The genre-crossing, Christ-centered recording artist has gospel, country and hip hop fans.
Everything about Lathan Warlick shouts, “I’m a child of God” and like the Lord can’t be confined to one area or section of life, Warlick approaches his music the same way, insisting, “Don’t put me inside a box!”
His philosophy illustrates why his songs cross over into so many genres. Currently, the rising star attracts fans of gospel, country and hip hop, and he’s open to recording rhythm and blues, pop and rap music as well.
His EP, which dropped on April 23, features his top single, “My Way,” which he recorded with country superstar Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line. Other popular tracks are “Roots,” a female-power anthem with RaeLynn, and “Over Yonder,” a call for unity with Matt Sell. The record also includes vocals by Lauren Alaina, Russell Dickerson, High Valley and Dustin Lynch.
But the common thread connecting all of his work is his desire to fulfill the mission that God has prepared for him. “I felt like God was calling me to bring God, love and unity to the world, so I wanted to mix genres [with] people who didn’t look just like me,” he said in a Zoom interview with the L.A. Sentinel.
“I wanted to step and do something different like, ‘Okay, let’s mix Black people and White people together and let’s bring the world together with sounds of music.’ I don’t want to be labeled in a genre to put me inside a box,” said Warlick, who describes himself as a positive artist.
“If you label me a Christian artist, then people will think they’re just going to hear Christian music or if you label me a country artist, you think you’re just going to hear country music from a hip hop artist. So, positive artist puts all of this stuff under one umbrella,” he explained.
Also, pushing the positivity theme allows him to traverse from one kind of music to a different type to yet another category, all while creating upbeat messages to encourage people through his compositions. The goal, he shared, is to “knock out some depression, knock out some suicidal thoughts, knock out some anxiety [by] just listening to my music.”
Acknowledging God’s influence in his life, Warlick’s relationship with Christ became stronger following an incident in 2011. A man pointed a .45 caliber pistol in Warlick’s face, ready to kill him right then and there.
Remembering his grandmother’s admonition to “call on God in a time of need,” Warlick pleaded with God for help. The guy looked at Warlick, pulled the trigger, but instead of a bullet, the gun just clicked. Taking that sound as divine intervention, he vowed to get better acquainted with the Lord.
“After 2011, it was more so like, ‘I want to get to know this God I just called on. I want to get to know this Man that saved me from death. Let me understand Jesus and who this Man is.’ After that, He equipped me to the calling to be a vocal artist,” said Warlick, who was working in at the railroad at the time.
While remaining at his job, but he also worked on his music, letting God guide him. He self-released three EPs “Tellem That I’m Coming” (2016), “2nd Time Around” (2017) and “A Church in the Trap (2018). He signed his first record deal in August 2020 with Barry Weiss’ RECORDS Nashville.
In December 2020, he quit his day job, stepped out on faith and made the move to being a full-time artist. With 1.3 million followers on Tik Tok combined with 85,000 on Instagram, his career has taken off and his relationship with Christ has only gotten stronger.
“Whatever I create in the studio, it’s about God, it’s about love and it’s about unity. Even when I’m in the studio creating, I say a quick prayer [first] or if I’m [about to] write a song, I ask God to be my ears, to speak through me and to be my mind for anybody who needs to hear what’s going on,” said Warlick.
“I can camouflage myself throughout this music so when people hear the music, that’s what they get, that’s what they see. Jesus didn’t just throw Himself on you and that’s how I look at life. I just don’t throw myself on people. I let people catch the vibes, let them feel the love, so when they ask me in interviews why I’m this kind of way, it’s because I’m connected to the source, which is Jesus,” he declared.
While Warlick doesn’t designate a particular Bible verse as his favorite, he admitted that he reads “a lot of scripture” on a daily basis and prefers to meditate on the section or words that “stick out to me during that day. Everything just points me back to Jesus so I can be like a disciple to the world.”
As for the future, he looks forward to more collaborations with various performers. Believing that God has given him “a whole different vision,” Warlick said, “I want to work with any type of artist. That’s why when I came in, I wanted to come in pushing God, love and unity.
“What’s next for me is connecting with people, even outside the U.S., and that’s going to blow people’s minds even still. I got a lot of stuff coming out and it’s going to be different,” he said with a smile.
“That’s why people label me as a positive artist. Throughout my whole journey, they’ll never hear me glorify money, sex, drugs [or] women. You don’t have to glorify these things in order to make music sound good or sound like it’s bumpin’ or whatever,” said Warlick.
Through his music, he hope that listeners will conclude, “This guy is just reaching and teaching people about a positive direction!”
To learn more, visit lathanwarlick.com and follow @LathanWarlick on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Tik Tok.