“S.O. is a Christian hip-hop artist originally from Nigeria, making art to try to communicate biblical truth through life experience.”
Earlier in March, S.O. released his first project since 2016, an E.P. called Shine. Four of Shine’s five songs were created in collaboration with producer OnBeatMusic, better known as OB. “We understand one another. It was a very collaborative effort. OB would be playing something, playing with a sound, and I would be like, ‘Yeah, that’s the one.'”
S.O. wants to get listeners excited because he will be releasing a full-length album in the next few months. The key theme of Shine is to encourage people to be a light of Christ.
The introductory song on the EP, “Boast,” is inspired by how many popular hip-hop artists boast about things of this world, which is in contrast with the message of Paul in 1 Corinthians who said (1:31, NIV), “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” S.O. wanted to brag about how what Jesus has done for him, and sought to give the song a celebratory feel.
The New Testament talks a lot about how Christians are supposed to be a light to the world, “but that doesn’t have a uniformed look. Christians don’t have an outfit that distinguishes us because of what we wear,” noted S.O. He explains that the way Christians can
“You can let your light shine as a doctor. You can let your light shine as a firefighter. You can let your light shine as a veterinarian. Whatever you’re doing as a believer, you can let your light shine.”
“For a Minute” expresses the believer’s experience with life going wrong when they are doing their best to follow Christ. “People have a misconception that believers’ lives are always great.” S.O. speaks about personal hardships of grieving the deaths of loved ones, losing friendships, and seeing those he was close to abandoning their faith. “I had to vent for a minute and let it all clear out. Saying it out loud helps and allows me to move forward.”
The second to last song on Shine, “Got You,” gives hope to the listener experiencing hardship. “God has got you in the difficulty of life, and He is walking with you as you’re going through it.” S.O. explains that though God has the power to take away life’s pain, on many occasions “He uses the difficult moments to prune you and shape you into the image of His Son and to build your character.”
Shine concludes with “Mama Said.” While the EP was in the works and OB was out of town, he prepared a beat and chorus to share with S.O. The chorus went like, “Mama said if I wanna eat I gotta work.” S.O. loved it and ended up making that the first line of the song.
“I didn’t think I had ever made a song where I acknowledge all that my mom has done for me.”
The older S.O. has gotten, the more he has appreciated his mother’s constant presence and love. “My mom has been a super supportive woman in all that I’ve done throughout my whole life. I wanted to honor her and make the public aware of who she is.” His mom loved the song when she first heard it.
Outside of music, S.O. enjoys spending time with his family, watching anime, and taking photos. “Photography has been a hobby of mine since about 2009, and I’ve been picking that back up.” He enjoys capturing candid portraits of people; many of his portraits can be seen on his Instagram Stories highlights.
You can get or stream Shine here.