because of the newness and how uncertain everything was. I went from having a routine, to becoming the school teacher, cafeteria worker, lunch man, teleworker, and new dog owner almost overnight. I didn’t know how to handle it. I am introverted by nature, which means I recharge by being alone. During the pandemic, my alone time was nonexistent, so I literally felt like I was losing my mind. The greatest gift the pandemic gave me was learning me. I learned how to articulate, even clearer, what I desired, required, and wanted from the people around me. I learned that it was okay to say no to people and opportunities if it disrupted my ability to be mentally and emotionally healthy. I found myself and learned to be okay with myself.
What are you currently working on?
I have a new communication improvement book that I am working on that will be out during the first quarter of 2022. I am also about to start working on the second book in the Hard Conversations series that will be out in mid-2022.; of course there will be some music inspired by each project.
What do you think our readers would be surprised to learn about you?
That I am a bomb keto baker. Over the last 10 years, I have mastered no sugar/no starch deserts. Flavored pound cakes are what my family and friends request the most, but pies, cookies, bread pudding; I can do it all.
What do you want your legacy to look like?
The greatest legacy I can leave behind is being a person who loved and lived for Christ as much in private as I proclaimed in public. If I leave this earth being known as a great husband, father, and friend that was the “real deal” and lived what I proclaimed, I think that I have done ok. If my wife says that I loved her like Christ loved the church, my son says that I gave him a great present example to follow, and those who knew me say that I was kind and loving and forever pursuing after the will of God for his life in balance; I am good.
Learn more by visiting www.communic8life.com
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Multimedia Creative and Personality Tammy Reese is an award-winning Writer and Journalist. Writing and Directing short films on social issues to spread awareness through the arts gained Tammy the Makers: Women Who Make America Award honor on International Women's Day 2019. Tammy currently serves on the Communications Committee for New York Women In Film and Television. She is also the Founder and Owner of Visionary Minds Public Relations and Media.