This story is told as a part of Crisman AD. For more information on Artist Development, including biography and consultation services, please contact me at SarahCrisman@gmail.com.
Preach Blaq knows the addictive hook of a powerful brass line. While hip-hop has trusted the rhyme across a canvas of funk since the dawn of Chic, few venture as far as to invite the horn section in as hypemen. Today an obscure lab in Houston is cooking a project that will marry the high energy of live instrumentation to intelligent lyricism and the ones and twos.
Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Preach came up in and Austin, Texas where his family instilled a deep tradition of musicality.
“That was me before I even started school,” Preach said. From an early age, Preach was playing trumpet like his father and tagging along with his mother to choir rehearsal. More influenced by jazz than hip-hop, Preach eventually turned to the cypher to showcase his prowess as a writer and emcee.
“When I was in high school in Austin, there was a hip-hop spot where local cats could perform with a live band every Wednesday. That was the first place I ever grabbed a mic and really spit, and that was long before I ever stepped in a studio.”
Under the tutelage of Houston’s Devin the Dude, Preach developed and honed his songwriting skills. Not just the ability to write verses or hooks, but a complete song. Touring for years with the man the New York Times declared “a brilliant oddball with a spaced-out flow,” Devin has shown Preach by example how to be musically relevant, but not necessarily typical.
“He’s an artist in the truest sense of the word and being in his company was not only inspiring, but also a priceless education in the inner workings of the music business. I was able to learn about the industry and how important it is to be an educated business person. I saw this first hand through the experiences of successful and unsuccessful artist alike. That was the more important lesson. We will always collaborate, but now it’s also time for me grow myself and be my own artist.”
Preach, being a universally minded progressive thinker is now poised to be much more than a Hometown Legend.
“I had to step back record and build a catalog of original music. It was necessary for me to recognize that to solidify myself as an emcee I needed to create more material. Now I’m ready and well prepared.”