BLOG #3: HIP-HOP HOPE
Updated: Dec 8, 2020
In this blog, I walk you through my path to becoming a hip hop artist and working hard to improve my sound and music skills.
Taking my call seriously as a hip hop artist
I kept on producing and writing music in my spare time. I produced two mixtapes consisting of songs that I recorded, mixed, and mastered myself in my home studio. I got a little bit of help from Greg Otterholt, my mentor, and founder of Hook and Pan Productions. After the earthquake in Haiti, I was able to sell CDs to help raise funds for my trip to Haiti in 2012 to reconnect with my biological family. However, I didn’t realize the power that music could have on people until I performed one of my songs live at Park Place Community Church. In front of 150+ audience, I performed Reach, my first single with Beyond Me Initiative in 2014. I performed the song with pop singer, Lauren Knorr. The song was well received and the audience gave me good compliments after the performance. Beyond Me Music Group was formed as I collaborated with more artists around the college campus.
Beyond Me Music Group consistently put on concerts and shows at Anderson University (AU) from 2013-2015 to raise more awareness about what we were doing. The campus at AU is small (roughly around 2,000 students) so word about our mission spread around fast.
HOW A FAN WAS IMPACTED BY THE SINGLE, "REACH"
A few days after I had performed Reach at Park Place Church, a young man, who had been in the audience, messaged me about the impact the song had on him. The basic gist of his message was that he and his wife had been questioning their calling to be missionaries. The song inspired him to take a step into following that calling. I was blown away by his story and messaged him on Facebook, thanking him for sharing that with me. I had no idea that music could bring people so much hope.
In the fall of 2012, when I was coming to Anderson University in Indiana, the campus theme that year was “Beyond Me”. That’s where the name of the non-profit I would form came from. By the second semester of my freshman year, I began rallying my friends behind the idea of making a beneficial album to raise funds to support families and communities recovering from the earthquake in Haiti.
When I was sharing my story and ideas about starting Beyond Me with her, she could see the passion and love that I had for the people of Haiti. Davia, who was a singer and guitarist, was inspired to later join the initiative. She became our volunteer coordinator later on that Spring semester.