We exclusively sat down with CHH artist Shai Linne who has been championing the scene for over 2 decades, with culture shifting albums like ‘The Solus Christus Project’, ‘The Atonement’, ‘Lyrical Theology’ and many more.
Although finding out his about how his birth story in a sermon at church, he talks about where his mother was planning an abortion when she was pregnant with him. How God spoke to her about his potential and purpose, which really brings about the reason for his stage name “Faith Child”.
He touches on to say;
… God never makes mistakes …
He talks on his album from 2015 Airbourne, which is still in high demand in Malta, Nigeria, Slovenia and around the world. An album about inspiring people to their dreams and the warnings that accompany them.
He highlights how he uses things of the culture to be relevant to people. Not just making rap music but being sonically on the same level and even higher than then Kanye West, Tinie Tempah productions.
Faith talks about not being sub-standard to other secular mainstream artists. He serves a God of excellence and believes that it should be seen in his artistry he goes on to say;
… We should never dumb down our excellence because of our content …
… Christian music in the UK is under-exposed …
… We have a scene not a lucrative industry …
He talks how the scene thrived between 2007 to 2011, until a perceived culture clash. Do you agree?
Faith Child believes that the #UKCR needs money. Money to do things well, having a marketing plan, PR and unity, if we can rally around and support each other. Unity and finance are the most important things according to Faith Child.
We need to be real & honest, it will open doors and allow people to come to the faith.
Faith Child is working on his 3rd Album with a few singles before it drops in 2018.
Interviewed by Cassandra Marie
Buy Album Airbourne by Faith Child – The album from multi award-winning rapper, Faith Child. Across 15 songs, Airborne, takes the listeners on a musical journey from Drum and Bass to Indie to hard-hitting 808’s and features big collaborations from Jake Isaac, SPZRKT, S.O, A Star, Da’T.R.U.T.H., Hayley Cassidy and more.
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InderPaul Sandhu’s latest single ‘Money Aint A Thing‘ was given ‘Track Of The Week’ by the BBC Asian Network.
Bobby Friction, the presenter who discovered InderPaul said
When I pick a track of the week it isn’t out of the blue, or out of the ether. This was a track that I have a real connection with and it’s something I want to celebrate
Presenter Bobby then went onto say
When I saw the name I thought this was bound to be a bhangra track, He’s a Sandhu but then I pressed play and went okayyy.
The presenter informed their 662,000 weekly listeners that InderPaul Sandhu ‘had a bit of a rebirth and Reformed becoming a Christian’ and that InderPaul was ‘literally Spreading the Gospel’.
He made his view on InderPaul’s track very clear when he said
I heard this track and thought nice, really minimal, really simple and this will happen to you I promise you at some point in the week, it’s really ear warming. I listened to it and thought ooo that’s nice, this track is getting its flag flown all week.
As far as I can remember this is the first Christian Rapper to make track of week on BBC Radio Asia.
We celebrate that!
His discussion about not labelling himself as a Christian artist, was a question I would like to ask with him more about as there are strong points on both sides, it would be great to see his stance on that.
However, it’s a great step forward into a scene that too my limited knowledge, is not heavily influenced with Christian Rappers, lets see how this journey continues for InderPaul Sandhu.
A Christian rapper/artist you may not have heard of is Mark Johnes. – Zimbabwean born and bred turned Londoner who ensures his faith is the foundation of the unique music he makes.
“I just want to help others” Mark began, “by helping the experience hope, life, empowerment and comfort. Music allows me to focus on what’s really important and to realign the fact that God is in control.”
Having personally heard but a few of his songs – I got that impression about his music right away! “A lot of people have that ‘one song’ and if I can create that for others then I am happy.”
Faith and roots in music
Having been saved for a number of years, I was keen to know how Johnes came to Christ.
Unsurprisingly, it was through making music with an evangelist associate from the states.
“Growing up I’d always considered myself a Christian but I didn’t really start living and understanding [the faith] until I was a lot older. “
Through this friend, he got a bible and started reading the word for himself. “My eyes were suddenly opened and my interest in Christianity was sparked”.
Mark’s unique style and combination of soul, jazz , rap and hip hop is influenced by his upbringing.
“I’ve been around music all my life because my dad was a radio DJ.” Playing tunes from the 70s, 80s and 90s – Mark quickly developed a taste and appreciation of different genres and styles from those times. “It was easy to implement the different sounds into my own work.
The roots of hip hop are obviously important in music history. “My rap flows are slower in my music which combines well with the laid back vibes of the soul and jazz music that also suits my personality quite well.”
UKCR + CHH Views
The debate about the authenticity and intent of Christian music and artists in the industry – both Stateside and in the UK has been in the firing line recently.
Mark gave his two cents on the issue by discussing his decision to release his music independently. “I’d always wanted to get signed from the start” He began even mentioning a brief time with a Christian management company.
“There was a time I came close to being signed before I got saved – but friends intervened and warned me they might not be as trustworthy as they seemed. After that I realised it was better to refrain as a matter of necessity.”
