Category Archives: Video

MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 38: DELIRIOUS?

I don’t think you can utter the words ‘praise and worship’ without uttering the word ‘Delirious?’ in the same sentence. There, I said it. Yes, this is my bold assertion. No it’s not Hillsong or even Chris Tomlin (both these two have been influential and instrumental in the praise and worship movement), nor is it Paul Baloche or even Tim Hughes. The founding ‘father’ if you will, of praise and worship music, even a founding father of ‘modern CCM’, would have to be Delirious?. Yes, the 5 piece British outfit who impacted the world stage back during the 1990s and the 2000s. Yes, that same Delirious? Then, again…maybe I’m a little bias, right? I mean after all, Delirious?, alongside Carman, has shaped my years in my own tastes of music as I grew up, and taught me all there was to know in my formative years about Christianity…so I guess this statement of Delirious? being one of the pioneers of the modern praise and worship movement, can be a bit of a stretch, right? Maybe, maybe I am just tapping into a little bit of nostalgia for a little. Maybe I am further off the mark than I’ve ever been, and Delirious? aren’t the founding ‘fathers’ as I assumed they were. Nevertheless, Delirious? (headed by Martin Smith as lead singer, Stu G. as guitarist, Stew Smith (and later Paul Evans) on drums, Jon Thatcher on bass and Tim Jupp on keys) has been with me on this journey of life and the mark they have had on Christian music, and maybe even to a broader extent, mainstream music; cannot be denied. Even during their tenure of 17 years as a band, the quintet have given to us songs of healing and hope, of poignancy and power- put it this way: had the band not exist, how would the worship landscape and the ability to create worship and praise music, how would that have changed? Would we have more free expressions of worship, people discovering new ways of delivering praise to our Father who certainly deserves such glory and honour? If Delirious? wasn’t as successful as they were, if their songs didn’t touch as many people as it did, frankly, I don’t think we’d be where we are today. Frankly, in all honesty, we ought not to give thanks for bands and artists like Chris Tomlin and Hillsong for paving the way of CCM and worship music (they very much indeed continued along the way), but rather, in my bold opinion, Delirious? by far ought to be congratulated- taking risks and daring to grab the chance of singing something bold and powerful, it is only when artists travel outside the box, like Delirious?, that they can be influential to music and society. Yes, it has been 11 years since the band played their last concert, and 12 years since their latest album. But also yes, the band has shaped CCM like I’m sure we’ve never seen before. Delirious? will forever be my favourite group/band, ever. It is in the impact of the songs on the people that I can safely say that this British band from Southampton, England, carried with it an ability to put worship into song in a way that I don’t think anyone has come before them, and I don’t think anyone would come after, as well (though I do think veteran CCM/worship singer/songwriter Jason Ingram comes close!).

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 37: BACKSTREET BOYS

Up unto now with my blog series, I’ve written about a fair amount of artists that have influenced the scope of music today, and with the music I’ve been immersed in, I’m reminded that music comes in all shapes and sizes, and that music can touch the heart of people in many different ways. Artists like Delta Goodrem, Lifehouse, Switchfoot, Shania Twain, Ed Sheeran, Rascal Flatts, Phil Collins, Sara Bareilles and Train (to name a few of the many, many artists I’ve delved into last year), have all stretched me as a person, as I’m reminded that, to be blunt, God can speak through many different avenues, and that a song doesn’t have to utter the word ‘Jesus’ for it to be impactful in today’s generation. I’ve written pages and paragraphs, written about this song and that, written about what I believe the songs mean for the artist, written about what I believe the songs mean for me personally, written about why I believe this particular artist is influential for a certain generation in society…I’ve written about a lot of things. I’ve been reminded that different styles and genres and the fact that we have them is a tremendous gift, that one person can connect with a certain style of music, and someone else can be impacted by another, is the beauty of music itself.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 36: TINA ARENA

