Odyssey Exclusive: Interview With Sir The Baptist

Odyssey Exclusive: Interview With Sir The Baptist

Very few artists encompass "started from the bottom, now we're here" like Sir the Baptist has.

Church Pub Rap. Contemporary Ghetto Gospel. Secular Hip Hop.

For a genre with so many names, it's difficult to place your finger on precisely what this style of music sounds like - that is, until you listen to Sir the Baptist perform. While an R&B infused gospel seems like an impossible sound, it makes sense once you learn about Sir the Baptist's history.

I had the opportunity to meet with Sir the Baptist and his team as they took over Free Press Summer Fest in Houston, TX. An "urban hymnist" in his own right, Sir is the son of a preacher and a missionary, with such secularism evident in his music influenced by Nat King Cole and Ray Charles. While performing, he had opened up to the audience as someone much more than an artist, but also a vivid story teller, discussing his experience as a homeless man and other obstacles in his life.

"I think life is an obstacle course," he told me after his performance. "You've kinda just gotta keep going every day. Wake up, work hard, and hopefully you jump and overcome an obstacle that you didn't even know was there."

Wake up and work hard, he did, evident with his tremendous Atlantic Record deal and successful national tour. From Bonnaroo to Lollapalooza,from taking over BET's Snapchat to taking over the stage at Late Night with Seth Meyers, the explosive success is as evident as ever, but offered some more input on life's constant struggles.

"You see, some of the obstacles are ourselves. The biggest stumbling block is the one we set there - out of being egotistical, not communicating with one another - we set [these obstacles] because of ourselves."

Another thing that sets Sir the Baptist apart from other performers in the industry is him and his team's determination to give back everywhere they perform. Whether it's aiding flood victims in Houston, refugees in the northwest, or simply speaking with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, they're dedicated to helping our nation's communities in any way they can.

"In this industry, I think we've set a terrible norm - taking money, calling it entertainment, and begging for money on Twitter... Like, what are you doing? They need money in the community! Don't take advantage of your community. Give back."

It's inspiring, listening to Sir the Baptist and his team speak. Nowadays, society doesn't expect artists to do anything but perform, which is precisely the notion they hope to change. "Our generation has to start fixing this... Get back to helping," he pleas. "Get involved! Get out of the studio, and go to somebody who's sleeping in a studio - one bedroom - with eight kids!"

This idea of selflessness and giving back to the community is evident throughout the team, who took me in that day at the festival and welcomed me as if I were one of their own. I'd like to give a shoutout to the fantastic team consisting of, Jay Cohen, Johnny Fan, Ajaj Frazier, Scott Englert, Joshua Stovall, Shannon Clay, Kelsey Quinn, those I knew simply as Tuba and Vet, and of course, Sir William James the Baptist.

If you have time, Sir the Baptist's music through Spotify or watch his music videos on YouTube. If you don't have the time, make it and then proceed to do all of the above. Learn more about DeedPin, a creation backed by the team to track good deeds throughout the world. Not only their music, but also their message and service is a breath of fresh air in the music industry that audiences of all walks of life are sure to enjoy.

And remember, "raise Hell until you reach Heaven's door."

Cover Image Credit: Sir the Baptist: Official Website

Popular Right Now

30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.

Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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