Not being exactly a model student or the best soccer player around, Colin Mukri emerged as a passionate musician at the age of fourteen. He began rapping in nightclubs around his small hometown of Tawau, Malaysia (mostly because he was the only rapper in town), and that was where he discovered his love of being on stage and sharing his art with other people. But it wasn’t until attending a concert that he discovered his true calling – making music that makes people laugh, cry, live honestly, and points them to something greater than themselves. “I went to a concert at a church in town and the band and didn’t sing anything in Malay,” Colin explains, “but it didn’t matter. What they were doing transcended the language barrier and spoke to people. That was the moment I wanted to become a musician.”
A self-taught guitarist and aspiring to be a worship leader, Colin sought out every opportunity to lead people in song. He began leading music at Bible studies at his local college before eventually moving to the United States at age 19 to study music – a miracle that he would always look back on as a parting of the Red Sea. “I’ve always been a dreamer, but I’ve seen first hand how to never let life get in the way of what we’re here for.”
Since then Colin has moved to South Carolina, married his wife Meghan, and evolved into the standalone musician he is today. His songs aren’t what you could expect to hear on Sunday morning at church, but they keep the same message of truth, hope, and joy intact.
After years of working in ministry and putting the idea of a music career on hold, God made it clear through the adoption process that music is what he was called to do. “The tour started out as a way to raise money to bring our baby home,” he said. “But by the end it was clear – this is what I was going to do for the rest of my life.”
His latest project 'Brave' is a testament to his newfound voice and artistry. With each song feeling like a different chapter of a memoir, Colin sings about falling in love, uncertainty, and even being broke. In the song One Brave Thing Colin balances urging his audience to live boldly while maintaining the personal vulnerability of what inspires many of his songs, a prayer. The “one brave thing” ended up being the process of adopting a child, which inspired the song Bring You Home. A collection of songs recorded on the Bring You Home Tour that raised funds for their adoption fees, Brave is a raw look at Colin stepping into the unknown of a music career as much as it is the journey of stepping into God’s will for him and Meghan’s relationship and soon-to-be family.
At the end of the day, Colin’s heart for his music is simple – talking about the every day, but also how it impacts the eternal. Music that will make you laugh, cry, hold your spouse’s hand, live more honestly and receive truth from God’s wisdom.
Words by Tucker Ficklin | Photos by The Olivers & Landon Howard