Shonlock's Rise to the Top
By Rod Thomas
The 700 Club
CBN.com -Deshon Bullock, also known as Shonlock, has thrilled audiences worldwide with his high energy mix of hip-hop, rock and funk music… and yes, he can dance. Deshon says, “In a live setting, people get to see that energy and it draws people’s attention and it’s something that young people are drawn to and it gives me a lane to share truth in it.”
But the message of his music goes much deeper. “God has started giving me a burden to share a word, a strong word that would pierce people’s heart and that would stick with people after they leave a concert where they’ve been excited.”
His inspiration to dance started in 1984 when he saw the movie, Breakin’. “I just wanted to be a break dancer. When you’re break dancing, people make circles. It’s all about whosever in the center of that circle doing their thing. I always liked movement and, I guess, challenging my body and skill level to be able to do different things.”
He went to a dance audition held by R&B legend, R. Kelly who was looking for dancers to work with a new artist named Aliyah. “They ended up selecting me to be one of the dancers and choreographers for her. Working with R. Kelly and Aliyah was amazing for me.”
His next gig was working on a new video by the Christian hip-hop group Grits. “I was like, ‘Yeah, man, I’ll come out there and do it.’ And that’s where I really found, young people my age, who dug the same type of music that I was digging and had a message in it about Jesus.”
Deshon had learned about Jesus when he was a child attending church with his grandmother, but never accepted Him as his Savior. After a rehearsal one of the band members, spoke to him about becoming a Christian. “God was sharing with him to talk to me in a way that it just pierced my heart. I never felt that way before in my life. I gave my life to Christ then and that was a turning point for me. I was so on fire, man. I read the Word like constantly, everywhere I went.”
When Deshon moved to Atlanta to further his career he lost is focus on God. “That’s like something that I thought I’d never do. I would mess around with weed and things like that cocaine, and ecstasy.”
“I just knew that something had to change. This is not where God wanted me to be. I’m chasing music. I’m chasing a dream, but, you know, I never felt fulfillment like I had when I first received God. I was tired - fed up with the whole lifestyle.”
“I was like, ‘Man, God, I tried this thing before and if this is really what You want me to do, I’m going to give it a shot. I’m going to give it all I got.’”
So, he returned to Nashville, and started attending Bethel Church. “That’s where I started to learn what it meant to be a disciple of Christ and not just somebody who says they’re a Christian.”
Deshon hooked up with other Christian musicians and also started dancing and choreographing for groups such as Grits, The Katinas and Nicole C. Mullen. “Different people would call me out of the blue to do different things. And you know, I didn’t have to audition. It was just another sign of God just opening up doors.”
He eventually worked with Toby Mac and this took his career to another level. “Toby Mac was a completely different thing because he was the first person to go from me being a dancer to me being a person with a mic. and using the other gifts and talents that God blessed me with.”
After working with Toby for 10 years, Deshon stepped out on his own - under the stage name of Shonlock. He recruited several talented musicians from church; and now they perform internationally as Shonlock and the Monsta. “It was like, ‘Man, if I could pool that together, everyone with those amazing talents, but their heart is on fire for God and they have an anointing – to pull that together, it’d be monstrous.’ And so, I was like monstrous, the Monsta.”
Shonlock knows that their message must relate to the struggles that young people face today. “Some songs are strictly about turning back to God from being in a place where you’ve fallen off. You’re not in a place where you need to be and you’re dealing with a whole bunch of different sins. This generation needs to hear the message because if they don’t, you know, they’ll perish.”
His latest album, Never Odd or Even has taken off. The single, Something in Your Eyes, reached number one on the Christian music charts.
“God (is) allowing me to do what I’m doing. It means a lot and I’m forever indebted to Him. That’s why I named my album Never Odd or Even. Never odd to see God do amazing things and forever in debt to Him for His work on the cross. I just pray at the end of the day that my life reflects the face of Christ. And so, Jesus is-everything to me and I would be nothing without Him.”
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