We have become a culture of memory makers.
Everyone’s taking pictures of…well…everything.
We’re amassing a dynamic living history, assigning meaning to every moment.
And while it can be a beautiful thing to retain those images of life, we run the risk of losing the impact of those points in time that are truly unforgettable and life-changing. Soon, even the greatest moments become another tweet, Facebook post or instagram upload.
Shonlock is out to change that.
His faith journey has taken him from the pinnacle of mainstream music, working with artists like Aaliyah and R Kelley, to the passionate pursuit of painting the world a richer place through his creative gifts and faith.
And it all hinged on one moment. One perfect moment on a night that will remain imprinted in the memory of his heart forever.
“It was something I will never forget,” Shonlock recalls.
The unforgettable night began years prior. While garnering the respect and attention of the music industry for his choreography, dancing and back-up skills, he got a call to work with this band in Atlanta called Grits.
“That was the first time I’d experienced what Christ could look like in the culture of hip-hop. Church had never looked like that to me,” he shares. “I was on tour and had a conversation with Verbs who shared the Gospel. It was like a weight was being lifted off of me. God was speaking through him. I know lots of people have lots of different experiences. But everyone knows that this is the moment when God met you. That is the heart of A Night to Remember
From beginning to end, the album is a sweeping sonic tale, chronicling the journey of everyman as he or she makes their way to God.
“We all start somewhere. But we all eventually get to a point of saying, ‘Ok, God. I’m tired. I can’t do it on my own.’ That is the heartbeat of the album…showing that we all have the same highs and lows.”
That sentiment laid the groundwork for the first single from the record, “Walk on Water.”
“Everyone has tear ducts,” he says. “Rich, poor, high, low…we all experience pain. No one is exempt. That’s not an uncommon theme, but more of a reminder that we all have highs and lows. The key is keeping your eyes on God, knowing He’ll be with you.”
From that point, the songs play out as though a storyteller is delivering an epic tale. The themes of disappointment and heartbreak, running from truth and ultimately finding salvation reconcile in a perfect cadence that coalesces into the kind of story that doesn’t let you go.
Which is exactly what Shonlock intends. Over the years, as his personal ministry and solo career have grown and deepened, Shonlock has realized the potential he had to change the lives of other young men in need of the grace he has found. Listening to the prompting inside his heart, he began mentoring the young men in his church.
“God put it in my heart to be the middle ground between these young men and the elders,” Shonlock explains. “There’s an in-between; a lot of them didn’t have fathers or someone who could talk to them about the things they were dealing with. My goal is to help them avoid the pitfalls through scripture and life lessons.”
It’s not just other young men he sees that compels him; it’s the pieces of himself he sees within each of these younger guys.
“I was dancing and doing choreography and trying to master that gift and talent,” he says. “Toby saw that gift and helped nurture it. Since I decided to give my life over to Christ, I get joy out of seeing people find their purpose.”
Suffice it to say, his joy runneth over…
As he transparently chronicles his path to freedom in Christ through song, reminding himself and others of the awe of that moment when your life is no longer your own, but in the hands of One more awesome than any words can say, Shonlock is helping others create a new history…and new memories.
Not just a random post; not a snapshot that disappears at the click of a mouse; these are the memories that become the architects of our lives.
With a passion and fire to preserve the unparalleled miracle of salvation, Shonlock offers a sonic tribute to that moment when our hearts became part of an eternal kingdom…that moment that will stay with us forever, and change us for eternity.
That is the kind of memory to celebrate.
That is the night to remember.