Artist Interview: Beacon Light
Published on September 16, 2011
There’s been a lot of discussion lately regarding the time of Christ’s return. Some have even tried to pinpoint the day and the hour. Holyculture.net sat down to talk with our next artist Beacon Light, who agrees that no man may know the day or the hour, but one thing is guaranteed: He’s coming back “Soon”.
Shine: So how did you get started?
Beacon: Well long story short, I was raised in a Christian home. I went to an urban Christian school in Grand Rapids called Potters House until I was in the 8th grade. I was kind of in and out of the church. My parents had some issues and my mom had different affairs with different guys and stuff like that. My mom actually got pregnant with one of her affairs by an African American guy and my dads white. So that’s not like something you can cover up very easily (Laughs). But my parents decided to work it out but my dad was having a really hard time by having a child from an affair in his house. So they decided to give my little brother up for adoption to a couple in our church who was bi-racial and couldn’t have children. Now the first time I ever rapped, I did a verse to the “Joyful Joyful” song from the Sister Act movie at my church and in high school I got off into free styling my junior and senior year. Then I kind of fell off completely after high school because my mom ended up leaving my dad and got a divorce.
Beacon: So I was like “Forget it…” and was on a “God’s not real” kind of thing. Even though I knew He was real, I would choose to say that He wasn’t in order to just deal with it. So I went off and did my own thing and just got caught up in the party scene in college. Throughout all of that time I would always freestyle and kind of mess around with rap. That’s back when battling was huge and the 8 Mile movie came out. So I would just pride myself on going into these places and battling. I liked being the white dude who looked like he couldn’t rap and then just smash someone, you know. But my sophomore year in college, I would actually smoke weed all of the time and I would get high before class. I went into the shower to wash off the smell before school and I just broke down crying realizing that I sucked and my life was going nowhere. Actually the first thing I said to God was “Lord, I need to know that I’m saved…” So I called out to Him and I had this vision of back when I was 4yrs old and He said to me “I’ve been holding on to you since then…” After that day I had actually stopped rapping for about 7 or 8 months because I didn’t really feel like it could be used for God because I used it in such a wrong way. I heard some Cross Movement and Grits stuff which was good but it really didn’t hit home like I’d like. Then I heard some Lecrae and I felt like it was like God showing me that I could actually make good music that leads people to Christ.
Shine: Is your single “Soon” on a previous project or on a new project coming out?
Beacon: It’s a new single completely. Whether or not it’s going to be on a new project I’m not sure of just yet. I would assume I would throw it on there because I have the song but that’s not always so either. It was more of just praying and asking God what He wanted next because there’s always that thought of do you want to put another project right away or a mixtape or whatever.
Shine: In your songs you have a lot of scriptural content. Do you think the artistic side is just as important?
Beacon: I think it’s very important. I’m a very unique individual as far as music goes. Some of my producers beats are very weird (Laughs). I mean they’re not weird but not traditional. I feel like so much has been influenced by the South and now in the genre there are these big banging beats which can be frustrating for me as an artist when I’m trying to finish a project. It’s really hard to find producers who can be affordable, that are Christians and are good…that don’t just have Fruity Loops where everyone can tell it’s a cheap synthesizer. So from a musical angle, it’s very important but I feel it’s hard to do within our industry because we have limited resources.
Beacon: From a lyrical angle, I’ve been trying to be very careful about being original without being cliché and without loosing listeners. In the single I’m more of an artist who flows but I feel I could easily do punch lines. Punch lines actually bother me sometimes because I feel like kids are so hyped up about them. I look at some of the punch lines I’ve written and thought that if I would’ve said this as a statement it would’ve sounded dumb but because it’s in hip hop somehow it’s cool (Laughs). I don’t want to put out something that’s super simple but when I’m trying to be artistically right with it, I feel like I’m going over some people’s heads (Laughs). That’s the frustrating part of the artistic side. But yes it’s very important.
Shine: You mentioned the South and you’re from Michigan. Do you think Michigan has its own sound?
Beacon: (Pauses) I don’t know really. I don’t really listen to much music unless I’m working on a project but from what I’ve heard (production wise) I still feel like a lot of it is influenced by the South. I know some guys who are very original with their lyrics but I feel beat-wise it still all revolves around what’s out. We’re technically from the Mid-West so I don’t think that’s terrible, but the Mid-west is kind of hard to categorize in itself, you know what I mean (Laughs).
Shine: Artistically, if there was an artist who’s music you didn’t like before they were saved do you feel obligated to support them now that there a Christian?
Beacon: (Pauses) Honestly, the only thing that would make me obligated would be the number of people that the artist is still influencing and reaching. If someone has a ministry that is powerful and I don’t like their music, I probably wouldn’t buy it. But, if I meet someone who does like that style then I’d definitely refer it to them, you know what I mean. I never really feel like I need to buy someone’s CD just to support them because the reality is, it’s hard enough just trying to make the bills just doing what I’m doing. But if someone else is interested then I would refer it to someone who follows that style.
Shine: What’s one last thing that we don’t know about you?
Beacon: (Laughs) No shirts fit me because I’m actually tall, unless it’s like an extra long shirt. Everyone thinks because my tone is high pitch that I’m some little short dude when actually Im a 6ft 3in white guy. And I’m not in any way associated with Harold Camping…(Laughs)
Shine: Well Beacon, thanks for taking this time to speak with HolyCulture.net and as always continued success.
Written by Shine
Follow Shine at http://www.twitter.com/shines140
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Check out Beacons Lights new single “Soon” at http://www.youtube.com/beaconlightmusic
And download the single on Itunes at: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/soon-feat.-vanessa-alvarez/id454520806
Follow Beacon Light on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/beaconmusic
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