Terrian Is on a Mission to Reclaim R&B for Christ: I Want to ‘Sanctify That Sound’

  • Michael Foust Crosswalk Headlines Contributor
  • Updated May 21, 2024
Terrian Is on a Mission to Reclaim R&B for Christ: I Want to ‘Sanctify That Sound’

The artist who is behind the hit song Honestly, We Just Need Jesus says she is on a mission to help reclaim R&B for Christ and to “plant a seed” in the hearts of non-Christians. Terrian released her debut full-length album Give It Time this year, and a song off that chart -- Honestly, We Just Need Jesus -- quickly began climbing the Billboard charts. It’s been on the Billboard AC Airplay chart for 14 weeks and is up to No. 10. It is No. 13 on Billboard’s Hot Christian Songs list, where it’s been for 18 weeks. 

Fans of the song say it was written for our modern society: “Have we all gone mad? Have we lost our minds? / what used to be wrong, we say that it's right / honestly, I think we just need Jesus.” The lyrics also critique society’s addiction to smartphones and social media. 

TobyMac fans know Terrian as the female vocalist on the Hits Deep Tour and a member of his Diverse City band. With Give It Time -- a mix of pop, R&B and gospel -- she is making a name for herself. She believes her music -- and that of TobyMac and others in the Christian R&B realm -- can serve as a course correction to a genre that is often filled with language and sexually explicit lyrics. 

“The thing that I always remember is that all of those artists grew up in the church,” she told Crosswalk Headlines while laughing. 

“R&B comes from gospel music. So in a way, I think it's us trying our best to sanctify that sound a little bit more. And also recognizing that there are a lot of Christians who love those genres. … We have church music, but we also need to be able to take up space as believers and artists in these other realms, so that Christians can have something else to listen to, but also, unbelievers can hear it as well and go, ‘Oh, I didn’t know Christians can write songs like this and that they're doing that over there.

“I’m just praying that the Lord would plant a seed in their heart and use it to lead them to the cross. I think it’s an outreach.”

Terrian grew up singing in the church. She signed with Gotee Records in 2017. The theme of the album is multi-faceted, she said: “Learning how to wait well, finding joy in it and partnering with the Holy Spirit in that while He does His work.”

Although this is Terrian’s first full-length album, this isn’t the first time she’s had a hit song. In 2021 her single Light It Up soared to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot AC/CHR chart after the release of her debut EP, Genesis of Terrian. Last year, another single, Big God, jumped into the Top 25. 

Photo credit: ©Terrian/YouTube.com

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.