Momentous Mondays: Influential artists of the next 5-10 years – Week 19: Dami Im

Don’t you reckon how it’s funny how God orchestrates things to happen in your life that you can just look back on and marvel at, and see His handiwork just to know that He is God? When God reveals things to you, you may not know it but in hindsight you’ll know what he’s doing and you’ll definitely see his imprint. Confused? Well let me explain a bit. A few weeks ago when I was browsing the internet just because I had some spare time and because I just wanted to relax, I heard a Lecrae song from my brother’s speakers in his room, as he was finishing up his blog for his Momentous Mondays series. Full disclaimer though- I don’t really have a love for rap, just more of an appreciation for songs here and there; so when Jon listened to, and re-listened to, as well as pausing and re-listening to certain parts, and watching the music video of the song “Welcome to America”- well, boy I was hooked and captivated. Reaffirming my love for Lecrae as a rapper, and having me declaring that I believe in my opinion that Lecrae is one of the most impacting rappers of this generation; “Welcome To America” is a unique track, as it speaks about people’s opinions of America from 3 different perspectives. A war veteran, a low socioeconomic African American, and a potential migrant to America living overseas in probably an Asian country where they are making clothes to send over to America in sweat shops.

Lecrae holds back nothing, as he challenges our own perceptions of what we all reckon America (and by extension every other ‘Western’ country) is or can be; and from listening to this song all those weeks ago, God stirred something deep inside of me. See, I don’t know if you know about this, but I firmly believe that the order of how I do my blogs is important. You may not think so but I reckon that I’m blogging about certain artists now because of maybe said artist being linked and associated to a particular event in the week I’m blogging about them; or perhaps if I blogged about them earlier I wouldn’t be in that right headspace. But regardless of your own views on whether you think my blog list, or any blog list for that matter, has any type of order to it or not; the fact of the matter was that when I was listening to Lecrae’s song, I had all of the artists for my blog series planned out until this one today. Yet God highlighted my attention to the 3rd verse of “Welcome To America” (about a potential migrant and their own views on how the land of the free and the home of the brave is, or is portrayed to be), and revealed to me that because I was struggling in figuring who to blog about for this particular day, He was helping me in that, telling me that there’s an artist that is perfect for me to write about now, who’s background is rooted in that third verse on “Welcome To America”. They may not have personally longed to travel to America or any western country because of being in sweat shops or anything like that, but the fact still remained. That an artist on my Momentous Mondays list was born overseas, travelled to a land of plenty when they were young, and has since thrived in this country, making a name for themselves in their chosen craft of singing and songwriting.

Have you figured out who this person is yet? Yep, you’re right, it’s South Korean born Aussie icon Dami Im, and how she came to Australia when she was nine, competed in the X Factor in 2013, and has since become a national superstar, releasing hit after hit and inspiring song after inspiring song. And why am I writing about Dami Im now as opposed to some point in the future? Well as you all now, we are now globally in lockdown, in quarantine (admittedly several countries are in a stage further along than others), due to the COVID-19 virus. I guess you could say that we all need some hope, some inspiration, something to hold onto to make us smile in the face of calamity and adversity. Dami Im’s story of making it in Australia and inspiring us all to become the best version of ourselves that we could be, is one such story that will put a smile on all of our faces, as we remember that good news and good things do exist during this time. There’s a saying that ‘fortune follows the brave’ (or is it favours? I’m not really too sure!), but I reckon that statement is flawed. None of us are truly brave- most of the time we do things whilst still afraid, and most of the times we are terrified… thus I reckon a more accurate statement is just ‘fortune follows’. wherever it lands is anyone’s guess, but if it should so happen to land on us, well then that is a gift, and we better utilise it for the greater good. Dami Im is one person where fortune (or shall I say God’s providence) has fallen over her- and right now she is stewarding her gifts rather well, as she reminds us skilfully and competently that we can do anything we set our eyes on, if we have friends and family in our corner and supporting us no matter what.

