Up by 13
I find myself in a unique position, as I stand at the crest of a new chapter in my life. With the upcoming release of my first body of work, “Up By 13 (The Mixtape),” I see that I am plagued with an abundance of emotions, everything from excitement, to fear, to joy, to apprehension. In the past year, the LORD in His infinite wisdom has seen it fit to grant me numerous opportunities, none of which I can claim to have earned or deserved. In fact, if you asked me this time in 2009 if I was planning to release of project this year, the answer would have been “NO.”
For some years, many have asked for a project from me and due to personal reasons, have abstained from providing one. Only now do I believe I have received the green light from the Father to go ahead. Yet now, despite His approval, I feel (and know that I am) extremely unworthy to bear the platform He has placed me on. I am all to familiar with my weaknesses and failures to feel entitled to the stage. But “by His grace, I am what I am” (I Corinth. 15:10). I continually find in myself a battle to put Christ on FULL DISPLAY versus the carnal desires to be known, rich and famous. Despite this, I can say that by His grace, more than anything, I want His fame to spread.
The concept of the mixtape speaks to both the secular and sacred soul. Contained in the 13 songs are 13 different Biblically foundational lessons and teachings (all wrapped in the Gospel) to be learnt. To the saved, the 13 songs represent 13 opportunities to go “up by 13” in the faith if the lessons found in the songs are internalized and applied. A similar application can be made to the unbelieving general public. I attempt to take it a step further by speaking also to unbelieving artists occupying quite major platforms.
Today Media (music, television, print etc) is permiated with obscene, vulgar and anti-Christian messages. A great majority of big name (and smaller name) secular artists promote a decadent lifestyle devoid of fear or devotion to a great and mighty God. These tastemakers are extremely talented at writing, creating, producing and music, the result being a generations who are “slaves to a music.” Many know the messages are detrimental, but are powerless to revamp their diet. Here is where by God’s grace, I hope to influence those creating and distributing the music.
While they are extremely talented, the mere fact that I create music to point people to Jesus puts me “up by 13.” To clarify, I am in no way claiming to be the best at anything or even claiming to be more talented than these artists and producers. I am simply stating that the mere fact that I live to glorify the most excellent God, puts me and other skilled and blessed Christian artists ahead of them (in my case, 13 tracks ahead). Therefore, to them as well, the 13 songs represent 13 opportunities to step their game up by allowing the glorious gospel to penetrate their hearts, lives and ultimately, their lyrics.
I pray that from “Up By 13 (Intro)” to “Rock The City,” and every track in between, you will be rocked by the glorious Gospel that has rocked me (and continues to do so) and so many other people globally.
Release Date: 21/11/2011