“Honest, Expressive, & Funky”: Butterfly Ali Soars in ‘Preacher’s Kid,’ His Energizing Debut EP

Butterfly Ali © Roi Allen Henson
Butterfly Ali © Roi Allen Henson
Unfiltered and empowering, the visceral ‘Preacher’s Kid’ EP smolders and stuns as Butterfly Ali (Titus Makin Jr.) spreads his wings and soars on wings of dynamic, irresistible R&B, funk, and soul.
Stream: “Testimony” – Butterfly Ali




In all honesty Butterfly Ali is just an elaborate expression of the energy I feel when creating my music. I don’t consider it an alter ego, just more of me giving my creativity a name the better describes it.

A radiant introduction, Butterfly Ali’s dazzlingly debut EP is as soulful as it is striking: An emphatic, anthemic, vibrant, and resoundingly expressive five-track record that showcases the multi-faceted talents of actor, singer, and songwriter Titus Makin Jr. (best known for his roles in Glee, Pretty Little Liars, and The Rookie). Unfiltered and empowering, the visceral Preacher’s Kid smolders and stuns as Butterfly Ali spreads his wings and soars on wings of dynamic, irresistible R&B, funk, and soul.

Preacher's Kid - Butterfly Ali
Preacher’s Kid – Butterfly Ali
Said ya live in my soul
I try to live and let go
Said you call it what you see
Take a bite of little apple on the tree
Said ya livin on faith
When the rest of you is saved
Listen to my own rule
Didn’t do, but I’m believing what I should
Ooooo, call it testimony
Ooooo, I’m bout to speak on it
Ooooo, If you askin me to stop
I really don’t care
Hey, wanna live, wanna live on it
Wanna dance, dance, shut up
Because I really don’t think about ya
Said I’m livin on it, livin on it
Dance, dance, uh shut up
Sorry but I really don’t care about ya

Independently released June 11, 2021, Preacher’s Kid is a powerful snapshot of Butterfly Ali’s fast-rising artistry – one we’ve watched come into its own and blossom over the past twelve months. The stunningly versatile and outspoken artist moniker for Titus Makin Jr., Butterfly Ali isn’t quite so much an alter ego as it is a label for Makin’s creative side. “Butterfly Ali is just an elaborate expression of the energy I feel when creating my music,” he says in conversation with Atwood Magazine. Makin released his first single, the buoyant and groovy “Rose,” under the moniker in 2019. Since then, he has steadily expanded his music’s scope and sonic footprint through such songs as “Pray for ‘Em,” “5 Minutes,” and “Listen to Me.” His art feels as familiar as it does absolutely fresh: With R&B, soul, funk, hip-hop, and more elements fused into a singular and limitless sound, his music is a smorgasbord of smoldering goodness mixing the old with the new.

Butterfly Ali © Roi Allen Henson
Butterfly Ali © Roi Allen Henson

“It’s been a long time coming, and a lot of soul searching to find my voice,” Makin says. “I had to figure out what was important to me to sing about. I came up with this EP title by truly trying to find a description for who I am and my body of work. The best name I could come up with is exactly the truth of who I am, a preacher’s kid. I was raised in the church and  brought up with so many wonderful morals/lessons of love from my father, who has been a preacher the majority of my life. I felt if I was going to be making a project about my life and who I am, I can’t leave out the people who helped shape me into who I am… my father and mother.”

Diving into the story and his vision for the record, Makin says he specifically intended for this first EP to capture multiple angles, styles, and sounds. “With Covid happening and a few different life things going on, I really took my time shaping Butterfly Ali‘s first EP and what songs that would be on it, and why. It was important to me to paint a picture with the EP. I wanted to express all the different sides of Butterfly Ali with each song. I feel like [my changing vision over time] was necessary as I collaborated with other writers and producers on each song. I really like taking heed in others’ opinions that align with my creative direction, because I feel like a lot of times two ears can be better than one.”

“I feel like it’s an amazing welcome into the mind and artistic world of Butterfly Ali. It kind of warms up listeners to all the different types of songs and directions I plan to take my music over the next chunk of years.”

I wanted to tell my story and express my thoughts towards many different relevant topics as an actual preacher’s kid. Growing up with people expecting me to have a specific way of being or thinking, being raised in the church. But I wanted to share my actual thoughts.

Butterfly Ali © Katie Levine Photo
Butterfly Ali © Katie Levine Photo

Being a preacher’s kid is a big part of Butterfly Ali’s musical identity, and it in large part inspired the sounds he incorporated in his song. “My church upbringing has influenced me sonically a lot,” Makin says. “I also grew up listening to oldies a lot, so that has played a huge factor as well. I love gospel music and my faith is very important to me, so I like to always keep a through line of that in my music.”

Preacher’s Kid’s musical journey opens on the groovy “Testimony,” a bombastic upheaval radiating passion as the artist perseveres through darkness and commits to a life in the light. His voice sears with energy as he surrenders himself in song. His lead single “Pray for ‘Em” follows;  in covering the song upon its release, Atwood Magazine praised Butterfly Ali for a fresh, powerful reflection on where we are in the United States today with regard to racial equality: “We feel a litany of emotions rise to the surface as Butterfly Ali pours himself out over a rhythm comprised of sultry keyboards, buoyant bass beats, moody sax swells, sweet vocals harmonies, and more.”

