‣Where are you from ?
I’m from a city in Florida between Tampa and Orlando called Lakeland. It’s the average suburban town. I moved to Orlando at 18 for college though and have lived in Orlando ever since.
‣What inspired you to get into making music?
I think it was always in the back of my head. I wanted to be an artist. I felt like a black sheep, a nonconformist growing up. I felt like I could develop my skills in some sort of creative field. I wrote poetry and spoken word in high school, but it never left my notes. In college, I met a guy named Austin Consigny in a campus ministry I was in, and he showed me some beats he had been making. I showed him some raps I had been writing. A few weeks pass, and we record a song together. A few more weeks pass, and we are officially Hunterdrinkswater and Young Cupholder.
‣What artist(s) do you look up to / take inspiration from?
I’ll start off by saying I don’t endorse these artists and their lifestyles. So surprisingly, someone who really inspired me to start writing raps was Ugly God. I found his Soundcloud in high school and I thought it was really entertaining, so that was honestly a launching pad for me. Nowadays, I listen to a lot of Lil Baby, Lil Uzi, Playboi Carti, and Young Thug. I like sounds and artists that are relevant.
‣Who are some artists that you’d like to collaborate with someday?
Not Klyde for sure. He’s one of the few artists in CHH that I have a lot of respect for, and actively listen to. Parris Chariz, 1K Phew, and WHATUPRG are other artists I’d love to collaborate with someday. I’m not too keen on collaborations, especially with bigger named artists in CHH, because I don’t like their sounds. A lot of CHH feels dated, like it’s always stuck 5 years behind the current date. I’m not too worried about collaborating with artists. I’d rather trailblaze with newer men and women in this.
‣What inspired your stage name, Hunterdrinkswater?
As one might imagine, at its roots, I just drink a lot of water. In college I began drinking a lot of water, but what’s interesting is that several years in I realized that it wasn’t just casual water drinking. I consumed upwards of 3 gallons per day and couldn’t get away from my water bottle. I went to the doctor and was later diagnosed with polydipsia, which stemmed from my high anxiety and depression. I was put on medication for a few years, got my mental health somewhat under control, and my water drinking habits followed suit. Now I only drink about a gallon per day! The name always stuck though. People associated me with a water bottle in my hand always, so when brainstorming for an artist name, Hunterdrinkswater was the first to come up.
‣What are your hobbies/interests outside of music?
In reality, music is my hobby, and everything else outside of it is the bulk of my life. I love to teach, I love to read and learn, and I love to advocate for people. I study a lot of social issues and various ways that we as the Church can combat these injustices of our day. I currently teach full-time at a school in downtown Orlando, and hope to impact my students with my life, my music, and ultimately the gospel of Jesus the Messiah.
‣How do you want to connect with your listeners?
When people listen to my music, I hope that it puts them in my shoes, but I also hope that it can apply to their lives as well. I started out making music as a way to vent and externally process what goes on inside of me, and I think a lot of that still remains in my music today. It’s just my experiences, or at the very least, what I’m feeling in that moment. Maybe people relate, maybe they don’t.
‣How would you describe the journey as an artist in CHH so far?
Well I never really wanted to be in CHH. I just wanted to make music. But the CHH community snatched me up, and I’ve been fine with it. I’ve made some awesome connections and met some people very near and dear to my heart now. But CHH is still just an industry. It’s business. Anyone that tells you differently is lying or fooled by the theatrics. You can listen to CHH giants like Trip Lee talk about their experiences in this industry where the audience is predominantly white, conservative, evangelical teenagers, and the way that this impacts the music being made is insane. I don’t want to make it in this genre or subgenre honestly. It’s cutthroat, and as soon as I present lyrics or a persona that does not match up with listeners predisposed religious ideologies, I’m going to be spit out by them and the industry. Take this all with a grain of salt though! These are purely my experiences and observations, plus I’m a pretty skeptical guy.
‣What are your goals for your career?
Well, rapping is my hobby, and teaching is my career, but in the next few years I’d like to transition from rap as a hobby to rap as a part time job. Part of me wants to do music long term and establish myself, and part of me just wants to do this for fun and not worry about it too much. But peak achievement for me as an artist is to make music that my own students WANT to listen to. My students will probably never listen to CHH and will likely never hear rap music made by a committed follower of Jesus, because kids naturally are attracted to trends. Kids love what is trending and cool, and that’s one of the main reasons that I try to study the trends and follow them. I want to bridge the gap between culturally relevant music that actually sounds like the day and age we live in, and spiritually relevant lyrics that will touch people’s souls and wake them up to the realities of Jesus.
‣What is your favorite song that you’ve ever made?
I’ll be honest, I don’t like super deep songs. I like fun, bouncy, ignorant songs. So, because of that preference, Walk is most certainly my favorite song I’ve ever made. Young Cupholder, who produced it, would probably say the same for himself. It’s fast (I love fast BPM’s,) it’s catchy, and it doesn’t make me think too much when I listen. I don’t go to music for deep spiritual truths, I go to hear something fun or cool.
Special message from Hunter:
So, I never started making music with the intention of labeling or marketing myself as a CHH artist. That’s what people have deemed me, and I don’t really care. I have very specific views on CHH and being a “Christian” anything though. For example, I don’t go to an art museum and look at paintings and sculptures made ONLY by Christians. That’d be silly and honestly a bit close-minded. In the same way, I don’t label any person in any field in regard to their spiritual affiliations. I’m not a Christian rapper, a Christian teacher, or a Christian anything else. I’m just a Christian. Point blank period. We don’t say “oh he’s a Christian garbage man” or “look, she’s a Christian lawyer,” so it’s interesting to me that we have designations for Christian artists, keeping them in this weird realm of not quite relevant and never really mainstream. I think there shouldn’t be subgenres for a Christian who makes any genre of music. A Christian pop artist should simply be in the pop genre and show up on the pop charts. A Christian metal band should simply be in the metal genre and charts. At least that’s how my mind works. No more sacred and secular divide! I want to be a sacred AND secular artist! As consumers of art, I pray that my listeners wouldn’t only look at “Christian painters and sculptors,” just as I pray they wouldn’t only listen to “Christian rappers.” As anyone creates, regardless of what they create, it reflects the innovation, beauty, and creativity of our Creator.