Jeff Cravens | Musician

Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Jeff Cravens and I am a worship leader at Shepherd Church.

How long have you been in the game?
I've been leading for three years now, but my desire to do music in the church started back in 2008.

What did that desire look like?
I'v always loved music, especially hip hop, so when I heard what artist like Lecrae, Trip Lee and Tedashii we're doing (producing guality hip hop for the church); that inspired me, and my friends, to write and produce our own music.

What other artists inspire you?
Being from a multi-cultural family, my influences range from The Temptations to Nirvana. It wasn't until I was older, and really began to understand music more, that I started listening to Michael Jackson, Prince, Daft Punk and N.E.R.D. (to name a few). More so now, I really love what Hillsong and Elevation Church are doing as well as the artist I mentioned before.

Is that where your music comes from?
I consider music and singing, or any talent for that matter, a gift and that it comes from a "gift giver" who is God. With Him as my #1 source of inspiration, it trickles down through my wife who brings with her new life experiences that can be used as well.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to do what you do?
No matter the art, or type of work you are doing, I think it is very important to surround yourself with two types of people: The first type is someone who is at a place in their life/career that you inspire to be at and the second is someone who wants to be where you are currently.

In what ways do those two types of people allow you to further your art?
Having those two types of people allow you to have a really good balance of setting goals while also having influence on those around you. Where one person is helping you unleash your potential, the other is letting you put it into action.

Who are those "Made It" guys in your life?
I look up to so many, but one of those guys would be Isreal Houghton. He has been a worship leader for so many years and is amazing at what he does. Another guy is David Ware from Hillsong. He not only shares a passion for leading worship, but also has a love for hip hop that I can relate to.

Are those two people whose brains you'd want to pick?
Definitely. I'd love to sit down and see what worship music is to them and how they present that to others.

At this point in your career, what would you consider to be your biggest accomplishments?
Recently, I had the opportunity to be a part of Shepherd Youth's live album. I had never done a project like that, so being able to go in, record and see the joy it brought people was a pretty cool experience.

Last Question: What is your favorite cereal?
Hands down... Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Golden Grahams. As you may know, one has the cinnamon thing going on while the other has the honey and honestly... they taste great mixed together.

Live Album: Shepherd Youth