I enjoy community.
I enjoy music.
I love when the two collide!
Today I would like to introduce you to CT Psalmist, a musician here in CT who I had the pleasure of interviewing this summer. Garry Shepard, Jr. and I first met a couple years back at a Friendsgiving our mutual friend John the Baptist held. (If you don’t know about John stay tuned this Fall!) I learned of his music and started following him on Instagram, since supporting local musicians is important to me. That led to him agreeing to do an interview after I heard his latest track, Motivation. (Download the track on Apple Music). I was going to turn our interview into an article, as I have done with past interviews I have written, but I really would like you to hear his heart and answers in raw format instead. Yes, it’s a bit clunkier than reading a well-written article would be, but it gives you a chance to get to know him as if you were the one sitting down with him. (Someday I will do some live interviews for you!)
Before we start, here is the song we are discussing:
Let’s jump in!
Shell: Thanks for taking time to let me ask you some questions about your music and mission so I can introduce you to The Essential Creative Community!
CT Psalmist: Thank you for this interview. It’s my first interview and I appreciate this very much.
Shell: Your latest track Motivation with Terrell Pitts Music task about what motivates you and encourages believers to continue running the race. How did this track come to fruition?
CT Psalmist: Motivation came about when I was over my brother Tuu B’s (the Producer of the track) house. Every Thursday is our fellowship time. (Laughs) Most of our time is spent in front of the computer head bobbing while talking. It’s definitely a creative thing. He allows me to pick tracks that I like and Motivation caught my attention. The Sonic sound and instrumentation in the song gave me the title, which is the second track he has produced for me. I also pull from my past experiences and world events, and put that into my songs giving me some barz.
Shell: Motivation sounded much like an anthem to me, reminding people to let the Lord fight our battles and ride on the motivation we have knowing we’re children of God. As you were writing this song, what audience was on your mind?
CT Psalmist: I definitely had believers in Christ on my mind. With so much going on in the world, we as believers need motivation to keep on moving. When I wrote Motivation, it was a reminder for me to stay motivated. It can be discouraging when you witness to people you love knowing where they’re headed but refuse God’s life-saving message. Also it’s funny that you said it sounded like an anthem; I was thinking the same thing.
Shell: What are some of your ministry goals through music?
CT Psalmist: To encourage my brothers and sisters across the masses. My goal is to encourage those who are fearful or unsure to breakout and walk by faith. That’s always been and will be my main goal because a blessing to me is to see the body moving and united as one effectively reaching lost souls one ear at a time. I want to have my own record label as well.
Shell: Nice goals. How long have you been ministering through music?
CT Psalmist: Since 2002 when I came back to Christ, although there are some gaps due to me being discouraged about the direction I saw other CHH artists going. I actually stopped rapping for 7 years from 2003 to 2010. Then in 2011 the Lord began to stir within my spirit man to use my life experiences to rap again.
Shell: I’m so glad you started rapping again. Your music inspires me and I really enjoyed this latest track. Many people who follow my blog aren’t Christians but are open to various messages and input. What message do you have for people who don’t yet have a relationship with Christ and reading this interview?
CT Psalmist: Come as you are, no matter what you’ve been through or what you’ve done. Like other relationships you have, you have to get to know Christ for yourself. Yes, I can tell you God is good and what He’s done for me, but you need to experience it for yourself. That starts with repentance, acceptance of salvation, finding a Bible-based church where there is peace, and then allowing God to pour into you and reveal Himself to you. It WON’T be easy. It’s going to be a battle but you can make it as long as you stay the course. I wasn’t always saved, but I was raised in the church and then left at 13 only to come back at 21. It’s a beautiful, life-changing experience when you give it your all.
Shell: I agree with you completely! It’s so beautiful even in the ugly moments. Tell me what your aspirations are outside of music.
CT Psalmist: As much as I enjoy rapping for God, my aspiration is to do audio engineering full time. Every since I went to Recording Radio Film Connection, and received my certificate for Audio Engineering, I learned a lot. Growing up in the 90s, all I knew was the karaoke machine, blank tape, single tape with instrumental, and then press play to record! To learn the process of what it takes to make the song radio ready opened my eyes. Plus I love to help people any way that I can. Audio Engineering allows me to do that.
Shell: I love interviewing people because I learn a lot about them when doing so. How can we help further your message, in addition to obviously sharing Motivation?
CT Psalmist: By continuing to encourage one another, lending an ear to those who just need to talk to someone they can trust, and being an example of what a conqueror and overcomer looks like.
Shell: Thank you again for taking this time to talk with me, Garry! What is the best way for people to reach you if they would like to have you come out to their outdoor festivals, church events, gatherings, or music events?
Watch a fireside chat with Garry on my YouTube channel and visit the post about it here.