"Yo Soy Segundo" - Evan Craft
This week I am showcasing an up-and-coming artist, Evan Craft. He's a 21 year old native of Southern California who has a heart for Latin and Central America. He released his first album, "Giants," in March of this year and is set to release his first Spanish album (complete with a couple guest vocals) next month! Talk about taking the Christian music world by storm, huh? Since he is a new and mostly unknown artist, I don't know too much about his journey with the Spanish language or if he has any distant Hispanic relatives. At first glance, he could be just like me - a seemingly normal American who just happened to fall head over heels for one of the most beautiful languages God ever created, español. :)
I have heard quite a few bilingual or "Spanglish" type songs both in the Latin and Christian music spheres over the years, but I've found bilingual male artists to be few and far between. Sometimes their music is brilliant, other times their Hispanic or American or British accent just bleeds through and makes the song less enjoyable - to me, at least. I like Evan's voice and I actually don't think his accent is too strong. I can even hear a hint of a Mexican or even an Ecuadorian accent in his words as I think back on the song. I've yet to hear him speak Spanish in an interview, though, so his American accent may be much stronger then. However, with mainstream artists, they typically memorize the words to their crossover song (a song not in their native language) and perform it so well that it was like they grew up speaking the language....until you hear an interview with that singer (let's say Enrique Iglesias) and then you start to giggle at their accent. They also probably pay for lessons to get rid of "native accents" which I've always found to be a little ridiculous. Your accent is a part of who you are and shouldn't be changed drastically! I will admit that I am a sucker for "cute English," in other words, English spoken by foreigners - regardless of their native language. I wonder if they have similar opinions about Americans who can speak their language. I've never actually asked!
Over the course of my experience with Spanish classes and trips abroad, I didn't meet many guys my age who had stuck with studying Spanish. In high school, all of the boys at my small Christian school dropped Spanish after two years. To be honest, I thought they were all wimps or maybe that girls were the only ones who could stick with learning a foreign language. Attending a HS that only had around 315 students total, I didn't really have the largest sample size to work with! Later on in college, though, there was one lone guy who was in several of my upper level classes and spoke decent conversational Spanish. At last, I thought, there was hope for American males in the foreign language realm! He only minored in Spanish, though. :-/ There was a lot of hope and potential all along; I just had to go overseas to see how much potential was out there.
During my semester abroad in Spain, I took three classes (History of the European Union, Women in Literature and Sociology) taught in Spanish and one class in English (Global Economics). At long last, minus the sociology class, there was more than one guy in my classes! And they all had advanced skills or were nearly fluent in Spanish. It took going overseas to have classes with American students from around the country (and be in this awesome bubble with other Spanish obsessed students) for me to interact with more guys (!) who were as serious about learning another language as I was! That experience helped me let the guys in my past off the hook as I realized that perhaps for a lot of guys, languages may not be their strong suit. I've yet to meet or keep up with a guy who has a degree in Spanish, but, as I have learned, not everyone who speaks it needs a degree.
All of that said, I really admire American guys who choose to take the road less traveled - the road of foreign language and cultural studies. And, if they become fluent or bilingual in Spanish (or whichever language of their choice) - then, all the more power to them! I hope Evan Craft will be one of those lucky people, like me, to become fluent in such a beautiful language and can use his talents to glorify God and minister to others. I can't wait to hear the rest of the tracks on his Spanish album next month! I hope you will check it out too and listen to his English album - he's a very talented and genuine guy!
The title of this song is called, "I Am Second," in English. It talks about how God is (and should be) the most important person in our lives and then we are next on our list. By putting Him first, we are renewed and made whole, even more capable of praising and bringing glory to Him! I was reminded of this last night and this morning as I meditated on this in the Psalms as I watched the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean. What a loving and creative God we serve!
Enjoy the video above and the photo that I took of the sunrise below. Los cielos declaran la gloria de Dios! :)