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Perception and reality are usually two very different things. Take hip hop artist Derek Minor, for example…sorry, add in, “GRAMMY, Dove, and Stellar Award-winning” artist Derek Minor. You see, your perception is already beginning to form, isn’t it? Additionally, as Minor has recently come off the road as a headliner for The Roadshow in a touring genre that is barely embracing rap music at best, you are beginning to picture that this guy has it “made in the shade,” right?

Well, thankfully, we aren’t about to report that there has been some front-page, headline news tragedy that has occurred in Minor’s life (think that was coming next?), and certainly would never wish that upon anyone—ever. But when an artist who eats, sleeps, and breathes the very thing that gives him creative life is wrestling internally with purpose, that can be a very serious thing. Furthermore, that thing, the music—Minor’s expression and extension of his relationship his Creator—was at the very heart of a sudden season of doubt and distraction for an artist approaching his prime.

Proving Minor really is the great artist that feeds the current perception, he’s taking this energy and turning it around into something good. Subsequently, it turns out there was a lot of energy, enough to fuel the fire for four projects-worth of new material that will result in Minor’s Up And Away series. With the first EP already released, Sep. 1, 2017’s Your Soul Must Fly (buy), three more EP’s will be delivered over the course of the next several months and into 2018, all stemming from this journey of ascension to the ultimate fight over who’s supposed to be in the pilot/co-pilot seat. Before he hops on the bus again for the Big Church Night Out Tour, we catch up with him to learn more about this unique project.

CCM Magazine: You’re about to release a four-EP set over the course of the next several months…creatively, what is taking place in you?
Derek Minor: If anyone has ever really followed my career, they’ll know that I’ve always been a very eclectic artist. All of my records represent multiple styles of music and multiple vibes. I recorded a little while out on tour, but that started to overflow when I got home. The music was so diverse sonically, that the idea of boiling all of that down to thirteen tracks became less appealing—I didn’t know how I could make it all fit on one project.

So, I had the bright idea: “What would happen if we [made all of this] into four different projects?” And that’s how the Up And Away series was birthed—the idea that I can craft different moods and different vibes together. It’s not four projects that sound the same, it’s four projects of very distinctly different vibes. I think that’s fun, because I think that everyone has different sides to them—different moods and vibes—and I wanted the music to fit all of that while sharing one main story line that weaves in and out of each EP.

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About The Author

Kevin Sparkman
Mixed-Media Content Manager

After both on-stage and front-office experience in the Christian recording industry, (including co-founding Exit 3 Entertainment, Inc. and General Manager of hip-hop label Beatmart Recordings), Sparkman returned to Salem in 2014 from a Dir. of Communications position in the United Methodist Church. He became the Managing Editor of CCM Magazine in January 2015.

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