Tag Archives: hip hop

MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 95: BEYONCÉ

Not too long ago, the Dove Award nominations released. For those of you familiar with Christian music, and for those who have read our site since the inception back in 2014; I’m sure you’ll all believe me when I say that throughout the past few years, both myself and my brother Jon have always eagerly anticipated the Dove Award nominations every year. We’ve even written predictions for these awards on this site here, here and here (2017, 2018 and 2019); as well as our analysis of winners and nominations here and here (both 2014). But for those of you who are unfamiliar with the Dove Awards though, let’s just say that it’s like the Christian version of the Grammy Awards. It’s probably the most prestigious award show in the history of CCM music. And being that Jon and myself basically grew up solely on Christian music, the time of the year when nominations of the Dove Awards roll around is always nostalgic and sentimental to us. Even though of late, we have mostly read the nominations and shrugged our shoulders and rolled our eyes and written our own fantasy ‘fake’ lists. And it’s just because over the past few years The Dove Awards’ nominations have been somewhat spot on but somewhat off the mark at the same time. Yet… guess what? We always come back to these lists, and we always are eager to see the same things over and over and over again. And I reckon it’s what most of us (lovers of mainstream music as well!) do anyways, in a broader sense. We see these award shows nominate the same people year after year after year; and we’re still a sucker to watch them. And the Dove Awards nominations this year actually was a catalyst for me to ask the question… of why is that so? Why do we watch awards shows even when we know what’s going to happen? I’ve been thinking about how ingrained we all are in our likes and dislikes, even though we sometimes are indifferent to them as well. And it seems to me that with award shows with the biggest celebrities, we latch onto these events and spectacles like church services, and we hang onto the words of our biggest idols like they’re God. We elevate our role models like they’re perfect, and even if we know that award shows are like a popularity contest and that the nominations may not reflect in totality if these actors or musicians or artists actually have any talent or even have anything worthwhile to say; we’ve fallen into the trap that they’re still the best thing the world has to offer. And it’s because… I don’t know, actually. We love living vicariously and vivaciously through people, and it’s easier to be persuaded and encouraged to love someone who is popular and has nothing much to say than to be really invested in someone influential with something to say. If you think about most of these 100 artists we’ve written about in this blog series, from artists like Keith Urban, Pentatonix, Skillet, Jason Gray and Carly Rae Jepsen, to John Mayer, Carrie Underwood, Owl City, Train and Hanson… is it likely or probable that the majority of them would be present as a nominee, presenter or performer at a major awards show like the Grammys or The American Music Awards or The Billboard Music Awards or The MTV Video Music Awards? Yes? No? Yeah, I reckon it’s probably not. And that’s not a reflection on the talent and prowess of the artists in question I’ve blogged about… it’s just the way the music industry is these days. Popular artists sell and influential artists do not.

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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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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 51: ALICIA KEYS

As I reflect upon the 50 blogs I have written so far in my journey of exploring a myriad of musical genres and understanding that regardless of genre, God Himself can use whatever, whomever, and whichever, to show people things about themselves that maybe need to be addressed, or even show people things about Himself that people indeed need to address as well; I’ve come to realise a few things. One things for certain, I don’t know much about music that I initially thought I did coming into this experimental project. I was humbled, in a good way. I delved into the genres of country, exploring the likes of Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood and Shania Twain, to name a few, who have made a tremendous impact on today’s society and music in general, while I also dived deep down into the unknown with the realisation that rap/hip-hop wasn’t as scary as I initially thought, with the exploration of Christian hip-hop (CHH) crossover icon Lecrae. I immersed myself into the pioneers of CCM in artists like DC Talk, Steven Curtis Chapman, Carman and Michael W. Smith; while also taking to the artists that themselves have had quite a big of success in both CCM and mainstream- Switchfoot, Skillet and needtobreathe. Now here I am about to move into my 51st post (wow, already more than ½ way in my journey through this list- then it’s off to the timeless ones!), and I realise this- that the more you don’t know about a certain particular genre, or a certain artist, or the more you realise you don’t know about the things that you don’t know, you start to develop a bit of a hunger to know, to understand, to travel deep within the crevices and cracks of whatever genre you are discovering next, and realise that every musical genre out there, no matter how foreign it may be to you, will still impact someone in the world on their journey in life.

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