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April 20, 2016

5 Questions: Christon Gray Talks Emceeing, Musical Commentary & Mission


Rapper and vocalist Christon Gray has made waves with the release of his new project, The Glory Album, recently released on Kirk Franklin’s Fo Yo Soul label. We gave it 5 stars (and probably would’ve given more if we could), so we were thrilled to be able to get a one-on-one with the gifted artist.

Check out 5 Questions with Christon Gray below!

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1. The Glory Album is full of commentary– whether about our spiritual lives, or simply our lives in society. If you had to synthesize “the message” behind it all, what are you trying to get across?

Thank you for noticing.  I was hoping that some folks might pull those themes from the album.  If I had to synthesize the message, I’d say it’s that we are all human and we all need the love and grace of Jesus. I love in Gospel music how much we praise God and thank Him for bringing us through trials. I love in CCM how we can worship the risen Lord with our hands high remember how faithful he’s been. In CHH, there is often a message directed at unbelievers or something that can help the younger generation of believers. I wanted to take elements of all of those things, but remove the filters that we sometimes put on them. I didn’t want to judge the non-believers or be afraid to sing about my Savior. We make mistakes, we sin. Dang, unless you’re Jesus Himself, I think it’s best you worry about taking care of your own house first.  And that’s what this album is truly about.

2. How do you view The Glory Album as compared to your previous music?

I view it as progression.  Moving forward in my life. The sound is progressive and very different than what is currently in the Jesus music market, and I like that. Lyrically, it dives deep into places that most Christian’s don’t talk about, especially in their music, and that’s a risk. But the people identify with it.  Non-believers identify with it.  They like hearing Christian’s struggle just like they do, but at the end of the day, we have an answer, we have hope, and that hope is Jesus.  In that regard, it’s similar to my other projects.  But I think sonically, lyrically, writing, everything really has progressed on this album.

3. Even before signing with Fo Yo Soul, you had achieved notable success as an artist. Why did you decide to sign a new deal instead of steering more toward an the indie route?

I’ve been blessed with some incredible fans. They’re always supporting me no matter what and are the core reason I do this. I knew in order to expand my fanbase in the mainstream and Christian market, I would need some help. We had several mainstream offers on the table, but working with Kirk Franklin was a no brainer for me. He is a trailblazer, he’s respected among multiple genres, multi-generational and most importantly, he’s humble.

christongray_gloryalbum_3004. You seem to be equal parts singer and rapper. Do you consider yourself more of one over the other?

Well, don’t tell anyone, but I truly am an emcee first. That’s my love.  Writing bars to make you think and make you go ‘ohhhhhhhh’. That said, I love singing and I think that’s what most people know me for and I am very happy with that.  I’m grateful I can even display some level of competency in both.

5. How do you see your music ministry? What’s the drive behind it all?

I do see my music as ministry and I see it as my profession.  That’s a tight rope to walk. When you say ministry, folks expect you to come to their function for free and perform.  When you say profession, people think you’ve turned your back on the faith and are in it for the money.  I don’t know how to navigate those perceptions.  What drives me is to show people Jesus.  Hearing ‘Stop Me’ playing everyday on ESPN with the message it preaches is why I do this.  That’s what drives me.  As I said on the “Runnin Freestyle,” “we’re looking for change before we count the numbers.”  So while chart positions and encouraging words from famous folks is something I don’t take for granted, I’d trade it all to see lives changed for eternity.

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The Glory Album is available everywhere music is sold. Get it today!