The group A.M.P. is comprised of CL, J. Han, and Sam Ock. The bio on their website reads, “AMP is the intersection of melody and hip-hop, the manifestation of the Christian and his heart, the Korean-American aesthetic in musical form, and the outworking of a movement engaging culture. AMP is, by its very definition, an amplifier of all things good and true. ” We want to thank the Group A.M.P. from The Good Fruit Company for taking the time to sit down and answer our questions.
tBK – How did u get into Chh?
CL – I never listened to CHH till I felt the Lord convicting me to go on this journey of Christian Rap to impact the youth in which I got introduced to Phanatik, Stephen the Levite, Shai Linne and then Lecrae
We have a unique opportunity to reach an audience that is outside the Urban context. Since we are Asian-Americans, we bring a different style that reaches, speaks, and relates to the Asian culture both here in the U.S. and overseas in Asia. The emails, comments, feedback we get are always incredibly encouraging and actually there is one story, of many stories, that I wanted to share about Sam and how he impacted a fan who followed him. After years of following, that fan being an atheist in Japan, finally decided to attend Bible studies and is continuing to study about Christianity. This is the powerful work of God that He does through music!
Sam – I am meeting people who are like me, both in upbringing and personality, who deeply thank me for the music and are encouraged by the music.
tBK – Who are u listening to that we should be listening too?
Lately, I’ve been listening to classic CCM songs, just refueling and refreshing.
Sam – Snarky Puppy, KB, Andy Mineo, Keith & Kristyn Getty, & Kevin Garrett
tBK – What do you hope people will get out of your music?
CL – I hope people will be challenged to look at things differently. Perspective is a powerful thing as it determines how we process, think, and define things in life and my hope is that when people here our music, it would challenge those vantage points to see things in ways they haven’t before in hopes that they would see who our hope lies in.
Sam – I hope our music can be a mirror into the listener’s own soul, and also a spur to allow their soul to stir, move, and grow.
tBK – Who influenced you the most in music and in life?
CL – In music, Stephen the Levite / In life – Jesus. I know it sounds cliches, but ever since my life was changed, it’s been a complete different and new life.
Sam – In music – my mother (a former opera singer) / In life – Other than Jesus, my family and older brothers in the faith.
tBK – Who would you like to work with in the future?
CL – As an artist, I would like to work with Stephen the Levite and Shai Linne
Sam – Stevie Wonder, John Mayer, David Crowder, Andy Mineo
tBK – How hard is it to separate business and your ministry?
CL – To be honest, at first, it was very hard and I would definitely recommend people to study this. What I’ve come to realize is life is ministry and whatever we do in ministry. The way I treat my wife, lead my home, work at my full-time job, treat strangers I meet, all that is ministry, my life is ministry because Christ lives in me and every opportunity in life is a chance to exemplify Christ-likeness (and I’ll admit it’s hard). Doing music, that’s a business because you have to make money in order to make more projects, film videos, pay staff, taxes, web fees, etc. so it is a business. Now, I do believe that the two are not separate because as a record label, you have to be about business in order to financially support projects and artists, but how you operate your business, with integrity, excellence, and not compromising, that’s ministry and ministers to people. Also, for an artist, you have to provide for your family, etc, so yes it is a business, but the music you write, your hearts intention, reaching people, the content of your music, your presence after the shows, your family, etc. that is all ministry. The way I see it is, ministry is never separated from your life, your life is ministry and it’s flushed out in many different ways whether that’s business, work, family, sports, etc. to be a light and to exemplify Christ-likeness, that is done in any context.
Sam – It is hard when you feel that your gift (music) is both a ministry and a business. It is difficult to draw lines, and always challenging to seek the clarity of where your heart is in all that you do.
tBK – On your longest day and hardest battle what scripture do you find strength in?
CL – Psalm 25 – Always humbles me in the Lord which gives me strength