Be sure to listen to his new Album "jacob" Out Now
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly tell us about yours?
Growing up, music was always a part of my life. My great grandmother was a concert violinist and my great aunt was an opera singer, so music is in my blood. I started playing guitar when I was 9 years old and quickly fell in love with songwriting. By the time I reached high school, I had written countless songs. Music has always been the way I express my emotions, but that has never been more true than during my freshman year of college. At the time I was going through a bad breakup and my mom was struggling with breast cancer. To cope, I decided to begin releasing music. I thought maybe other people could relate to the music I made, so I taught myself to produce, and released six songs on an EP titled “Therapy Session”. Flash forward to my sophomore year, when my life changed forever. In December 2019, my mom passed away from breast cancer. When she died, she left a hole in my heart that I tried to fill with everything the world had to offer; partying, alcohol, girls, and yes… music. I began to idolize the success of my music more than I ever had, attaching my self-worth to the number of streams and followers I gained. I made music that I thought the world wanted to hear. I wrote lyrics that hurt people and hurt myself, but I didn’t care because all I wanted was success. And unfortunately, I started to get it. I had songs with 10,000+ streams, people knew my name at parties, and other artists wanted to work with me. But no matter how many streams I got, how many followers I had, or how many people I knew at the party, I still felt so empty. Then one day I decided to open my Bible. My mom bought it for me when I was 16, and she wrote a note on the inside of the front cover, and I honestly just opened it to read the note. My mom was always strong in her faith, and it was something I never understood. Of all people, she had the right to be bitter at God, but she had this hope and joy that transcended all understanding.
New Album "jacob" by Jake Nash Listen
That day, I began to read the Bible and encountered God for the first time. I realized that God never promised that life would be easy, but he did promise that through his son Jesus Christ, he has overcome the troubles and sin of the world (John 16:33). With the help of some friends, I began to investigate my faith and ended up giving my life to Christ almost exactly one year after my mom passed away. Immediately, Jesus began to work in my life. For the first time in my life, I had a purpose. All I wanted to do was know Jesus and make Him known. I quickly realized that the music I was making was not God-honoring, and I decided if I was going to make music, I was going to do it for God’s glory. I started taking old music off of Spotify, and I aligned my vision with God’s purpose for my life.
Over the past year, I have been in a transition period of abandoning my old self to become the man and the artist that Jesus wants me to be. My relationship with Christ has given me a completely new outlook on music. I don’t care about the streams, I don’t care about the money, and I don’t care about how popular I am. All I want to do is praise God with my music. I have finally figured out who I am, and that is what my debut album “jacob” is about. “jacob” tells the story of who I am and how Jesus saved my life. This album is nothing less than a public declaration of my faith. It is unapologetic Christian rap. A true example of Romans 1:16. I am not ashamed of who I am or the God I represent. God put me on this Earth for one reason, to make him known, and THAT is what my music is about. I’m not special, I’m just a man who loves Jesus, loves Hip Hop, and wants to tell the world about Christ in the only way I know how.
Please tell us about your art. What do you do / make / create? How? Why? What’s the message or inspiration, what do you hope people take away from it? What should we know about your artwork?
For most of my career, I had no purpose behind the music I made. I wrote songs about whatever emotion I felt or whatever I thought would get me streams. That all changed when I met Jesus. In the past year, Jesus has become the center of my life and hence, the center of my music. I am unashamed to call myself a Christian rapper, singer, and songwriter. Now, the purpose of my music is to glorify God and bring the gospel to the world of Hip Hop. I think music was made by God for us to worship him. Music is one of the fundamental ways we connect with God, and I want to exemplify that in everything I make. I pray that when people listen to my music they would come away knowing that God loves them and that He sent His only son to die so that we may be saved. I never want people to think that success or fame is my goal. If God gives me a platform, I want to use it to lift Him up. I don’t care who knows my name, I just want the whole world to know His.
So you’re debut album just dropped. Tell us about the project. What’re you hoping listeners take away from this album? Who produced it? What’s your favorite song off the project?
Yeah! My debut album, “jacob”, dropped on December 31, 2021. It is 13 tracks long and by far the biggest project I have ever completed. The purpose of this album is to redefine who I am as an artist. Over the past year I have been in a transition period of aligning my music with my Faith, and this project is the end of that transition period. “jacob” is a public declaration of my Faith, and it sets the course for who I am as an artist.
I think the biggest thing I want my listeners to take away from this album is that Hip Hop and Christianity can go hand in hand. Jesus calls us to be in the world but not of the world, and that is my goal with this album. I love Hip Hop, and the community it creates, but the culture is definitely one that needs Jesus. When people listen to my music I don’t want them to see a cheesy christian who raps. I want them to see an artist who loves Jesus and wants to praise God with his music.
