SaRap | Rapper

Who are you and what do you do?
My name is SaRap (Grant Sarapo) and I am a hip hop artist.

How long have you been in the game?
I've always had the urge, and would make up little rhymes here and there, but it wasn't until a year ago that I decided to really give this a go.

What were some of the struggles you had when starting out?
In the beginning I had no idea what I was doing, so I went to YouTube and learned how to basically create a song. It really helped a lot because I knew what I wanted to do, but I didn't know how to do it.

What steps did you take to get moving in the right direction?
Honestly, the whole process was frustrating at first. Once I was able to get my voice sounding how I liked it, I then moved on to piecing together a complete song. I had given up a few times along the way, but once I had a song, that I liked, I knew I could do this forever.

Who are some of your biggest hip hop influences?
I'm influenced by a lot of different artist and how they each bring something different to their music. For instance I like the lyrics of Joey Bada$$, the creativity of Action Bronson and the soulfulness of Big Krit.

Where do you find inspiration?
Most of the time, inspiration comes to me while I'm driving. My theory is that since I'm doing that and not directly focusing on trying to write a song, it allows my brain to be free and come up with better quality stuff.

What are you insecure about when it comes to your music?
Playing it for people that I know. I don't like it.

Why's that?
It has a lot to do with the polarizing effect hip hop has among society. I don't like people knowing that I rap, sometimes, because I don't want to give them a reason to think differently of me based on something that I like to do.

What advice would you give to any aspiring MCs?
For starters, don't be afraid to be yourself. Find your voice and go from there. Also, you can learn almost anything on the internet if you know what questions to ask. From program settings to what effects other artists are using on their vocals, it's all out there... you just have to know how to find it.

Last Question: What are you doing when you're not creating?
Most of the time, I'm trying not to break my TV while watching the Detroit Pistons. They're my favorite team that consistantly play with my emotions. When I'm not doing that, I'm either working out or watching shows with my wife.

Music: Soundcloud / IG: @Sarap_Fresh / Twitter: @Sarap_Fresh

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