I really enjoyed this interview with Shyne On Me as well as I did his last EP, “Haters Will Say It’s Photoshopped.” The interview was as transparent as his latest EP. We hit subjects from drug addictions, alcoholism to who his influences in life and music and so much more!
Enjoy the Interview!
Part 1: Recovery to Redemption:
Being that your addictions were common in our culture, when did you notice it was a problem and not just cool anymore?
I enjoyed that stuff in my youth, but I’m older now and you have to think wiser and less impulsively at this age. You can’t be highly impressionable by society anymore. As a father, you don’t want to be seen in that light, and you don’t want to set that example of being a heavy drinker/ drug abuser, liar, spiritless man of the house. I always wanted to be a better father than I had because, I knew the effects it could have, and in the state I was in, I was becoming worse than my Father. That was one of the biggest factors that pushed me over the edge and made me want to change.
So you wanted to be better than your Dad?
My Dad and I had a rough relationship. He was there but not really active. He and my Mom divorced when I was about 7-8 years old and he went back to live with his Mom, and I stayed with my Mom.
Before the divorce, from what I do remember, he never was very encouraging and always was short tempered. He slept a lot and I really don’t remember us having much bonding time as a Father and Son together. Once he left, I used to visit maybe about once or twice a month on the weekends, we had ok times, but he still wasn’t really active in the way I now understand a Father should be.
Basically, everything I have learned in life was from my Mother and she always poured into me spiritually and emotionally. I had decent talks with my Dad but there’s so much more I feel he could have instilled in me, especially about being a black man in America. The lack of guidance, and the broken relationship we had fuels me to be a better Father. Teaching, making the effort, spending the time with my seed and stepping up in other areas I felt neglected in as a youth.
These days me and my Dad do communicate better and all is forgiven on my end, there’s room to grow, but at this point God has compensated for the lack in my life. I love my Dad, our relationship has gotten better, but at times I feel it’s too late, but I’m still grateful to have patched things a bit.
What was your turning point in all your addictions?
I was first delivered in 2004 then in 2007 I backslid and I got deeper into the world than I had ever been. I was smoking and drinking more, dabbled into other harder drugs, fornicating more, lying more, had gotten into stealing, partying more amongst other things, I was pretty much spiraling out of control. Eventually, it led to an unhealthy lifestyle and that resulted in me becoming dependent on drugs/alcohol I couldn’t really function without them, gained close to 100 lbs; my brain was pretty much fried and that led me to depression. I had no drive anymore and no joy. I just wanted to do drugs, drink, eat and sleep all the time. I was in a bad state of depression because even though I wanted better for myself I felt I had dug myself too deep in to pull myself out, I lost all hope and figured I would die in this pit of despair. I prayed for change, but in my heart, I still enjoyed indulging in sin so it was half- hearted.
Then one day I was in the house all alone I was getting high and I just had enough. I started thinking about my seed and how much I had lost myself over the past 10 years and how my joy had been erased and I just gave it all up, I was done. I prayed to God right then and there, told Him I was ready to change and in that moment He delivered me. I felt the demons leave, the weight being lifted off my spirit and I was restored and renewed in a matter of a moment. The joy was back, I felt light in my spirit, I felt happiness again, from there I began to rebuke the demons that were even in the house so that they wouldn’t come upon anyone else. I immediately threw away all the drugs and paraphernalia, threw away the alcohol and picked up my cross and the rest has been history!
Would you advise rehab for addicts?
I’ve been to rehab before and honestly, it did help me identify some things like triggers enticing me to use drugs and alcohol and offer some solutions to help deal with urges as well as withdrawals. I would recommend rehab for the educational side, but nothing worked for me like the Blood of Jesus! It has healed me, set me free and took away the taste to even want to indulge in those things anymore! The doctors and counselors are specialists and can give sound advice. God is the true healer and deliverer.
What was your lowest point and you knew you had to change?
