“Fedel is an artist that loves God, loves trap music, and loves his family.”
“I grew up as a preacher’s kid but I grew as my father being my greatest challenge. My father was extremely abusive, even to this day we don’t have a good relationship. My father felt that God put him on this Earth to make my life difficult.”
For most of his youth, Fedel lived in the hood in North Memphis, two doors down from a trap house. He says that he was drawn to the streets because they were the only thing that made sense in his life as a result of his home life. “I just was such an angry and depressed kid that people around me realized that I was a ‘bout it’ person.”
“[If] you live in the South and you go to church, all gangsters and drug dealers go to church. Everybody’s father is a pastor or something like that.” He said that as a result of his abusive father, he was numb to the gospel.
“My whole life I felt like God had told my dad to abuse me.”
When he was a junior in high school, Fedel’s parents got separated and he went to live with his mother in Oklahoma. He started his senior year in a suburban, predominantly white school. “I instantly was in these circles with all these well-to-do kids whose parents had their lives set up for them.” He says that moving to another culture was difficult in some ways, but it was a relief to be away from his father.
After high school, Fedel says God’s grace in the gospel struck one night while lying in bed and “it just hit me like a lightbulb [was turned on].”
“I had to basically re-learn some things that I had been taught because even though I was raised in church, I was raised in a very religious, a very abusive, just a very controlling situation.”
Growing up, not many people around Fedel were into hip-hop. Rapping “was first a joke between me and my friends. We were joking around and I started getting mad at them when they didn’t take it seriously. They all quit.” He had one friend who was serious about rapping and they hung out all the time.
“From that moment, I just kept doing it. I knew I wanted to do it on a different level. I would go around people who were doing music and help them out.”
Fedel experienced a personal connection to hip-hop and loved to do it without anyone else’s motivation or encouragement. “One thing I learned is that if you stay consistent and have realistic expectations, you could do this for a while.”
This month Fedel released his fifth album in the past six years, Brave 2. With this project, Fedel wants to inspire people to be confident to do what they are afraid of.
“Anything in life that’s worth doing, that you’re gonna do, that God’s gonna call you to do, you’re gonna have to be brave enough to do it. You’re gonna have to do it scared.”
Fedel believes that many things that God is calling millennials to do are not welcomed or accepted by the generation of their parents. “They know some things are wrong, even though they were raise around certain things. I feel like that goes from everything from social things to religion.”
“I feel like this is the generation that has to be brave enough to step up to proclaim Jesus, to proclaim the grace of God, and also has to be a generation to be brave enough to say, ‘Hey, this is not right. These are injustices.’”
The first thing that Fedel says on Brave 2 is “Why you scared? Really big God. Really big things.” He wants to start out proclaiming that with God we can do anything that He calls us to do.
The following track, “Potion,” is vibe-driven, said Fedel. “What God has called you for He has equipped you for.” He wants people to listen to the song and feel that they can conquer all of the obstacles of the day.
“We Gone Make It” was inspired by Hurricane Harvey’s devastating effects on Houston, Texas. “It shouldn’t take tragedy to make us come together and I remind you that you need me, we need each other, that type of deal.”
Fedel said that he is the definition of an independent artist. “Everything that’s ever went into Fedel music has been my own money. There’s no loans, there’s no co-signs, there’s no sponsors. [The song] Betty Crocker says I’ve made something out of nothing.” He tells people that he beats his own drum because he is the one who built it. It is very important to him that he has done the work necessary to be successful.
“Trap Kids” is Fedel’s favorite song on the album. In the song, he discussed the tension of being raised in the church and the trap. “It’s basically me showing you God’s grace.”
Through Brave 2, Fedel wants his fans and listeners to get to know him on a personal level, hearing the story of who he is and where he came from. “My records always represent how I feel and they always will.”
“We have to go out and challenge ourselves. Go around people who don’t look life us, that don’t think like us and we need to listen and we need to open our hearts.”
Outside of music, Fedel loves playing basketball, watching movies, and spending time with his family. He also loves to play Call of Duty on Xbox. His daughter plays a lot of soccer, and he got FIFA on Xbox for her.
You can follow Fedel on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
You can get Brave 2 on iTunes, Amazon, or Google Play. You can listen on Spotify.