Tag Archives: momentous mondays

MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 16: TRAIN

Sometimes I wonder what would’ve happened if I listened to great bands and songs, and the great albums from said bands, when they actually released, rather than all these years later. How would my music tastes have changed- or would they have stayed the same? How would my outlook on life be, would I be more of an extrovert or an introvert, would my values change or would I still be in the same profession that I am currently in? I know, weird questions, but I truly believe that music and the song that can impact and encourage, influence and challenge; can really change a trajectory of someone depending on when they hear it in their lives. And at a certain point, a song can be a catalyst for change, personal or as a collective, to be something better, to look inward and see what needs to realign and refocus, or what values that is held close, need to be reassessed, and which need to still stay the same. So to answer my own question that I posed earlier…I don’t really know what would’ve happened if I did listen to artists when their respective albums released. I mean, had I did listen to artists like Avril Lavigne, Ronan Keating, U2, Carrie Underwood, Martina McBride, even Owl City and Lifehouse, during the times when albums of these said artists released; maybe, just maybe, the wonder and awe, and the unique feeling that comes when discovering a whole discography of a new artist, could be less and less. Because essentially if you follow an artist’s career from year dot, you become accustomed to their music your whole life, as opposed to someone else discovering for the first time a whole discography of an artist they’ve missed out on.

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Momentous Mondays: Influential artists of the next 5-10 years – Week 3: Tori Kelly

Can I ask you guys a question? Not really a question that you are forced to answer right away, but a question, nonetheless, that you can sit on and dwell for a while. When you wake up in the morning, maybe around 6am when the sun rises, or perhaps at 10am after a good sleep in; how do you feel each day on average? Are you happy, or are you sad? Is your attitude ‘oh, it’s just another day, let me roll over, and sleep some more; and hopefully it’s over by the time I wake up again!’; or is it ‘Yay, thank God I’m alive, let’s get up and do all the things I want to do today!’? Are you a glass half full or half empty? I know for my life that there are times when I feel uninspired to do anything productive and worthwhile some days- and it’s true that some days you do need those lazy ones where you just sit back and relax, watching the world go by! However if by some chance you feel scared about what each day brings; and if you feel scared by what the future holds (scared you might fail or scared you might even succeed!); let me tell you that you don’t need to be.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 15: THE MCCLYMONTS

Influential is a funny word you see. Many people disguise it as popular, or they think that influential really means popular, when in fact the definition cannot be farther from what people perceive it is. For I’ve always been reminded that through this blog series, influential and popular aren’t always the same, in fact, most times, popular artists aren’t influential at all. They’re not influencing a generation to think about issues and topics that need to be discussed at length amongst friends and promote dialogue on real issues. Popular artists are indeed giving us popular songs that we can enjoy so that we can have a good time…but at the end of the day, much of the popular music of today can be a little vapid. Nevertheless, we tend to think that popular and influential are hand-in-hand, and thus, we attribute fame and fortune with someone impacting millions around the world. But herein lies the point- much of the people on my own influential top 100 list are relatively unknown. Sure they are known to their special field in which their genre of music is in, but outside of that specialised genre, not many people may have heard them…and that’s ok. I discussed one such artist before- Andrew Peterson, and how his knack for using his lyrical prowess to deliver poignant truths about God and mankind has led him to be placed upon my list, can seem all but absurd to the outside casual listener. But for me, Andrew himself has influenced my life a lot these last few years, as I’m sure many people who has heard his music and have testified to his life-changing lyrics that seep deep into the soul. Enter in another such artist, who I’m sure a lot of people know nothing about, myself included (until a week or so ago)- Australian country trio, The McClymonts.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 14: RONAN KEATING

Can I be very candid and honest? I was never a big fan, if a fan at all, of boy bands. Sure I’d know about them from time to time, and more recently there was this wee little band called One Direction (and yes, I will discuss this influential band in length in another post dedicated to them!); but as a whole, boy bands weren’t at all that impacting to me when I was younger. Even now, they aren’t necessarily the most sought-out ‘genre’ of music that I’d listen to from the word ‘go’. Nevertheless, boy bands have shaped and moulded music and society as we know it- from Boyz II Men, Take That, Backstreet Boys, NSYNC and Westlife, to Jonas Brothers, Jackson 5, Boyzone and One Direction; boy bands have been sprouting up throughout music history aplenty, and thus, it is no wonder that one such artist from my list of 100 would be of the boy-band variety. And so for me to prepare for this blog post, I was a little unprepared throughout the week, and even now, I’m trying to find the words to say about this artist- words that will do them justice and respect the amount of success they’ve had since being a part of their former boy-band group. For me, this ‘genre’ of music is as much needed in society as it was back then- but when music for lack of a better term, is consumed at a faster rate as years go by; boy bands can sometimes fly under the radar to become the ‘forgotten’ ‘genre’ of music. This week’s discussion leads from the front with singer-songwriter Ronan Keating; an Irish singer who was one of the founding members of boy-band BoyZone, a popular Irish group in the 1990s. With around 10 albums under his belt, Ronan has solidified himself as one such artist, whom has successfully broken off from their former boy-band group, to have a relatively successful career as a solo artist- other artists to achieve such a feat include Robbie Williams (of Take That), Michael Jackson (of The Jackson 5), Ricky Martin (of Menudo) and Justin Timberlake (of NSYNC), to name a few.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF THE NEXT 5-10 YEARS – WEEK 2: LAUREN DAIGLE

