Why I'm Okay With Not Having An ATL Sound

Photo credit: @justinevans_1999

Photo credit: @justinevans_1999


My family and I moved from Chicago to Atlanta about two years ago. And one thing I've noticed since being here is that Atlanta has a sound. It has a vibe. It's got a certain swagger to it that you can immediately recognize in both mainstream and Christian music (rap in particular) when you hear it. It's a sound that gets your body moving with high hats and snares sprinkled liberally across the soundscape...a sound that shatters subwoofers with thunderous 808s and kicks that would make a cumulonimbus jealous...and it's a sound that I do not have.

And that's perfectly okay with me.

But it wasn't okay with me until recently. See, the moment we settled in Atlanta, I put unhealthy pressure on myself to sound like my new city. I'd just begun piecing my new album Hello Jesus together, and I was on the hunt for anything that sounded like the ATL. I wanted trap. I wanted soul. I wanted the vibe. But every time I tried to make a song in this style, it sucked. Like...really sucked lol.

So I instead created the music that I authentically heard in my soul. The music that God had given me to create - not what I heard on the radio. And during the creation process, it was admittedly freeing and fun. But fast forward a year+ later, right on the cusp of finally releasing this new music and I found myself freaking out again.

I thought, What if people in Atlanta don't like my style? What if no one likes my style? I'm just this weird pop rap dude who laughs and smiles all the time. There's no way this will work here. I was afraid of using my gifts and talents the way God gave them to me, and it was really stressing me out.

That was until one day about a month ago, when I was given an opportunity to perform a couple of songs at a local church in Atlanta. During soundcheck, the DJ and host who'd invited me out stopped the music, looked me in my face and said, "Man...some people just make rap songs...but YOU make MUSIC!"

It was one of the best compliments I'd ever received, and a terrific moment of affirmation. I don't have to sound like anyone else to be accepted. As a matter of fact, I'm already loved and accepted by my creator, God - and that's the only stamp of approval I need. Check out what His Word says in 1 Corinthians 12:14:

"14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts,[b] yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”

If you've made it this far in the blog, I want to encourage you to be you - and love you. God made you with your unique talents, gifts, abilities, personality, quirks, etc. for a reason...and that's to bring Him glory.

Hello Jesus releases one week from today. And when it does, It will be an honor to say that it came from my heart and into your ears - because my sound was given to me by my incredible Father.




Yo! Thanks for checking out the blog today. If you're new here, my name is GodFrame -- I'm a recording artist, producer, and youth speaker.

My favorite things are shrimp, creating music/videos, clowning with my wife and 2 kids, and spreading the hope of Jesus to our world.