“Rad Dad Feature: Speech of Arrested Development”

You never forget your first concert. I remember looking up on stage and seeing Speech live and direct, dropping serious knowledge and wisdom to the rowdy crowd I was a part of. Even at such an early age, I remember the enthusiasm, the feeling, and the power of Arrested Development’s message. As the years have passed and music has evolved and changed, Arrested Development have maintained their place in history as one of the most progressive musical groups of our time. As they have come full circle and back again, the lyrics that Speech deliver still are some of the most relevant, thought provoking and revolutionary. It’s a great privilege to connect with Speech on this level and learn more about the man behind the music, the husband, the friends and the father.

1. Tell us about what you do, who you are, and how you balance your career with being a dad?

I’m a professional musician, I minister to married couples, artists and guest churches and I’m a small business owner. I’ve been touring the world, recording music and writing songs since 1991. My first child was born in 1994, my second in 1997. My wife and I work as a team, so I gotta give her props but being a dad, to me, is a HUGE honor and opportunity. And I’m blessed because I can set my own schedule being in the music business. I make my kids my top priority. If I tour for more than a week, I pay for them to Come too. If I’m working like crazy on a project, I think of their life schedule and try to work mine around it.

2. What does being a modern-day dad mean to you?

It means everything. Fathering is an art. It’s about being there for your kids and yet giving them
Room to breathe. It’s about trying to relate to them and yet giving them safe refuge, order and boundaries. It’s a balancing act of friend and authority. And black kids are often mistaken for criminals or pre-judged by society and the law, it’s important for me to raise my kids to try to be wise, careful while navigating the modern-days they live in.

3.How did becoming a father change your life?

How didn’t it…. Is probably a better question. :-) Again, I think becoming a dad, changes my whole reason for hustling, and waking in the morning. It guides the overall direction of my life. I mean, I still dream and work towards my own passions, BUT only the ones that coincide with my children’s best interest. There’s plenty of dreams I’ve put aside for their sake. And I think it’s the right thing to do. They didn’t ask to come here, my wife & I brought them here, we owe them.

4. Whats the greatest part about being a dad?

At an early age it’s seeing their innocence and wonder at the world! It’s the most cool thing. As an adult you know all the worries and stresses, but it all eases away when you see their simplicity. As they get older…Seeing your kids do great things! Things you are even surprised they have in them. They are ultimately a gift that keeps on giving as they grow up.

5. Can you share a funny story about being a father?

My kids often used to sleep inside of road cases that we normally put guitars and turntables in.

6. What advice can you give any new father out there?

Be involved. Help change the diapers, feed them at night and let the mom get sleep, take time out to put them to sleep at night. Read and sing to em etc. it makes a huge difference.

Thanks so much. I appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. It was such an honor to connect with someone that I’ve admired for so long and I wish you the best in everything you do. Keep amazing us with your talent!

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