Tag Archives: momentous mondays

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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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 69: HOOBASTANK

It’s been quite some time since I started this blog series- February 2019 was the month that I decided to delve into the realms of music that at that time, was relatively unknown to me. Because apart from the CCM that I have enjoyed throughout my whole high school years and well into university, it wasn’t until 2019 where I realised that the mainstream music industry wasn’t as ‘evil’ as I once fleetingly thought it was. Dunno where I thought this thing that mainstream music = bad, CCM = good; but alas, I did think these things. And it wasn’t until 2019 where I realised that God being God can speak through anything- even mainstream music, and that mainstream music, can still impact and challenge, inspire and bring healing and hope, just as much as CCM. I delved into a myriad of different artists over the last year or so– from Backstreet Boys, Tina Arena, The Corrs, Rascal Flatts, Lady A and Shania Twain, to John Mayer, Goo Goo Dolls, Hanson, Alicia Keys, Sheryl Crow, Adele, Jewel, John Farnham and Sara Bareilles, to name a few. And it was in me listening to these artists that wouldn’t necessarily wear the label ‘Christian’, that I’ve found a few things out- that artists like these, as nuanced, heartfelt, emotive and poignant as these artists and songs can be, what I’ve understood is that they themselves can also discuss and talk about things and issues prevalent and relevant to the heart of God too, even if they themselves don’t know it yet. For if God can use Balaam’s donkey to speak to Balaam in the Old Testament (Numbers 22:21 – 39), then God can surely use mainstream music to bring people closer to each other and closer to Himself in the process. And it is a reminder of how complex music really is- there’s literally genres for everyone. Pop, CCM, worship, rock, rap, hip-hop, gospel, country, musical theatre, jazz, folk, classical, blues, R&B, Soul, EDM, punk, reggae, ambient music…you get the picture right? And all these genres are valid, and all are necessary to relate to people. And in some way, all these genres are used by the Lord, to allow people to see inside themselves and make the changes necessary for them to come to terms with their own mortality, and realise their own need for God and all things eternal. But enough of my own musings…you’ve come to read my next blog, right, not some ramblings of someone realising that mainstream music is just as much needed in society as Christian music. So without further ado, my next artist I’m about to discuss for the length of this blog will be…those guys who wrote the song ‘The Reason’ a long time ago. What’s their name again…yeah, it’s those guys who wrote ‘The Reason’. No, seriously, isn’t their name, ‘The Reason’-guys? So enough of my own tongue-in-cheek introduction to the band Hoobastank, but seriously, and all gaffes aside. Let me be real for a second.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 68: MISSY HIGGINS

Australian music has always had a tug at my heart for quite a while now. Maybe it’s because of the authenticity and realness that a lot of Aussies have in general, that I find that to come through in a lot of the music released by Aussies over the years, or maybe it’s just because Australian music is just underrated, and I’m finding that out now. Or maybe it’s because that in a general scheme of things, Australian music isn’t necessarily the most popular or even the most championed out of every other music there is, and thus I as naturally as I am, tend to always advocate for the underdog, and Australian music is just the underdog in a lot of these situations…whatever the case, I’ve been listening to a lot of Australian music recently. From artists like Guy Sebastian, Delta Goodrem, Vanessa Amorosi, Natalie Imbruglia and John Farnham, to Rebecca St. James, For KING AND COUNTRY, Tina Arena, Newsboys, Hillsong and Keith Urban; Australian music has been on my radar for the last year and a half, and while I myself would never have guessed that I’d write so much about Australian artists way back in February 2019 when I started this blogging post series, here I am, in October 2020, and have discovered that sometimes the music of your home country resonates with you, far greater and more than any other music from any other country on the globe. I know that is certainly true of me over this last year and a half- artists like Delta, Guy, for KING AND COUNTRY, even Hillsong recently and the ever-reliable Newsboys, have all reminded myself that sometimes in life, what you can grab onto that is synonymous with the culture of your country (in my own case, the qualities of mateship, camaraderie, having a fair-go, the down-to-earth-ness and the joyous nature that most Aussies share with each other) is what gives us hope that some of the songs written by quite possibly some of the most underrated in modern music, can seep deep within our souls and speak to us on a heart-to-heart level, in a way that maybe only God Himself can communicate. For I’ve long been assumed (not sure how or why I even thought this) that if you’re from the U.S., or if you’re relocated from your country of origin and have moved to the U.S. and you’re making it big over there, then your music is worth listening to, and if you’re not, then…well, next? I know, such a funny, funny assumption to make, and over the years, this has been shattered by the fact that as I’ve heard more and more Australian artists (who haven’t really made it in terms of American standards), I’ve realised that their music is good, maybe even just as so, compared to the artists of America. And herein lies the point, that Australian music, as evidenced within the last year and a bit, will continue to be held in high regard for me, because this is the country that I grew up in, and no matter what other musical genre I listen to, or what other music artist from around the world that I connect to, there’s nothing better than to listen to an artist from the country you were raised in, and hear some of the heartfelt struggles, hopes, dreams and passions that they have expressed in their music, and realise, that maybe, just maybe, you connect with some of the music as well.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 67: LITTLE BIG TOWN