Going on to mention the ease of releasing music without the need of representation – Mark continued “there are plenty of other avenues online that give you a platform to promote yourself and your music.”
Alongside the freedoms and lack of constraint that comes from releasing music independently, Mark is also happy to be unsigned because he is focused on performing.
“I consider music more of a passion than a career – so going to schools, churches and community groups allows me to share that passion and the positive message. On a corporeal level.”
With African roots and US influences, Mark considers himself more than a #UKCR (UK Christian Rap) artist. However, he was quick to call the UKCR scene “exciting and growing – despite the talent not getting the appreciation it deserves”.
When asked about his favourite Christian rappers – Mark felt as if he was “choosing between friends” but eventually listed Triple O, Jahaziel and Faith Child as favourites and ultimately Dwayne Tryumf as his ultimate fave.
10 Years from now…
Mark and I found common ground in the fact we both ‘discovered’ the UK Rap scene around the same time back in 2007.
“It’s interesting to see how they (the artists) have grown up and changed over the decade.” Speaking of 10 years – one of my final queries to Mark was where he saw himself 10 years from now…
“Touring on a global scale to countries such as Japan and Brazil” Mark said candidly. “I’d also like to release a live jazz album mixed with hip hop.”
After finding out he doesn’t even play an instrument, I was astonished by his outstanding ear for sound “My only skill is rapping, lyrics and the production side of things” He said. “But I normally get other people in to do everything else.”
With a creative design job on the side new tracks released on a regular basis, Mark is a very busy man. But what’s next for him?
“I have a new release on the way but I’m not sure when it’ll be out”
If you wanna know – or wish to find out more about the man behind the article – check out the website (and be sure to join the mailing list!)
Rapper Skye talks to the BBC about prison, faith & university
Christian Rapper Skye real name Leslie Abrokwaa, shares his testimony on how he went from Prison to Christ to Cambridge University on the BBC with Mehreen Baig.
The 26 year-old served time in prison and sold class A drugs and has since turned his life around.
Its good to see testimonies like these on networks like the Beeb. Hopefully there would not just be the inspiration to change lives around, but the power of the gospel will be known. Further that we will begin to use these avenues to speak out about the real tranformations of Gods power in our lives.
After the programme hit the air, Skye posted:
God doesn’t call the qualified But He qualifies the called.
Happy to have been given the opportunity to share my life experiences and how Christ came and made my life meaningful. Be sure to check out my interview with @queenmehreen on BBC
Watch the full interview video at this link -Skip to 40:11
Watch “Rid of Me”
Order “Prodigal Son Duo EP1” from here.
Melvillous talks Music, Faith, Success and the Past & Future
When KCMix caught up with #UKCR Artist Melvillous we got a snaposhot into his intriguing mind. Rapping from the age of 10, Grime, Rap and Hip Hop was his perfect expression form, which he could get out all his aggression, rage and gripes with the world. He said “I’ve always been a conscious mind, when I came to the faith around 14/15 years old.”
Music is in my blood, I have always grown up around it.
His mum was always taking him to church, it was in one ear one out the other, it was not anything he took seriously.
He had his first real genuine encounter with God when he went to a summer camp which his mum helped me get to, unknowingly. He’s been on a journey discovering who this God is, he wanted it to be real for myself.
To have any effect on culture you must be immersed in it.
Sometimes a overthinker, he tries to keep his music in an honest and expressive place, something he tries to do with every song. Some songs are deep, dark and reflective and others are him going crazy on a song.
God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called. Just bring your broken-ness and your scars to him.
There are no cheat codes or special things you can do, just be yourself, with Gods provision. Faith without works is dead, do your bit.
He said “I don’t feel a lot of pressure with my music, its God who opening the doors for me.”
Melvillous’ New EP “Local” is out now across all digital stores. Get a copy and stream today.
On this episode of KingCast Podcast, we explore two Christian Music artists “InderPaul Sandhu” who has been creating waves with his music and releases. But what with his past and testimony? In the same episode, we meet up with “Marj Diamond” the spoken word artist who paints music with her words. A talented artist who has a testimony to share and encourage.
Marj Diamond SnapShots
- Diamond in the Dirt EP is literally my trials and tribulations.
- I don’t just wanna say “oh I’ve went through this, I’ve went through this”, it’s not about sharing what I’ve gone through, but in terms of what has God done in the midst of that trial and the outcome of it, that is the whole purpose of the EP.
- God has helped me be true to myself and not to be ashamed of where I have come from. To not shy away from what I’ve been through, He’s chiseled and pruned me, bottom line he’s helped me grow.
- God is the Creator and He’s so creative, and I feel I need to tap into that more. One time I was like God here is the pen, direct me what should I write about… I think it’s because Ii welcomed him into my craft.
- My goal is not to entertain your soul, I want to encourage impact and convict you.
InderPaul Sandhu Snapshots
- I Wanted to Create an anthem for Christian with “Ring”
- I want to smash the ‘WEAK’ Christian stereotype
- My next project is going to be “Blue Mist” (You heard it here first)
- Somebodies deliverance is on the back of your obedience.
Listen, Comment & Share
The KingCast on Kingdom Culture.