The album was produced by one of my best friends, Trey. Trey and I began working together about a year ago, after taking a music technology course at school. At the end of the semester, our professor emailed both of us and said, “you are both good at what you do, you guys need to work together.” I reached out to Trey, we exchanged phone numbers, and have been working together ever since. I think God put Trey in my life for a reason, and it wasn’t a coincidence that we were in that class together!
I honestly don’t know if I have a single favorite song on the album. I am really happy with the entire project, and each song is so different. If I had to pick a top three, in no particular order, they would be “can’t breathe”, “yahweh”, and “yes i do (PETER’S SONG)”. Listening to those three songs gives a good view of who I am, and the type of music I make. But of those three, “can’t breathe” is especially close to my heart. I wrote it for my mom to commemorate the two year anniversary of her passing. So in terms of the story behind the song, “can’t breathe” is definitely my favorite.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
You can find my music on all streaming platforms under the name Jake Nash. You can also follow me on Instagram @jakenash.music
When and why did you start playing/making music?
I started playing the guitar when I was 9 years old, as a way to pass the time between school and sports. Little did I know, music would become a defining factor of my life and the way I connect with God. I started making music to cope with emotions I couldn’t otherwise express. But as I grew as an artist, those emotions led me to write music that hurt others, hurt myself, and hurt God. My heart was hardened for a very long time, but by the grace of God, I encountered Jesus. Now I make music to praise the work He has done in my life, and tell others about the hope I have found in Jesus!
Tell us a little about your faith journey and how you came to give your life to Jesus?
My faith journey began during my sophomore year of college when my mom passed away. I always considered myself a Christian, but it wasn’t until she died that I encountered God. My mom was an absolute stud believer and her faith in Christ was never shaken, even at the end of her life. The hope and peace that she had both inspired and confused me. It was that hope that lead me to start investigating the Bible. As I began to seek Jesus, He revealed Himself to me by placing people in my life who knew Him. I met two guys who became instrumental in my walk with Jesus. It was with them that I heard the gospel clearly for the first time. I finally understood the weight of my sin and my desperate need for a savior. Jesus stepped into my life during a time when everything was falling apart. He pulled me from the rubble of my sin and set me on my feet. He gave me an eternal perspective and a new purpose for my life. My faith is the most important aspect of my life. My identity and fulfillment come solely from my relationship with Christ. Jesus has become the most important thing in my life, and the music I make comes from an overflowing of God’s grace and love in my life.
What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
Outside of making music, I am a full-time student in my senior year of college, studying Electrical Engineering. I graduate in May and have an engineering job lined up in Colorado. I hope that one day I can do music full time, but recently I’ve learned it’s better to leave the future up to God.
How do you balance your music with other obligations - significant other, children, job etc.? Are you full time music?
When trying to balance music with life, you will always have to sacrifice something. For me, that is oftentimes sleep. I remember many sleepless nights for me and my producer, Trey, while creating my album, but it never felt like work because we were doing what we loved. I’ve often heard the saying “you make time for what you care about” and I think that is an important aspect of achieving balance. I care about music, but I care more about my relationship with God, my family, and my friends. Music can so easily become an idol that takes precedence over everything else. That’s why it’s so important for me to take breaks from music to spend time with the people I care about.
What advice would you give up and coming independent artists?
Think about why you make music. If your only goal is to make money and become famous, you’re in the game for the wrong reasons. You should want to make music because you love music! Enjoy the process of creating your art, and allow success to come naturally. It’s possible to become a successful independent artist, but if success is your only goal, you will always be left feeling empty. Any amount of success you achieve will quickly be overshadowed by the prospect of obtaining a higher goal. Just focus on the music, and let God control the rest!
Are you planning on staying independent as an artist? What's the next move?
Planning the trajectory of my career has always been difficult. The music industry is extremely unpredictable, and it only takes one song for an artist to blow up. Therefore, it’s hard to imagine where I will be in the next year. As of now, the plan is to continue as an independent artist. I am in a stage of my career where I am still trying to build a fanbase, so independence is my only option. Luckily, independence doesn’t mean being alone. I have an incredible producer and mixing engineer who takes most of the technical load off of my back. We just released my debut album, and he produced about 80% of it and mixed the entire project. Now that the album is out, I would like to start playing live shows. I am on the worship band at my church, so I have experience playing live, but I’ve never had the opportunity to perform my music. I am currently in the process of searching for venues and creating a possible set list. Lord willing, I will be able to perform live in the next couple of months!