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Momentous Mondays: Influential artists of the next 5-10 years – Week 36: Dua Lipa

Steve Jobs. Oprah Winfrey. Chris Gardner. Matthew West. Saroo Brierley. Michael Edwards. Michelle Payne. Mark Hall. Bill Gates. Steven Spielberg. Walt Disney. What do all of these people have in common? On the surface, you’d say nothing much. But then if you look a bit deeper, you’d find a common thread that binds these people together for all time. Can you figure out what it is?

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 73: SEAL

Sometimes I wonder about all the detrimental and harmful effects that social media, the internet, youtube, smartphones, iPhones, Androids, PlayStations, Nintendo, even the home theatre system and streaming juggernauts like Disney +, Netflix, Hulu, Stan, Foxtel and Amazon Prime; have all had on the society of today. Or better still, how much we rely on all of these aforementioned technological advances, to better our lives, when in fact, its actually making us rely much more on the technical and less reliable and less connected in an overall sense, when trying to connect face to face. There I said it. Controversial thought and opinion. Yes, the advent of advancements like Youtube, streaming services, smartphones, google, Facebook, Twitter and yes, even Disney +, have all changed the landscape of society now, but with all of it, has made us realise this very one thing- that behind all of the façade of trying to enjoy what is on offer to us, we are just people trying to not admit to ourselves, that we are suffering from FOMO (fear of missing out), and even realising that what we consume on a daily basis, be it youtube, Disney +, iPhones and the like, are just masking what we feel deep down inside of our very souls, that we are lonely, and want human connection more so than anything else!

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 72: JASON MRAZ

It’s always been a fear of mine that whatever I write about will never be good enough. Maybe that’s just a fear that was unfounded, or based in things of the past, maybe I was trying to get good at being good at writing when all throughout high school, I wasn’t. But whatever the case, I’ve found that at numerous points throughout my blog post series, I’d get this idea, or this thought in my head, that what I’m writing doesn’t make sense, or it is just mere folly, for what I’m discussing about and who I’m delving into and trying to analyse for that given week within the series. So lemme back track a little bit. I’ve always loved writing. I think when I was younger (a teenager), my brother and I started writing a ‘book’ if you will, a series of passages and pages about our lives. I think I have that file on my computer somewhere, but from where it stands, I think it’s about a couple of hundred pages long. I still haven’t revisited that in a long time, but herein lies the point. I’ve found that every time I’ve written something that is substantial in length, it’s not necessarily because I have a lot to say about whatever I’m writing about. You can probably check through all my blog posts up until now, and you can probably realise that the Switchfoot post that I wrote about in week #2, and the post about Sugarland that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago…my writing style hasn’t really changed between the two, even though they were two years apart. What has changed was the length of these posts, and maybe sometimes, unfortunately so, because re-reading some of my later posts, I realised that I was writing more than what was needed. I would write and write and write, not necessarily because I have a ton to say, but because I’d write, to prove to…my parents, myself, to my brother, to people on the internet, to my old teachers at school, I guess to prove to people that I could write long, that I could write good, that I was good enough to be writing. Because I reckon it all went back to when I was in Year 7 in high school. I was in English, and I can remember that we’d all have to do a creative writing piece, 1 per term (there were four terms in 1 year back then). When it was time to submit this, my teacher would more often than not, read out a person’s work, and this work that we’d all hear, would either be really good, mediocre, or even terrible. There was one term where my creative writing piece was read out. I don’t know what I wrote about, nor can I even remember if people even knew that it was my piece of work that was being read out. But suffice to say, the English teacher read my stuff, and then they stopped in the middle, put the paper down, and said to the class in no uncertain terms, ‘now this is an example of how not to write’. I felt small from that moment on, and after that point in Year 7 onwards…I was never good at English. I loved it, don’t get me wrong. But maybe at a subconscious level, if the teacher said that I wasn’t good, in Year 7… then maybe I wasn’t good? Looking back on it now, I know now that reading aloud was not the way to go if the teacher wanted to correct someone. But analysing my writing skills now, and delving into the question of ‘why I write longer and longer blog posts as each week progresses’….I think it’s unfortunately because of this moment where I was basically told ‘I wasn’t good enough’, that with every passing blog post, I felt the need to write more and more, to prove to myself, and maybe to prove to my family, that I was capable, and that I still had these skills in me. that I was good.