Interview with Feed Em
When did you name yourself Feed Em and why?
I named myself Feed’Em I think towards the end of 2012, it just seemed fitting to my calling which is to serve others and reach out. God showed me how important it was to feed the spirit man, also our minds. So He inspired me to feed others with his Word
When was your first interaction with music?
Jheez music, back in Congo mate, as a little boy I used to dance like crazy, man used to get p’s at parties and that. Then church got me at a young age, singing in the choir. Came to the UK and just fell in love with Grime init
How long have you been writing lyrics for?
I started writing from about 15 years old, you know how it goes school playground clashes and diss tracks all the way. But yeah I was part of a Grime crew and we used to make a lot of noise in school and locally, that’s where I drafted my writing skills and that
Can you tell us of your first encounter with Jesus?
My first encounter with Jesus was as a boy, we wasn’t banging out church on the regs like that but when I the family received a prophecy that I was spiritually infected with witchcraft, yeah boy that was my membership sealed (laughs) I remember being dragged to church for the first time all I can remember was fire, and a lively environment. But yeah, then my own real and personal encounter I was 20 years old in my bedroom, bunning and drinking my pains away, was mad fearful but I knew I needed to pray and as I finally got over my fears and started praying and Christ revealed himself to me, it was that rushing wind, being led by the spirit and allowing the complete restoration to take place
You’ve started a Music Group, could you tell us a bit about it?
FMG! that’s the team man, yeah I’ve been drafting for a while open mics, hosting events, radio and just doing my thing, my heart always desires service and seeing brothers and sisters running their race just inspires me, the music group is a movement for me, this calling is bigger than me, in fact we are all on the mission to feed’em so connecting with brothers and sisters that are about that helps a lot. So FMG does bookings, events, promotions, radio and so much more territory we are looking to cover, just taking the word out there man
Do you believe music and business are just as important as each other, and why?
Yeah, absolutely (laughs) music is business to an extent, as to even consume music today it requires some form of presentation or format, I mean even buskers will need some sort of budgeting structure to buy instruments or travel expenses. So yeah definitely hand in hand, I mean I’m not just a musician, I also manage bookings, love marketing and concept developments it becomes second nature in this DIY music industry. There some artists on my team that be like, please T, I don’t want to deal with none of them business tings there, just put me in the studio let me create, then I have artists that will be calling me mad times at night and we discussing strategy, marketing plans, sells, so I encourage musicians to have a basic understanding at least of the business
Your new release, what inspired you to write it?
Jheez God get’s all the glory! Fam for this piece work I just give God the glory, pun intended and all of that, so it’s off my debut mixtape You Can Know The Half, which came out late 2015, by the grace of God somebody heard me doing this track live during my little independent tour for the mixtape, and the person, got me in the studio, re-mastered, and shot the video and now we here, this is so fitting because God told me he wasn’t done with You Can Know The Half, as far as the story is concerned anyways so I just want to fulfil his will before we move forward. So yeah long one but to go back to the question, the song was inspired by God, just me saying wow your awesome fam! I went through all of this and you kept me and also encourage others to give God the glory despite their life stories.
Do you ever get ‘writers’ block? If so what do you do when it happens?
(laughs) I’m currently in that mode, but it’s specifically for a track rather than a season or however long, as two other people hit me up with callobo this month and I wrote it on the same day, so how I dealt with the current block I just said Dad look I’m not even gonna try to get too creative I’m just going to be honest how I feel right now and flow. But normally if its too much I try hard and then just add that young one more bar then bun it for a minute and try again another time (laughs)
What’s the hottest Christian Rap track you’ve heard so far and would recommend?
Ahh fam, I suck at these questions, but not a lot would know about this Mike Real – Beautiful Suicide, now I want to create a playlist hmmm
Why did you become a Christian?
I became a Christian around 1 am on 11th January 2012, specific because it was exactly 1 year since my mum had passed away, and one year after that night I encountered Jesus for myself. I believe I was suppose to die that night, as I felt my heart shrinking and the devil had it in his hands but as I begun to pray, confessing my sins, casting out devils Jesus came through and saved me, that night was crazy man but praise Jesus for victory
Do Christian Rap artists have a responsibility to make Jesus relevant to today’s listeners?
As much I’m gonna say yes, I also want to stress the value of the Word, there’s only so much we can do before it starts looking stupid, you get me, the world will keep on keeping on, if making Jesus relevant no longer looks Biblical don’t call me. So, yes it’s our responsibility as leaders and missionaries to make Jesus relevant, and to do that it requires understanding, conversations, and ground floor works, none of this preaching from a safe yard init
What is music in the pipeline from Feed Em?
It’s life bro, I love it, there was a time where my love for music was competing with God and I decided to drop music as a sacrifice, God gave it back to me and ever since I know this to be confirmation
What’s your favourite film?
Purely because I quoted it recently Taken, but don’t quote me on that I will say something else next time, because I’m not about this favouritism, unless of course… we talking food and football init
Feed Em’s Video + Release landing here on Kingdom Culture Thursday 4th May. #UKCR