After Australian Idol ended in 2009 after its sixth season, as New Zealander Stan Walker won the competition (whom I’ll be writing about in another post!); I thought that that was that. I assumed that I would never watch another singing show ever- partly because I knew I’d get sucked in- I didn’t really want the show to rule me like it did in 2009; and also because I knew that it’d take way, way more of my time than needed to, and also because it was likely that any singers who were my favourites or preferred winner at the time would be booted out early. I don’t know if I could’ve gone through the emotional yo-yoing again. It probably was just fortuitous that Stan won- because he was that good- but if I had been watching any other year, and if there was any other person that I was rooting for, I’d probably would be sadly disappointed as a result. Hence I decided from the outset after watching Australian Idol for the last time, that that’d be the end of an era. Oh, how wrong I was. Because in 2013, Dami Im came along to the X Factor, and stole all of our hearts in an awesome and fantastic way!

I don’t remember watching Dami audition. I don’t even remember watching Dami at the battle rounds before the live shows. I’m actually not even sure what I was doing while Dami was auditioning. But all I know is this- that somehow along the journey from her first audition until the time when she won the entire competition, I somehow got hooked on watching the show. Maybe it was Mum and Dad who convinced me (cause I know for a fact that they were watching from the start!), but whatever the reason, Dami became the person whom we all wanted to win. And week after week she kept delivering! Week after week she sang impressive, explosive, impacting and powerful renditions of smash hit singles and lesser known melodies alike, and on each rendition, she completely made each track her own. It’s not like other cover songs where you know that it’s a cover and you immediately love the original version more. For Dami’s renditions it’s a bit different. As quite a lot of the cover songs from Dami’s debut album Dami Im were studio versions of songs she sung on the X Factor- I’d suggest you listen to Dami’s cover tracks on her debut album. Now…if you were to close your eyes, press play, and forget about the writer and original singer of the song- would you say that Dami completely owns the song, to the point that if you knew nothing about the song, that I could say that she wrote it, and you’d believe me? Perhaps. Regardless, Dami was on another level during the X Factor, on another plane of existence, and I’d imagine that she not only won the competition, but coasted through. And kudos really does go to Dami, as she has indeed put in the hard yards here, and has reaped the benefits immensely and extensively!

I used to be very musical when I was younger- I played piano and violin in primary school, and by the time high school rolled around, I just stopped going to lessons, and I just stopped playing any instrument. Studies kept piling up, and that was that. So even though right now I know I need to get back into my piano especially- just to see what level I am at; my guess is that one reason why I rooted for Dami and why me and Jon and Mum and Dad were so into the X Factor way back in 2013, was because we were living our musical dream through her. I know, it sounds weird but Dami and both Jon and myself had similar musical backgrounds and then the diverging occured. Though Jon and myself were born in Australia, and Dami emigrated to Australia when she was 9; the similarities started early on, as Dami was proficient at a young age in vocals, piano, violin, and flute. She learnt to sing at age 5, and taught herself to play the piano at a young age also. And while Dami has progressed and grown from strength to strength- even becoming a music and piano teacher in 2013 just before her stint on X Factor which changed her world forever; she has reminded Jon and myself of an overall path where either one of us could have been if we were to continue with our piano playing. However never once have we ever felt envious and jealous of our musical idols and heroes- admiration, and perhaps pride, is the main feeling we have towards those artists who have succeeded beyond public expectations, and especially towards Dami given her background and how hard she has fought to get where she is today. With Dami having already released a limited release and exclusive worship/pop album for her church in Brisbane in 2010 called Dream (with 9 Korean songs and 2 English versions); X Factor was just another step in God’s plan for her life- which has since resulted in the nation knowing her angelic voice…and hopefully the entire world as well! Dami’s not that big in the U.S., however I am confident that in the near future, the whole globe would know her name!

