Erskin Anavitarte's music knows no boundaries. Consisting of a unique blend of pop, jazz, R&B and hip-hop, his music has the ability to reach a large cross-section of people. Recently, Erskin has partnered with Nik Ripken Ministries (NRM) for the release of his latest music video, "Is He Worth It?" The song addresses the persecution of Christians and more importantly it speaks of how Jesus is much more valuable than our comforts and our lives.
Watch the video of "Is He Worth It?" HERE.
We are honored to catch up with Erskin for this exclusive interview.
Q: Erskin, thanks for doing this interview with us. On your website, it says that you are a "singer-songwriter," "diversity spokesman," and "adoption advocate." Let's start with "singer-songwriter," how and when did you know that you have the gift of singing and writing songs?
As I was growing up, singing was a joyful gift that I assumed everyone had. In the church tradition that I was part of, people often sang with exuberance and excitement. As I began to get older, I realized that I enjoyed singing and music more than other things in life.
Q: You have recently worked with Nik Ripken Ministries for new song. Tell us about your partnership with Nik Ripken and how you came to work with him.
Nik and Ruth, his wife, are dear friends of ours. I met Nik at a songwriters' retreat in Virginia, where we immediately struck up a friendship. His passion for all believers-but particularly the most vulnerable believers in difficult areas of the world-was captivating. During the retreat, Nik poured into us spiritual stories that served as inspiration for our songwriting. It was from this gathering that the song "Is He Worth It?" was birthed.
Q: What is your new song "Is He Worth It?" about?
The song is about believers who ultimately count Jesus worthy of glory and obedience, no matter the circumstance. The refrain, "I'll give what I can't keep, to gain what I can't lose," comes from the martyred missionary Jim Elliot. It is a reminder to every generation of the cost of following Christ.
Q: Why is it important for people to listen to this song?
The song and the music video are essential to consider because persecution can be difficult to relate to if you've not experienced it. By virtue of songs like this one, we can better see and hear how our brothers and sisters face persecution with joy and hope.
Q: You are also diversity spokesman. Why is diversity important for you? How do you try to spread this message?
I list myself as a diversity spokesman because of the overwhelming force of Scripture that talks about the Body of Christ and the incredible variety of gifts the Holy Spirit gives. As we use these gifts for the common goal of loving Jesus, loving our neighbors, and the gospel "good news," we are stronger collectively and better together than we would be apart.
Q: Talk to us about your views about adoption and why this is important for you.
My wife and I have viewed adoption as a mission and calling in our lives. The biblical picture of adoption, whereby we were brought into the family of God through the loving work of Jesus, is a reminder that we-who have been brought into His family- should also provide a family for others. We believe this is, in part, some of what James 1:27 considers pure religion.
Q: With so many things on your plate, what music and/or events can we be hearing more from you in the near future?
I am following up some of my earnest songs like "Black and White," "Is He Worth It?" and "Grace Made The First Move" with an upbeat, call-to-action EP entitled Just Dance. The third single from the album, "Be Brave," was released in January and I plan to record more songs soon. Even with everything going on, we will be dancing into the future.