America was officially introduced to Jamar Rogers when the HIV-positive singer who was formerly addicted to meth captured our hearts and ears on The Voice in 2012. The following spring, he appeared on the cover of POZ for an article about HIV and substance abuse.
Now, Rogers is reintroducing himself with his debut album, Lazarus.
My album is live right now worldwide and this shit is living proof that you can do anything you put your mind to. I was my own worst enemy because for a long time I didn’t think I was worthy of success. Once I cleared that shit, life changed. And you, my friend, are worthy. Worthy to share your story. Worthy in spite of mistakes. Worthy though folks might’ve told you that weren’t. You’re worthy simply because you exist. Now go listen to my shit ????????
Rogers told WeAreSensi.com that while making the album, he checked out Native American powwows, met with a Santeria priest, attended Buddhist talks and jammed out to Hindi music. “I’m a pretty spiritual guy,” he said, “so I’ve always been curious as to how different folks connect with the divine.”
Since the name Lazarus carries a heavy religious connotation, Rogers knew he’d be making a spiritual album. “I wanted to remind folks of their divinity and make music that lifted their spirit on bad days,” Rogers said.
The 10-track album opens up with “Baptize Me,” an upbeat song about redemption. The album also features two versions of the ballad “Let Me Treat You,” a sultry version and an even more passionate acoustic version.
Rogers, who has been performing in New York City and Los Angeles, plans on releasing more new music very soon.
“It’s important to me to catch creative momentum,” he said in the interview. “And since I’m creating for me, at the end of the day, I’ll always be happy and fulfilled.”
Lazarus is available now on iTunes, Tidal and Spotify.
To read the 2013 POZ cover story “Recovering Your Life,” click here.