We had the good fortune of connecting with Xavier Brandon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Xavier, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I’ve always been someone who enjoyed music and entertainment. Originally I pursued a career in ministry because God called me to preach. While I was doing that I felt God shifting me to do ministry in a different way. I began Djing, hosting, and eventually working at V-103 as a producer for Larry Tinsley. I still do ministry, its just out of the church now. Being a creative gives me the freedom and flexibility to use all of my gifts and talents in whatever position I hold whether that’s creating content for a non-profit, being an author, or curating a mix on the radio. I’m fulfilled more when I’m able to be my authentic, unapologetic and unashamed self and the artistic and creative spaces that God has allowed me to be in has given me that opportunity.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a creative curator so I create really dope things for dope people. I’m a DJ who plays only clean music. I chose to do that because I want to be able to give all people an amazing experience without having to worry about whether the music is going to be appropriate for those around them. I host a podcast called the Crowns Up Podcast that can be heard on all digital and streaming platforms. The podcast focuses on Hip-Hop, faith and culture. Something I’m very proud of is that I released my 1st book called Crossroads: The Intersection Between Hip-Hop & Faith this year. I believe that there is something transformative that occurs at the intersection between Hip-Hop and faith that I call The Crossroads, so the book explores that premise. I got to where I am today truly by following the leading of the Holy Spirit and being willing to believe that I could do what God has called me to do. I said no to a lot of opportunities that were good opportunities but not God opportunities. Everything that comes your way isn’t something that you necessarily need to be involved with. I chose to make decisions that were in alignment with my purpose and passion and it turned out pretty good. It hasn’t been easy. Whenever you’re trying to do what you’ve been called to do letting go of what you may have intended or wanted to do with your life is difficult. A huge struggle for me has been being patient that God’s timing is better than my timing. I’ve had to focus on what I can control and producing the things that I know I’m supposed to versus waiting on someone to validate or affirm what I already know to be true. I’ve also had to trust God in the good times and in the bad times. As J. Cole says, “There’s beauty in the struggle.” I want the world to know that if you put God at the center of your life everything else will be alright. I’m no different than anyone else. If God can use all of my gifts, talents and abilities to bring others closer to the divine than God can use you too. Also, you can bring all of you to the table or create a table for you and your tribe. Some people believe they have to be boxed in to just one part of themselves in order to be successful. I don’t believe that. You can be all of you and be successful. There is a lane for you. Just tap into the divine and follow the instructions God gives you and you’ll be just fine.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
So if my best friend came to the city I’d take them to Highland Bakery, Thumb’s Up and Another Broken Egg for breakfast, Mary Mac’s Tea Room or This Is It!, Foxx Original Jamaican Restaurant, Yard House at Atlantic Station, Tom Dick & Hanks, Fellini’s Pizza, Lucky Buddha or Chinese Buddha or Juicy Crab for lunch or dinner. We’d go to Main Event to go bowling and get some drinks. I’d also check out Rock Steady on Marietta Street. Suite Lounge doesn’t disappoint. We’d go to church on Sunday, maybe hit Six Flags or Centennial Park, I’d take them to the center for human and civil rights, little 5 points, the trap museum, the culture experience or the High Museum if there’s a good exhibit. I’d show them the Battery and even check out a game depending on what is playing. We’d definitely have to hit a concert if someone was in town. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Jesus of Nazareth deserves all the credit. Without God positioning me in different arenas and the Holy Spirit leading me, I wouldn’t be successful and that’s a fact. My wife Ifie Natasha Brandon has been by my side and supporting me in all my endeavors. Without her love, understanding and willingness to come for the ride and push me, I couldn’t be free to pursue my dreams and accomplish the things I’ve accomplished. Lastly, my family, friends, coworkers and tribe know who they are. They’ve given me advice, helped me out, trained me, kept me humble, gave me something to laugh about and have continued to push me to greatness. I definitely want to salute all of you. There are too many names to list but you all know who you are.
Takia Lamb of TK Consulting & Design Noble Woods of Noble Woods Photography