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Momentous Mondays: Influential artists of the next 5-10 years – Week 35: Julia Michaels

Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”

Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do.  He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. But take this staff in your hand so you can perform the signs with it.”

Exodus 4: 10-17

Now when the Lord spoke to Moses in Egypt, He said to him, “I am the Lord. Tell Pharaoh king of Egypt everything I tell you.”

But Moses said to the Lord, “Since I speak with faltering lips, why would Pharaoh listen to me?”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet. You are to say everything I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his country. But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in Egypt, he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites. And the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.”

Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord commanded them. Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh.

Exodus 6:28 – 7:7

Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate [a robe] for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.

Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”

His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said.

Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”

When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.

Genesis 37: 3-11

Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled at Sokoh in Judah. They pitched camp at Ephes Dammim, between Sokoh and Azekah. Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines. The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them.

A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him.

Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.

Now David was the son of an Ephrathite named Jesse, who was from Bethlehem in Judah. Jesse had eight sons, and in Saul’s time he was very old. Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.

For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand.

Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.

“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.

Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”

David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.

So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.

1 Samuel 17: 1-16, 38-50

Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. His mother’s name was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah; she was from Bozkath. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed completely the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.

2 Kings 22: 1-2

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BEST OF 2020- PART 6: TOP 25 ANTICIPATED ALBUMS OF 2021

I know I say this every year, but let me say it again this time. The year of 2020, while hectic and chaotic for all of us for obvious reasons, has also delivered to us some pretty inspiring and thought-provoking albums and songs. Is that to say that previous years haven’t been that great? No, not by any means! This past year has been probably the year in which I have grown the most in my musical tastes, and it’s the year that I have found more albums and songs that have resonated with me, but maybe that’s because I was more aware of releases this year than any other year. Partly because of me branching out into different types of music because of my own accord due to me being more at home due to COVID-19, and also partly because of me and Jon writing our blog series about influential artists of all time– and us being exposed to more different types of music that way.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 71: SUGARLAND + JENNIFER NETTLES

Country music has always had this unique and fascinating sound associated with the music genre, since…well, since before I can even conceive and remember. It was only until recently (2019 when I started venturing out of my safe space of CCM) that I discovered the big plethora of music out there, from rock, pop, easy-listening, folk and Aussie music, to the music genre that I reckon gets the most flack and attention- country music. Yes, country music has been there since the beginning of music itself; and has been a big influence on the music industry, period, so much so that country music has their own array of award shows at various points throughout the year. While I myself am yet to become across all these country artists of the various decades, what I have listened to throughout the last few years has been nothing but a unique and emotive experience. Yes, now I can say and be proud that I am indeed a country fan- not a full-on die-hard one that follows every single country music artist out there at this point in time, but more of a country-music fan that appreciates the country music of the last 10 – 20 years or so, enjoying more of the seasoned veterans like Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Martina McBride, Shania Twain, Rascal Flatts, Faith Hill, Lady A and Little Big Town, more so than the current crop of country artists at the moment. Maybe it’s just me, and I love a bit of nostalgia and a sound more curated to the 1990s and the 2000s, but whatever the case may be, I’ve been enjoying the country music I’m hearing thus far within these last few years. With intentionality and purpose, heartfelt moments of confrontation and poignancy; country artists of yesteryear seem to stand the test of time, even if we may think that whatever they’re writing and singing about back then, may not necessarily be as applicable to this current time period. Nevertheless, country music has always tugged at the heart of myself over the last few years, and it is once again the musical genre of said artist I’m about to discuss in this blog post.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 70: ALANIS MORISSETTE

