(Photo courtesy of Reach Records)
In The Waiting Line
An Interview With Hulvey
By Sarah Komisky
Hulvey knows what it’s like to be caught in the motions of life. Just ask him about the moment he was sitting in a college classroom wondering when he would live out his dreams. Or, the time when he was (as he put it) “scrubbing toilets” at a local grocery store. Life clearly has waiting lines. So, what happens when we find ourselves in them? Wise beyond his twenty years, Reach Records newest artist Hulvey can now look back and offer up a few lessons learned from the school of suffering. Here is what he had to share on the subject in tandum with the release of his newest album, BRKNHRT.
Sarah: I got to see a little bit about who you are––I watched your documentary and looked all over Instagram. I just wanted to kind of hear, for those who maybe haven’t discovered you yet, a little bit about who you are.
Hulvey: My name is Chris Hulvey, and I’m from Rosewood Georgia. I started practicing music in middle school and started making music in high school. In that season, in high school, I started really just having fun making music. I went to college and the Lord called me to drop out, out of my comfort zone, and move to Atlanta.
Sarah: I want to go back to that place where you were in college and then you pursued your dreams in music and moved to Atlanta like you said, and this is where your career started to really take off. Maybe talk to that person who feels like you did, that life was turning into this mundane cycle that you were in. Maybe share what you would say to them.
Hulvey: What I would say, when I was going through those cycles, which I’ve been through multiple times … I had to learn to be content in the midst of that cycle. And realize that it was all about how I was seeing things, if that makes sense. So it wasn’t about where I was at, it was more about my heart and how I wasn’t seeing things that were around me. So I would encourage anybody to start seeing things how God sees them. See situations as God sees them. If you go to work everyday, start to see people like God sees them. It really starts to break that cycle as you start to see beautiful things happen. The first thing the enemy would want you to do is dwell on how boring everything is and how you’re not going anywhere. In the moment, you just realize “no, let me be content. Let me see this how God sees it.” That’s when stuff actually starts to change.
Sarah: I want to talk about when you were working at a supermarket––you said it was hard and something you didn’t really like. Yet you had these dreams inside of you that God put. This month at Marked Ministry, our theme is about oxymorons and issues in the Christian life that we face. This is something that you wrestled with; the reality of working at the supermarket, yet you have these dreams inside of you that aren’t quite realized yet.
Hulvey: What was hard was I dropped out of college to move to Atlanta. In Atlanta, working at a grocery store. Here I am––I dropped things and was like “Alright, Lord, do something.” And then you move and have to get a normal job like, “Dang, I just made this leap of faith.” What was hard for me was: Dang, I know God has confirmed in my heart and He has big plans for me. It was just hard being like, “Let’s go back to work and do the same thing and deal with these people, and we’ll go home tired every night.” What I started to do, I started to become content. That really started making a difference for me in that environment.
Sarah: How did you start working through that process?
Hulvey: I started becoming content. Not that I was perfect in it, but I started to see people as God saw them and made it a ministry. Instead of walking around like, “Hey, this sucks,” I was like, “I’m going to use this as worship. If I’m scrubbing a toilet, it’s going to be praising God, and this is how it’s going to be.” My mentor asked me a question. He was like, “Hey if God kept you here your whole life, would you be OK with that?” I had to wrestle with that, but I came to grips with that. Like, “You know what? If this is what God had for me, then yeah I’d do it, because there’s nothing better than doing what He called us to do.”
Sarah: How did you start when that question was posed to you, and how did you come to that understanding about God?
Hulvey: I remember I actually firmly grasped when I was at work one day moving carts. It just kinda hit me. It kind of started to sink in when I was pushing them. It was this joy inside that I had, “I’m in God’s will. I’m doing what He has me to do.” There was this joy in my heart of having Him. You really have to fight for that because of the enemy – he’s so quick to take it away.
Sarah: What would you say to people who are in that place of feeling that right now?
Hulvey: If you’re feeling that way, go to God that way. That’s where He’ll meet you at. Every time we try to Band-Aid something, it just messes with the process of Him being the healer. I’d say come to God that way and He’ll see you through. Every time I came to Him with it, He always just brought me joy. Every time.
Sarah: God says the least are the greatest in the kingdom. You had to do those things before you came to this point. Talk about that; how did you find in those small things that God was doing this greater work inside of you?
Hulvey: What’s crazy was I noticed in those little things there was ministry opportunities with people. He always points us to people. People would tell me their problems and I could pour into them. Or even personally between me and God. I’d be scrubbing the toilets and He would put on my heart that “this is praising me.” It was a big turn in my heart posture that every little thing is just as big as the big things. It’s all for His glory. He sees the least as the greatest. We see the big stuff as the greatest, but it’s the opposite in the kingdom.
Sarah: We see people want to be Instagram stars or YouTubers. There’s so much of that out there, so what did you discover from that?
Hulvey: You’ll always want more. If that’s going to be your destination point, you’ll never reach your destination. There’s no void in my heart that has ever been fueled by any time of platform or music. No voids have been filled by that; it’s always been when I spend time with the Lord. If you do desire a platform, why do you desire it?
Sarah: You were talking about in your documentary and your interview that I watched about ministry and doing Crossover, ATL, that has kind of provided that avenue for you to do that. So maybe share a little bit about that ministry, what it is, what it looks like.
Hulvey: Crossover is a plant from City Takers. It’s headed toward inner city missions. We go to homeless shelters or the jails, host youth groups, and pass out socks on the streets. Even there, you build a community of friends, start a Bible study. It’s been interesting for me to navigate. For me in this season, stuff has been busy. Learning to prioritize what matters in ministry and remembering your brothers and sisters in that, and not thinking you’re beyond that.
Sarah: I was listening to another interview and you were talking about how you love introspective artistry. So maybe with your own music, talk about what that looks like on your new release and in your own personal music style.
Hulvey: With this release what’s crazy is I got a vision for this in 2018. Before I moved to Atlanta, before the toilets. He gave me a vision. I wrote it down and I went to Bible study one night and was like, “Guys, God gave me this crazy vision, and I’m going to do it.” I’m really big on getting vision from the Holy Spirit instead of getting vision from yourself. BRKNHRT is something that I made out of the Inspiration of God and the Holy Spirit. It took time, and as I was writing these songs, I was going through these same things I was talking about. I’m just very big on getting inspiration from the Spirit, and even how it sounds. We serve a God who is way more creative than we can wrap our heads around. But for some reason, we tend to see the world as more creative than God. So what’s been cool for me is seeing how creative He is and being able to carry that out. So it’s a lot of atmospheric guitar and worship sounds mixed with hip hop.
Sarah: So to kind of wrapping things up, you can share about that adventure––what’s up ahead for you?
Hulvey: I’m working on an album. Personally, I’ve been taking being discipled seriously; allowing myself to continue to learn. Just preparing to perform a lot this year––a lot of touring. Obviously, just always keeping it first that my life is in ministry, so just preparing myself to go out into the world and be a light.
To find out more about Hulvey and to pick up his music, visit reachrecords.com/artists/hulvey/