‘…there is too much visibility. You become the focus of everything and everyone and it’s not healthy. It’s not healthy and it’s not natural. It makes me feel for those around me…you see people literally gravitating towards you and everything else is a blur. That makes me very uncomfortable. I think I got disconnected after being on the road for so long and having weathered so many different trials and tribulations during that time and journey. I spent years going on and off planes in different countries in different time zones … 14- to 15-hour days for two to three weeks in a row. At a certain point your brain is fried, which is what happened to me…it’s one of the loneliest existences around, actually … on the outside [that person] seems to be living an extraordinary journey. The way they are living privately in a lot of cases is completely different. It was very lonely…’

It is in this quote that I have realised that being a musician, or even just being in the public eye for whatever reason, is a lonely journey, and one that often changes you, at times for the better, and other times, for the ‘not-so-better’. It is also in this quote that I am reminded that people’s expectations of you isn’t necessarily how you should act on a 24-7 basis. In fact, the more people expect you to live and exist on a higher standard or plane, because of the publicity of who you are and what you do, the more you often realise that to live on such a high go-go-go mentality is often folly and foolishness. Enter in Tina Arena, Australian artist and arguably one of the most influential and impactful Australian musicians/singer-songwriters ever. And I really mean ever. A generation before artists like Delta Goodrem, Jessica Mauboy, Dami Im and Guy Sebastian, Tina’s music has been on the Aussie airwaves for as long as even I can remember (for me as I delved into Tina’s discography, I realised I heard many of the songs before, just didn’t realise that the songs were attributed to her!). Considered to be an artist that has stood the test of time- from her debut album in 1990s, all the way till now where she’s still making music; we have been blessed and honoured to welcome Tina into our homes with uplifting, compelling and often confronting music for all this time. While Australians in a general sense still have a ways to go when competing in terms of music and the impactful nature of it on a global scale, Aussie artists like Tina, alongside others like Delta, Jessica, Guy, Dami, even icons recognised so well in Australia (Johnny Farnham, Olivia Newton-John, Keith Urban, Kasey Chambers, Missy Higgins and Human Nature, to name a few) have all made music on a holistic global scale, much more interesting over the years. Australians have a different way of delivering and presenting music, I’ve felt- maybe because I’ve grown up in Australia and I’m a little biased, but whatever the case, there seems to be a little more honesty and transparency in music produced and recorded by Australians, and Tina’s music is no different. Maybe I’m reading too much into what I am seeing, but nevertheless, what I can say is that Tina’s music on a whole has surprised me in a good way over the last week or so. In the business since the 1990s, Tina still has a lot more to give, and is a great inspiration for young aspiring musicians who want to make a difference in Australian media and around the world as well.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 35: CARMAN

I turned 30 last week. Gee…whizz. That’s a big loaded statement to start off my next blog post. Yes, I did turn the big proverbial 3 0 on last week Monday, and after a big long break of just over a month between the last previous blog (Week 34 was for KING AND COUNTRY published online in mid-November) and now, I’ve managed to catch up on a very much needed time of rest, relaxation, and just generally working hard at my work as a café owner and operator. I’ve learnt to slow down a little during my time away, and to remind myself that though this year has been great as I’ve explored a vast myriad of music at my fingertips quite literally (you can search on Youtube for any musical content you wish!); my life wasn’t just music. Over this month when I wasn’t immersing myself into this particular artist and that, I found out how much time I was undertaking the discovery of new artists throughout the year. I was letting this blog series take control of my life, not necessarily consciously, but nevertheless, that’s what I was doing. To put it bluntly, I found a little of my identity in my blog post series this past year. Which isn’t that good. Still, here I am back, and ready to get into yet another year of exploring artists that I believe have made a mark on today’s music culture, amongst people, and shaped music in general. One such artist that I’m about to delve into at the moment, is 1990s and 2000s CCM legend, Carman!

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BEST OF 2019- PART 7: TOP 20 SONGS OF 2019 (OCTOBER – DECEMBER)

So here we are in December, nearing to the end of the year, and what does that mean? Yes, another ‘best of 2019′ post, that’s what! Here below are 20 songs from the period of October to December 2019 that have impacted our walk with Jesus significantly! So without further ado, below are the 20 songs that have inspired us as a site in recent weeks. Happy listening!

