Clear Sight Music: An Interview with FLAME & V. RoseBy Trillia Newbell | May 14th, 2012 | Category: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
By Trillia Newbell
Christian Hip Hop and Rap is no longer reserved for youth group rallies and young black men and women. The genre has made its way into the evangelical world and it’s taking it by storm- or by lyrics that is. Rappers, such as Flame, are peaking the interest of pastors and ministry leaders from various backgrounds including popular reformed blogger, Tim Challies who wrote a post highlighting many of the popular artists.
Flame (30) isn’t new to the industry. He has been rapping professionally for nearly 10 years. He has taken his expertise, love for music and desire to share the name of Jesus Christ and poured it out into his own music label, Clear Sight Music.
Flame (Marcus Gray) had spent five years with Cross Movement Records. With a desire to branch out on his own, Clear Sight Music began in 2010. His musical style is influenced by mainstream rappers like Toupac and Biggie Smalls and had God not intervened, Flame may have taken similar roads.
“I grew up influenced by Christianity. I didn’t have that personal relationship with God. I got in trouble-had to move to a new school,” said FLAME.
While in high school a life-altering car accident enabled an opportunity for him to hear the gospel. He was in a tragic accident that put him at the brink of death and needing intense rehabilitation. It was during that year of rehabilitation that his grandmother shared one sentence that would change his life forever.
“I spoke with my grandmother and ask why did God allow this to happen. She said, ‘I don’t know but you need to repent,’” he said.
His grandmother passed away shortly after and with her words in his mind Flame went to church where he heard the gospel. He was 16 and he hasn’t looked back since.
Flame is now a student at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where he is studying to receive his M.Div in Biblical Counseling.
“The Southern Baptist denomination was nowhere on my radar. I met some friends who went to Bible college and they opened me to it,” he said.
Regarding his M.Div, “My goal is to incorporate the knowledge with the music. I’d like to counsel in the local church. My wife (Crystal) and I, we love people and love Jesus and we want to help that way.”
Flame’s latest record entitled, “The 6th”, focuses on the sixth day of creation.
“The Bible says God created both male and female on the sixth day, so it’s really about anthropology. It’s about how far we’ve gotten from that place and how we can return to His original intention,” he said.
“I just want to persuade hearts that Jesus and His ways are better. If I do that, then I have accomplished what I’ve set out to accomplish.”
The Clear Sight Music label is not narrowly hip hop and rap. Other genres include pop and rock. Their goal is to incorporate all music that speaks to the youth culture. He hopes that their music will reach people adolescent to late 40’s.
Clear Sight currently features Flame, another rapper, Young Noah and pop singer V.Rose. V. Rose, who has been with Clear Sight for almost a year, can be heard on “The 6th” on various tracks.
Q: What is your name? I assume V. Rose is your stage name.
V. Rose: My name is Vienna Rose so that’s where to V.Rose comes from.
Q: How long have you been writing/singing?
V. Rose: I started singing when I was 4 years old. My mom would put a chair at the end of the choir and I would stand on it and sing. I started writing songs when I was 8 years old after I prayed and asked God to give me the gift of writing music and I’ve been doing it ever since. He blessed me.
Q: How did you come to know Christ?
V. Rose: I was the girl who grew up in church listening to gospel groups like “Virtue” and “Out of Eden”, wanting to be like them and sing for God. However, it wasn’t until I was 16 that I made the decision in my heart that I was going to live fully for Christ and pursue my music career with the mindset that it was a ministry to help spread the gospel of Jesus.
Q: Where do you get your inspiration?
V. Rose: My inspiration comes from my love for Jesus and His love for us. I also try to pull from the situations I’ve gone through in my life and the people I know. I love to pull from real life because that’s what people need to hear.
Q: The title of your album is “V. Rose.” How did you come up with the title of your first album? Is there a general theme?
V. Rose: Yes “V.Rose” is the title. We chose to self title it because It was my first industry album release and we thought it would be less confusing. If I had to say a theme for it though, I would say it is my testimony so far.
V. Rose is from Sacramento, Cali. FLAME and his wife, Crystal, live in Louisville, KY. Both albums are available on the Clear Sight Music website, http://clearsightmusic.com/, I-Tunes, Amazon and where CD’s are sold.
Listen to a sample of their music. “Surrender” was a single on the album “Captured” by Flame featuring V. Rose.