Check out the new song from Battleground City – Nowhere
Tell us about where you are from and how you got to this position today.
We are from the city of Tucson Arizona. Battleground City started off as an urban city-wide conference called “Battleground” in 2007 by a man named Kelvin Dooley. He wanted provide a positive, exciting, and entertaining event in Tucson geared toward young adults and teens. Our Battleground CEO Ryan Larned worked with him to bring forth this vision God gave him. After two successful years running, Kelvin Dooley, being in the amred forces, left to North Carolina and left Battleground up to Ryan. Ryan wanted to do more than just a conference every year. So he created Battleground City and became the manager for artists Payton “Psalm Star” Goldston, Robert “The Ark” Knotts, Greg “The Messenger” Johnson, and Edward “Bloodberth” Brown. Then basically we started making music together. We all knew each other for years so it’s like a big family. We use our music to reach young people and give a positive alternative to what they may listen to. Plus all of our music is free so we just started growing in popularity recently. Traveling all around Arizona, New Mexico, and soon California.
Tell us more about the current song you are promoting to everyone.
“Nowhere” is a statement saying no matter what haters may say we aren’t going to stop pushing the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Christian hip hop has a bad rep for being too preachy and overall whack. So we want to change that perspective.
What are you currently working on and what can we expect to see?
We are currently working on our 5th collaboration project called City of Ashes Vol. 3 which will be hosted by Dj G Bless and featuring such artists as Corey Red, 7vnseal (formerly know as 80proof), Mista Taylor, King Wes and much more. We are also finishing up some solo mixtapes from The Ark, Psalm Star, and The Messenger, as well as hosting a mixtape for our brother Ecclesi out of Phoenix Arizona called Push The Black Button coming soon. It’s gonna be tough!
Tell us about one of the hardest challenges you had to face in the industry?
Support/Respect. In Arizona hip hop is not as dominate as in other states. Hip hop with a Christian aspect is almost unheard of. So I guess it would be better to say paving our lane as Christian hip hop artists. Many see hip hop as guns, drugs, money, sex, etc. So they are close minded to the fact that God can use hip hop to glorify him. We want to express a love for God that the urban culture can understand and that the church can use to reach the streets. Not everybody comes to God but we want to provide a positive alternative for them.
What was one of the biggest set backs in your career and how did you bounce back?
We haven’t had a terrible set back yet (thank God). If something does come that sets us back we would just continue to grind and trust God like we have been doing and we know he will see us through.
What are some things artists need to be careful of?
Women (lol)! We have to hold a standard in the lane we are on and in this industry even Christian emcees can have groupies. That can lead to some serious trouble destroying your rep and if you’re married destroying your relationship. I’m just being real. Another thing is focusing on money too much. Anybody, Christian or Secular, will tell you there is a lot of sacrifice in this industry. In the Christian hip hop genre nobody is making it rain. Some have acquired a great deal of popularity (Lecrae, Reach Records, Bizzle) but even they aren’t ballin’. We are rewarded by the people who come up to us and say our music helped change their life. To us that’s more rewarding than any amount of money possible.
What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?
Promote professionally, find and use every resource, and network like crazy. We network with people in Illinois, Texas, New York, California, and New Mexico as well as Arizona to help spread the word of our music and as well as the conferences we host. A lot of indie artists don’t know how to promote well. We’ve found tons of resources and from talking to other artists who promote well. Then once they have the resources and made connections they have to use them. So before you drop a project, have your network people check it out and let you know if it’s whack or hot; especially for Christians because we have a lot more riding against us in this industry. So we have to come correct.
What are the best ways to sell your products as an artist?
Concerts have been the best for us. However websites like Noisetrade provide a way for us to give away our music over the internet and then give the people you download the music the option to donate some cash to us. That’s what we do at concerts so it’s right up our alley.
What is one of your favorite ways to promote yourself and your music?
YouTube! People love videos. They like putting names and voices to faces. It lets people know you’re serious about your music and it’s a dope way to connect with your fans. We joke around and make little videos of us goofing off or freestyling or performing at shows so people take notice.
Where can people visit you?
The best place to find all of our material is at www.reverbnation.com/battlegroundcity.