By Grace Robinson
As a blogger and a music lover, I was very excited when the opportunity came to do an interview with Martay. Martay is a passionate performer and talented recording artist. She’s a musician with a message, and I’m honored to participate in helping her take her message to the world. I had a few questions for Martay, and here’s what she had to say:
What’s your new project about?
While doing a 3 month Christian music tour this past year, I found myself in the midst of a few, heart-wrenching situations that I’d never imagined I’d be in. I’m the optimistic type by nature and never really understood, first-handedly, why so many people absolutely hate Christians. I get that Jesus says the world won’t like us because we’re the light, but I’m talking about the people that hate us for being what they often see as “hypocrites” and “liars” and… you know, the list of bad goes on. I knew there were self-proclaimed Christians out there that fit these labels, but I had never been affected or hurt by these people to ever be able to affirm what others the malicious labels or to start any kind of ruckus.
It didn’t take much for this to change though. [she laughs out loud] Within the span of about 2 weeks I experienced the most hurt I could have ever experienced by people who are heavily involved in the institution of church and call themselves Christians. My tour team and I had a “Christian” promoter go behind our backs and cancel a week’s worth of bookings, leaving us with nowhere to stay or eat in a place where we had no friends, money or family. A church elder told my team and I that we couldn’t lead worship because we didn’t look clean enough for the congregation to approve. These were just a couple of incidents that really gave me eyes to see the condition of many in the church.
I thought I was a pretty temperate person, but all of a sudden I was having to have my tour mates calm me down and speak on my behalf because I couldn’t control the anger that seemed to wash over me in such a short period of time. All of a sudden I was torn – I love “the church” but I passionately dislike “the church”. I started writing about it musically and then my music project, “Monster of Glory”, was born. After much prayer, it’s a project that highlights God’s love being solid despite the ugly process (or beautiful… perception is all up to us) that comes with us becoming Christ-like in a fallen world. God really purges the monster-like qualities out of us when we become His… and sometimes that’s not the most beautiful thing in the perception of outsiders looking in, but it is indeed still glorious. Sorry that took so long to explain.
If you could sum up your current message in just three words, what would it be?
God redeems us
What thoughts do you have for Christian media makers who want to change some of the stigmas of the church?
If you’re really serious about changing something you believe may be hindering something you deeply care about (I’d hope you’d care about the church), you’re going to need a license from God to do so. It’s His bride and it is crucial to seek God’s opinion, as well as instructions, on the stigma you’re trying to change. If you don’t, you can always end up doing more damage than is already done. After all, we are not infinite bodies of wisdom. We can miss the mark sometimes.
Why do you think the Christian church bears such a bad name in current society?
Unfortunately, it always points back to “that one guy”. I say that to depict that in many people’s minds all they have as an example of the church is a bad news story or a non-passionate Christian friend. The simple fact of ignorance leads many to see one person as the poster child for the whole church… a problem indeed. I think if people really took the time to look a bit closer they would see that the church is not perfect and was never intended to be so. It’s truly a place for hurt and hopeless people, like I once was and sometimes still can feel, to come and encounter a God who heals and sets free. That’s the main reason I keep coming and only reason I ever became a part.
Some might consider “hypocritical” to be a strong word. Why do you believe this is a true statement in reference to the church?
This is a hard question. See, I don’t know if I do believe it’s true. I, personally, see the church as God’s people, not necessarily a building or institution. I know with all my heart that true people of God are passionately devoted to Him and probably aren’t able to sleep at night if they’re, by nature, hypocritical. Jesus said it himself, “You are my friend if you do what I command”. God’s church is filled with those who are his friends and living this thing without compromise.
How are you working at changing this stigma through your music and other projects?
What I feel God has shown me is to be open, raw and truthful with my “Monster of Glory” E.P. I know I have to talk about what I have experienced while interacting with his bride… the good and the bad. I’m going to just let it all hang out, but with a heart posture of love and honor. This is not a church-bashing session, but a moment when one sits down with someone they deeply love and expresses their accumulated pain and hurt feeling. Being open is the best policy for others to feel free to face their scars and true emotions on the subject. I’m excited to see what’s going to stem from it!
Have you started spreading this message to your fans or fellow Christian musicians? What sort of response have you gotten so far?
I have! I debuted the project on Kickstarter and am currently asking people to be a part of it. I really felt that I needed to include my fans and supporters on this one. I didn’t want to do it alone. It was nerve-racking at first, but the response has been positive and it’s been such a great experience seeing people I’d never expect sacrifice to see this project come to life! The project has about a week left and we’re just about half way funded. I know we can do it. I’m just so excited!
Thank you, Martay, for taking the time to share your passions! Comments and feedback are appreciated – you can connect with Martay or myself on social media. To learn more about Martay’s current music and projects in the works, view her new Kickstarter project:
About the writer: Born and raised in Virginia, Grace Robinson studied English and creative writing at Hollins University. Currently living in Virginia with a rabbit and a lot of books, she’s a writer of fantasy and a fan of arctic places, world music, mythology, and linguistics. Soon-to-be world traveler and published author, Grace hosts her own blog and works for Helps2Media as a content supervisor.