“Staying Pure and Faithful with the Captivating Adam Thomason” – The 116 Life Episode 31

Adam Thomason is a man of many talents, including basketball, art, and filmmaking. On this episode of the 116 Life, we sit down with the creative to talk his relationship with Reach Records and its co-founders Ben Washer and Lecrae, and his desire to affect change through storytelling.

The Early Days: Meeting Ben Washer and Lecrae

Adam’s journey with the 116 Life began in 2003, even before the 116 logo was established. He was introduced to Ben Washer due to his art skills and basketball abilities. Their first meeting took place at an inner-city hoop league in Denton, Texas, where Ben’s basketball skills left a lasting impression. Adam describes Ben as someone who takes his time and doesn’t let others rush him.

Around the same time, Adam met Lecrae at a college group called Plumb Line. Coming out of the fashion industry, Adam was seeking a break and found it in a discipleship program in Denton, Texas. Plumb Line, a majority white church with an urban feel, was part of this program. Adam’s first impression of Lecrae and the group was that they seemed insecure but confident. He acknowledges Lecrae’s magnetic personality and Ben’s meticulousness in packaging and branding.

The Formation of Reach Records

Our conversation moved to the formation of Reach Records and its distinctive factor compared to other collectives in the Christian music industry. Timing played a crucial role in the success of Reach Records, as they emerged during a shift towards the southern sound in rap music. The passion and energy that artists like Lecrae brought to the faith, combined with their focus on the scriptures and prayer, led to the success of Reach Records.

Adam Thomason: A Man of Many Talents

Adam’s diverse range of talents and disciplines is truly impressive. He grew up in Detroit during the crack epidemic and found his way to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). At SCAD, he explored various disciplines, including fashion, architecture, and filmmaking. Today, he works as a full-time filmmaker and storyteller, covering a range of topics such as the Venezuelan food crisis and anti-human trafficking efforts.

The Role of Faith in Creativity

Adam emphasizes that those who are close to God should be the most creative. If they believe that God created this beautiful universe, they should be inspired to create amazing things. He challenges the notion that being tapped into God makes someone boring, stating that it should actually be offensive if someone calls you boring when you are connected to God.

The Importance of Being a Witness to the World

Adam believes that artists should prioritize their faith and not seek validation from mainstream culture. He uses the metaphor of Egypt and Rome to explain that artists often look to the mainstream culture for affirmation and end up creating art for the world instead of for God. He believes that artists should focus on creating art that surpasses what the world is doing and that will be praised by the world.

Balancing Data and Intuition in Decision-Making

Adam discusses the importance of balancing data and intuition in decision-making. He shares his belief that while data is valuable for informing decisions, it cannot be the sole factor in the decision-making process. He emphasizes the need to also tap into one’s intuition and emotions, particularly for artists.

Using Art to Address Injustices

Adam recently traveled to Guatemala with RG and Lecrae, where they partnered with International Justice Mission to address issues of sex trafficking, bonded labor, and violence against women and children. He believes that artists have the power to move the needle and make a difference in the world, and that it is important for them to use their platform to address important issues and bring about positive change.

In conclusion, the conversation with Adam Thomason was a journey through his life, his faith, and his influence. His story is a testament to the power of art, faith, and determination, and I hope it inspires you as much as it inspired us.

Thank you for tuning in. Remember, you can download the Holy Culture App and listen anywhere. Available for iPhone and Android. If you are an artist or if you know an artist, visit our artist resources page to find out how to submit your music, event or article. Until next time, God bless.

Staying Pure and Faithful with Adam Thomason


The early days of Reach Records [00:00:54] Adam Thomason discusses the early days of Reach Records and his involvement in the label’s formation.

Meeting Lecrae and Ben Washer [00:01:50] Thomason shares the story of how he met Lecrae and Ben Washer and their initial interactions.

Ben Washer’s influence on branding [00:07:27] Thomason talks about Ben Washer’s meticulous approach to branding and design, and his impact on the 116 logo.

The Contrition Period [00:11:16] Discussion about the period of contrition and reflection when record sales and awards are not the focus.

Distinctive Factor of Reach Records [00:12:13] Exploration of what set Reach Records apart from other collectives and labels during that time.

The Southern Sound and Branding [00:13:26] Explanation of how Reach Records capitalized on the rising popularity of the southern sound in Christian music and the importance of branding.

The importance of faith in creativity [00:22:59] Discussion on how faith plays a role in creativity and how being tapped into God can lead to creating better art.

Challenges for artists and the influence of mainstream culture [00:24:59] Exploration of how artists can get caught up in seeking affirmation from mainstream culture and the importance of creating art for God rather than trying to imitate what is popular.

Art and commerce in conflict [00:29:01] Conversation about the tension between art and commerce, the impact of data on decision-making, and the need for disruption in the creative industry.

The trip to Guatemala and justice work [00:36:40] Adam Thomason discusses his trip to Guatemala with RG and Lecrae to partner with International Justice Mission and address issues of sex trafficking and violence against women.

The importance of artists in mission work [00:40:45] Adam Thomason emphasizes the role of artists in making a difference and impacting culture, highlighting the need for artists to use their platform and voice for justice.

Adam Thomason’s perspective on love and journeying with others [00:43:51] Adam Thomason shares his perspective on loving and journeying with people, regardless of their beliefs or mistakes, and how it aligns with living like Christ.

Related Radio Show: 116 Life