We recently got the chance to sit down with Scotty G and talk about Grow In Wisdom Foundation presents Word to the Wise, his debut album, the inspiration behind the music, and so much more.
When did you find your passion for music?
I first found my passion for music as a small child. My favorite part of every church service was the music. I remember when I was little, I would wait until everyone left the sanctuary after church so that I could sneak up front and play on the piano. I must have been only six or seven years old at that time.
Who are your own music “idols,” and how have they influenced your own style of music?
I don’t really have any music “idols”. As I have aged, the style of music that I listen to on a regular basis has changed drastically. When I was a teenager, I listened to Jay-Z, Biggie, Tupac and Wu-Tang Clan, among many other mainstream artists in what many consider, the “Golden Ages” of Hip-Hop. As I got older, I began listening to more smooth R&B, by artists like Anthony Hamilton and Jill Scott. As I progressed through my late 20’s and early 30’s, I began to find inspiration in Gospel Artists such as Marvin Sapp, Youth for Christ and William Murphy. Interestingly enough, I find this album to be a combination of all of these sounds.
When/how did you decide you wanted to make an album?
I have wanted to make an album since I was about 16 years old. It was then that I began spitting rhymes. I tried on numerous occasions to put together one coherent project, but something would go wrong every single time to stop the project in its tracks. I became frustrated and quit at about age 28.
But then when I was 34, my father passed away, and I realized the brevity of life in a way that I had never understood before. I began to feel as if life was too short not to pursue this passion. However, my life at age 34 was so much different than it had been just 10 years earlier, that the content of the music was drastically different even though the style was the same. It was then that it became clear to me, that the reason I had failed for so long, was because I was trying to make music for my own personal gain as opposed to for the benefit of others. That was not God’s plan for my life, and therefore it would never work until I first submitted to his Will. Now that I am doing it for HIS Glory, things seem to be falling into place in a way that exceeds my wildest dreams and expectations. Praise God on that!
What has been your songwriting process?
The most important part of the songwriting process for me is receiving the message from God that I am to deliver through the song. It starts with Prayer, Praise, and Scripture.
Then, I make the music. I meditate on melodies and use the piano to transform the idea into a coherent melodic structure. Next, I allow the content of the message to dictate the cadence and tempo of the beat.
Once the music is done, I listen to it ad nauseam. Eventually, it becomes obvious to me the lyrics that are needed and the rhythmic intonation of the speech that will accompany the music.
I imagine myself delivering the message to the targeted listener, and I adjust my tone of voice to create what I feel will be the most compelling listening experience.
Then, I go to the studio to record it, and I consult with the engineers and producers to make sure it actually sounds good.
How would you describe your album?
It’s quite simply unlike anything ever created.
I had someone refer to the album as “Urban Christian”, which I thought was an interesting concept. Having grown up in Church and not attending church as an adult, I have noticed the common theme in Christian Music of God’s Grace, Love, and Forgiveness. But that leaves many questions, like WHY do we need Grace? HOW do we show others God’s Love, and WHAT did we DO that merits forgiveness.
Christian Music traditionally refers to “trials and tribulations”, and “sins and transgressions”, but we as Christians are often hesitant to expose our own “dirty laundry”, for fear of judgment. This album seeks to break the mold, as the album speaks boldly about some of the REASONS we need God’s forgiveness, and some of my life experiences that have created my testimony. As opposed to traditional Christian Music, this album is not afraid to call sin by its name and discuss transgressions openly.
Artistically, the mixture of Hip-Hop, R&B, Jazz and Gospel creates an entirely new genre. I suppose “Urban Christian” may be the best term I can think of to describe it.
Who/what has been your biggest inspiration/motivation while you were writing and recording your album?
God. He has continued to make provisions, strengthen my faith, and give me patience through this process. Also, my deceased father, David L. Gill, Sr. He was such a loving, and caring person, that when he passed, I decided I could not fall short of doing everything I can to honor his legacy through my life.
If there’s one thing you want people to take away from your music, what would that be?
If there’s one thing I want people to take away from the music, it’s the Biblical concepts. Through Faith, we have the power to Speak things into existence. Whether in good times or bad, whenever something happens in your life, Praise God on that. There’s a season for everything, and in every season, Praise Him. Don’t be afraid to ask God Why when you don’t understand the circumstances of your life.
Why should someone buy your album?
It’s so inspirational and intimate. It’s also bold and shocking. In addition, it’s extremely well-produced with the best sound quality.
Many feel that the art of Hip-Hop is at an all-time low, with the rise of “mumble rap” and the obsessive use of auto-tune. This is a refreshing project, filled with beats and rhymes, clearly audible, and containing a coherent message in each song.
Folks should also purchase the album because the proceeds go towards a great cause. All of the proceeds that are due to the Foundation go directly back into the Foundation, to help the community.
How will this album help further the mission of the foundation?
The purpose of the album as it pertains to the mission of the Foundation is threefold.
- Spread the Word – As Christians, our Mission must always be first and foremost, to Spread the Word of God as written in the Bible. We see ministers every Sunday morning present their interpretation of the Word. The physical words in the Bible don’t mean nearly as much without a relationship with God, which is what allows us the proper interpretation. So the purpose of spreading the Word is to introduce people to our Awesome God. We can also accomplish this through good works, which in my mind, is community service.
- Raise Capital – In order to build and operate a Homeless Resource Center, we need funds. It’s really that simple.
- Increase Awareness – As we participate in community service initiatives and try to bring awareness towards issues of homelessness, which include drug addiction, domestic violence, disability, etc., we understand the need to gain people’s attention before we can bring awareness to our cause. In the digital age, entertainment is the gateway to attention.
Do you have plans for more music projects in the future?
I would like to create more projects in the future. I will have to pray and make sure that another project is in line with God’s Will for the Foundation before doing so. As I have seen before, trying to do anything outside of his Will is destined to fail.