Montell Fish, a Christian musician who made his way into the spotlight with a prolific YouTube video career, has released his latest album JAMIE.
He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania—a city where 60% of the people identify as religious. His parents separated before he was a year old. His mother was a devout Christian from whom he received his upbringing in faith, his father however showed little religious devotion. “I could be really religious, then other times I could be a completely different person,” Fish says.
Fish’s vocals on JAMIE are introspective, deeply emotional and carry tones resembling Bon Iver, James Blake and Tom Misch. The album shows the diversity of faith-based music today with acts like ‘for KING & COUNTRY’, an Australian contemporary Christian pop duo; Sami Yusuf, a British composer and singer originally from Iran and a popular Islamic nasheed performer; and Kanye West, producer, rapper and songwriter with his own gospel choir and faith based R&B which took top spot on the Christian Artists Billboard charts in 2021.
Montell Fish has posted more than 500 YouTube videos that focus on travails experienced through life and how he applies his faith to overcoming these obstacles. Their subjects range from racism to breakups and drugs to loneliness, but all come back to his solution in religious devotion. In his albums, with songs like “Father Show Me Who I Am” and “Lost”, there is a focus on his relationship with God. With JAMIE he didn’t want to use gospel or contemporary Christian music and began experimenting and said “I’m still very much a faith-centered person, and I love Jesus. But I think a lot of my art has taken a different way of telling those stories.”
Fish originally felt his new music would be a gamble, fearing it would alienate his fans, and when first posting a clip of his song “Talk 2 Me”, he says, “I remember praying right before like, ‘God, I don’t know if this is gonna do anything, but have your way.’ And then I woke up the next morning to 100,000 views.” His success has continued. His song “Fall in Love with You.” has been played on Spotify over 93 million times and he recently made his debut on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon as the musical guest.