Renaissance Movement Music is a production house that exists to Edify the Found, Reach the Lost, and Glorify the King! Our foundational Scripture is John 3:3 and we believe that music is a tool that can be used to encourage people to develop a true relationship with Jesus Christ.
Renaissance Movement Music is an independent Christian label based in Hampton Roads Virginia. The label consists of 3 artists, Sinai, Legin, and Mike Bell. The mission of the label is to see a "rebirth" in the movement of God's people through evangelism and discipleship. These convictions are evident in their music as well. It is because of this that Renaissance Movement has a unique voice and continues to gain favor in uncommon markets, considering that they are a rap label. RM has shared the stage with such artists as Flame, KB, Social Club, Christon Gray, Tedashii, Nicole C. Mullen, 21:03, Json, Luther Barnes, V. Rose, to name a few.
Hallels: Thanks for doing this interview with us. What is the Renaisance Movement Music about?
Thank you very much for the invitation. RMM is about a family of artists who have a goal of "challenging the culture" with the gospel. Jesus came full of grace and truth (John 1:!4) and we want to reflect both. We have a phrase "good art with great content" that we hope reflects our methodology to impact culture. As a label, we want any artist that we work with to use their gifts exceptionally to impact our culture with the gospel in the way God has uniquely designed them to.
Hallels: How did you get started? And how do you see yourself impacting the world for God?
My wife dragged me kicking and screaming to a Christian hip hop show! Sounded like a joke to me... But what I saw were hip hop artists using their gifts to communicate the goodness of Jesus. My wife and I went to an IHOP that night and started RMM on a yellow legal pad. Then we starting making music in my grandmother's basement and hitting every open mic event in Virginia that would have us.I see myself impacting the world for God by prayerfully building a platform that gives other artists, like me, an effective way to impact culture with their art. Personally, I hope that my artistic voice can point someone to Christ and challenge them to live for Him. I believe that in order for culture to shift the arts have to be engaged with the gospel, and I'd like to contribute with a "Movement" of artists continuing to make an effective impact for years to come.
Hallels: How would you describe the style of music coming out of RMM?
Genre wise it's currently all hip hop. Stylistically, our three artists are pretty diverse. Sinai uses more aggressive catchy-punchlines with thematic lyricism to deliver his message. Mike Bell specializes in more of a "twister," rapid style of rap, yet still legible, and he also excels at story telling. I (Legin) tend to use creative wordplay to have fun making my points, while focusing on transparency and teaching. The feedback we get is that everyone is very unique but gels together well as a unit.
Hallels: I believe you have 3 artists currently signed to RMM. What do you look out for in an artist for RMM?
Family. We really try to be family first. We are not looking for the next "hot rapper" so we can sell records (I know, horrible business model right?). We are looking for artists we feel God is calling us to who are walking in the character and competency of Jesus. Good art is a must, but great content comes from an unrelenting devotion to gospel living. We want to all share the same heart to engage culture. We ask two questions when we are engaging people (or anything), "What is God saying?" and "What are we going to do about it?" Once we know that, we take it from there.
Hallels: You also have a new song out now called "Ain't Worried." For readers who have not heard it, what's the song about?
Imagine a guy who's walking down the street and all around him buildings are crumbling, explosions are erupting, and the entire time he just keeps going, whistling like he doesn't have a care in the world. How foolish! Our song "Ain't Worried" is essentially about a confidence in God for our lives, our communities, and our culture. When we look around us we can see various aspects of culture and life that just seem to be in shambles, and plummeting further by the minute. Without giving off an impression of being unwise, we wanted to say that despite what we see in culture or otherwise, with our eyes on Jesus ultimately we "ain't worried bout' a thang."
Hallels: Are guys working on an album now? If so, tell us more about it.
Yes! Our new album is entitled "Lions in Suits" and will be available everywhere online on February 26, 2016. It essentially explains our logo, which is a lion...wearing a business suit. Since Jesus came full of grace and truth, we wanted to make a project that exemplified our commitment to grace/invitation (the suit) and truth/challenge (the lion). We tackle topics such as boldness in the gospel, lust, marriage, worship, stereotypes, our motivations and more. We're honored to have features from Erica Cumbo, Jeremiah Bligen, and Mission, as well as post production by Team Spechouse (V. Rose and more). Our music video was produced and directed by Will Thomas. This is our first major release and we're excited.
Hallels: What do you see are your future goals and plans for RMM?
Short term I'd like to see us touring more so that our voice is heard in culture and that "Lions in Suits" begins building a platform to launch each of our current artists further. Long term, I'd like to see a sustainable structure for developing and releasing artists, resulting in a worldwide Movement of people fighting for a Renaissance in our day via the arts. We all agree we are desperately in need of a change...a rebirth.
Thank you for your time!