You know how sometimes there’s a song that grabs you and inspires you in a way that makes you want to just get up early in the morning, and seize the day? Dami’s debut single which released just after her X Factor win is one such song, as “Alive”, though a pop song through and through, is a track that tugged at my emotions and my heart, and is sure to impact the same to any and all who listen as well. Thematically and lyrically, Dami’s debut single speaks about her entire journey on the X Factor and how she was encouraged to go on and step out in faith after a conversation with her husband Noah- One day, I remember my husband Noah said, “You know Dami, you always take the safest path, and if you don’t do anything nothing will happen.” It really hit me hard. I was slightly offended to be honest. I went to my own corner and started to think about whether it was true or not. I realised I had to do things I didn’t feel comfortable with or I’d have regrets later. So I ended up signing up for X Factor. The rest is history, and “Alive” pays tribute to what Noah has done in Dami’s life- being that person that encourages Dami to ‘…don’t keep waiting for an open door, break the lock and get something more, make a move cause you’re alive, alive, we ain’t gonna get a second chance, life ain’t nothing but a crazy dance, learn the moves cause you’re alive, alive…’. And as people, “Alive” encourages us to take a look in the mirror, asking ourselves whether the decisions we are taking are safe or risky. Because sometimes the safest choice isn’t the best option “Alive” challenges us and encourages us to step out in faith and make a stand for something, even if we a re uncomfortable or afraid. Dami sure did that and was rewarded- Dami Im debuted at number one on the ARIA Albums Chart and was certified platinum- and Dami became the first X Factor Australia contestant in ARIA Charts history to follow up a number one single with a number one album. Yet greater than all of the statistics; “Alive” may be confronting, but is necessary for us to listen to and check out heart and motivations.

After Dami Im dropped, Dami went straight to work, and the result was an album full of original material in 2014, called Heart Beats. Musically, Dami created big booming ballads for this project, as well as softer, reflective, contemplative melodies. There were also pop songs represented through and through- and henceforth the project of Heartbeats was in my opinion a very successful one, given that we are introduced to a wide array of musical genres, and a near-flawless and sublime voice. It also doesn’t hurt to have a smorgasbord of relatable topics present in this batch of original melodies as well. Lead single “Super Love” is a track that fits right at home in pubs and clubs, as Dami fervently relays to us across powerful electronics and engaging synth and acoustics of her love and devotion to her family and/or spouse, proclaiming that ‘…we’re diamonds in the rough, the stars are made of us, nothing can bring us down down down, we got that super love…’– a song that indeed puts a smile on my face; while second single “Gladiator” is a straight up love song to her husband Noah, complete with pulsating guitars and a bopping bass riff, imparting to us that Dami isn’t going to give up on her husband, and will stick by him at all times. “Living Dangerously” is another single from Dami, and personally one of her most relevant tracks today, as this piano pop EDM tune carries on from “Alive” thematically, as Dami once again wrestles with the concept of stepping out in faith and ‘living dangerously’ if you will. Reminding us all that we won’t grow if we do not take risks, the metaphors of stepping into a fire and having fear as a tangible enemy are both used, reminding me of Shadrach, Meschach and Abendego in the Bible who stepped into the fire because they knew God would protect them, but no doubt they would have been extremely afraid as well. Thus we as humans need to take risks whenever we can as Dami eloquently imparts to us that we can only move once we have figured out our identity, presumably in Christ. Is the song sung to Jesus? Perhaps. But whatever the case, “Living Dangerously” is one of the most relevant songs Dami has ever recorded- especially with lyrics like these that rebukes our fear and speaks truth to our trials and tribulations:

Despite doubt, I stepped out into the future, unknown
This I’m facing, heart racing
But I know that I’m not alone
‘Cause the light you’ve showed me revealed
The dark don’t own me,
So I stepped into the flames
It feels so good to be living dangerously
In the fire you will find me!
So tell the fear to fear me
That’s how it feels to be living dangerously

