Ezekiel nom­i­nated for Gospel Mu­sic As­so­ci­a­tion Canada’s Rap Song of the Year

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Swift Cur­rent hip hop artist Ezekiel Mc­murtry has earned a Rap Song of the Year nom­i­na­tion in the 40th an­nual Covenant Awards.

Ezekiel Mc­murtry & Hall≈ω Bar­rantes were nom­i­nated for the song Do It All Again, one of six nom­i­nees for this cat­e­gory in the an­nual Gospel Mu­sic As­so­ci­a­tion award.

Mc­murtry ad­mit­ted that gospel rap is still a niche mar­ket de­spite suc­cess­ful artists per­form­ing suc­cess­fully across North Amer­ica for over two decades.

“Peo­ple are still caught off guard. Not only that it’s hip hop, but it’s gospel hip hop. Not only is hip hop a niche mar­ket in Swift Cur­rent, but gospel hip hop is even more so.”

Mc­murtry was a rap fan grow­ing up, but had not con­sid­ered be­ing a per­former in his early teens.

“I love hip hop. I just loved it as a genre. And I woke up one day and I was like ‘I can do that.’”

He started record­ing songs in his bed­room, and even­tu­ally he recorded one of his first in stu­dio songs with Fresh I.E., a Win­nipeg per­former who is the first Cana­dian Chris­tian rap artist to earn two Grammy Award nom­i­na­tions.

That led to Mc­murtry record­ing his al­bum Mis­sion Ac­cepted in Fresh I.E.’S stu­dio, and the dig­i­tal re­lease reached as high as 52nd on the Cana­dian hip hop and rap charts on itunes.

“Then book­ings started com­ing in and I’ve been able to tour kind of all across Canada,” he said af­ter his suc­cess­ful de­but.

“It’s been re­ally cool the way that it’s been go­ing, and grow­ing, like the brand and the mu­sic. So it’s be­com­ing less sur­pris­ing I think.”

Mc­murtry, who did not grow up in the church, started in­tern­ing at East Side Church of God at the age of 19, and in his third year at the church he was hired as a Chil­dren’s Pas­tor. He has since been able to fo­cus on a mu­sic ca­reer and per­for­mances at youth con­fer­ences.

“It’s cool that I’ve got to turn this into a job. That I get to travel around and hang out in stu­dios. And all that is cool, but that’s not the main thing. It’s much more about the im­pact of the mes­sage.”

De­spite the chal­lenges, he knows his mu­sic is reach­ing peo­ple and his lyrics are hav­ing a pos­i­tive im­pact on their lives.

“I’m much more about the mes­sage than the mu­sic. Mu­sic is re­ally a means to an end. I’m much more pas­sion­ate about get­ting to share my story, get­ting to share my strug­gles, and giv­ing hope to youth and young peo­ple,” he said. “If mu­sic opens doors for me to share that, then great.”

He is now anx­iously await­ing the 40th an­nual Covenant Awards on Jan­uary 24, 2019 in Ed­mon­ton, and plans to con­tinue tour­ing and per­form­ing through the win­ter months.

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