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‘I am a Christian first’

IMPACT: Triple O

THE GOSPEL community was pleasantly surprised when rapper Triple O was announced as winner of this year’s MOBO award in the gospel category. He has been rapping gospel for eight years and attends the Divine Restoration Mission in Dagenham, east London. For the past few months he has been busy promoting his debut album, Flatline. He spoke to Soul Stirrings about his exciting win and his burgeoning music ministry.

SS:  Now that you’ve had a few days to take it all in, how does it feel to be the winner of the 2011 MOBO award?
TO: It truly is a blessing. I guess now that it has sunk in, over the past few days it’s made me really think about how I can use this to not only push gospel music into a wider audience, but to those that really need it.

SS:  How have your fellow gospel artists and the public responded to your win?
TO: That has been the most overwhelming thing of all. Even from the fellow nominees (Four Kornerz, Junior Garr, Jayess and Bobby Bovell), and so many others, the encouragement has been so beautiful. To be acknowledged by industry heads is always a good thing, but when your peers commend your work, there is just something special about that. And from the general public, it’s just nice to know so many people believe in the work that Christ is doing through me. 

SS: When and why did you decide to become a holy hip hop artist?
TO: Before I got saved I was rapping. I grew up listening to this genre, and went to school with so many grime MCs (Tinchy Stryder being a classmate of mine). I guess it was inevitable I would fall into a craft that I would fall in love with. As for doing it for the Lord, I guess my faith began to grow, and so did the desire to express it via the art form I had grown to love. 

SS:  You recently released your debut album, Flatline. What’s the  inspiration behind this album?
TO: ‘Journeying into the heart of God, whilst examining the heart of man’, that is the tag line for the album, and I wanted to try and take a look at the work of Christ, exploring the notion that prior to Christ we as Christians were ‘dead’ in sin, and now in Christ we are ‘dead’ to sin. 

SS:  Which songs are really striking a chord with audiences?  
TO: The song which seems to be really hitting home would probably be Raggedy Doll, featuring Philippa Hanna. Clear The Airwaves, featuring Faith Child, is another track which seems like a fan favourite. Personally, my favourite songs on the album would most definitely be First Cut and Win It. 

SS:  How does your faith in Christ impact your music and your life?
TO: As a Christian artist I always remind myself that I am a Christian first; the art form is secondary and can only be an outpour of the life I should already be living.

SS:  How is your music impacting lives?
TO: Two words: Come Home. I had people messaging me from around the world saying that the song really helped them get close to God. I had one message from someone suffering chronic depression; she heard the song and stopped herself from doing something really dark. I just remind myself and others that it wasn't the song, it was Christ. 

SS:  Now that you’re a MOBO award winner, what should we expect from Triple O in the next six months?
TO: The plan is to maintain the same level of drive I had prior to winning. I plan to host a concert in London and release a free relationship EP, The Overnight Garden Vol.2, on February 14th 2012. More videos and more shows, so watch this space. 

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