The rest of Heart Beats showcases Dami at her brilliant best vocally, as well as some touching moments of vulnerability and honesty- in my opinion this album is one of the most rounded ‘debut original’ albums in a long time. The extremely personal and honest “Heart Beats Again”, the pseudo-title track, is led by acoustic guitar and light keys, and is once again dedicated to Noah, letting him know that ‘…you are the reason that my heart beats again, the reason that my eyes feel today, what meaning is life if I didn’t know you were by my side, you are my home I never had before, the only one to love and adore, you’re my everything…’ (although the song could also be read and interpreted as a full on worship song to God!); while the poppy, happy-go-lucky, cheerful, sunny and positive “Beauty In The World” is yet another highlight for myself as Dami passionately imparts to us that we can dance for joy and freedom because of the simple fact that the creation that God has made, inclusive of each of us, is inherently beautiful, kind and a joy to be around. Pure pop 3 minute tune “Moment Just Like This” is yet another winner, as Dami perfectly and vividly describes her perfect moment and how she’s been waiting for it her whole life- and while it’s unclear as to what ‘moment’ she’s been waiting for, this song (which is similar in theme to Kelly Clarkson’s “A Moment Like This”) is definitely applicable to everyone on this planet, as we all have our hopes, dreams and goals to look forward to. “Moment Just Like This” can remind us that we may be far away from our goals- however it may also provide us with that added push so that we can chase our dreams with greater focus and purpose. While the emotional anthem “Speak Up” has Dami emotionally imparting to us her commendable and noble mantra of speaking up on issues important to the individual and to the general society, that could easily have been interpreted as a #MeToo movement response had the track been written a few years later. And if you thought the album was too gloomy…well then “One More Time” gives us more levity and bounciness, with this super-pop radio friendly melody describing the intense feeling of being with your significant other- the feeling of being able to take risks and being brave for ‘one more time’.

Despite some heavy and personal topics being discussed in Heartbeats, this doesn’t mean that Dami is a person with a negative outlook- not by any means. With Heartbeats debuting at number seven on the ARIA Albums Chart, becoming Dami’s second top-ten album; the focus was then brought back to fun, danceable toe-tapping songs and tracks that just make you want to stand up and dance. “Smile” is such a track”- a stand alone single that celebrates what it means to be human and to be happy. The song delves into the concept of living life to the full and full of joy- and in the music video Dami accomplishes a smile on her face by just doing random acts of kindness to make others feel good and to make others smile. With the lyrics being self-centred, the message though is anything but, and if this song can make us all be less self-centred and instead think about others, then Dami has indeed done her job here. “Fighting For Love” is another stand-alone single that isn’t attached to any album yet, as Dami delivers an emphatic, grandiose, epic, anthemic orchestral piece, which speaks about identity and self-love- as when you get to the point when you can truly accept yourself and love yourself (and by extension see yourself the way God Himself sees you!), then life can truly start being lived with no fear and no inhibitions. And as Dami has vulnerably laid out on the table, “…I think a lot of my problems would be solved if I loved myself and thought people accepted me for who I am. I love being a pop star, to be able to sell out my shows and doing what I love but I don’t know if I like the fact people know that I am not good about sharing how I feel about myself. When I was growing up, I was so used to hiding myself, pretending I was like my white friends, and I think probably a lot of immigrants are like that…(Eurovision) and my tour are a reminder that people, and not just in Australia, like me for who I am, what I look like and what I stand for. I don’t think I have to be scared any more…”; we are reminded that even the most ‘perfect’ looking of our heroes and idols have fears and insecurities- they are human too. Thus as they remind ourselves that we aren’t alone in this road called life…I guess it makes living all the more bearable, knowing that there is someone out there going through what we are going through. And in the case of right now as we all struggle through COVID-19; everyone is in the same boat, thus I reckon “Fighting For Love” is the perfect anthem for today’s economic and health climate, as we learn how to love and accept ourselves like Jesus has for us.