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Momentous Mondays: Influential artists of the next 5-10 years – Week 8: Lea Michele

Let me ask you a question that has been running in my brain for the past few days. In the face of adversity, do you run away? Do you cower in fear and curl up in a foetal position? Do you analyse every decision that you make or have made or will make- overthinking and stuck in indecision thinking that the bad outcomes are your fault? Do you cry out and ask for help or do you soldier on and naively believe that you yourself and only yourself can overcome odds that are seemingly insurmountable and impossible? When faced with tragedy and the worst adversity possible, how do you react? Do you cry out to God or turn to your vices like alcohol or drugs to cope? Or do you stick your head in the sand like an ostrich thinking that the problem will go away? Now all of these outcomes are all valid, yet as a Christian I find some ways of coping much healthier than others. Yet over the past couple of weeks I’ve been presented with one of the most unique, heartbreaking, encouraging, inspiring, honest, emotional, vulnerable and freeing journeys I’ve had the pleasure of immersing myself into. The true story of actress and singer Lea Michele (born Lea Michele Sarfati to an Italian-American mother and a Sephardic Jewish father), her instant rise to fame and stardom due to the exponential success of musical TV series Glee, and the very public dealing of her boyfriend Cory Monteith’s fatal drug overdose and subsequent healing from scars and internal wounds so that right now Lea is in a place of peace and contentment with life; is very remarkable and so, so relevant for society right now. As Lea overcomes adversity, heartbreak and negative situations in a way that’s commendable and admirable; you may not think that Lea deserves to be in my list of ‘up and coming influential artists over the next 5-10 years’- I mean, she is an actress first and foremost, and she did release music after Glee, so one may say she’s not a ‘true’ artist. However I am certain that once you finish reading what I’m about to say to you all…well I’m sure you’ll rapidly change your mind!

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 34: FOR KING & COUNTRY

‘…when the foundation of a city is founded on music, you’re bound to be around people who are better at their craft than you are. One of the things that we tell younger artists is to go where people are thriving in that industry. Go to where people are considered to be further along in their craft than you are so you can learn from them. And Nashville’s got tons of songwriters, producers and people working in the space of music. That continues to breed music and creativity seems to be thriving in that spot. And for us, we hope that it continues to grow…It’s always different making any new piece of art. That’s actually the temptation you find when a record has been successful and you start to say, “Maybe I’ll replicate this”. But if you do that, you would’ve repeated what was unique and special that time. People would’ve already consumed that so you have to force yourself to innovate and change. One of the things that we talked about with making the new album is evaluating what songs people connected with on previous albums. And the songs were those that we were personally attached to, so we challenged ourselves on this new one to make every single song have that personal touch. If it was conjured up in our head and it wasn’t real, it was discarded. It had to be something that we’ve walked through or a story that we heard first-hand from somebody else. You always hope for the process to be smoother but, ironically enough, if it was, it would be less important. Art that stands out is difficult to make. That’s been our experience. And if somebody knows how to make amazing art that’s easy, let me know because I would love to sign up for that…’

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Momentous Mondays: Influential artists of the next 5-10 years – Week 7: Jess Glynne

‘…[the album title Always In Between] comes from the fact that my life has been in between for the last four years. I’ve been here, there and everywhere in work, my personal life and relationships – be it with a man or a woman. The reason I chose that title is because I’ve accepted that it’s OK to not be one way or the other. I wanted to say you’re not lost by being in the middle. The sexuality thing does come into it, but that’s not only what it’s about…Love is tricky. I couldn’t live without it, but it’s not something I necessarily find easy. I’ve been in relationships for years and this is the first time I’ve been single for a little minute. It’s quite nice to have a moment to yourself. If something was to come along, I’m never going to turn it away if it feels right, but just now, I’m content…’

