By Charlotte Underwood
NASHVILLE, TN (WLAF) – A Campbell County native was part of the music team to win a Dove Award from the Gospel Music Association last Tuesday at the annual awards ceremony. Andrew Prim was honored for his music production work on Christian hop-hop artist Lucrae’s album “Church Clothes 4,” which won Christian Hip-Hop Album of the year.
For Prim, winning a Dove was a “dream come true.” The 25 -year- old Y-12 engineer, who produces music on the side, has been “in love” with music from a young age and having his hard work and talent culminate in a prestigious Dove Award has him “over the moon,” according to his mother LaFollette Middle School Counselor Linda Prim.
She and her husband Jason Prim are “extremely proud” of Andrew.
“Music has been a part of his life since he was five- years- old. He started piano lessons with Martha Freeman when he was in kindergarten; she needs to be given credit for instilling a love of music in him,” Linda Prim said.
Andrew Prim has carried that love of music throughout his life and has grown it into much more than a hobby with his music production efforts in the realm of Christian hip-hop, which resulted in his recent participation in winning an award.
A Dove Award is the Gospel Music Association’s version of the Grammys. It is in recognition of “outstanding achievement in the Christian Music Industry.” The awards were held in Nashville at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena. The first Dove Awards took place in 1969.
According to Andrew Prim, “pretty much anybody who’s anybody in Christian music goes to the Dove Awards,” which is an annual event.
Andrew Primm attended in recognition of his work on hip-hop artist Lucrae’s “Church Clothes 4.”
“I started a fundamental idea for one of Lucrae’s producers to run with. I had worked on the label some before. I spent about a week coming up with some ideas, which they used as the foundation to build onto the rest of the song,” Andrew Prim said.
Andrew Prim grew up in Davis Chapel. He attended Valley View Elementary and LaFollette Middle School and was a 2016 graduate from Campbell County High School. He was the drum major at CCHS for two years under CCHS band director Adam Wright.
He went on to graduate from the University of Tennessee in 2020 with a degree in chemical engineering. He was a member of the Pride of the Southland Band for four years while at college, playing the saxophone.
Being a member of The Pride of the Southland Band was also a lifetime dream of his, according to his dad.
“We’re extremely proud of his accomplishment in music. He took piano lessons from Sugar Freeman since he was very young and he really did have a natural talent for music. We had taken him to a UT football game when he was in Elementary School and when the marching band came out on the field, Andrew looked up and said, ‘I’m going to be in that band someday’, and about 10 years later he was. That was one of his first major goals he set for himself. Then he got into music production stuff on his laptop and a lot of hard work has gone into it and it finally paid off,” Jason Prim said.
“There have been a lot of people who have been such a big part of Andrew’s life and helped him become who he is today and Jason and I are very grateful to them; everyone from his music teachers, to his regular teachers, to his youth group,” Linda Prim said.
Andrew’s love of music goes back to his childhood and according to him, it started with his mother.
“As early as I can remember, I grew up listening to my mom play piano, (she grew up playing piano) and so I wanted to play the piano like her. I took lessons from Sugar Freeman from the time I was about five -years- old. Music has been such a large part of my life; I don’t remember a time I wasn’t involved in music making,” Andrew Prim said.
Andrew Prim also plays keyboard for Hope & Stand Church and has been doing so for the past decade since he was a teenager. It was also when he was a teenager that he began listening to Christian Hip-Hop music.
“I was 13 or 14- years- old and the more I listened to it, the more I wondered how the artists and creators came up with their ideas. I was about 15- years- old when I downloaded FL Studio software and I started working on digital audio to come up with my own beats and the rest is history,” Andrew Prim said.
The whole experience for him has been an “exhilarating and humbling one.”
“All the people I looked up to as musical inspirations for years were in that room and I was in there with them and considered one of their peers. I had people I had looked up to, congratulating me; it was exhilarating and humbling. If 10 years ago, I had been told I would win a Dove Award, I wouldn’t have believed it. It’s humbling to see what God has done in my life and through my life to impact other people,” Andrew Prim said.
Andrew also said he wanted to give a “shout out to his influencers.”
“I want to say thank you to Sugar Freeman for teaching me how to play the piano and read music and helped instill a love of music in me. Thanks to Don Hendricks for teaching me to play the saxophone and what it means to play in an ensemble. There’s a lot of overlap from playing in a band and being a record producer; I have my own contribution to the song and playing my part, while there are a lot of others involved in making the record happen,” Andrew Prim said.
Other “life influencers” for him include his second band director Adam Wright at CCHS.
“Learning through him in the latter part of my high school band career added a lot to my passion for music,” Andrew Prim said.
He also wanted to thank his friend Blaine Stephens, who he said he owes a lot to for being the connection to “all this happening.”
“Blaine gave my phone number to Lucrae’s A&R people and they reached out to me about my creative ideas, so this wouldn’t have happened without him,” Andrew Prim said.
He said he considers music production as “basically a second job at this point” and plans to continue working with music as it will always be a “lifelong dream and passion” for him.
Overall, he said he gives credit to “God, for putting him in this place where he’s able to make an impact.” (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 10/24/2023- 6AM)