The depression was definitely the lowest point. Even when I was in the world, I was always the “life of the party”. I was always the loud one cracking jokes, always laughing, kept a big smile etc. So when the Devil took that from me that’s when I felt completely defeated. I had no fire left in me, I felt that was rock bottom and that’s when I knew there was nothing the world had to offer that was worth my soul.
Part 2: Album & More about Shyne On Me:
How did u get into Chh?
Well, I first was saved and delivered in 2004 and at that point I was already into secular rap so once I gave my life to Christ I changed the message of my content and began doing gospel rap, using my gift to tell my testimony and about God’s grace.
Who are you listening to that we should be listening too?
What do you hope people will get out of your music and your new album?
I want them to hear my story, my testimony of deliverance and understand how REAL God is and how Powerful He is and that no matter what situation you’re in, no matter how deep you’ve dug yourself into sin and into the world that He can still pull you up and out of it, set you free and bring joy, peace, and happiness into your life. There’s nothing too hard for God!
Who influenced you the most in music and in life?
Musically my influences come from Donny Hathaway and D’Angelo definitely two of my favorite artists of all times and the whole early 2000’s neo- soul movement with other artists like Bilal, Musiq Soulchild, etc.
As far as rap influences my favorite artists were the more lyrically focused MC’s like DMX, Drag- On, Cassidy, Lil Wayne, Lloyd Banks, Jadakiss etc. Also influenced by early funk music from the 70’s: Bootsy Collins, George Clinton, Parliament Funkadelic. And of course my Gospel roots: John P Kee, Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Vanessa Bell Amstrong, Shirley Ceasar, Mary Mary, Commissioned, Mighty Clouds of Joy etc.
In life, I think Martin Luther King Jr. was my biggest influence. Even though I was part of the problem a lot of times, I always strived to be the peacemaker in most situations. Trying to defuse situations before they got too heated and breaking up fights etc. I was not perfect, I did my damage for sure but even in the world, I preferred a peaceful atmosphere fighting hate with love.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr., Minister, Civil Rights Activist
Sean C. Johnson is one of my favorite artists! I can hear him in you! That’s a good thing!
Yea man, I first heard Sean C. Johnson when he came to DC/MD to perform at a “gospel club” I used to perform at. Ever since then I’ve been a huge fan. I definitely want to work with him before I hang it all up. I’m confident it’ll be fire for the kingdom!! I’ve spoken with him a few times, via social media and he’s spoken some good words to me about my music. So in the near future, I may be able to arrange something.
How hard is it to separate business and your ministry?
I find it very difficult, to be honest. As an independent artist, I’m a one man crew so I have to handle: writing, recording, marketing, distribution, features/ bookings all the above. One thing I stand by is offering my music digitally for free because I’m more concerned about the message being spread than profit.
Business wise it’s unethical because I’ll spend about $1000 or more putting the projects together and to not make much on the back end doesn’t make much sense, but I feel as if I’m doing my part to build the Kingdom of God. Many people don’t understand but this is what I love and this is my purpose and God always provides so that I can put these projects out. I’m just going to keep pushing until I maybe get a major label backing or some type of financial backing so that I won’t exhaust my personal income. God is faithful, so if it’s in His will it’ll come to pass!
How much have you grown on this project, talent wise and Spiritual?
As far as talent goes my aim is to be better as an artist mainly in execution every release. Spiritually this is my favorite project because it comes from a sincere place, it tells a true story of deliverance through Christ and it’s a sincere attempt to pull souls into Christ while still offering a dope listening experience.
One of the biggest topics in the music business now is streaming, how does that affect you as an artist?
With streaming being the thing now a lot of the masses don’t necessarily download projects anymore so as an artist it’s hard to differentiate between those that just gave a listen out of curiosity and just kept on moving versus those that truly enjoy the listening experience. Also, the days of selling hard copies are pretty much extinct, so the formulas I grew up on as an artist are outdated for the most part. It makes it hard to track progress in reception numerically compared to past projects but I just pray at the end of the day that the message is received by listeners hearts no matter what the numbers are. I’d rather save and help deliver 10 souls from darkness than to have 10,000 downloads of people that just like how the music sounds. Regardless of the numbers, I’m going to keep striving to get better as an artist creatively and spiritually and keep putting out music!
