Twenty Questions with charismatic Gospel artist CST (Christ Saved Terry)
Hailing from Detroit, USA, CST (Christ Saved Terry) is a charismatic, spontaneous and direct hip-hop / Gospel artist who set out to create music with an honest and eclectic approach. His fondness for hip-hop goes a long way back: his heart and soul was blessed with a talent and affinity for music since he was a kid. The hip-hop scene has always been victim of the vain and shallow pursuit of super-stardom. As a consequence, much of what makes music really important is lost: the message. The cause. CST doesn’t just aim to make typical forms of entertainment: His music is a pledge to the undying love and greatness of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
With such an inspirational mindset, CST set out to bring worship music to the next level. His songs are direct, charismatic and in-your-face, with the main goal of driving the listener to pursue the Eternal Glory of God. Here is an exclusive interview with the artist, to understand more about his thoughts and ideas.
- How long have you been in the music game and how did you get started in the first place?
CST: I started out in front of my school tyring to rap with my friends. I came out with my first CD in 2004.
- Who were your first musical influences that you can remember?
CST: early on in Detroit I was influenced by the local artists around me like Eminem, Royce 5’9” and slum village.
- Which artists are you currently listening to? And is there anyone of these that you’d like to collaborate with?
CST: Nowadays I listen to more Christ centered Rap and I find that Bizzle, Da Truth and #RPSMG is on my playlist now. I would love to work with Black knight from #RPSMG( Rock Paper Scissors Music Group)
- Have you suffered any ‘resistance’ or skepticism from within the industry and fellow artists, due to your prerogative in spreading the Lord’s word, and if so how have you handled that?
CST: Thanks for asking that, In most cases I find most people accepting of what I’m willing to do. The only issue I encounter is when It’s assumed that my material is lesser than due to the content. At the end of the day, I find people that don’t want to hear the message that’s in my music and that’s ok, they are where they are.
- Growing up, which vocation actually manifested itself to you first, your talent for music, or your will to abide by the Gospel?
CST: Before my conversion to Christianity, I was in to music and while I had been to a church before it wasn’t my background. My early music while it had a positive spin wasn’t full gospel music per se.
- Studio recordings or performing live in front of an audience, which of these do you prefer most and why?
CST: Both, I’ve come to love the polish of a studio sound and I’ve learned to invest in what it takes to make the sound pleasant. I also love to share my music to live audiences. I get to love people and share with them up close and personal.
- Tell us something about the beats and music production on your releases. Do you write and compose them or do you work with other writers and Producers?
CST: With this project I’ve learned that there is no such thing as the lone genius. to get anywhere in life we need help and support from others. Each of my projects has had a purpose and a message I hope to communicate to my audience. In my previous work, I’ve done most of everything myself from the production, the concept and I’ve seen limits to my abilities when you go at it alone. This Project started with help of a producer (Wontel) that took time and created music that fits the theme of the album and every song is a reflection of the growth I’ve experienced and the depth of my convictions.
- On which of your songs do you think you delivered your personal best performance so far, from an emotional and technical point of view?
CST: I have a song called Lost 2 Found which really speaks to where I’m at right now. The Song by Donnie McClurklin that said “we fall down, but we up”. I wanted to communicate that for a new generation of people who are for the most part unimpressed with Jesus and what he represents.
- Which ingredient do you think makes you special and unique as a performing artist in a genre overflowing with new faces and ideas?
CST: Honesty. We all bring our background and worldview to our music and provide a lens for others to see through. I don’t see myself as special per se. I was told If you were one in a million on this planet, there is still 7000 people just like you. I’m grateful to have a talent to share and I understand people have choices on to do with their time.
- If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you to stay in this tough business. Is it joy, anger, desire, passion or pride and why?
CST: Passion. I love what I do. I have a gift and it’s more than the music it’s just the way I can share the message with others.
- Which aspect of being an independent artist and the music making process excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?
CST: I love the creative process. Being a creative allows me to explore and develop ideas into good art.
- Tell us something about your songwriting process. What usually comes first the lyrics or the beats?
CST: Both, Sometimes I don’t always have an agenda. Other times the beats are telling me what to write.
- How involved are you in any or all of the recording, producing, mastering, and marketing processes of your music. Do you outsource any of these processes?
CST: I’m very involved in the process. Lately I’ve learned to look for the best ear for my mixes.
- The best piece of advice in this business you actually followed so far, and one you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?
CST: Good Question, I was told to learn as much as I can about every aspect of production and I didn’t fully follow through with that and I’m paying to price for it today.
- At this point, as an independent artist, which is the one factor you desire most, and feel will undeniably benefit the your future (for example increased music distribution, better quality production, more media exposure, bigger live gigs etc…)?
CST: Exposure and Better coaching and a solid team to move things forward. Without friensds and family in your corner, you’re dead in the water.
- Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites, as fundamental to your career, and indie music in general, or do you think it has only produced a mass of mediocre “copy-and-paste” artists, who flood the web, making it difficult for real talent to emerge?
CST: I can no longer judge due to the fact that we all have things that most can consider generic. At the same time I wish to be as authentic as I can in my art.
- Could you tell us something about your latest releases and where fans can find them?
CST: Worship Musick is Available on iTunes and all digital outlets. I look forward to releasing more material before years end.
- Which song (or songs) in your catalog best describes the sound and style you ultimately want to consolidate and why?
CST: I have several tracks that speak directly to who I am. My God, the shadows featuring Talo. I share who I am more so than try to be preachy in my music.
- What do you think is the biggest barrier you have to face and overcome as an indie artist and devoted Christian, in your quest to achieve your goals and wider spread success?
CST: Keeping my priorities in line and always placing my focus on God first more so than success.
- What is the ONE thing you are NOT willing or prepared to do EVER, in your quest to achieve a successful musical career?
CST: Anything that will compromise my faith, or put me a in a situation that will do more harm than good.