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Why did Evan Craft force himself to learn Spanish?

June 29, 2022

“How do I love my neighbor if I can’t speak with my neighbor?” – Evan Craft

Evan Craft, singer of “Desesperado” and “Be Alright,” jumped on with JBo and Yoshi to talk about why he was the first one in his family to learn Spanish. He grew up in America in a non-spanish-speaking family but felt like God called him to learn the new language. Take a listen to this interview to hear Evan Craft’s heart behind why it’s so important to put in the work to learn a new language, such as Spanish.



View this video with Evan Craft and other BOOST Artists on YouTube.


JBo:
You’ve been around for a minute, but it feels like you’ve become this overnight sensation, which isn’t true, right? You’ve been putting in work for the longest, but people have a lot of questions like who is Evan Craft? Where were you born? And where did you grow up?

Evan Craft:
I was born in Southern California and grew up in Southern California in Thousand Oaks. It’s a really nice quaint suburbian town, but my dad was the director of a homeless shelter, so we go into LA a lot. And he actually lives now in LA but runs an incredible nonprofit. And so I learned Spanish because I was interacting with a lot of the guests from Central America and just fell in love with Latin culture and then took a trip to Mexico.

God changed my life, and changed the direction of everything I was doing. And yeah, eight full years traveling pretty much full time in Latin America. And so overnight success, one of my best friends says overnight success takes 10 years.

So yeah, it’s been a lot of work. It’s been incredible, but I’m here, here for the long haul.

Yoshi:
That’s awesome. Well, and since you said that you grew up in California and your parents are still there, where are your parents originally from? Are they from California?

Evan Craft:
They’re from a nice Spanish city called Ventura, California. It’s just north of LA. No, so my family doesn’t speak Spanish and they’re not Hispanic. I am the first person to learn Spanish in my family.

Yoshi:
That’s impressive. You said your parents don’t even know Spanish even in this moment.

Evan Craft:
No.

Yoshi:
Wow.

JBo:
So you say that you’re not Hispanic. Your father ran a homeless shelter, which he still runs. What encouraged you or inspired you to say, okay, I want to learn about the Hispanic culture, I want to learn the language, I want to connect with people in a different language? ‘Cause you didn’t have to do that. You could’ve had a translator.

Evan Craft:
Yeah. Well, I was talking to somebody yesterday and it was kind of a joke, but real, if you can’t beat them, join them, right? But there’s so many people in LA, LA is 60% Spanish speaking.

You go to Texas, and I think 38% of people in Texas are Spanish speaking. I moved to Florida where I don’t even know the percentages there and then I lived in other places where it was so convenient and there’s that side of it where you… But I would hear love your neighbor as yourself, but how do I love my neighbor if I can’t speak with my neighbor?

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Mark 12:31

And my neighbors here in Nashville across the street from me are from Mexico, the Dominican Republic and we’ve been able to connect more because I speak Spanish and understand their culture more than my other neighbors that are from Australia.

And so it’s a huge asset and tool for the gospel especially when you’re young. And I was very focused. I was like a nerd. I was reading Chronicles of Narnia in Spanish in high school. I didn’t know what God was preparing me for, but I knew that there was a direction in my life that I needed to prepare for. And so I was learning Spanish and I had no idea that it was going to open up so many doors and the more you prepare yourself, the more opportunity… They say that luck is when opportunity meets… What is it? Timing meets opportunity or something like that.

So I mean I think that there’s a generation that needs to be reminded that hard work pays off. And doing hard things and sacrificing, and it’s not all about partying and whatever.

I went to college and got a degree in Spanish. I went and lived in Spain, in Costa Rica and pursued God while I did it, but I never would’ve imagined that God would’ve taken me all over Latin America. I’ve literally spent months in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, in Spain, in Colombia, in Mexico, all these places and made friendships. And I think that if people could see that part of it when they were in Spanish class 1, 2, 3, they would understand that it’s not just going to help them order at Taco Bell.

JBo:
Right. And they wouldn’t just take Spanish class for the cute girl or the cute boy. There’s a bigger purpose. And you’ve been saying it takes preparation and you didn’t know what you were doing at 12 years old, how you started reading all these Spanish novels and then eventually in college. You started writing music about that same age, about 12. Do you remember anything that you wrote? And if you do, can you sing it for us or play a little bit?

Evan Craft:
Oh, man. When I was 12, not at all. I did write a song in high school called Vampire Girl.

Yoshi:
Oh. Do you remember any of it?

Evan Craft:
That’s a really deep cut. Yeah. Oh, I remember the whole thing.

JBo:
Is that no pun intended?

Evan Craft:
That’s heartbreak. That’s heartbreak for you.

JBo:
Who broke your heart? Who hurt you, Evan? Who hurt you? Do you remember any of the Vampire Girl lyrics?

Evan Craft:
Oh, yeah, yeah. Oh, my gosh. This is one of the process of learning to be a songwriter and expressing myself. Just want to put that out there.

JBo:
Listen, you’ve written so many great classics now and so many great songs now. We’re not going to hold it to you. We’re not going to count it against you.

Evan Craft:
It said “Somebody get this vampire girl away from me. I’m not into people that are bloodthirsty.”

JBo:
Oh, oh.

Yoshi:
That really is deep.

Evan Craft:
Yeah. I was hurt.

JBo:
Hey, you might have to bring that back, release that, you know what I’m saying?

Evan Craft:
Yeah. Yeah. I think there’s some better worship songs that came after that.

JBo:
Thank God for that.

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