Dami has come a long way away from the somewhat shy young girl that entered into the X Factor competition way back in 2013, and in fact she has transformed into a confident young woman of God, as she strives to tell a message of hope, joy, compassion, love and self-acceptance. With Dami being a strong believer in Jesus, as well as having a wide range of musical influences (including Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Norah Jones, Corinne Bailey Rae, Chris Tomlin and BoA); it’s clear and evident to see Dami at times breaking the mould and defying us all by not releasing something that is pop-orientated. This certainly is the case with Dami’s 2 cover albums Classic Carpenters and I Hear A Song, released in 2016 and 2018 respectively. And while I myself have not had the pleasure of hearing much of these original songs- I reckon I don’t really need to at the moment, as I can just hear Dami sing her sublime cover versions (of tracks mostly driven by the piano, inspired by the Carpenters [Classic Carpenters] and by female artists who have inspired Dami [I Hear A Song]), and be amazed at how inspiring and hopeful Dami is- just with her voice. Dami also has unveiled 2 original songs on I Hear A Song– namely the title track and “Like A Cello”, which both are exquisite and poignant, with Dami presenting to us a jazz song about the general power of music (“I Hear A Song”) and a love song to her husband about everything she will miss about him as she goes on tour (“Like A Cello”). Though I haven’t fully connected with much of these two albums, I do respect Dami for taking risks, and for trying out something new- of which she has done here in this case!

It is in my humble opinion that Dami Im has gone from strength to strength, and has wowed us all time and time again with her powerful and angelic voice, as well as her relatable and personal original songs, and compelling covers. Though not as known internationally, Dami’s prowess as a singer and a songwriter is very reliable and strong, and no doubt will be recognised and realised in the coming months by almost everyone. This is probably the most evident in her live EP which released last year (Live Sessions EP); where she takes a handful of her singles and sings them in a live setting. While this EP gives us an appetiser as to what to expect from a full-fledged live album (which could release, and I hope does, in the near future!), it’s clear in these songs that Dami is seriously in her element here and is enjoying herself immensely, not caring one iota about the opinions of her fans and listeners. During my time working at our family business- our café since 2014, I hadn’t had much time to follow Dami’s music past her album Heartbeats yet it is this 2019 release that has reignited my love for her music, as I realise that Dami is a stellar vocalist and a vocalist the world needs to know about, and quickly.

With 4 of the tracks being live versions of previous singles, we are blessed to hear renditions of “Like A Cello”, “I Hear A Song”, “Sound Of Silence” and “Super Love”, the former two being two of the original songs from I Hear A Song and the latter two being two of her most inspiring and popular singles ever. While EP opener “Dreamer” is the only ‘new’ track, as the heartfelt and confronting melody was written especially for this project, as Dami relentlessly reiterates to us that we are each our own person, we are unique, and we are allowed to not conform to the status quo. We are allowed to break the mould, and we can be dreamers, thinkers, doers and revolutionaries. While not evident right now, I reckon “Dreamer” will be a song that changes a generation and forces us all to think about why we do what we do, and also encourages us to take a look inside as to if our lives need changing. All of these multiple layers in this song make “Dreamer” probably one of the most important songs Dami has ever recorded. However if there’s one song that encapsulates Dami’s heart, then it’s the vibrant and inspiring cover of Chris Tomlin’s “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)”, where Dami puts her own spin on the famous hymn, singing the second verse in another language, presumably Korean. It’s rare to hear mainstream artists put their faith in their music, so for Dami to outwardly proclaim Jesus is Lord and Saviour in a public arena like that, is very gutsy and commendable.

