Tag Archives: momentous mondays

Momentous Mondays: Influential artists of the next 5-10 years – Week 16: Demi Lovato

Demetria Devonne Lovato, or Demi Lovato as she is known by her fans, friends and the general public. A future star in the 2000’s, she was thrust into the spotlight at a very young age. Fame at a very young age can make you or break you- it can destroy and warp a person’s psyche beyond belief and beyond reparation, and while we all may be laughing and just shrugging off the effects of fame and the pressure of always being watched as something that comes as part of the package of being a role model for young kids; let me tell you that the long lasting effects of not having much of a childhood can be closer than we all can imagine, fathom and comprehend. In 2018 Demi Lovato had an overdose on drugs. The type of drugs were irrelevant- the fact was that in July 2018 in the middle of her Tell Me You Love Me World tour, she was fighting for her life, broken beyond comprehension and stifled by what she later described as a toxic management relationship. I’m not sure if you know this about me, but I’m not the one to speak ill about anybody especially without any proof or tangible evidence, but when the evidence presented before me is Demi fighting for her life way back in 2018 and her revealing interview with Ashley Graham in 2020 about her plight; well then that gets very real and scary. Truth be told, I wasn’t really much of a Demi Lovato fan, but right now as of this moment, I am definitely a Lovatic. Not to the extent of camping outside of a concert line for hours and hours and hours- that’s crazy talk, however after investigation into Demi’s story and her songs and her passion for making the world a better place; I can definitely say that the world needs to sit up and take notice of this emotional and powerful singer.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 41: GUY SEBASTIAN

I don’t know where you were in the world and what was happening in your life when the year was 2003. I mean, that was 17 years ago, and if I can’t remember sometimes what I did or where I was even last year, then I guess 17 years ago will be a bit of a stretch. But let me refresh your memory about what was happening around that time in the history of…well, everything. Australia won the Cricket World Cup against India by more than 100 runs, while Steve Waugh stopped the news at 6pm on day 1 of the Sydney Test in early 2003 against England, the 5th Test in the Ashes Series that was won 4-1, as he reached a personal milestone of scoring a century within a session. England defeated Australia in extra time in the Rugby World Cup final, while Andre Agassi, Rodger Federer and Andy Roddick won the Australian Open, Wimbeldon and the U.S. Open of 2003, respectively. Arnold Schwarzenegger was sworn in as the Governor of California in November, movies like Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Matrix Reloaded (and Matrix Revolutions), Finding Nemo, Love Actually, Mystic River, Daredevil, Bend It Like Beckham, Anger Management, Freaky Friday, Mona Lisa Smile, School of Rock and Secondhand Lions, all were unveiled during the year of 2003, while the top honours of Best Movie of 2003 at the Oscars was handed to, rightly so, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Long-running teen drama TV show Dawson’s Creek ended in May 2003, while another teen drama was unveiled on TV in September, One Tree Hill. Switchfoot (The Beautiful Letdown), Newsboys (Adoration), Skillet (Collide), Steven Curtis Chapman (All About Love), Delirious? (World Service), Mandy Moore (Coverage), Train (My Private Nation), Kelly Clarkson (Thankful), Evanescence (Fallen), Delta Goodrem (Innocent Eyes) and Martina McBride (Martina), to name a few; were all actively releasing music in 2003, while we saw major events happen in that particular year as well, from the invasion of Iraq by the U.S. on March 19th, to the release of the predecessor of Facebook, Facesmash, in October 2003. All in all, 2003 was a busy year indeed for a lot of people that have lived it, or can remember it at all. But one thing that I reckon that may have been overlooked by a lot of people who can remember 2003 and all the joys and sorrows that particular year brought to them, is this: Australian Idol debut. Yes the inaugural competition found its way to Australia, and based on the UK format of Pop Idol, this competition, in its many country forms, has swept the globe and has become the catalyst of many careers being kickstarted in music by this singing competition. And so what was the direct result of the first season of Australian Idol, to ever be considered as being a pivotal moment in not only Australian history but history for the entire world? Well, the crowning of singer-songwriter Guy Sebastian as the winner of Australian Idol, Season 1, of course!

