SUCCESS: S.O's latest album hit the top 5 of the iTunes hip hop charts
UK GOSPEL rapper S.O.’s second album And So It Continues enjoyed iTunes chart success when it was released at the end of 2012. He spoke to Soul Stirrings about music, theology and his hopes for 2013.
SOUL STIRRINGS (SS): Your album hit the top 5 of the iTunes hip hop charts in the US, Canada and the UK during its first week of release. How did you feel about that?
SO: It felt great to know that my music was not just well received in the UK but all around the world. It actually excited me to see that God was doing such a great thing through my music.
SS: Why do you think you were shown so much love by hip hop music fans?
SO: Love was shown because of the honesty in my music. My music is relational. I talk about real life issues from a Christian perspective and people can relate to it. Also because of the groundwork I had previously laid. My first album was free; I have done multiple shows and been busy on social networks.
SS: What would you say are the key themes you are trying to convey on this album?
SO: A key theme would be life and doctrine - how does what I believe affect the way I am living? In reality, saying ‘I believe in God or Jesus' does not mean too much. James says that even the demons believe and they shudder! Jesus is all about belief affecting life. On And So It Continues I wanted to write about my life through a Christian lens.
SS: What do you love most about being a rap gospel artist?
SO: The fact that I get to be myself. I have a deep love for Jesus, for His church and for His word – it’s amazing I get to rap about that. But the reality is that not every day is a calm walk through a rosy field. One day you may hit a thorn and have to pray to Christ about it. Another day you may pluck a rose from the field and have to repent because the sign said “no removing of roses." So I am happy that I get to write about Biblical truth, glad to be myself.
SS: You're one of the few UK rap artistes who's got a theology degree. Why did you study the degree and then pursue becoming a rap artiste?
SO: I got a degree in theology because I wanted to know the God that I believe in even more than I did! I wanted to be saturated with Biblical truth and to challenge those who did not know Him. As to why I decided to become a rapper, I believe I had a gift and God was opening doors that I was not chasing. I met some great people who helped me on my way. I'm still pursing becoming a rap artiste, I have not arrived.
SS:Have you ever used what you learnt in your music?
SO: Oh absolutely! My first project was called The 5 Solas Mixtape so that was me rapping about Biblical truths and using big words and throwing in some Latin! Even today - although my music is not as theologically inclined as it was I still use what I have learnt in my music.
SS: 2013 has started off well for you with the announcement of a tour. What are you hoping the rest of 2013 holds for you?
SO: More tours, more videos, more music, more serving in my church, more growing in Jesus, more serving of other people.