“Sometimes I get questions/ Questions about faith/So many faiths out /They wonder if mine fake? If God can heal, why my moms die from cancer? I prayed every night/Why didn’t your God save her?”
The above-mentioned lyrics begin “Answers”, one of the tracks from CW Allen’s 2011 EP, “Transparent Muzik”(TM). On “TM” CW asks real life questions, connecting his faith with true experiences. “I want to make music that impacts my generation. I think that so often we avoid the tough stuff and many Christian artists hide their personality behind their theology.”
Born and raised in Cleveland, OH, CW is not a stranger to tough circumstances. Both his parents were drug addicts, which left CW with few positive influences. “My cousin began spending time with me intentionally and for me that was cool because it was like having a big brother.”
On a family trip to Michigan, his cousin introduced CW to Jesus Christ. “We were playing Mortal Kombat and he did a fatality on me. There was hell scene or something and because it was 1999, I asked him if he believed that the world was going to end in 2000. That’s when he began to share the gospel with me. He broke down being born in sin, what Christ did for me, and how He wants to change me. It totally rocked me.” Thankfully, the world didn’t end in 2000 but CW’s world was completely changed.
In high school CW’s faith met his other love, music. He had always been a writer, penning poems and rhymes from a young age, but didn’t see himself as an artist. Through Youth for Christ, he met and began to meet with several other young men interested in music and maturing as Christians. They called themselves The Bruthahood. “They had us working out at 5am and then we’d do bible study after. We were studying Disciplines of a Godly Man. We would freestyle, just playing around. Eventually, me and two other guys got together and started writing, but at that point I was terrified of performing.”
But there is nothing like a little female encouragement to help a man conquer his fears. CW’s girlfriend at the time encouraged him to participate in an open mic and he did. The feedback he received inspired him to continue to perform and the more he practiced the better he got. In 2008 CW’s freshman project, Zeal for the King, was released under EQ Entertainment Inc. Although the project’s sales fell below expectations, the disappointment inspired him to work that much harder as an artist. In 2009 CW enrolled at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL.
“When I got to Moody no one knew who I was musically at all, so there were no expectations and no negative vibes. There were no stigmas holding me back. So I wrote a mix tape and it was so much better. I’ve been learning a lot in the scriptures and about God’s heart and the whole totality of the gospel. Jesus saved people from their sin but he also fed people and healed people. Being at Moody has showed me that we can be evangelical and forget that it’s more than just telling people about the gospel. I’ve been rooted here theologically, grabbed some depth. God has really been teaching me.”
Over the past few years, CW has performed at conferences, bars, schools and churches all over the Midwest. Opening for national recording artists such as Flame, and This’l. Conferences he has performed at include the 2012 CCDA Conference, and the 2011 Legacy Conference along with a few colleges including, the University of Minnesota, Indiana University, and Cornerstone University.