Every now and then you meet people and have no idea why God put them in your life. After a few modest conversations you know God sent them but you still have no real clue why, and then it clicks. They are in your life because this was God’s plan for them to be.?
Well, why Ted and I are trying to figure it out it gave us an opportunity to build a Godly friendship together. It has allowed me to see that this man’s heart is truly focused on God and helping others.
Ted is a humble man who really gives thanks to God for redeeming his soul. He shoots it straight and he wants the same thing in return. I can tell that dishonesties maybe a deal breaker with him.
After hearing his testimony, which blew me away, I really do believe that the God we serve will bless Ted and his journey here on earth.
I want to personally thank Ted for rocking with us and teaching me so much about the music business side of the genre in such a short time.
My prayers for Ted will be that God continues to bless him, his family and his ministry!
Enjoy the interview.
How did u get into Chh?
I have listened to CHH for almost 10 years now. I broke into the industry about 3 years back when I was going to Haiti 2 times a year for mission work. I was trying to raise money for a school in Haiti, so I started a twitter account and started reaching out to artists to put a show together in my area. Surprisingly to me, no one hit me back in the first few weeks. Then one of my favorite artists hit me back and followed me, Surf Gvng! They were down to help me do this, they loved what it was all about. I still needed two more acts though, so I found a local guy and prayed for a third. That night I saw a track called “Oh Lord” by Parris Chariz, at this time not many people knew who he was. I reached out to him and worked it out and he was gonna drive up to the show.
We were all set but when the church heard it was rap, they said I couldn’t do the show. They thought I was bringing in Christian artist,(there words not mine). That was where it started and the next 2-3 years God worked on me to bring me to where we are today in CHH.
How are you changing the culture for God?
Honestly, those reading this could answer that better than me, I’m not sure how I am changing anything. I know how I’m hoping to change it through community building.
God has blessed me with a few gifts and that can carry me some way, but to do more of what the world needs it would take a community to change the culture for God more.
With a godly community, everyone can put their gifts together where we can be a strong force for God’s glory. Community is what I am working on for the culture and God.
I don’t care if you have 1 follower or 20k if you reach out to me and I can help, I will.
Who are u listening to that we should be listening too?
There are about 15 artists I am really paying attention to, of course, we are building a Team at EFR so JPhish, Xay Hill, and Azrael I listen to a lot right now.
The artist I’m listening to that aren’t partnered or signed with me right now is always Derek Minor. I have listened to him for about 8 years now since the Pro days.
Some lesser known artists that I love to bump in my car are Tre’ Gadd, Tarcea Renee, Bl1nd3d and Kris Noel…. and 3 others but they may become Part of the EFR family so you will have to follow us to see who else I’m bumping.
What do you hope people will get out of your label?
All I pray people will get out of my label is to see God’s love. I love music but can’t rap. I prayed for many years for God to show me my path in music and He has blessed me with a label. Now I just want to share the gifts He has shared with me.
How hard was it to start a label?
You know to start a label isn’t that tough if you have the money. The tough part is getting off the ground and I’m going to keep it real with you. You have to be willing to grind harder than the hardest working person you know.
Plus being blessed with talented artists helps. Having Azrael as part of the Family helps back that we are legit. If I was showcasing as an artist myself, no one would want to be part of what we are doing. So make sure you have a quality 1st artist.
Do you deal in contracts or good faith?
I deal in good faith. I feel if you treat artists right and become known as the label for the artist you don’t need a contract. I don’t own my artist, I work with them.
Who influenced you the most in starting a label?
Zach Mehaffey! I met Zach about a year and a half ago. While I was stumbling through this journey called music. I knew churches in northern Wisconsin weren’t ready for CHH, so I decided to try and put a cd together to raise money for mission work. So I posted something on twitter and that night at like 3 a.m. Zach hit me up.
The next night we spent a few hours messaging back and forth. Zach wanted to see my vision before he would agree to work with me. A few days later in conversation with Zach, he said, “…with all your trying to do you should start a label.” I laughed and didn’t take it that seriously.
Over almost the next year Zach became a very close friend of mine. Over this last summer, when God put it on my heart to start a label we started talking about how that would look until we just knew God was calling us to start a label.
Who influenced you the most in life?
God is my biggest influence in life, All we do we do to serve the King
Who would you like to work with, in the future?
This is a no brainer for me. I didn’t even have to think about this one! Derek Minor without question!
In my eyes, Derek is the biggest artist in CHH plus someone who has gotten me through some tough times with his music. I do want to say, I talk a lot about being a good steward of our blessings, but I respect we are nowhere near Derek’s lane. I feel people need to realize everyone wants to be on a big name tracks and they get hit up all the time.
In my opinion, the best way I feel, I can make this possible is to do me and grind my backside off and build a brand that can get within a few lanes of where Derek is at. Derek is in the fast lane on the highway while we are still cruising the dirt back roads.
Releasing two tracks on Derek’s beats was so humbling, I know anyone can buy his beat at his beat store, but for me, it was a step towards working with him.
How hard is it to separate business and your ministry?
For me, it’s not hard. I pray on everything and try to make business moves that I feel come from the Lord. I am not here to get rich off of an artist. Hard work, however is what I need to do to pay my bills. The Bible says it’s ok to earn money, it is not ok to be greedy.
Staying real with people helps in this too. To be quite honest, a church is a business. If they can’t pay a pastor or the light bill among other things. The church will be no more and the ministry will stop at that church, then you are left with wonderers looking for a new place to get their ministry from. We do all we do to glorify the Lord. If I go out of business, who knows who will take our place and where their heart is at for the artist.
One of the biggest topics in the music business now is streaming, how does that affect you as an artist?
Streaming is great to get your music out there as an artist and for some, that’s truly all they want. They are happy at there job and any income off of music just goes back to their ministry. For some artist this is what they want to do to support their family, streams don’t pay the bills, but it does get them heard to sell merch, books, live shows and so on. Streams are awesome, if they are real and you are reaching ears.
In your testimony, you mentioned listening to Lecrae “Waste Your Life” and then Trip Lee. I like Lecrae and I came in later with “Church Clothes vol. 1.” Lecrae still makes good music to me and still holds a pivotal point at the beginning of my Christian walk. With all the debate about Lecrae, do you still listen to him? What would you say to the fan who says he is secular now and always comparing him to the old Lecrae?
I don’t listen to as much Lecrae as I use to, mainly cause he’s not gonna sign with Enoch Flow Records, lol.
I’m looking for the artist that is starting there grind and that consumes a lot of my music time. As far as people judging on his switch I was hurt at first by it, however, I don’t know his heart and why God is using him in that way. But at the same time, Jesus didn’t hang with the pure. He jumped in the trenches with the broken and I’m thankful He did to save a bum like me!
When I listened to your testimony, it reminded me of how God could use anyone to send a message just as He can use a child. How has your walk been since then? Has it been tough to let the drugs and alcoholism go? What advice would you give someone else going through those issues and how to break free?
There will be ups and downs in your walk and if you don’t have a strong relationship with your Maker you will fail. When I got sober I truly just prayed to God to take the craving away from me and I have been sober since. I always say when you struggle with anything, go to prayer and give it to God.
On your longest day and hardest battle, what scripture do you find strength in?
The Bible verse I live by is Job 5:17
““Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty.” Job 5:17 NKJV