There was a time before the internet, the rise of technology as we see today in society, where life was simpler. We didn’t worry as much, we enjoyed things more (mainly because of the lack of accessibility that people have had to things, meant that once you had the thing that you wanted, you were more appreciative of it). We actually got excited about things. We appreciated the finer things in life, and without the advent of the social media juggernaut, facebook; we were more present in conversations, we hung out with our friends more often, and just made an effort to communicate with people better than currently nowadays where sending a tweet, a text or even a facebook post is much more of a commonplace than ringing someone on the phone or hanging out with them face to face. And maybe it goes with a lot of other things that are more accessible now, compared to back then, where things weren’t as readily available at our fingertips as much. Music in the 1990s and the 2000s carried with it, a sense of a different time compared to music of today, and ever since my blogging series that I started to embark upon, from February 2019 onward, I’ve noticed a few things. That the changing musical landscape over the last 20-30 years or so, reflects a time that was very much different than the one that we are in today. Not necessarily better or worse, just different. Exploring artists like Lady A, Keith Urban, Alicia Keys, Lifehouse, Switchfoot, Shania Twain, Train, DC Talk, Michael W. Smith, Chris Tomlin, Hillsong, Goo Goo Dolls, Ed Sheeran, Adele, Delta Goodrem, Owl City, U2 and Ronan Keating (to name a few), has me being appreciative of all genres encompassed in my blogging list thus far, and being reminded that each musical genre, across each decade in time, has its place in music history, impacting various people across the decades. I may like a band or an artist that is totally different than you, and that is ok. And as I’m about to start upon week 70 of this 2+ year musical experiment, I am reminded that God indeed can use whatever music that people are listening to (I guess, bar anything that is blatantly derogatory and downright nonsensical and wild), to bring people towards a sense of a revelation and realisation about love, life, God, and the rest of it. Music is most definitely the universal language; and has been the basis of coming together for people of varying colours and creeds for quite some time…but having said that; it still seems to be prevalent that people in the music ‘game’ and industry for quite some time (who had their starts in the 1980s and 1990s), seem to have more of a ‘realer’ career than artists in the current state of today.

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Momentous Mondays: Influential artists of the next 5-10 years – Week 34: Sabrina Carpenter

2021… …

A year most of us are extremely glad to see. For 2020 has put us through the ringer so, so many times… it’s not even funny. There’s the obvious- the COVID-19 pandemic that has forever shaped the way we all live and breathe at the moment, as well as the riots in the middle of the year in response to George Floyd’s death and the Black Lives Matter movement. Of course, you also have the historic U.S. election way back in November, won by Joe Biden, and not conceded at all by incumbent Donald Trump (until recently), that has had massive ramifications for the world- most notably the storming of Capitol Hill just this year. And to top it all off, who could forget the bushfires of Jan/Feb 2020 in Australia? Or how about Louie Giglio’s ‘white blessing’ gaffe? I think those are all the ‘big’ and ‘massive’ events of 2020- but that’s not saying that I wish there to be more and more events from 2020 that we all were affected by. These above aforementioned, were more than enough, don’t you reckon? Anyway, as a nation and as a people of the world- we all were overall glad to see the back of 2020, and we were hoping that the problems of 2020 didn’t follow us into 2021. Oh how wrong are we!

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Momentous Mondays: Influential artists of the next 5-10 years – Week 33: NF

I have a confession to make. When I started this blog series, when I deemed it necessary, needed, essential and non-negotiable, for me to write about up and coming artists, and speaking in depth about their brimming influence and budding potential as songwriters, entertainers, performers, singers, instrumentalists and just general people who undoubtedly will have a mark in their industry today, tomorrow and into the future; I had a list of 10 or 20 (which has now blown out to 50!), and most of the preliminary artists I wrote about were first. Artists like Maren Morris, Lauren Daigle, Tori Kelly, Alessia Cara, Rachel Platten and Jess Glynne were all artists I wrote down on my list straight away back in April 2019 (in fact I reckon that these were the only artists that were both in my original list and my latest list!)- and these were artists I’d written about within my first 10 blogs. As my list kept refining and I kept adding and deleting new-ish artists, there was one such artist that I kept on prolonging talking about- even when I knew they were essential on my list, and an artist that we’d all be talking about for a long time yet.

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BEST OF 2020- PART 5: TOP 30 MUSIC VIDEOS OF 2020 [JULY-DEC]

Hey everyone… guess what! COVID-19 is still here (no surprises there!)… and we’re all still quarantined at home. This means that music albums, movies and TV shows have all been put on hold and delayed until a later date when it is safe to film… but that doesn’t mean we can’t jam out to inspiring music videos! This past 6 months have still been quite crazy and eventful; but there have been some heartfelt, poigant, emotional and just fun-filled music videos that have debuted. So without further ado, let me present to you all our favourite 30 music videos as a site for the last 6 months of 2020! So sit back, be inspired, and let these music videos minister to you during this time of uncertainty!

Continue reading BEST OF 2020- PART 5: TOP 30 MUSIC VIDEOS OF 2020 [JULY-DEC]