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 33: DAUGHTRY

Maybe it’s just a surmising conclusion and what I see doesn’t mean anything at all, or maybe there’s a pattern here. But what I have seen and realised over the last decade or so is that talent competitions, and more specifically American Idol, have produced some of the most emotive, heartfelt, talented and compelling artists this modern generation has ever seen. I know such a claim is by all means bold, and many, many people could disagree with me, and that’s ok. But I’m only going by what I’ve seen. Artists like Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Kris Allen, Scotty McCreery, Jordin Sparks, Katharine McPhee, Danny Gokey, Phillip Phillips and Clay Aitken have all had varying amounts of succuss post-Idol, all of whom have given to us songs of hope, encouragement and challenging words to think and process over. Enter in another artist, one that I firmly believe has made a mark on music in general over the last decade or so. While still not very as known or even as popular as other mainstays like OneRepublic, Coldplay, Switchfoot and Evanescence (all of whom are very similar to this artist I’m about to unpack today), American Idol season 5 finalist (4th place) and rock band Daughtry exploded onto the music scene with their eponymous band (Daughtry is lead singer Chris Daughtry’s last name, and their first album is indeed called Daughtry!) way back in 2006. Fast forward to 2019 and they sit as high as no. 3 on the list of most successful artists post Idol (#1 and #2 are occupied by none other than Carrie and Kelly respectively!), all the while delivering songs of importance as the band themselves have changed what it means to create great rock music with a solid message and an inspirational edge. Daughtry have, I reckon, shown us a great example of what it means to thrive in the rock industry that isn’t all about inspiration or even anything to do with a wholehearted message at this point. Which is a shame. Nevertheless, Chris Daughtry and co. have decided to make good music as well as impart values upon society, that we all need to strive and live by. Chris has given to us a band that is truly underrated, and one that makes me smile anytime I listen to them. While I am still on the fence as to whether they have influenced music as a whole, I know this for sure- they have influenced a lot of their fans, myself included, and with lists like this being as subjective as they are, Daughtry’s presence upon such a list like this can be determined as controversial, and maybe that’s ok.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 32: BRYAN ADAMS

Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes I feel that artists can be too good for the period of the time in which they were impactful and prevalent in. Hear me out though. Take this new artist Bryan Adams for example, of which I am going to be discussing. Amongst the sea of countless other music artists, one could assume and think that this person Bryan hardly stands tall amongst the rest at all- besides, I’m sure everyone has heard of artists like Rascal Flatts, Owl City, Carrie Underwood, Shania Twain, Phil Collins and Ed Sheeran, to name a few. But Bryan Adams? Ok, maybe the people who indeed grew up with music from the 1980s have heard his presence on the radio, but for the average commonfolk who has just been listening to the radio all these years and nothing else, can an artist like Bryan cut through all the supposition and assumptions, and make his own music known in a world where image and how you project yourself can in many ways be more important on a fan-based level than the actual songs and meanings of them in the first place? Let me say from the outset- Bryan Adams is a legend in his own right. He is a influencer, a musician, a singer-songwriter, and a passionate guy who wants to connect feeling and emotion through the way he knows how- through music. But had it not been for this blog series, and me taking a gamble on hearing a few popular songs from the 1980s as influence for this series in general, I would not have heard Bryan and his music at all- except for his crossover hits ‘Summer of ‘69’ and ‘Everything I Do (I Do It For You)’, which is a tremendous shame. I would’ve carried on my life listening to what I’ve been listening to- nothing wrong with that; but looking at my own life and the musical tastes I have now compared to even at the beginning of 2019, I’ve taken more risks, which is a good thing. Bryan Adams is one such risk, and a well-received one. For Bryan’s knack for creating 1980s songs that still have that aura and connection about them now as I’m sure the songs had back then is nothing short of genius and maybe, God-given. Bryan’s songs have influenced a generation far and wide, and though he may even be reaching a demographic group on a generation level higher than myself, the songs nevertheless have profound meaning, asserting my view that he is one of my top 5 most surprising (in a good way) artists I’ve come across in my blog series of 32 artists (out of 100, and then a further 20 world-class artists) thus far.

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