United Arab Emirates based Christian artist XPhactr has just released his first single, 'John 3:16-21'. Louder Than The Music chatted with the man behind the music to find out a little more about the artist's name, his inspiration, and how he makes his music.
For those who haven't heard of you before, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got involved in making music?
Let me begin by explaining the name, XPhactr. "XP" is made up of the Greek letters chi and rho, the first two letters of Christos, the Greek form of Christ's name. And a "Factor" is one who acts or transacts business for another, hence "XPhactr." And as Christ’s Ambassador I want to share the Word of God with whoever has ears to hear.
I’m an “extroverted-introvert” who enjoys The Good Book, good food and a good workout. I’ve written poetry and songs for a very long time but when I gave my life to Jesus my focus changed. God started revealing His Word to me in rhythmic patterns and it became a joy to read, study and sing The Bible.
Tell us about your new single 'John 3:16-21' and how you came to record it?
It is very special to me because it is one of the first melodies I heard in The Bible. I’ve been humming and singing it over drum loops for friends and family for years and even had an opportunity to sing it on a local TV program in Maryland. So, when I met my producer, Tshesofatso Yeni in The Barcoe Studio and we clicked, I knew ‘John 3:16-21’ would be our first song together. Then I asked a couple of sisters in my local church, Julie Anne Mangubat and Ana Leayh Javier Cortez to assist with vocals. God brought us from South Africa, the Philippines, and the United States together in the United Arab Emirates to do something absolutely amazing. I am so thankful!
Do you have plans to release any more music in the near future?
I do. We are currently working on three versions of Colossians 1:15-20. We are putting the finishing touches on an EDM (Electronic Dance Music) track for Philippians 2:5-11. And, The XPhactr Anthem: 2 Cor 5:20 will be released as well.
What message would you like people to take from your music?
The Word of God is alive and active! I got saved while reading The Bible (Romans 1:18-32) so I know the power of God’s Word. I hope and pray that believers are encouraged by what they hear and share it with their friends and family. I also expect people who are not familiar with The Bible to hear the songs and be curious enough to check it, and God, out for themselves. All I want is for people to get closer to Jesus.
How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?
Good question. First and foremost, I would say, “Contemporary.’ When people hear that I sing The Bible they assume harps and angels. I want people to know that The Bible is relevant to today’s culture. People forget that The Bible used to be “Popular Music” way back in the day; I believe it can be again. As far as describing the genre, it depends on the Scripture. For instance, we will release three versions of Colossians 1:15-20 (Country, Hip Hop, and Contemporary Christian). My influences are KB, Kings Kaleidoscope, Prince, Skillet, and Kanye West.
If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?
I always dreamed of doing something with Prince for the Kingdom of God. So, I guess it would be Kanye West producing ‘The Creation’ set to one of Prince’s unreleased tracks from his vault. In Jesus’ name.
How would you define success in your career as an artist?
Souls saved. If someone gains an appreciation for The Bible and/or is reconciled to God, through faith in Jesus Christ then that would be a humbling success.
What is your favorite album of all time?
Wow! Too many to choose from but as far as impact I’d have to say, “No Turning Back” by Out of Eden. This album is special because it was the first time I heard Christian music I would listen to. I never knew you could worship God with cool, contemporary music; it opened the door to so many possibilities.
You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your phone. What track is it?
Definitely, ‘Oblivion’ by Fit For A King. Because some prayers need to be screamed!
What does the next year hold for you?
Lord willing, lives touched and changed by worshiping to The Bible, several new releases, a couple music videos, global radio airplay, and a few TV interviews. In Jesus’ name.