Probably one of the most emotional and heartbreaking songs to have ever been written by Dami is her first track to be released independently (as in not on a record label)- “Crying Underwater”, which is about her experience dealing with losing a close friend to suicide, a friend who “…seemed really happy and he took his own life… everyone was so shocked, because he seemed like the happiest person and so lovely to everyone. He was the most unexpected person…”. As “Crying Underwater” feels somewhat like a quasi-spiritual piano-pop 3 minute melody, which could double up as a prayer to Jesus, or a plea to a mate; it’s clear in this song that Dami is seriously in her element here and is enjoying herself immensely, not caring one iota about the opinions of her fans and listeners. Vocally strong as always, while also delivering lyrics of immense poignancy and relevancy, I also reckon it isn’t by coincidence that “Crying Underwater” release today, around the same time as R U OK day. “Crying Underwater”, just like “Head Above Water” from Avril Lavigne around a year before; deals with the notion of feeling like you’re drowning and can’t escape the pressure. Feelings of inadequacy and self-worthlessness are explored here as well, as Dami fervently cries out that ‘…if I was crying underwater, would you see my tears? If you knew that I was drowning, would you dive in to save me?…’; and the vagueness of Dami’s plea- is it to God or a close friend?- is sure to garner discussion as we redefine what it means to be vulnerable and ask for help when we need it. Exposing yourself and your emotions isn’t weakness- it’s actually strength to be real with those around you. And once we truly understand that our loved ones won’t judge us whenever we’re going through the worst of our trials and tribulations; then and only then we can live in true freedom, surrendering everything to God and letting our loved ones into the most inner part of us.

Dami Im has recorded two more singles recently- the first titled “Kiss You Anyway” (an earnest and vulnerable piece about loving someone wholeheartedly even though there is that certainty of an unknown feeling of everything blowing up and going pear shaped!), and the second titled “Marching On”- a piano prominent mid tempo ballad written from the perspective of her mum about her grandmother and how much she sacrificed for her family, and how much she decided to ‘march on’ in the face of adversity. As an independent artist now (why Dami isn’t on her label anymore is anyone’s guess!), “Kiss You Anyway” and “Marching On” are high quality and reveal a more vulnerable and introspective side to Dami than ever before. If these two songs, plus “Crying Underwater” are both present on Dami’s upcoming new album, then watch out world, because perhaps we might’ve heard parts of the potential album of the year!

Just because someone is a brilliant artist on the stage doesn’t mean that they’re a noteworthy person and role model in the public eye and off the stage. Thankfully though, Dami Im’s authenticity and vibrant personality shines through in everything she does away from the stage and the spotlight- and even while recording with other more prominent and more established artists. Recording a collaboration with Taylor Henderson, Jessica Mauboy, Justice Crew, Nathaniel Willemse and Samantha Jade for “I Am Australian” is a beautiful song to hear and to imagine what it might’ve been like to record amongst the presence of greatness and future greatness; while other collaborations with Stan Walker (“Endless Love”) and Human Nature (“I Say A Little Prayer”) are top quality as well. Dami’s stage presence is also pretty commanding, as she and Swedish pop singer Måns Zelmerlöw created a duet for the ages early this year with “Walk With Me”, an uplifting pop tune where someone turns to a mate (or even to God), asking them to walk beside them in times of hardship. Southern Sons’ hit song “Hold Me In Your Arms” from the 90’s is also redone by Dami (along with a guest vocal from original singer Jack Jones), while Classic Carpenters became gold certified. Dami was involved in 2 films (Paper Planes and Trolls), while she was also present as a performer in Carols in the Domain several times (in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016) and Carols by Candlelight (2016). An avid supporter of Compassion Australia, and with Dami having a Bachelor of music as well as a Masters of arts in contemporary voice; it’s clear that Dami is a well-rounded celebrity with a sense of who she is as she navigates the busyness of life. There are plenty of other powerful public performances that Dami has undertaken (see them all here), but I reckon it is her faith that has led her to embark on the greatest ‘extracurricular’ activity of all- caring for the less fortunate:

I’m a believer. You can’t really make music and separate the music you produce with what you believe. You can write about all sorts of different things, but it’s most satisfying when I can put my beliefs and my heart into it.

