I’ve been making music in Kansas City for the better part of fifteen years. I’m talking about before Instagram, or TikTok, or even Soundcloud. Yes, I’m talking about MySpace days; hoping to be the next YouTube sensation like Justin Bieber. My cousin and I came up with the idea while sitting in the basement of our church on June 25, 2009. I remember the date vividly, because as we were trying to come up with a name for our new musical collective, my uncle told us that the greatest musician of all time had passed away. It was almost fate, in a sense. Or at least, that’s how my adolescent brain processed it; a colossal void had just been left in the world and culture of music. Someone had to fill that space. In that instant, “Jerry.C” was born. That moment, sitting on the steps of St. Peter CME, became a turning point in my life. I had found a calling; a passion.
You can hear a lot of that story in the music that I still make, thirteen years later. My Christian roots are front and center in every song that I write. Even though I no longer classify myself as a “gospel artist” (I just don’t want to boxed into a genre), I am still a church boy at heart. You can still hear the harmonies that I picked up from the years I spent singing in the choir. My spoken word interludes are direct descendants of the Easter poems that I had to write and recite. My passion for music stems directly from my desire to spread messages of love, peace, and encouragement; all of which, I found between those pews every Sunday morning. You would think that combination would be met with open arms by the music consumers of the world, but you would be sadly mistaken. My dedication to this message and subject matter has been one of my biggest obstacles in the music industry. Apparently (as it has been explained to me) hiphop fans don’t want to listen to “happy rap.”
Crazy, I know.
I love the fact that art has no correct answers. Expression comes in all forms and every single living person has a unique, interesting, inspiring, and entertaining story to tell. Being directly in the middle of the United States, Kansas City is a melting pot for cultures and people from different walks of life. That is what makes KC so unique from an artistic standpoint. We get different ingredients from different sources all coming together to make something new. Every dish needs different flavors. I believe if Kansas City could harness this magic through collaboration we could build a greater sense of unity and camaraderie.
The more we blend and fuse, the greater power we have. If my fans learn about you and your fans learn about me, we BOTH just doubled our fan-base. Then, if we go and collaborate with other artists, the growth becomes exponential!