Countdown To Creation Fest '16 - Triple O Interview
Triple O has been touring the UK with his Gospel infused rap. He has collaborated with a diverse range of artists and even collected a MOBO award along the way. Triple O will be performing at Creation Fest 16 on Wednesday night in The Tube, and if his performance at LIVE In A Field earlier this year is anything to go by, then he may just bring the tent down!
Can you introduce yourself, what is it you do?
I’m a Gospel rapper and I’ve been doing Gospel music for well over 11 years now going up and down the country taking the medium of rap music, infusing it with the gospel and just sharing it with whoever, whether they need it, whether they feel they need it or not, getting the good music and the good new message out to the masses.
Where are you from?
I’m based in London.
You said you’ve been doing this for 11 years, what made you start rapping or did your faith come first or did the rapping come first?
I was brought up in a Christian home so I was always surrounded by Christianity and the faith. I never really took it that seriously or lived it for myself. Coming from East London which is like notorious for Grime music I was brought up around that culture as well. Going to school with quite a few notorious Grime MC’s so I just kind of saw what they were doing and just kind of picked up the music first. Already being surrounded by the Christian faith at home it was a couple of years later because I started making Gospel music straight away. It was when I started to grow in the music I then realised actually there was some severity to what I was doing in terms that it held some weight and wasn’t something to be played around with. So I went back to square one with my faith. I ended up sitting down with someone who walked me through the gospel and gave me a clear understanding of what the gospel was and who Jesus was and what he did and the significance of that for my life. Then the music then came second, so it was the music first and then the faith and a couple of years later it was the faith first and then the music.
The faith is now the primary thing. What is the simple message that you are trying to get across in the music?
The simplest message that I am trying to get across is encouragement and hope. I think there are a lot of people, both inside and outside of the Christian faith that struggle on a day to day basis just to get up in the morning. So I want my music to encourage people and let them know that you can get up and get through the day and perservere and press on and do what has to be done. The Lord is faithful to keep watch over you, keep going and don’t give up, hence the reason that anyone who knows me, knows I run around with the mantra “Keep Breathing” that something I’m notorious for in terms of that saying because it encourages me to continue to go forth because logically speaking when you stop breathing you die, so in everything keep breathing, keep going, keep moving forwards.
Did you face those kind of issues before you were a Christian or even since you made that faith decision, have you had those set backs that made you want to give up?
Yeah definitely, definitely. Before I was a Christian, and even my younger years in the Christian faith, I struggled heavily with depression. There have been times when I would wake up in the morning, even more recently where I just feel very very down and discouraged and weakened but I have to take strength in the Lord, in His word, in His promises, in the people around me and the accountability, just being honest with myself and the people around me and just making sure that I am able to really trust in Him and keep running and keep moving. That’s the reason that I keep running around screaming “Keep Breathing” because it’s something that just daily reminds me not to give up.
It’s interesting to say that you struggled with depression etc when you are actually an award winning artist, you’ve won a MOBO and other awards. Does it make a difference to know that you’ve done well, or is it still a struggle?
I think it’s one of those things where the Bible talks about “what does it profit a man to gain the world and lose his soul” and you can have all the accolades man can give you but in the eyes of God and on that great and final day it all means nothing. I think it’s great to be acknowledged by man and it’s great to be encouraged by other people, but at the end of the day what will stand the test of time is your relationship with God and your personal walk with the Lord and that’s something that is a daily struggle, it’s something that needs to be checked day-in, day-out so all of that stuff is great, but it’s not the be all and end all.
There’s been a bit of discussion recently about whether rap and hip-hop can really be “Christian” music, what is your take on that?
I think it definitely can. Christian music is about message, it’s about the content, what’s being proclaimed and what’s being fed. So whether the style or the medium is always going to vary, whether it’s praise and worship, it can be contemporary folk, jazz, CCM, soul, hip-hop, grime, rap. The medium should not define the message, the message should define the medium and if the content is God glorifying music and it points to the cross and it points people back to Christ then there shouldn’t be much discussion. The medium is what is going to penetrate the wider public and thats what we need to focus on, using it as a tool to take it to arenas where we can get the opportunity to share the gospel with those who need it.
Have you been in the studio recently, have you got anything new coming soon?
Yeah, yeah, funnily enough I am in the studio at the moment finishing off my second album which will be out in the autumn of 2016. It’s in a very good space and I can’t wait to finish it. So yeah that’s on it’s way later on this year.
Where can people find you on social media?
To get hold of me my social media handles are all the same @tripleomusic instagram, twitter, soundcloud etc I am very accessible there and you can keep up to date with when the album is going to drop.