In this weekly series, we spotlight the performers and other participants who will combine for the Emerge Music + Impact Conference on the Las Vegas Strip November 16-18. Tickets are available now at emergelv.com.
Southside Chicago hip-hop artist Sir the Baptist grew up playing piano and drums and singing in his father’s church choir, then graduated to writing commercial jingles as a teenager, which probably pushed him toward his next pursuit, advertising. As director of digital marketing for the Leo Burnett Agency, Sir worked on major brand campaigns and alongside music industry figures like producer Rodney Jerkins, until at age 26 he decided to get out of the business and into music full-time. He briefly supported the later career by driving for Lyft.
“Raise Hell,” his first single, was nominated as Impact Track of the Year at the 2016 BET Awards, bolstered by its appearance on the soundtrack for Birth of a Nation. Sir played Bonnaroo, Sasquatch, Voodoo Fest and Lollapalooza last year and performed “Raise Hell” on Late Night With Seth Meyers.
He signed with Atlantic Records last spring and in May released debut album Saint or Sinner, hailed as a blend of gospel and hip-hop with inflections of doo-wop, jazz, reggae and soul. His savvy approach to brand-building and his ability to blend disparate influences might make Sir the Baptist the quintessential artist to represent the spirit of the Emerge Music + Impact Conference, at which he’ll perform in Las Vegas in November. Sir seemed destined for big musical things from the beginning, and Emerge will see him take his next big steps.