TDB: Hello, we are The Digital Breakdown and today we are at the 2016 Dove Awards! Today we’re talking to Word Records’ new R&B artist, Steven Malcolm. Steven, how are you doing today?
SM: I’m doing well, blessed.
TDB: Can you tell us about your story and what got you started in music?
SM: I used to always do music for fun, growing up in the hip-hop culture and stuff like that. In 2010 I gave my life to Jesus and started attending a “Hip-Hop Church”. After a year of getting really rooted in Jesus, I wanted to serve my church and serve the Lord with my gift. I did music for a little bit, so I was like, “Let me try to use my gift to serve the Lord, my church, and these people by leading worship.” After doing that, I really felt the Lord calling me to step in and really take it seriously.
TDB: Can you tell us a little about a hip-hop church and what that means?
SM: It’s pretty normal, it’s just more laid back. You dress however you want, there’s graffiti on the wall. For worship we’re rapping and dancing and there are poets and stuff like that. It’s super fun.
TDB: You got to be in a remix with KB and Hollyn called “Sideways Remix”. How did that happen?
SM: I hooked up with Joseph Prielozny who is in a production group called Cobra who produced KB’s album, “Tomorrow We Live”. Joseph actually just asked me to do a remix and it was the lead single, so he told me I should remix the lead single. So I did! I rapped almost the whole song, I rewrote like two verses. Joseph sent it to KB and KB heard it and he was like “Woah.” KB actually called me and I’m thinking, “Oh my gosh, KB is calling me right now!” He asked me if I wanted to be a part of the remix and I was like, “Heck yeah!”
TDB: In 2014, you released an album called “Monsters Ink”. Can you tell me why you chose that name for the album?
SM: “Monster’s Ink” is a metaphor, because one of the lines in the intro says, “I’m a beast with the pen, call it Monster’s Ink.” It’s more-so a metaphor of being really skillful with my writing and my songs and stuff like that.
TDB: On “Monsters Ink”, you have a song called “Drum-line” that obviously features a drum-line. We’ve just got to know – What made you want to create a song that focused on a drum line? Were you ever in a drum line?
SM: I am not actually in a drum line. I’ve tried to drum, I’m not very skillful in that area. One of my friends was playing that song from the actual movie Drum Line and he told me it was license free and I could use it. I was like, “No one has ever rapped over a drum line before!” So I thought it was unique and I put it on the project.
TDB: What lesson have you learned most that has transferred from “Monsters Ink” to your upcoming album?
SM: Growth. Me growing as an artist, my musicality really getting better, my songwriting really getting better. Just overall growth as an artist. I’m getting better really fast too, which is all thanks to God.
TDB: Can you tell us a little bit about the album you’re releasing this January? Do you have a name picked out yet?
SM: Not sure of the name yet. I’m leaning more toward a self-titled LP. This one is going to be some of the best work that I’ve ever put out. Very diverse when it comes to the hip-hop sound, the radio sound, pop sound, reggae sound (because I have a Jamaican background). I’m mixing everything I love into it. You’re going to hear a lot of growth as an artist.
TDB: Now you’re about to release your new single, “Hot Boy”, on Friday! Can you tell me the story behind that song?
SM: “Hot boy” is a phrase I really wanted to come up with because I have a fiery passion for Jesus. At the end of the day my passion is to glorify God and inspire others to glorify Jesus. I want people to know that if you’re passionate about something and it’s a gift that God has given you, then you should have a fiery passion to really go out and give your 100 percent best to it. So I want people to know, “Hey, have a fiery passion for whatever it is you love and be hot, boy!”
TDB: Since we’re at the 2016 Dove Awards, are you rooting for anyone tonight?
SM: I’m rooting for Jesus, man. This is my first time here and I’m just taking it in as the experience of just being here in the midst of a whole bunch of people I look up to and who love Jesus. So I’m looking forward to everyone tonight.
TDB: What do you hope people gain from listening to your music?
SM: I want to inspire people. I’m a guy who loves to be inspired and for me the biggest inspiration is the cross. I want to really inspire people and show people who Jesus is. I want to show them that he can be worshipped and glorified through anything. That’s my ultimate goal in my music.
TDB: Tell us about where people can come see your shows this fall and winter!
SM: I’m on the East and West coast of the Winter Jam tour, East coast dates haven’t been released yet but I’ll let you in on it! I am excited because my favorite part of being an artist is live performing. I’m super excited. I love performing and I’m ready. There are 48 dates and I’m ready for all of them!
Connect with Steven Malcolm: