Posts Tagged a chosen generation
It’s 2012 and continuing with out Start Strong campaign we wanted to bring The Spotlight Person of January to you guys with a in-depth interview of A.C.G.!
So who is A.C.G.?
Their A Chosen Generation, two young men (also brothers and twins) on fire for God and putting it on display with their musical talents. They are an amazingly talented Christian rap duo consisting of Taylor and Tyler Pratt from Tulsa, Oklahoma that have been called to “Kingdom Music”. They desire to draw the ear of the unsaved by making personal music that relates to everyone and applying Kingdom principles to everyday situations. They released their first album entitled Hall Of Fame on September 11th of last year and have been working out of Orlando, Florida where they attend Full Sail University since. They are rappers, producers, writers, and we were given the opportunity to sit down with them and learn a little more about who A.C.G. really is.
Press Forward: We just want to thank you guys so much for sitting down with us. So let’s get started! We have to ask, who’s the oldest and by how many hours or minutes?
Tyler: Taylor is the oldest by twenty minutes.
Press Forward: Not too far apart! How long have you been involved with music?
Tyler: I would say since we were about 12 or 13. I like to sing a lot more and Taylor was more into rapping, Da TRUTH was the first rapper he heard. I actually took singing lessons…lets just say singing was not my thing. (Laughs)
Press Forward: We are so glad you all chose rapping! So when did you guys decide to work together in stead of separately?
Taylor: It’s always funny to me how you hear about siblings doing their own thing. Growing up we had to share everything like food, presents, etc. Our family was always really tight knit and being around each other just made us closer. We know everything about each other and he’s like my best friend.
Press Forward: Aw, that’s so awesome to hear. So when did rapping become the main thing that you all wanted to do?
Tyler: I can answer this one, when we were like 13 or 14 this lady was putting on a music festival at our church. She just asked us did we want to rap in a song that they would be performing and we were just like, ‘I Guess.’ (Laughs) So we wrote a little rap and started it by beat boxing and then we just fell in love with the idea of rapping about Jesus in front of huge crowd.
Press Forward: Why “A Chosen Generation”?
Tyler: At first we were called Gospel Truth but Pastor Mike Hill made us change it he literally said, “Gospel Truth is wack. Change it.” (Chuckles) We were just kind of like um okay, so my brother was reading through 1 Peter 2:9 and after a few weeks of prayer he came up with the name. This generation is at a perfect point to make a change with God; 10 years ago everything was black and white like music, marriage, relationships and as time has progressed we are slowly moving into a gray area where everything is accessible.
Taylor: Our generation today is called Generation Y and we really believe we can change the world. And this is something that I think is so dope; just imagine if we all went hard for God. We are truly a Chosen Generation.
PF: What types of problems have you or do you think you will run into being in the music industry as a team and as gospel artists?
Taylor: This is kind of random but you know we go to school in Florida and we went down to UCF (University of Central Florida) for a little revival thing they had and we were with two of our friends Jon and David and they thought we were like a boy band because we were all dressed pretty nice and standing together. (Blank stares followed with laughs) Okay that has nothing to do with this but back to the question, one of the biggest challenges Christian artists face is being totally original. Point blank. We went through a phase where we wanted to be Da TRUTH and Lecrae. It took awhile for us to become original. But as a group I honestly don’t know, that’s something I have to pray and trust God that we keep each other accountable.
PF: What’s your favorite part of working together?
Tyler: It’s those weird musician moments that are my favorite like when you’re in the studio and it shows how unified we are. We just flow as one unit, we’re wired almost the same way and I love that I will always have completely raw and uncut accountability.
Taylor: My favorite part is that we understand each other so well. I could be thinking something and be trying my hardest to put it into words and even though I don’t make full sentences he just understands what I’m trying to say.
PF: That’s the good thing about working with someone so close to you! Why Full Sail?
Taylor: Well we were thinking about Berkeley School of Music, but it was so expensive. We chose Full Sail because its prestigious and its really hands on. You’re in the studio actually working with Grammy winning producers and the fact that you get to interact with them is amazing. The guy who mixed Beyonce’s whole 4 album came and talked to us, that was awesome. And they have an amazing job placement record after graduation.
Tyler: It was the same reasons for me. I also like how accessible it is, its literally open almost 24/7. Half the class rooms are studios and the professor’s approach us in a way of were now your business partners not just your teachers.
Here is the 2nd half of the awesome and enlightening interview with A.C.G. Enjoy!
PF: What were the influences behind your 1st album “Hall Of Fame”?
Taylor: The Hall of Fame is a place where people are honored because they have stood out and they went the extra mile. So the album is basically encouraging people to live a legacy lifestyle and do something that matters. Pastor Mike Hill approached us one day and said God told him to record a CD with us. He coached us and if something was wack he would tell us. We had actually recorded five songs when we first started taking this rapping serious but we had grown so much, we scratched those and moved forward.
PF: What genre would you put your music in?
Tyler: A lot of rappers don’t like to categorize their music but I am a Christian Rapper. I’m a Christian and I rap but it’s not theological if that makes sense.
Taylor: I think a lot of the reason Christian rappers are scared to categorize their music is because they don’t want people to think a certain way about it before they even release it.
Taylor: While we were recording our album Pastor Mike Hill would talk to us about not making our music so Jesus heavy because people won’t be able to relate. We had to hit a crossroad where we had to figure out if people would get the message without it being too deep. We had to find that balance.
PF: What was it like working with P. Dubb?
Tyler: We actually never stepped in the studio at the same time but there were times when we would be backstage with him and that dude is just so cool. He’s very personable and down to earth. He makes you feel like he’s your best friend, and he’s so humble it was really cool and awesome.
Taylor: I though it was so cool that out of all the thousands of people in Tulsa he wanted to work with us, I kind of felt like a superstar.
PF: Okay so you know we have to get a little personal as always, what are some of your individual pet peeves in general and about each other?
Tyler: Well musically I really dislike when people rap about things that they don’t have and in general the people who think of themselves more highly then others. I’m extremely big on humility and nobody deserves anything on this earth, all that we have is because of Jesus Christ. And about Taylor, he sometimes disregards my opinion kind of just like whatever, typical sibling stuff.
Taylor: Well about Tyler, I hate when he uses all the hot water. I’m like come on dude, that’s not cool! But with anyone I’m kind of with Tyler, I just don’t like when a person treats somebody like they are lower then them and also when I see a man disrespecting a woman. That makes me go nuts.
PF: What are your individual strengths?
Tyler: Taylor is a better writer, a lot of things I just echo off of him. My strength is hearing melodies or harmonies I tend to be better at producing.
Taylor: I definitely agree. Tyler can sit down on a piano and just play melodies even though he can’t play he will hear it and keep trying to play it and then once he learns it he knows it. I’m a little stronger lyrically though.
PF: Who would you most like to work with in the industry?
Taylor: Quincy Jones! He’s like the dopest producer ever, he did almost all of MJ’s stuff. And then Lecrae definitely he’s like my idol. I have always wanted to sit down with him
Tyler: Lecrae & Trip Lee definitely and then Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs because that dude is just tight. He’s worth so much, like when you say stupid rich he redefines it but it’s not because of that he’s just a super producer.
Tyler: I literally listen to all types of music so it could be as diverse as Otis Redding to Drake to Movie Scores and even Skrillex (creator of dub step) I listen to everything.
Taylor: Personally Da TRUTH and Lecrae are some huge ones but recently Drake has become a huge one. Not what he raps about but the emotion he puts into his lyrics and how he tells stories.
PF: What advice would you give a young man wanting to make it in the business doing the same type of music you both do?
Tyler: Have a vision and have a purpose. A lot of people do rap but don’t know the next move also be driven, be hungry and have the desire to learn. Get online and read reviews, learn more about what you want to do.
Taylor: Don’t be afraid to be original, and I know every artists is going to say that but you need originality. Listen to everything and be careful with what you fill your spirit with. Listen to music. Draw influences. Learn from everywhere you go. One thing I will always remember is something Michael Todd told me about when he was playing drums, when your in a drum session and the person is super wack but you like the way he hits the cymbals take that and combine it with something else. Don’t be afraid to work.
Tyler: Somebody was interviewing T.D. Jakes one day and they asked how he stays so humble and he said “Because I know the real me.” We’ve known each other from the womb, I know the real Taylor and he knows the real me. I can’t act brand new. I can’t split with him after building my life up with this person, nothing can separate us.
Taylor: Simply, our relationship with God. We aren’t special but everyday I thank God and I still can’t understand why he’s blessed us so greatly. God said “You don’t know the weight of my grace” and we will probably never know.
PF: Awesome! So last question, is there a second album in the works?
Taylor: Yes! The name of it is The Feel. The reasoning behind it is that we want to make relatable music. With our first album after our family listened to it they all said this is really good but if I wasn’t a Christian then I wouldn’t get it. We want to make it very understandable. We want it to be about something everybody feels and everyone goes through relationships and transitions; we’re just putting a Christian spin on it.
PF: Thank you all again for taking time out to talk with us! We can’t wait to see all the things that God is going to do in your life!
Taylor & Tyler: No. Thank you!
Ionee and Fatima