Making Progress #1: Why sing, Why rap?

Making Progress #1: Why sing, Why rap?

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,








27 Confessions pt. 1

At first I began to think of my confessions as negative things in my life that I wanted to confess.  Honestly, that’s the way it is for most people. I mean…I confessed something last night to a really close friend and it was a negative thing.  But as I began to write I started to desire to confess some positive things.  To think on the bright side is to uplift your own soul.  To think on the blessings of the Spirit is to keep your mind on life and peace.  So I wrote down 27 confessions for my 27th year on Earth and my 7th year as a Christian.  It’s funny how I wrote on all of the lines except the bottom and it turned out to be 27 even when I wasn’t counting.

Here we go,

I love Star Wars – I know a lot more than people realize.
I love reading.
I love camping.
I love video games – but I pay all my bills, and I only do it in moderation. Haha!
I love skateboarding – 15 years still going strong.
I love making music – all types.
I love editing videos to music.
I love getting my car washed.
I love getting my haircut.
I love new clothes.
I love random companies on my hats or shirts.
I love laughing – need more of that.
I love hugs – giving and receiving.
I love giving – but I need to do it more.
I love reading the Bible – can’t live without it.
I love good worship music – has to be deep though.
I love Jesus Christ – but he loved me first.
I love God – by his sovereign grace.
I love speaking Spanish – all day everyday.
I love speaking English – all day everyday.
I love writing rhymes – all the time.
I love encouraging others – it’s hard though.
I love my mom and my brother – the Tripod.
I love my dad – but I don’t right now.
I love my family – aunts/uncles/cousins/grandparents.
I love my self – but not my sinful nature.
I love my life – the highest highs, the lowest lows.

I’m not looking

I’m not looking….
I’m not looking at you right now
I’m not looking at others either
I’m not looking because looks can be deceiving
I’m not looking for a quick thrill
I’m not looking for looks that could kill
I’m not looking to play the field
I’m looking for looks that could heal
I’m looking for the head rush of our first encounter
I’m looking for an hour of time we can call ours
I’m looking for that catch of my breath
I’m looking for life not death
I’m looking for love that sustains
I’m looking for you in the rain
I’m looking for the One who reigns in your life
I’m looking for a sun that shines bright
I’m looking for you in the moonlight
I’m not looking for my best life now
I’m not looking for why, when or how
I’m not looking for a haphazard homogeny
I’m not looking for a half-drunk tragedy
I’m looking for the battle see
I’m looking for the addled scene
I’m looking for sanguine
I’m looking for clarity
I’m not looking for Charity
I’m looking for you
You’re looking for me
Let’s look again
Look again.

2012-09-06 20.59.56


A poem/chorus to a song I wrote and some interesting links for your time…

Peace between me and you.
Peace between you and me.
Peace between her and him.
Peace between us and them. God.
Peace between me and you.
Peace between you and me.
Peace between us again.
Peace between God and men. Amen.

He who would valiant be,
Let him come hither;
One here will constant be,
Come wind, come weather
There’s no discouragement
Shall make him once relent
His first avow’d intent
To be a pilgrim.

Whoso beset him round
With dismal stories,
Do but themselves confound;
His strength the more is.
No lion can him fright,
He’ll with a giant fight,
But he will have a right
To be a pilgrim.

Hobgoblin nor foul fiend
Can daunt his spirit;
He knows he at the end
Shall life inherit.
Then, fancies, fly away,
He’ll not fear what men say;
He’ll labour night and day
To be a pilgrim.

A hymn from Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan