Gospel Artist Todd Curry Dishes on His Latest Project & Nicki Minaj’s Grammy Performance
How often do we hear preachers yell over the pulpit “Quit playing church”? We’ve heard that phrase so often that it has become a weak cliche. Until now that is. Todd Curry & Focus has taken the platform that they have been given as Gospel artists and turned it into a movement the brings the glory back to God. The Quit Playin’ Church movement is “an organized effort to promote the end of playing church games in the body of Christ.” and from this movement came a song as well as the groups sophomore album. I was able to catch up with Todd Curry & Focus visionary Elder Todd Curry to chat for a few regarding the “Quit Playin’ Church” movement, the current state of the church and Nicki Minaj’s outlandish Grammy’s performance.
If a person were to ask you who is Todd Curry & Focus were what would you tell them?
Well, this may sound cliche’ but I am literally a child of God and I’m just a young man that loves the Lord and loves music, loves people and really wants to proclaim the gospel to people. I just want to see souls saved and that is the whole movement of the group and the heart of the group if you will. It’s just soul winning and helping other people around the world. That’s us in a nutshell.
Can you explain exactly what “Qut Playin’ Church” means?
Wow! Now, that may not be a short answer.Well, first of all I was reared in the church. My father was a pastor and a bishop even now so all of my life I’ve been raised in the church and being a pastor’s son, a preacher’s son, a PK as they call it I have seen it all. I’ve seen the church game where people act one way on Sunday and then act another way throughout the week. I’ve seen people coming from the club Saturday night and then leading praise and worship Sunday morning. I’ve witnessed the backbiting, the lying, the fighting for positions. Oh my goodness I’ve seen preachers taking folks’ money. I’ve seen it all and it bothered me so bad growing up and even now because I am about soul winning and I am seeing too many hurting people that are really dying and we’re in church, a place that it supposed to be the safe haven and we’re playing these little church games amongst ourselves like ‘who’s gonna be great’ and all of this other mess and the souls are sitting up here dying and can’t even come to the refuge that they’re supposed to be coming to for help because we’re playing games amongst ourselves.
What are the dangers of “playing church” in your opinion?
The biggest danger again is turning away people that are coming for help. I was just in Augusta and I was on the street and we were promoting the CD and everything on the street and a Caucasian young man came up to me. He was all tatted up and had all kinds of piercings everywhere. He came up to me and was talking and I asked him “Do you listen to Gospel or Christian music?” and he said “No, I don’t listen to that mess.” and the issue was I found out that he was raised in the church and he said he would never set foot back in the church because of the way that the people acted inside of the church. That thing hurt me so bad that the church is turning away people and the blood is definitely on our hands. So this again, getting back to the movement there’s a lot of Gospel artists tripping, trying to make it number one on the Billboard Charts, making folks shout and fall out on stage and then getting off stage and… don’t even get me started I might end up somewhere else. They’re sleeping around with each other and all of this kind of stuff and I’m sitting here watching this like ‘how can you do this’? Preachers are the same. I’m just sick of the games and this is the detriment of playing “church games” because we are killing the people that we are supposed to be helping.
(Laughs) Look at this I done ruined the whole interview.
Nope not at all. Its just that I was raised in the church as well and can identify with almost everything that you’re saying. These are subjects that aren’t touched on often.
And that’s the problem. That’s my biggest problem and it’s like we put up the blinders and we’re so much trying to build the church and we’re forgetting about the souls. I tell people all the time that we’ve kind of placed a monument somewhere stating that this is the way church is supposed to be but a monument can’t be moved. I tell people all the time that God wants us to be in a movement and instead of picking up the monument and saying “this is church” he wants us in a movement where he picks us up and tells us where to go. We’ve forgotten all about God. In all of this its all about us. Its just troubling.
Do you think that it is possible for the games to stop or will they be ever present?
Wow, now that’s a great question. The bottom line is that the Bible speaks of the end of times and what’s going to happen and how men will be “lovers of themselves”(2 Timothy 3:2) and the “great falling away”. So we’re actually just walking into what God has already ordained and said was going to happen. My thing is with everybody is instead of saying “This is just the way its gonna be” make sure you’re not the one that’s falling away. Make sure you’re not the one that’s jacking up and turning other folks away. That’s my response to a whole lot of people. I understand that this kind of stuff is gonna happen but the bottom line is somebody somewhere has got to take a stand and again another cliche’ but if I could just help one person along the way I really believe that my efforts are not in vain.
