By: Jasmine Browley

Mega successful gospel artist and minister Travis Greene stopped to chat about his rocky path to success, how social media has warped millennials’ perception of success and why he decided to perform at Trump’s Inaugural Ball:

On when he realized that he could turn his love for ministering into a successful music career at 21:

I just always had the heart for it. I had a college professor in music that really challenged me to go after my dreams and from that point on I went after it with all I had because I never really wanted anything else as badly. I’ve gone broke chasing after it–lost everything to pursue it. That’s when you know that something is meant for you; when the back door is locked and there’s no other path to go other than the one right in front of you.

Travis recalls the first real turning point in his career:

A defining moment in my career is when I performed at the T.D. Jakes’ International Pastors and  Leadership Academy [in 2015]. That was an incredibly gratifying and humbling experience and I honestly didn’t think my career could propel any higher than that but God keeps blessing me. I’m so grateful. 

On how two brushes with death inspired him to pursue go pursue his dreams:

I was actually a stillborn birth. But God saw fit to perform a miracle on me and give me my life back. And when I was a toddler, I fell out of a window, falling four stories down. After being rushed to the hospital, doctors did what they could and my mother told me that after a certain point, they covered my body with a white sheet and said it was over. But again, God gave me another chance. Since then, I knew that I was put on this earth to serve Him through my music.

On making wise career decisions:

Over the years, tracing back to the beginning I can say that I learned more bad than good {laughs} about how to do business the right way in the music industry. But I’m glad about it because since I’ve been dealing with it for the past 10+ years and I can share my multifaceted experience with up and coming artists.

One of the biggest pieces of advice that I can give is not being in a rush. Don’t be so thirsty to be “social media successful” that you take the first opportunity offered without carefully weighing your options. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should be stagnant because our God is one of movement; what I mean is that your movements should be strategic. Have a plan and make wise choices because otherwise you’ll just be going nowhere fast.

On his innovative marketing approach:

I have an amazing PR and marketing team that dream, strategize and implement around the clock. We have people that love God and was called to breathe life into his vision in a really innovative and fresh way.

On the difference between his style and Mali Music’s more secular delivery:

We’re friends and in a similar industry but our method is a little different. One of the main things that my team aims to do is to give the church some great songs. We want to keep that same gospel feel while redefining how it looks.

On advice that Kirk Franklin has offered him over the years:

Stay humble and make it about the people. I recall a time that I came out to support Kirk at an appearance he made and there was tons of security around to separate him from the fans. He turns to them and asks “why am I so far from the people? It’s all about them.” That really changed my perspective and reminded me to always stay grounded and remember who I’m really serving.

On his performance at Trump’s Inaugural Ball:

The first call I received was from a fellow artist that gave me the heads up about me possibly being offered the opportunity to perform there and my first inclination was ‘heck no–I’m not doing that.’ But after the administration actually reached out, it became real and I had a conversation with God; it led me to make the decision to try and bridge the pervasive divide our country through my music.

On his favorite scripture:

Oh, that’s very simple; Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

It just helps me make sense of life. That my circumstances are not happening to me, they’re happening for me and God is always in the background working things out. You know, I’ve experienced so many tragedies in my life, that bible passage just reminds me that God is going to be there to comfort me no matter what I face.

Check out more on Travis Greene at http://www.travisgreene.net/