We are always keeping our ear to street to see what's popping out there. We recently we came across a group of artists trying to break out of that stereotypical graffiti mold and to tell you the truth, we were quite intrigued. We are talking about none other than KROSSWERDZ ARTISTS - The KWA crew. Passionate about their graff, these artists are all devout Christians. Now before you start dissing, just know these guys can rock it with the best of them and they stand proudly behind their faith.
We caught up with Mistery and asked him what KWA was about and what motivates them to do what they do.
"Graff crews can form around a number of points of commonality. Obviously a love of graff is a prerequisite, but quite often there are other factors which bring people together like being from the same hood, going to the same school, having a focus on specifically bombing, painting trains or rocking productions. For myself I'm in a number of crews such as: TFC (Twenty First Century), DCA (Deluxe Custom Aerosol), FBI (Famous Bomb Innability) & BH (Bounty Hunterz). Each of those respective crews has various reasons for bringing the team together but my crew KWA (Krosswerdz Artists) is unique in the fact that it's a Faith based crew. Basically all the KWA writers have a Christian Faith.
Now I know the stereotypes that others have imposed on the graff community, & any of us that are part of the graff scene know that there's no 1 size fits all traits to describe a writer, same for Christians. Within KWA we have graphic designers, pastors, family men, but also we've got boxers, footy players & mixed martial artists. Some grew up in the Church, some were from Christian families but only made the decision to follow Christ after they got older, others were straight up hood crims that fell into Christianity through circumstance & divine appointment. Either way we love our graff so we get together & jam on walls & hopefully rock a few burners from time to time.
Also contrary to popular belief there are heaps of Christian writers, b-boys & b-girls, MCs, DJs, producers, beat boxers etc etc. So much so that there exists globally a Christian HipHop scene within the general HipHop community. In Australia about 7 years ago we started a community called Krosswerdz made up of all of the above. Within the Krosswerdz fam some of the more experienced & serious writers formed a sub-crew called KWA. Currently KWA consists of: Meak, Sper, Mask, Story & myself in Sydney, Sybe, Elias & Soner in Melbourne, Kyot in Dusseldorf/Germany & more recently: Burbs in Brisbane, Vesl in Melbourne & Sler1 in Perth.
Now there are a bunch of different Christian graff crews around the globe & each has their own ways of doing things & their own vibes. Some are more openly evangelical, some are more understated & some are mixed crews with those of varying belief systems. For us in Oz we tend to lean more towards the understated side of things. Usually we try to do productions with themes & backgrounds etc, & most of the time the pieces are our tags. Recently when the UK writer LovePusher came to Sydney the KWA Syd team fitted to suit his theme of always painting the name 'Jesus'. So for that particular wall we all did Jesus pieces instead of our names. On another wall recently the Sydney crew did a Biblical theme based on the 2nd chapter of the book of Acts, but all the lettering was our tags. The Melbourne guys recently did a big KWA in a font style with an A-Team theme which had no particular Biblical reference whatsoever. Sometimes it's just chromies, it depends on how the mood takes us.
Our theme I suppose is to try & do as fresh pieces as we possibly can, because we believe that God being the creative being that He is loves it when His kids are emulating Him & being creative too. We would hope that the graff we do gives Him glory as we regard any artistic skills that we may possess as only gifts from The Father. Whether or not a person agrees with our personal Faith is up to them, I would hope though at least that a piece done by KWA would still maybe cheer someone up if they were having a bad day, speak to them in some way or at least add some colour into a drab world. The Werd on the street."