Recently, I have started to become a bit more reflective and introspective- and more specially, the more and more I think about life in general, and the way it has gone for myself and maybe for others I have come in contact with; the more grateful I am to be living in Australia. And I’m sure the same goes for anyone living in the U.S, England, New Zealand, and other English-speaking countries I reckon. Not that other developing countries are ‘bad’ or anything like that, but I’ve recently noticed something. For all of the faults of Trump, for all of the issues to do with Brexit and for all of the turmoil and fallout with the Israel Falou saga; one thing remains constant. And it’s the wide range of music available to us via Spotify, iTunes, Youtube, Google Play, Amazon and other streaming services. In stores where we can buy physical CD’s (yep, they still exist!), the range for albums of different genres is quite varied, and it is in my own opinion that if you were to search for an album to listen to, you’d probably find at least one, but maybe two or three, that you could like straight away. Are there luxuries of music and the wide variety of artists available in countries like China, India and other countries in Africa?

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 13: SARA BAREILLES

Influential artists come in two groups, I reckon. The prolific ones, the ones that people universally and unanimously agree upon, that they are influential at all. Bands and artists like U2, Michael Jackson, Elvis, Adele, Queen, The Bee Gees, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, ABBA; artists that have made a definitive mark on music history and have influenced the culture of music and moved collectively the mark of where music was before, to where music is now. Influential artists such as these artists mentioned above, challenge the status quo on what genres should look and even sound like, moving outside the box as how to even approach genres that would otherwise have been overlooked and undervalued, underappreciated and even underutilised, had it not been for this particular artist or pioneer of the sub-genre discussed. Then there’s another group of artists that we would consider to be influential. No, it’s not necessarily the popular artists, though sometimes, popularity and influential do co-exist and collide. But rather, artists can be influential without being popular at all- they are just influential in the niche market they focus their music upon. An example is this- Andrew Peterson, of which I delved into a few weeks back. No, he won’t be of the same level of popularity as someone like John Legend or Jason Mraz, nor do I reckon he should be. But within the realms and confines of Christian music, especially Christian folk music; Andrew is very much known, loved, respected, and even admired for his quirky lyrics and hard-hitting imagery that speaks volumes to whomever hears it. Is Andrew Peterson popular? Definitely not. Influential? 100%- to the people who do indeed know his music, and to the ‘genre’ of Christian music as a whole.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 12: DC TALK

Which band do you reckon has shaped Christian music the most? Has reminded us that songs about God, faith, hope, doubt, boldness and truth, need not to be sung and delivered in a cheesy over-spiritualised way, but rather, with power and emotion, coupled with musical genres of pop, hip hop, rock, fusing together a myriad of genres to let people know that there is more to Christian music than just hymns sung in pews each Sunday morning? Sure there have been bands like the Newsboys, Jars of Clay, Audio Adrenaline, Third Day, PETRA, Stryper and Family Force 5; that have all amassed fans alongside critics praising their involvement in shaping Christian music history over the years. but for me, there’s one band that stands tall above the rest, in terms of their own influence, not just in Christian music, but for music in general. Yes, if you’ve read this far, you probably know which band I’m gonna delve into. DC Talk– Toby McKeehan (now known as TobyMac), Michael Tait and Kevin Max, who make up this trio, are even now considered to be one of the most influential bands of the Christian music genre (if ever there is a boxed ‘genre’ music of a Christian nature can go in!). DC Talk, though only active for a little over a decade, have nevertheless encouraged and impacted so many, and even now, as TobyMac continues with his solo career, Kevin also with solo offerings and Michael in another popular band, the Newsboys (as lead singer!); these three humble members of arguably the greatest Christian band in modern history, are still impacting the world today, both with their solo (and Newsboys) material, alongside their DC Talk repertoire of yesteryear!

