The South Carolina Music Guide

Gospel Songwriter/Film Writer Nefateri Smalls

Not many can experience tragedies in life and continue to live triumphantly. Nefateri Smalls is a walking example of how an artist can take their life and turn it into multiple forms of creative arts.

SCMG:  Hi Nefateri! I’m so excited to talk to you today about your new single and your upcoming projects. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Nefateri Smalls:   I am a songwriter, author, executive producer of a film based on my true story, wife, mother and certified victim’s advocate for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse; most importantly, I’m a survivor.

SCMG:   That’s quite the introduction. Tell us how your recently released single, film and book all correlate?

Nefateri Smalls:   I experienced various types of abuse growing up and felt by sharing my story I could help someone avoid or escape from the pain I experienced. The book, “Cries From Within” is my story of how I overcame.  The book evolved into the film, “Escaped To Tell”. The single is the self-titled track to the film.

SCMG: Tell us more about your film, “Escaped To Tell”

Nefateri Smalls: It’s a Christian-based film that sheds light on domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault. Though the story is told from my point of view it’s the untold story of many women, men, boys and girls. It was also the factor that birthed my non-profit organization, Healing Hurts which my husband and I founded to counsel those in need of safety, resources and a listening ear.

SCMG:  What do you think defines gospel music?

Nefateri Smalls:  Gospel music is message music.  It’s defined by the artists’ ability to bring a person from a place of hopelessness or desperation to point them to Christ through soothing lyrics and melodies.

SCMG:   At what age did you realize that you were musically inclined?

Nefateri Smalls: Age 25 – I began to realize how many other people were hurting as believers who really didn’t have a reference point. I felt compelled that there were people who would be strengthened by knowing what Christ did for me.

SCMG:  You’ve had the opportunity to work with popular gospel artists. Can you tell us about that experience?

Nefateri Smalls: Yes, I had an opportunity to sing with Paul Thompson in my teenage years who was very popular at the time and it gave me the opportunity to travel and meet many people. More recently I’ve had the opportunity to work with Blanche McAllister-Dykes who is a national gospel recording artist. We realized we had the same message of healing hurting people. I knew instantly she would be great for the featured singer of my debut single.

SCMG:  Are you writing your own music? If so, how do you find inspiration for your songs?

Nefateri Smalls:   Yes. Through the story, my story, is where my inspiration came from. I actually was looking for someone to write a song for me to accompany the film. I sought God and he said to me, “No one could convey the message as well as you can.” This is how I became a songwriter. My single has been nominated for Inspirational Song of the Year in the 2017 Independent Gospel Alliance Radio Awards.

SCMG:  What lasting impression do you want to leave with your listeners?

Nefateri Smalls: Transparency – The bible tells us that our lives should be walking epistles read of men. Not so much about myself, but about Christ, and who He is inspite of what you go through.

SCMG:   How can people find out more about your upcoming projects?

Nefateri Smalls:  My single, “Escaped To Tell” is available on iTunes and all digital outlets. You can learn more about my organization at

SCMG:  This interview was so inspiring! We are looking forward to hearing more about your upcoming work. We wish you all the best! Thank you!

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