I said I think I’m feeling helpless
Like I wanna roll on it, troll on it, stole on it
Little bit of reckless
Like I need to breathe, breathe, breathe
I know it’s what I’m sellin
Somebody bout to take my, take my, take my
Look at what I’m giving
Said look at what I’m giving… yeah


“’Pray for‘Em’ came about from the racial climate we have always been in, and have recently seen a heavy resurgence of,” Butterfly Ali recently shared upon the song’s release. “I couldn’t quite figure out the right way to speak my thoughts on the topic, so I put my thoughts into this song. The song is truly just my inner voice and internal monologue seeing all that is going on around me, experiencing it, and also having faith and hope for progression. Loved being able to couple such a heavy message with a fantastic producer and musician Sam Barsh. He really understands strong storytelling through instrumentation, while honoring my soul/funk stylings. Coupling our worlds really brought a relatability sonically to the song.”

Makin confirms that “Pray for ‘Em” remains a personal favorite – one he continues to gravitate towards – while also highlighting the lyrics to his song “Truth Is”:  “Where we get our truth at, if it’s on the news, where they get the news at?” Another timely, poignant, and tender observation of our current climate that musically conjures up mid-’70s Stevie Wonder (with a plea for humanity and kindness that, quite frankly, also conjures up mid-’70s Stevie Wonder), “Truth Is” provokes listeners with a simple, emotionally charged question: “How did we get here, where do we go? If we don’t start loving, how will we grow?

Where we get our truth,
where we get our truth at
If it’s on the news, where they get their news at
They just tryin’ to profit,
don’t let ‘em be your prophet,
Cause they be making rules, but where they get the rules at
If we in the best right now, I’m passin’ on the best right now
If there’s only one way out, I’mma find my own way out
Dyin’ every day right now, lookin’ at the day go down
If they need an answer, then hit’ em wit an answer
How did we get here, where do we go?
If we don’t start loving, how will we grow?
I be tryna to breathe, thought I said I can’t breathe
Fallin on my knees, my neck up under yo knee
Can I be a hero, they lookin for a hero
They making people bleed, that’s just where their greed at
How did we get here, where do we go?


Butterfly Ali © Roi Allen Henson
Butterfly Ali © Roi Allen Henson

Makin concludes his EP with an eponymous explosion of feel-good sunshine in “Butterfly Ali” (“Flow like a butterfly sting like a bee, you ain’t seen nothin til you seen me girl, I’m a butterfly now open up the sky, come and show your world to me”) and the celebratory, soaring explosion “Ain’t Ready for Me” – a clap-happy, dynamic, dramatic finale that leaves us on the edge of our seats, hungry for more.

“I hope that listeners take away the lesson of love,” Makin shares. “That it is OK to think differently than someone, or disagree on something, but it shouldn’t change how we love them. And that no matter how flawed I am or you are, there’s still an opportunity for change and growth. Encourage one another towards positive change and inspire them not to operate out of a space of revenge, malice, or wrath when wronged. We can promote change and inspire greatness through words and respect for others and their journeys.”

I hope that listeners take away the lesson of love: That it is OK to think differently than someone, or disagree on something, but it shouldn’t change how we love them. And that no matter how flawed I am or you are, there’s still an opportunity for change and growth.

I’m a butterfly now open up the sky
come and show your world to me
Said you’re out of sight
Can’t focus on your right
Now what you think you doing to me
Flow like a butterfly sting like a bee
You ain’t seen nothin til you seen me girl
I’m a butterfly now open up the sky
come and show your world to me

Makin’s message is as inspiring as his music is uplifting and energizing. Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Butterfly Ali’s Preacher’s Kid EP with Atwood Magazine as Titus Makin Jr. goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of his debut!

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:: stream/purchase Preacher’s Kid here ::
Stream: ‘XXXXXXX’ – Butterfly Ali



:: Inside Preacher’s Kid ::

Preacher's Kid - Butterfly Ali

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Testimony

This song is about my journey through life and how I’ve had to learn to ignore the hate and continue to persevere. My song, stomping on the devil’s head, saying that I’m not going to stop spreading light even through the difficult times.

Pray For’Em

my thoughts towards racial injustice, systemic racism, and police brutality. Wanted a space to share my opinion outside of social media. When we’ve done all we can we can always pray for the positive change God desires for us.

Truth Is

I wrote this song about what we see & hear on the news. We are constantly digesting whatever the press publicizes or new headline, whether false or true. I wanted to challenge society to not take everything the press says is fact, but to do more research before lashing out and drawing a harsh opinion. no matter what the topic.

Butterfly Ali

An exclamation of diversity and owning all the beautiful colors of who I am as an artist & person and artist. Not being bound by toxic masculinity.

Ain’t Ready for Me

I wanted to have a song encouraging myself and others to be confident and courageous in who they are and what they have to offer. Sometimes the rest of the world just needs to catch up to you, and we don’t always need to mute our greatness to fit in.

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:: stream/purchase Preacher’s Kid here ::

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Preacher's Kid - Butterfly Ali

Connect to Butterfly Ali on
Twitter, Instagram
Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
📸 © Roi Allen Henson

:: Stream Butterfly Ali ::



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