I started to [help disadvantaged children]… as a university student and I do that with my husband. I’ve been taught through the church that I have a responsibility with the money I’ve been given, the blessings I am meant to share. It’s not mine, it’s meant to be used for God’s purpose.

My husband and I decided to sponsor a three-year-old boy called Rodney who lives (in the Philippines) with his teenage brothers and parents. They live in a house that doesn’t look liveable to our standards. My husband Noah and I went and gave them some presents, basically clothes for the three boys. The mum obviously didn’t speak English and she didn’t have much expression, so we thought, we’ll leave you alone, thanked her and we left.

A few hours later, we had the two bigger boys running up to us in their new T-shirts and they had brought a chicken, a live chicken to thank us and to give us as a gift! They don’t have much, and they wanted to give something back. Really, their hearts are so much bigger than ours. Obviously we couldn’t bring the chicken back to Australia. We had to apologise to the Mother and hope that it didn’t break her heart.

Yet if there is one thing that Dami Im is famous for- I reckon it is this. That she competed in Eurovision and came 2nd in 2016. A competition for the world stage, I reckon it’s a great honour to be selected (probably like the Olympics for singers and performers!). And for Dami to compete against the best of Europe and actually come within one position of winning… well that’s totally surreal and remarkable. As for the song that Dami wrote for the competition- the anthemic, poetic, vulnerable and confronting “Sound Of Silence” (no not the Simon and Garfunkel smash hit!), I truly believe that it is one of the best tracks she’s ever recorded. As Dami looks inwards and earnestly speaks about how she misses her family while on tour, and about how she wakes up to the ‘sound of silence’ which makes her miss them even more; I reckon this track will relate to all of us with family and friends in other parts of the country or the world. And especially as we are all at home during this pandemic, “Sound Of Silence” is extremely poignant and moving, as we remember that all of our are feeling like this- separated from our loves ones, yet still united together as strangers, as human beings. “Sound Of Silence” reminds us that we still need to connect on a soul level and on a spiritual level to our friends and family yet also reminds us that opening up to people and eradicating that ‘sound of silence’ can be pretty easy- everyone else is feeling the way we are as well, so shouldn’t we take that first step?

From an outsider looking in, Australia (and any other western country) can seem like a utopia, like heaven on earth, with all of these freedoms and wide open spaces. I am positive that that is what Lecrae wanted to convey through the 3rd persona in “Welcome To America”, as we are glimpsed into what people think about as they try to migrate to a ‘better’ and ‘more well-off’ country. Though our perception often doesn’t match up with the reality, it’s in these care cases where success stories do happen. Where fairytales do happen. And in this rare case of Dami Im, God’s faithfulness and his providence is shining through, as he ensures that she is a light in Australia amongst a darkened world. As Dami continues to hone in on her craft and remind us all that there is a hope in this world that can defeat the darkness and bring us all back to the light (and that hope is Jesus Christ); it remains to be seen whether Dami’s Australian success mean international success in the future or not. It’s a well known fact that Dami Im isn’t extremely popular in Australia (leave it to other artists like Guy Sebastian, Delta Goodrem, Kylie Minogue, Sia, Johnny Farnham, Keith Urban and Jessica Mauboy to name a few; to claim that mantle!), nor is Dami internationally famous like artists Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, OneRepublic, Daughtry or P!NK. But one thing is for sure- that she is one artist that you all should listen to, as Dami’s vocals and songwriting is nothing short of brilliant. Don’t believe me? Well, start off with listening to “Marching On” and then you can go backwards in her discography- you won’t be disappointed.

Does Dami Im make the list for you all when you write your own ‘Influential Artists of the next 5-10 years’ list? Is there any song (other than “Sound Of Silence”, “Smile”, “Alive”, “Fighting For Love”, “Super Love” and “Gladiator”) that has impacted you on your journey through life thus far, or even your walk with God? Let us know in the comments. Till next time!

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