Born in Mississippi, but raised in Tennessee by an extremely musical family—his parents Joseph and Yolanda, both pastors, sang in and out of church—Wess knew at a young age that music and God was destined to be an integral part of his life. Along with his siblings, he began traveling with his parents, as they ministered the word of God through music, teaching, and preaching in churches across the United States.
But at the age of 11, Wess began experimenting with drugs and alcohol, eventually becoming addicted to cocaine and finding himself in and out of juvenile detention centers for most of his teens and 20s. It was while in jail, and about to be sentenced for seriously injuring his friends—in a horrifying car crash in which he was high, drunk, and speeding—that he spoke to God and God actually answered him. “I just cried out to God and asked Him to forgive me for what happened and to help me get straight,” Wess remembers. “I asked Him for a strategy and He spoke one word to me and that was ‘accountability.’ And I’ve been clean ever since.”
Pursuing a singing career had always been a deep desire for Wess, but his addictions kept robbing him of the chance. After he beat his addiction, he finally went into the studio with Trè Corley, a producer and friend from church. After some convincing from Trè, the pair ended up writing and producing Wess’ first solo project, Look at Me Now, a moving, candid testimony that touched on his arduous, but ambitious road to recovery and his courageous transformation. The project was released in 2007 on Wess’ newly created record label, Bowtie World Music.
In 2011, Wess was back in the studio and released his sophomore CD (and live DVD) Under an Open Heaven, Volume 1, a collaboration with his family as well as close friends in the industry and his ministry, including the Crabb Family. The CD/DVD featured the smash hit “I Choose to Worship”, a breathtakingly honest track that helped Bowtie World Music land on Billboard’s 2011 Top-10 record label list, and also garner a Dove Award and Stellar Award nomination for Wess as well as win BMI Gospel Song of the Year.
He even caught the eye of Tyler Perry, who saw Wess’ impromptu performance at New York City’s renowned Village Underground and offered Wess a role in his stage play Laugh to Keep from Crying. Since starring in the play, Wess has appeared in the Christmas special “Holiday Love” with Kim Fields and has made numerous appearances on Christian TV, Bobby Jones Gospel, the Mo’Nique Show, Gospel Superfest, and Super Bowl Gospel Celebration. More recently, Wess has appeared on BET’s Sunday Best, hosted AFI’s Your Dream Is Out There competition and another Tyler Perry stage play Madea’s Neighbors from Hell.
Wess also hosts an annual Recovery Fest, based in Tennessee at his parent’s church, and now in its third year, attracts thousands of people from all over the country. Recovery Fest is all about celebration and determination. Wess released his third album entitled Livin’ in 2014. Livin’ focuses on the wonderful space Wess is in right now. The first single “You Paid it All,” quickly made it in the Top 20 on Gospel Radio, while the “You Paid It All” video has garnered over 1 Million hits on youtube. His second single “Cry” is also currently making its way up the charts. Livin’ can be found at Walmart, Target, Best Buy, iTunes and Amazon.
The road hasn’t been easy, but because of his unwavering love of God, Wess is certainly on the right path. “God put something special in me and He was going to get it out of me regardless. I love my time before audiences because I know what God has put inside of me is life changing. That’s why I love being on stage because I see the people being blessed and there’s nothing that can compare to it.”
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It could be his powerful, soulful voice, or his refreshing delivery that makes inspirational artist Wess Morgan such a thrill to bear witness to.
Or maybe it’s because he has walked on a rough path—one that might have made another falter—that makes his music so moving, so unique, and so unforgettable. But one thing is for certain, Wess, by the grace of God, has proven that he is strong, resilient, and one of the most talented and anointed gospel / inspirational artists of this generation.