James the Mormon, not the rapper: Religion and rap converge with local musician James Curran

James the Mormon is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is originally from Utah and has lived in many other places including California, New York, and Dubai. James was born on December 26th, 1985
James the Mormon, not the rapper: Religion and rap converge with local musician James Curran
James the Mormon, not the rapper: Religion and rap converge with local musician James Curran


He’s James Curran and James the Mormon. He raps about non secular messages and about soccer. He raps, however he’s not a rapper. Sound like an id disaster? Assume once more.

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James Curran, often known as James the Mormon, is aware of precisely who he’s within the native music scene. He’s greatest identified for his music movies like “Restoration,” a rap concerning the origin of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (opening lyrics: “Let me inform you ‘bout my homie, he was 14”). He’s additionally identified for “Dreamin,’” a rap he wrote after Tanner Mangum’s miracle profitable passes throughout the BYU soccer season. His movies go away viewers labeling him as a rapper. However he stands sturdy that he’s not.

“It’s similar to my dad’s interest is gardening, however nobody calls him a gardener,” James says. “My dad works 12 hour days as a stockbroker, he has a management calling within the LDS Church, he has a household and he occurs to love gardening on the weekends. Rapping is like that for me.”

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James didn’t even know what rap was till he was 14. Along with his mom serving as a U.S. Ambassador, James grew up abroad, dwelling in China, Taiwan, Russia and eventually Uzbekistan the place he graduated from highschool, fluent in Russian. Earlier than graduating, he spent a yr dwelling on the U.S. East Coast — which is the place he found rap.

“The TV channels we had in Russia have been restricted to native reveals or the American Forces Community,” James says. “So once I got here to the states I watched MTV and BET for the primary time. I felt a connection to the black rappers as a result of abroad I had all the time been one of many solely black individuals in our communities.”

[pullquote]Combine it up

SONG ON REPEAT: “Sorry” by Justin Bieber. “I feel he employed scientists to make the proper track.” DREAM COLLABORATION: “I might quit all the things in my life to do one track with Drake.” MUSIC HERO: Jon Bellion INTROVERT OR EXTROVERT: Ambivert HOBBIES: “Making humorous Snapchat movies with my canine Mason.”

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He thought up track remixes as a interest till he began faculty at BYU-Idaho, the place his rapping gained a lot traction that he thought of dropping out. It was a fleeting thought, and he has stayed true to his rap-as-a-hobby motto ever since. He served an LDS mission, solidified his beliefs, got here dwelling and felt impressed to proceed his missionary work by rap. Now in Provo along with his communications diploma from BYU-Idaho, he owns a profitable advertising enterprise that permits free time for his interest — which additionally helps him streamline his artistic course of.

“I’ve a enterprise thoughts, so I’ve discovered how you can optimize the writing course of,” James says. “Once I discover an instrumental base that I like, I can write lyrics in 40 minutes, discover somebody to sing an element together with my rap and schedule a recording session. In an hour and 40 minutes we now have a completed track. Most individuals will play basketball longer than that.”

By means of his movies, James hopes viewers see the inspiring messages he shares about overcoming arduous occasions, discovering religion and constructing friendships.

“I wish to present the variety that’s within the LDS Church so extra individuals really feel welcome,” James says. “In an African-American neighborhood, an individual may discover my video and see a man who seems like them and join with the message even when they’re not a member. Then the following time they see the missionaries they could consider this man they as soon as noticed on YouTube known as James the Mormon.”

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