What made you come up with the name Psalmstar and what’s its significance? And how did you come up with Battleground City and what was the motivation behind it?
Payton: “In High school my nickname was P-Star, something my friends gave me. It stuck with me, then I got saved and was doin’ music for the Lord and in the Christian hip-hop genre it was throwing some off to where people would ask me, “What is P-star?” “Are you trying to become a star?” and I was like it’s just a nickname, so after some prayer, it was put on my heart to give the name some meaning. There was a new phase in my life, I was maturing as a man, so I knew I made Psamls unto the Lord, so then Psalmstar came to me”.
Tell me more about Battleground City
Payton: “I’m just a founding member of Battleground City. It started in 2007 as a conference called Battleground. Myself, a friend and his wife wanted to start something free for the youth in Tucson, AZ and wanted to do a conference. We did it for two years together. One friend left and got stationed somewhere else, so me and another friend kept it going. Battleground came from Ezekiel 36, on how the land was desolate and how the Lord rebuilt the land, and other cities seen this and recognized that it was only the Lord that did this. That’s how it got started and in 2010, me and other artist thought of what to give the youth for FREE after our conferences, so we began dropping mixed tapes”.
When you hear the word religion what comes to mind?
Payton: “Rules and regulations, no relationship”.
Why do you think the youth lose faith and don’t know God? And do you think there are other avenues to finding Christ, rather than just the church?
Payton: “Being a person who found God outside of the church, yes, I do believe you can find God outside of the church. However, to know Him more I believe there is a lot of value being inside the four walls of the church. Finding other Christians shape and mold your faith correctly in the way that God has designed it to be and help develop you destiny. Being in the church is very necessary. It’s that fellowship, discipleship and accountability. If you believe in the God that is coming out of the Bible then you know what God wants for your life”
How would you introduce God to someone who’s never had a Bible in their hand?
Payton: “Usually how I introduce them is through simple conversation. I’ll ask them who do they think God is. Then I go from there and show them what scripture says about Him, and say “this is who truly God is and that Jesus died for us and that he seeks relationship with you”. I tell them that he’s bought me here to you, to show you who He is and to help offer that chance at a relationship, and of course slide in a mix tape every now and then” (he laughs). lol!
So if you could have one power that Jesus had what would it be and why?
Payton: “That’s a little bit of a hard question, because in the scripture he teaches us that anything He can do, we can do as well through the Holy Spirit. I was thinking walk on water, but Peter in the Bible did that as well. So, it’s a matter of Faith. But if anything, I would like to continue to flow in healing”.
Describe Jesus in one word?
Payton: “Father”. You see it in the scripture that he loved, taught and trained up his disciples like a Father.
So, if you could relate to one character in the Bible, who would it be and why?
Payton: “Timothy. There was a long time before Battleground, and I was the young preacher and many people didn’t pay me any attention and no mind, so there was that discouragement there. So to read on Paul and Timothy, it was very encouraging”.
So what is your favorite verse in the Bible and why?
Payton: “Let me see….Romans 1:16, being unashamed of the Gospel”
What are you currently doing in the community and what are your future plans?
Payton: “Currently in the community, we’re doing work in Battleground City as far as outreach events and youth groups in the churches. Also, I’m a licensed youth minister, so with me and my team, we handle the youth ministry at our church to bring up the next generation. Just trying to get plugged in where we can. We also worked with a non-profit organization “Sold No More” on a fashion show to bring awareness to sex trafficking that was held in Tucson. Just doing things like that, and getting plugged in with anyone who is doing anything positive.”
Find more on Payton on Twitter at https://twitter.com/paytonakapstar also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/psalmstarbgc?fref=ts
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to share your story as well! Be blessed!