Recently you released UTurn would you mind sharing the concept behind the album?
This album was totally designed to walk the listener through my testimony of addiction and growing up hard to overcoming and offer hope. It's main concept and theme is "found people find people." The songs were strategically placed to reach that goal of encouraging people to (you turn) while walking them through my UTurn. The title also runs off my name One8Tea (180).
What were some of the obstacles that you encountered while completing the project?
One difficulty for me was making sure that what I was writing stayed on point with the theme and concept of the album while making sure not to write the same thing twice. Finances were an issue but not an obstacle because I just believed there would be a way, but being married with children and looking to do this full time starting out is discomforting at times. The other thing I would say is trying to get and keep everybody involved on the same page with the same heart and mind even though we we're scattered all over Canada.
Creating music is a very therapeutic process. How has writing and recording music benefited your life?
It is by far my happy place so to speak. I have been writing and creating since I was very young and my only rule was always make sure I truly believed in what I wrote about. That's why there's such a Godly overtone in my music. I went through the Teen Challenge Program which is a year long residential faith based rehab program while there I wrote daily to fill my time and upon graduating I had a full mix tape plus written. Understanding that before going into that program I had attempted suicide and knew that the only way my life was saved was through God. Recording for me is like teleportation into another world. I just completely get lost in that zone.
The songwriting process can be a major stumbling block for a lot of artists. What drives you to complete songs?
I try to always remind myself that the songs I write are not always for me. There's a guy out there struggling somewhere who doesn't speak Bible/Church language and the lyrics I write might be exactly what he needs to hear in the language he needs to hear it. That inspires me daily. Found people find people.
What is your ultimate goal with music? What would you like to accomplish?
I like to think that I write outreach music. That said, my ultimate goal is to build something where we are sending out hope to the world. Obviously I want to be able to live off of my ministry but that is a secondary thing to the mission itself. Reaching out. I want to accomplish building something that would last so local artists like myself would have a platform to work from as we are in a very small market for what it is we do.