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 11: U2

U2 need no explanation or even introduction as to why they are included on my own 100 influential artists list. Or rather, they need no explanation as to why they should be included on any influential artist list- because, to be frank; this Irish band is one that everyone can unanimously agree upon, and quite deservingly so! For Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen Jr and Adam Clayton are U2,  formed in the late 1970s, and are still active today. In fact, dare I say that this band is by far one of history’s most influential rock bands…ever? Like Michael Jackson was to pop, and Backstreet Boys was to boy bands, like Whitney Houston was to powerful female singers, and The Beatles and Elvis was to generally music in general, one can’t deny the impact U2 has had, not only to rock music, but also to music as a whole. For Bono and co. have created music that is honest, and though many of their music can seem a little too honest for what mainstream pop radio wants at the moment; what this band has uncovered long ago that still holds true today is this- that many people, young and old, rich and poor, people of many walks of life, and many different roads of faith, are yearning and wanting the same thing- to connect to a song on a soul level.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 10: ANDREW PETERSON

I have been wrestling a little bit over this last week about my choice of artist that I’m going to delve into today. And while I’ve said countless times in blog posts previously that popular need not be the same as influential, nor should it, in this artist’s case, popular is indeed not what this artist is (if you look at popularity in the mainstream pop market). But, having said that, upon listening and thoroughly delving deep into the music and mysteries that this artist speaks of, boy can I say that singer-songwriter and Christian artist Andrew Peterson, is by far one of the most influential artists that has ever graced Christian music in the modern era (2000 and onward). There, I said it. Andrew Peterson, though his name unrecognisable in terms of mainstream music, is indeed known quite well within the confines of CCM and music about the Christian faith. It is in this blog series that I have managed to hopefully give a portrayal of many different styles and musical genres, across various time periods. Influential artists within the Christian music ‘genre’ (if you can call Christian music a genre!) were always going to be present on my influential artists of all-time list; because frankly, I am a Christian and Christian music is and always will be a great form and source of encouragement and inspiration, whether or not the listener is of the faith, or not. And so, upon amassing who I was going to discuss about within my list of 100 names (and ever evolving names, I must add!); it stood to reason that a non-negotiable artist to explore would be Andrew and his music. Since exploring Andrew’s music around 5 years ago, my musical tastes have been stretched, altered, challenged, and even matured because of such delving, and this past week, I’ve come to appreciate a style within the Christian industry that isn’t necessarily discussed or even musically envisaged. Call it being safe, sticking close to radio format songs; whatever the case, an artist like Andrew Peterson and the music style that he incorporates (folk rock, roots rock, country gospel) is rarely promoted even within the Christian industry, because, to put it bluntly, Andrew’s music is different.

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Momentous Mondays: Influential artists of the Next 5-10 years – Week 1: Maren Morris

Is there any criteria for what determines an influential artist? Influential albums- sure we can figure that one out. Just think about an album that has changed you from the inside out, or one that has sentimental value to you, or one that you’d just know has shaped you beyond the shadow of a doubt (you wouldn’t be the person you are today if that particular album wasn’t recorded and released!); and that’s it. Maybe there are around 20 or 30 albums that you hold dear, that you believe to be higher above all others. But as for the extent of influence an artist has over society as a whole or individuals, across time, all genres and transcending countries, religions, beliefs, value systems and creeds; that’s a big, big mouthful to fully grasp and a gigantic pool of artists to choose from. I guess you’d say that the criteria is different depending on what you value in an artist, whether it is lyrics or music or the artist’s private lives and if it matches up with what they’re singing about… and that’s probably the reason why Jon is in the midst of writing about 100 artists, and even then it’s not a perfect list. The other day though, I started to think about the artists that were not part of Jon’s list, whom were deemed to be seemingly not influential enough. There were obviously some older artists whom Jon found others to be more influential for one reason or another; however if we’re only thinking of influence in the regard that an artist has to be a veteran of x amount of years or x amount of albums, then I’m certain we’d miss out on exploring and listening to a number of up and coming artists whom in the future could be equally as influential or even more so than The Beatles, Queen, Abba, Elton John, Whitney Houston and others. So, I’ve started up a mini-list of 20 artists. By no means is it perfect, but it’s a snapshot of artists whom I reckon will take the world by storm in the coming years. Artists whom I reckon may not necessarily be popular, but still impact in a society where listeners are bored with songs at the drop of a hat. Maren Morris is the first artist that I’ll be delving into and exploring, and boy does she have plenty of remarkable songs that are relevant to society that need to be shared with the whole world!

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