I hate boxes. The reason that I hate boxes is that no one lives in them, yet everyone wants to place you in one.
My project was created in the spirit of the “anti-box” that usually derails all attempts at creativity and free expression in its truest form. In fact, “boxes” are anti-spiritual, and anyone who knows me knows that I am a very, very spiritual person. Thus it makes sense that I would be anti-boxes.
However, the marketing and business acumen side of me understands boxes. Boxes ultimately are there to help the consumer understand what is inside. The consumer needs to know what is inside so that they can make an informed decision as to whether or not to purchase a product. So, I get it…I totally do. However, the trailblazer, march to my own drum beat, creative, and spiritual part of me will not allow me to submit to it.(this stmt is not clear)
Much about “genre” was discussed as we were preparing to release my debut project, “Looking For Love.” Is it pop? Is it mainstream? Is it Gospel or Christian? What exactly is it? My answer to this question has plagued me my entire life, and now it’s rearing its ugly head in my music.
You see…I have never been a genre…of any kind. Ask me about my political beliefs and you won’t get Democrat, Republican or other. Yes…I have my “leanings” but I guarantee that after you talk to me you may leave a bit confused about what I am.
Another example… Ask me about my religious make-up and you are sure to be left as confused as you could possibly be. I’m a Catholic boy who went to a Baptist College and majored in religion. I left College and studied at an Assemblies of God Bible College for my Master’s. I spent years in a non-denominational, Charismatic church. I then became a Catholic Youth Minister who has a healthy skepticism towards church dogma and the powers that be that seek to enslave the lay as supposed to empower them. I despise denominationalism, yet I understand it. Jesus was not Catholic or Protestant my friends. He was God… or at least that what I believe. Yet, I enjoy watching debates with the brilliant atheist Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins vs. the top Christian apologists in the world.
Maybe it has much to do with my Louisiana roots. In Louisiana we have a popular dish called gumbo. In fact, my grandparents on both sides could make some real gumbo che’. (Louisiana lingo right there) I’m talking rice, sausage, okra, chicken, shrimp, and a host of other meats and spices. Gumbo is basically a dish of organized chaos. But boy is it good!!! I’m kind of like gumbo…lol.
Back to the point at hand -
The best way to describe who I am as an artist is that my music is Spiritual. I am a spiritual artist. I write the music that comes out of my spirit, and that I believe the Spirit is telling me to write. I can’t put a genre on that. I cannot put that in a box, because the ‘Spirit’ expands itself across multiple genres and subject matters. For me, no topic is off limits; however the lens through which I approach that topic will have its roots and that which is Spiritual.
I’m not Gospel, because when you think of Gospel only a few subject matters come to mind. ‘Praise and Worship’, ‘Baby need a new pair of shoes’, ‘Heaven’ or ‘some narrow theological matter and perspective.’ However, I don’t mind you referring to my music as Gospel, because my music is truth. My music is Spirit. My music is God.
I’m not Pop either, my friends. The track may sound Pop, but there’s almost 0 chance that you’ll hear me talk about my ‘girlfriend next door’…I am married. You won’t hear me ‘Partying like the World is going to blow.’ To be honest…I’m not really a clubber, and I’d rather be making music, or at home with my son.
I’m not R&B either. Again…the track may surely have R&B vibes, but I don’t have any “Confessions” to make, nor do I claim to have invented anything that has not already been invented outside of a song.
You see…I hate boxes. My brain just was not wired that way. I have never been able to perfectly fit in any boxes, because what I see and hear comes from someplace else. Sure…it would be much easier to fit into a box. I admire people who can give you a 10 second pitch on who they are while easily identifying each and every box that they belong to. I was not so blessed to be able to do so.
The only box that I know is Spirit. You can call it Gospel if you’d like. You can call it Pop, or R&B, or Hip-Hop, or whatever other box that you need to have.
I call it Spirit. That’s the only box big enough for me.