What does Todd Curry & Focus want the world to know?
You can live saved. You can live holy and its not like I’m putting myself up on a pedestal or anything like that. That’s one thing that I really wanna stress because Todd Curry is a hot mess just to keep it real. I know I’m not perfect but the thing is that God knows that I’m striving. Its almost like Abraham. God called Abraham righteous and it wasn’t because Abraham was perfect or this great dude. He had mistakes and stuff but God called Abraham righteous because Abraham believed God and that’s where I’m at today. I just believe God I believe His word. I am not perfect but I am striving for that. I’m striving to make it in but again, I want to help somebody along the way and take the mask off. A lot of sinners are looking at us at church and they’re kind of like ‘Well, I can’t be them’ and ‘I can’t do this’. I’ve made mistakes and I share with people a lot of times my mistakes. I’m about as candid as they get but, the thing is I also want to remind them that God is a restorer and He can keep you if you wanna be kept.
What can we expect to see from Todd Curry & Focus in either the near future or the distant future?
This movement. God has really given us the vision of workshops and really traveling the country and dealing with this issue so that we can help the body of Christ as a whole. It’s kind of funny I haven’t even mentioned our music (laughs) but, even through our music I want people to be able to feel our sincerity. My thing is anyone can talk a good game but get to know me. Get to really understand who Todd Curry is and understand who Focus is. This is not just another group of singers. We’re ministers and everybody has some ministry in them. One thing about Focus is even when we first started it’s probably the most crazy thing that happened but we went two and a half years without singing anywhere. These are folks that are praise and worship leaders and ministers and everything but we went without singing anywhere because we wanted to make sure that our personal lives were right. We had to get our own selves together before we could go out to the nations and minister to other people.
(Laughs) Yeah, so when people look at us they kind of look at us cross-eyed or whatever like “Who yall think yall are?” and all of that. Again, I’m not trying to judge anybody. It’s just like get right and stop tripping. I looked at the Grammy’s last night that was a hot mess (laughs)
I have a question for you about that too. I was holding off on it but I have to ask about the Grammy’s.
Oh my goodnees.
So I guess, I’ll just jump into that. Did you see Nicki Minaj’s performance? As a Christian how did you feel about it? Were you offended? Just what was your opinion on it?
I was so offended (laughs). I’ve seen a lot of acts. I’m a music lover and I sat back but it was just something about that one particular performance. It was so demonic. It was so degrading. Its hard to even put into words and even I was on Facebook and Twitter and kind of talking with some of my other colleagues and everybody was kind of like “I plead the blood of Jesus right now”. But, it’s really troublesome because this is the music that our young people are listening to. Parents always say “Well, its just music”. No, it’s not just music. These spirits and stuff are transferable and we wonder why they done bumped they’re heads and are tripping and stuff. This is why. It was very offensive especially for the Grammy’s but that’s a whole other topic. For them to not even put in the Gospel segment because you don’t want to offend people with the religious tone but then you gonna blast us with this demonic mess? That is just troublesome to me. My heart really went out to the country and the youth more than anything. I’m gonna be okay after that performance but, there are so many that people are just lost.
And then, they opened with a prayer which was different I didn’t really expect that.
Yeah, LL kind of threw me with that. People were kind of tripping because he pulled a prayer out of his pocket but I’m like “Look, he prayed”.
So, for people that want to know about that “Quit Playin’ Church” movement and Todd Curry & Focus how can they get in contact with you? How can they be a part of the movement? Are you on Twitter, Facebook, website? How can they find you?
Wow. Well, first of all the website is http://www.quitplayinchurch.com and actually we have a sweepstakes going on right now through our website so yall definitely go check that out. Our twitter is @quitplaynchurch. I’m on Facebook yall can find me Todd Curry and Quit Playin Church is on Facebook. We’re a little bit of everywhere and if you want to contact us even with telephone our toll free number is 866-565-9057. Again, this is our sophomore project and the Lord has blessed us with national distribution and everything. We’re getting ready to release digitally soon through Trevino Music Group and Universal. So the Lord is opening so many doors and I feel so humbled that he chose to use me in all of my mess. I think the Lord chose to use me because I have that I don’t care attitude. So folks are talking and looking. I know people are going to be against this and have been against this but somebody has got to take a stand and I guess I’m the right one to really take that stand for God.
Toll Free Number: 866-565-9057