Since undertaking this blog series around 2 and a half years ago, I’ve since had the privilege of exploring artists in such a way that I may have not had done so; if I wasn’t as bold as I was in delving deep into the blog series for this site. I had been musing and thinking about it for quite some time before February 2019, but little did I know that since that introductory post in early February, my appreciation of music, and my ability to enjoy music not necessarily within the realms and confines of CCM, was all going to change. I was challenged by music artists and genres that I didn’t think I could like, let alone enjoy. Artists like Lifehouse, Avril Lavigne, Pentatonix, John Mayer, SEAL, Jackie Evancho, Sara Bareilles, U2, OneRepublic, Rascal Flatts, Lady A, Sugarland, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, The Corrs, and Carly Rae Jepsen, are just some of the many artists I enjoyed during my time blogging about, in my opinion (and it’s just my opinion), some of the most influential music artists in music history and society. I wrote blog after blog for about just over two years, and finally made the switch after blog post #80 to alter my approach a bit. My brother Josh took over from me and is now writing about blogs #81 – #100 and further discussing influential artists in modern music history- artists like Tim McGraw, Leona Lewis, J. Lo., Gwen Stefani and Spice Girls have been written since I actively left the blog series I was undertaking, and artists like Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, Robbie Williams, Beyonce and Kylie Minogue are still to come.
I, on the other hand, decided to try my hand and relay my own ‘expertise’ in exploring artists who are much more ‘current’ in a way- artists who may not necessarily be influential now as of this moment (but nevertheless, still popular), but will probably be in the upcoming few years ahead. Artists like Tori Kelly, Maddie & Tae, Lindsay Ell, Echosmith, Thomas Rhett, Chris Stapleton, Dami Im, Mandy Harvey, Hunter Hayes, Little Mix, NF and The New Respects, are just some of the 40 artists Josh wrote about…and then everything changed at the end of April. Mutually agreed by both my brother and me, we swapped- Josh is now continuing the blog series about influential artists of all time, and I am trying to at least get my head around influential artists of both now and into the future. While for me it hasn’t really been as easy-going compared to the blog post series that I was a part of for 2-and-a-bit years; I’ve still relished in the challenge of listening to music that stretches me and encourages me to see beyond my own preconceived ideas of music that is produced currently right now. Since writing about John Legend (blog #80 of ‘Influential Artists of All Time’), I’ve delved into ‘new’ and upcoming artists The Shires (who I reckon is one of the most underrated country duo’s ever) and Lucy Thomas (The Voice Kids U.K. finalist, who is arguably one of the most promising voices out there right now, considering she’s only 17 years old now, and 13 when she was competing on the singing competition). Now, I’ve decided to take the plunge again into the depths of the unknown…this time, it’s CCM artist and hopeful mainstream-crossover artist, Riley Clemmons.