It was 2010 and my girlfriend had just broken up with me to eventually start going out with another guy a month later(they’re married now).  Plot twist!  I was actually super happy to be free and single in my last year of college.  I began to discover hidden talents in music and hip hop production with my newly found free time.  It was a new season and a new skill that I began to develop slowly.  Very slowly.

Fast forward 4 years later, and I’m standing outside a Starbucks talking to my friends about my dreams and goals like most good millennials do.  I said, “I want to make an EP this year and release it.”  As my passion began to grow I found an insatiable desire to make new and interesting songs.  I began to write incessantly and most of my lyrics came to me in my car on the way to and from work.  Oh yeah, work.  More on that in a future post about how all of my students know I’m a hip hop artist.

As that year went by I began to create my own beats and write my own lyrics in Spanish and English.  Through my mom’s friend I got connected to a reputable and respectable studio producer near East Atlanta.  We met up that January and February and did a free recording session to see if we could work well together.  I showed him some songs that I had on my playlist and some songs that I had created in my home studio a.k.a. my closet and my friend’s garage.  Fast forward to today, and we are still working together as teammates and co-producers to mix and master my first studio EP coming in 2017.  More on that here: Album Update

As the months went by I tried to balance everything.  I stepped out of seminary after two years (pursuing a M.A. in Missions) for a variety of reasons but one of them was the huge burden on my heart to create more music.  I would read textbook assignments for 2-4 hours every Saturday and immediately jump onto my laptop and start making beats on Ableton Live.  I couldn’t resist the call to create and block out the rest of the world in the studio.  I began to ask myself, “What kind of missionary am I?   Am I some world traveling, fundraising, Sunday School teaching, volunteering guy or am I going to make songs that will last far longer and impact much farther than a week long Vacation Bible School in Central America?”  It turns out that I am still both of those people, but I told myself “This season is music season.  The summer of sound, the time in my life to create something beautiful because every song is a sermon that can be played over and over again.”  I realized that churches probably wouldn’t let me preach very often, and I also realized that my songs would preach far better anyways.  That was the deepest “Why?” I could find to keep writing and recording.  The less noble “Why?” honestly involved the coolness factor of getting to spend every moment hanging out with creative artists and gaining popularity in my social circle.  Truth be told it was always nice to make new friends and to express my artistic abilities.  It was always a dopamine/adrenaline rush to get on stage and flow on the mic in front of tons of fans.  Even today I still love getting on stage.  We had the best concert ever back in October for a youth group lock-in.  I finally had a chance to become who I was meant to be in this season of my 20’s.  I became a passionate artist with entrepreneurial aspirations in the music business.

It’s hard for me to explain it all in one post, so this is part 1 of the Making Progress blog post series.  I have a few more posts with more details and funny stories as we go along.  Until then check out my music at the links below, share them and follow me on all social media if you aren’t already to get more updates and personal insights.

My official artist website:

Snapchat: onepilgrim

Instagram: onepilgrim

Facebook: One Pilgrim

Free music at Soundcloud Music: One Pilgrim and Noisetrade: One Pilgrim

Check out my first music video at Pilgrim – El Peregrino (Official Music Video)


El Peregrino – Single by Pilgrim
Amazon MP3:
Google Play:

Mr. Pretender feat. Zackery Robinson & Sofia Hartley – Single by Pilgrim
Amazon MP3:
Google Play:

Stream the new singles here:
Apple Music:

Thank you for reading.  You’re the best!

Your friend,








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