My personal favorite is probably “Smile More” the message speaks to me the most. It’s about my personal struggles, strongholds, breaking the generational curses in my bloodline, being transparent about it all as well as encouragement to fight through the pain and digging deep to find joy in the midst of the storm. Though I may have a biased opinion I really like the whole EP. I can really ride through the whole project no skips and to be fair, I honestly can’t say that about all my previous projects.
Are you looking to sign with any record labels or are you going to stay independent?
I love the freedom of being an independent artist but I definitely need the assistance of a label for distribution/ reach, management, and business sense so that I can focus my energy more on the creative process of the music. I would like to be somewhere where I can still have my artistic freedom and freedom to release when I want and to still be myself though. Plus, I would love to be able to make the income from my music so I can do this full- time!
Would you sign with any CHH labels?
As far as a label, I would definitely sign with a CHH label that makes sense and that I feel real love from. I personally don’t have a preference but like I said my goal is to further my reach, have a good system backing me and be able to provide for myself, my family, have my wants and needs supplied through music, all while traveling God’s beautiful earth. If they can provide that then LET’S GOOO!!!
What’s behind the title of the EP, and what’s behind the Cover Art? I noticed some money between your legs, lol.
The title “Haters Will Say Its Photoshopped” is a common saying made popular on social media about things that are so drastic and unbelievable to the eye that many will doubt and believe it has been enhanced, edited or that it isn’t real.
The fact that I changed, had been delivered and set free overnight a lot of friends and associates around me that knew of my iniquities didn’t believe me. They thought I was faking it. So that was just a fitting title for how I felt my testimony and deliverance was being received by doubters.
The artwork is taken from the iconic victory leap and fist swing by Michael Jordan after he hit the game winning shot over Craig Ehlo of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the ’89 Easter Conference 1st round known as “The Shot”. In my artwork, I was depicted as Jordan and the devil was depicted as Ehlo symbolizing my victory of Satan winning my life back. (The dollar between the legs was actually taken out on the alternative artwork it was just a way to cover the referee’s face which you could see between my legs in the artwork lol)
What church do you attend?
I recently left the church I grew up in, to pursue more growth in Christ and I haven’t landed a home church yet but I’ve been attending Free Gospel Deliverance Temple in Coral Hills, Md regularly. I haven’t committed as a member yet, I’m still in search of a true church home but I have been enjoying services there.
Why did you leave your home church?
I left my home church because I wasn’t being fed enough. I had great times at that church, memories that will definitely last a lifetime, I love the congregation dearly, the pastor was my Mom so of course I love her but it was just time for me to propel forward in my relationship with Christ and there wasn’t much room for growth there under her leadership. That ministry is actually a youth ministry with a following ranging from ages 2-35 years old. It definitely got me started and gave me a great foundation in Christ but now it’s time to come off the Similac and get into that steak and potatoes! They were always accepting of and constantly encouraged my ministry as an artist, they always opened up the door for me to perform and share my gifts, I never had an issue with that there.
On your longest day and hardest battle, what scripture do you find strength in?
“From the west, people will fear the name of the LORD, and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory. For he will come like a pent-up flood that the breath of the LORD drives along.” Isaiah 59:19
“But he said to me,“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
I’m looking forward to seeing how far God will carry Shyne On Me as a person and as well as his music career. One thing that I know is, you can’t out give God and I love how Shyne is giving his talent back to the Lord!
We want to thank Shyne for taking the time to sit down with us. Shyne we are praying God takes you and your music to new heights! Thanks, Shyne!
Shyne On Me is a gospel artist from Washington, DC that has a unique style of ministry. With a commanding and capturing voice, he both sings and raps displaying his versatility on an array of different beat styles. He has an amazing testimony of deliverance from alcoholism, drug abuse and depression that he attributes his overcoming to his walk with Christ. Though the talent is present, the anointing of the Holy Spirit is the true driving force of his delivery of the gospel!