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Momentous Mondays: Influential artists of the next 5-10 years – Week 15: Selena Gomez

What do you reckon is our most basic want? If you strip everything away, the house, the fancy car and our hopes and dreams; what do you reckon is left at the end of it all? Disregarding each of our personal views, morals, faith, beliefs and probably divided opinions about almost every topic under the sun; I believe that there’s something that bands us all, that unites us all together. There’s something insides each one of us that is a common thread if you want to call it anything like that. I believe it is that innate want (or is it need?) inside each of us, our longing to be loved. Yes, I’m growing philosophical and existential in my old age of 30- who knew?- but more on a serious note, what I believe connects us all is our individual desires to be loved and accepted, no matter our flaws and our screw-ups. Finding somebody that can and does love us for who we are is very rare, and while most pop artists sing about having a good time, I reckon there is no other artist more vulnerable and baring her soul and emotions nowadays- no other artist who is singing about love and the loss of love that is so beautiful, emotional and personal- than former Disney star and current pop superstar Selena Gomez.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 40: MANDY MOORE

I think [in] the process of making this record [Silver Landings], something that was important to me was coming to terms with that 15-year old version of Mandy because she still lives in me; I carry her around. She’s kind of the reason I’m here today and still have a semblance of a career. So I’ve made peace with the embarrassment I think I had over the creative choices that I’d made at that point in my life. And I also have an appreciation for the fact that I came out of that — what would have been a pretty tumultuous time as a young person in the pop music scene, thrust in this adult world — I’ve come out the other end kind of a functioning adult. [The line “No regrets, with a few exceptions”] is a bit of cheeky nod, I think, maybe to stuff that is a bit more surface, like some of the fashion choices I made. I’ll still apologize for those; the ’90s were not really kind to me. Considering the fact that we’re going on the road and I want to honour that part of my life and my career — and perhaps people and their nostalgic connection to that time in music, as well — I’ve been revisiting some of [my old music]. I mean, I know that people are coming on the road and want to hear “Candy,” so that’s a no-brainer to me. But listening back to that era of music, there’s definitely some songs that I’m like “Okay, this wasn’t so bad. I’m excited to figure out a new arrangement of this song.” I feel like some of these songs — maybe not all of them — can lend themselves to an acoustic rendition, and I’m excited to see people’s reactions if they come to see us on the road.

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Momentous Mondays: Influential artists of the next 5-10 years – Week 14: Anthem Lights

Let me ask you all a question. I mean, I reckon it’s one of the most important questions ever asked. And it is this. That after the continued and sustained yet somewhat waning success of the Backstreet Boys as well as Westlife, the and the brief but nonetheless impactful tenures of One Direction, and NSYNC; is the boy-band genre done for good? Is there a supergroup or another up and coming pop band ready to wow us all like Backstreet Boys did in the past? I mean have you ever stopped to wonder about the future of what may be one of the most loved yet frustrating genres of all time? What is it you say? You really haven’t given it a second thought? Nah, neither have I! I think I may have stretched the truth back there, in the sense that boy bands aren’t really the main topic of one of the most important questions ever asked- not by a long shot. It was just a question I asked to grab all of your attention. But seriously, the question of who the mainstay boy-band groups like Backstreet Boys and Westlife will pass the baton onto, does indeed pop into my head from time to time.

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Momentous Mondays: Influential artists of the next 5-10 years – Week 13: Jordan Smith

Do you think a song is just great because it is? Because of the original artist’s recording, maybe the song stands tall on its own. Or maybe a song is just good simply because of the number of covers that have been recorded of aforementioned track. And once we’ve figured out that the song it good, maybe even awesome, then should the song promote the message inside or the original artist, or shudder to think the cover artist? Perhaps the cover version is just as good or maybe even better than the original, and in that case- well the ‘newer’ artist is just simply lucky and blessed to have their stardom fast-tracked by covering such a well known and timeless sung. What about artists who cover several songs and then showcase their voice that way? Does any of you know what I’m subtly alluding to? Of course I’m speaking about singing competitions and how covers of famous songs gone by essentially can propel a literal nobody to global stardom. How do any of these guys thrust into the spotlight deal with the instant pressure? Well judging from the calibre of the small sample size that is only two studio albums and one Christmas album- up and coming powerful vocalist Jordan Smith has handled the pressure quite well. And no doubt he will be, if not already, influential in his own right, as he inspires and encourages us all to live life to the fullest, and to in turn provide light and hope to others who need it.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 39: NEEDTOBREATHE

‘…we’ve been very fortunate in that way [to be welcomed by both Christian and mainstream music]. There are a lot of bands that made that possible. Switchfoot was one of the bands that paved the way for that to happen. They fought some battles that we didn’t have to fight. We’re thankful for that for sure. It was really intentional, in terms of how we approached the early part of our career from a business standpoint. We got offered a lot of Christian contracts when we first came out and we turned those down because we wanted to make sure we set it up the right way and give ourselves a chance to be able to do everything we wanted to do. We made some mistakes along the way. I’d be lying if I said we did it all right. It hasn’t always gone according to plan, but at the same time, we’ve been really fortunate to do what we set out to do, which was make music for as many people as possible. We wanted kids who were like us to enjoy our music, but we also wanted their friends to like our music too. We wanted people that would never go to a Christian store or go to a church to listen to music to be able to get into our music. That’s what we set out to do. I think we’ve been able to keep that dream alive. God put that on our hearts and it’s been His plan, which has been amazing to be a part of…’

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Momentous Mondays: Influential artists of the next 5-10 years – Week 12: Marc Martel

We’re an odd bunch, us humans. Searching for meaning, searching for purpose, searching for identity in a wide variety of places. We think we’re content even if subconsciously we realise that we aren’t, and we all have our own weird and wonderful habits that make us all unique to each other. But what I reckon is the most quirkiest of quirks of all in the human race- and one might want to disagree with me on this, but maybe you all won’t- and that is that we are all seemingly obsessed to find again, or at least try to recreate what is lost. Think about it for a moment. We don’t like change, we like to stay in the comfortable. And the best example of us trying to control every aspect of our lives is when death comes knocking at our door. Yes the proverbial and literal monster that comes like a thief in the night when no one is watching nor listening. One minute you’re here and the next poof you’re gone, and no one remembers you. So I guess I can understand why we as humans would like to be remembered after we’re gone, or even still try to live as long as we can without the deterioration of the human mind.

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Momentous Mondays: Influential artists of the next 5-10 years – Week 11: Echosmith

Up until now in my section of this blog series called Momentous Mondays, I have, and this is probably unintentional; written about and explored the discography of artists that, though are still somewhat finding their feet and not as established as others whom Jon is writing about in his list; are nonetheless seasoned in terms of years. As in maybe aside from Alessia Cara (from my memory, Alessia released her debut before she turned 20!), the other 9 artists I’ve talked about thus far had to do the hard yards and toiled for quite some time before their big break. Not that I’ve had any reason to avoid artists who are young and thrust into the spotlight for whatever reason- I actually reckon that some artists who are in the spotlight from a young age are mature and are wise beyond their years; but I reckon generally speaking artists who have been around for a while yet who are just making their mark now, are maybe slightly more humble and more mature. Yet an artist who has popped up recently on my Spotify playlist who I reckon will be a force to be reckoned with is the up and coming band Echosmith– and they fit in the category of Alessia Cara- they’ve been around for 12 years and lead singer Sydney is only just 22 years old!

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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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