Sometimes I wonder why it often takes something drastic around the world to make us all look more inward, appreciating things like family and friends, especially during such a difficult time in 2020 around the world because of COVID-19. I mean, to put it in a blunt way, why did it have to take a global pandemic like COVID-19 to make us all ponder, think and wonder, to better our relationships with our family, to realise that we don’t need as much as we think we do, to understand the importance of friendships, to entertain the idea that maybe, just maybe, we shouldn’t be as involved with technology as maybe we were prior? I know, very blunt and crude in my own assumptions, that such a pandemic like COVID-19 makes us realise things about ourselves and others that maybe we just haven’t realised before…but I’ve realised that that indeed is very much true. I know for me, during this time of quarantining and isolation, of having a break from work and using the time to connect more with people around me, I’ve realised a few things. That over these last few months, it is often things like TV shows, music and movies, that often get us through difficult times and struggles, be it in the form of an escapist TV show, a movie about superheroes, or even a favourite album from a favourite artist that speaks to you, both when the album was recorded and released, and even now. Music I reckon, has the power to change lives from the drop of a hat- you hear a song that just hits your soul, and from then on, you’re not really the same. A song that challenges your preconceptions and misunderstandings about this and that. It is in these songs, and the artists that sing them where I’ve started to write about. Not necessarily the most popular artists (the ones that have so many accolades, but alas, songs that don’t necessarily tug at the soul, but rather just give us a cool beat), but it is the influential ones, that artists that may be popular, but also could be under-the-radar as well, that have really challenged my own views of society as a whole, especially during this COVID-19 2020 year.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 66: CARLY RAE JEPSEN

Never in my life did I actually think that I’d write a blog like this. There. I said it. Frankly, it wasn’t even until a few weeks ago did I actually ponder about my blog series as a whole. Was I actually writing about these artists for a year and a half because they were actually influential, both in my very own life and the life of others, or was it on the basis that it was assumed to be influential, even without me listening to the artist? Because more often than not, a lot of these blogs that I wrote throughout this year, were about artists where I’d listen to them almost the very week of. Yeah, poor planning I know, but one thing struck out to me as something I should think and ponder about…was there an unseen assumption that certain artists are influential and certain artists are popular, and was I playing into that assumption? I’ve written 65 blogs so far in this series, and as I glance through who I’ve written about (and who I haven’t), there’s one big striking omission (be it intentional or not, I’m not entirely sure), that I can’t ignore- the absence of female-driven pop. I mean sure, there’s pop in a sense that it is pop-rock or pop-country or just pop-_____ (fill in the blank) on my list: see artists like Delta Goodrem, Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson, Amy Grant, Mandy Moore, Natalie Imbruglia, Vanessa Amorosi and Colbie Caillat, and you can see that there isn’t necessarily a lack of females on my list investing their music within the pop sonic space, but there is a lack of female representatives in pop in the sense of the dance-pop variety. And herein lies the point. I used to think that pop in the very sense of the word- the 1D pop that is flooding the airwaves since…well, ever; shouldn’t really have a place on my list, whatsoever.

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Momentous Mondays: Influential artists of the next 5-10 years – Week 32: Maddie & Tae

It’s been about 6 months since the start of COVID-19. So let’s just let that sink in for a little bit. No. No, that’s not right. Let me backtrack. COVID-19 has been around a whole lot longer than since March 2020. It’s just that that was when the effects of the virus and the impact it had on a global scale was much more significant, magnified, and prevalent. The past while till now has been a journey, albeit an unrelenting and a hard-hitting one, but nevertheless a journey. And in that journey- throughout the whole entire time that I have been at home, at work, talking to people at work, friends over Zoom, just generally to my family, and as I’ve been watching the news and checking out my social media; the one thing that is common that I have heard is the people want to get back to ‘normal’. As if it is something to aspire to be, to travel towards. Like ‘oh, hey we’ve caught the last of COVID-19, there’s none of it anymore’, then everyone rejoices and then life goes on like it did in 2019. I think that’s how some of us romanticise the end of COVID-19 (which may or may not eventuate that way!); yet I firmly believe that by hoping that the virus goes away (which theoretically can only happen when there is a working vaccine available to the general worldwide population at an affordable price!) we are in fact wishing away our life. in a blunt, crude term, that’s what we’re doing.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 65: JOHN FARNHAM

Longevity is hard to come by, especially in music. I dunno if you’ve seen a pattern, but what I’ve seen is this- for an average career in music, you’d get pretty much a decade. A decade of radio hits, of albums that hit a niche market…mind you, it’d be less if you’re only ‘ok’ and then if you’re competing in a digital space and medium where there’s heightened competition, or more if you’re really, really good and your music actually speaks for itself. And in the context of Australia, artists have either come and gone, or they’ve stayed for quite some time, delivering great songs to people over the years. And usually it’s pretty hard to know from the get-go if this artist is going to make it big or not. Nevertheless, even though as a whole, Australian artists don’t necessarily get as much exposure to the international market compared to artists from other countries; there is still a big pool to choose from if you’re looking for Australian artists to listen to and want to branch out into music from artists not from the U S of A. Artists like Delta Goodrem, Guy Sebastian, The McClymonts, Missy Higgins, Daryl Braithwaite, Jessica Mauboy, Kasey Chambers, Slim Dusty, Ricki-Lee Coulter, Natalie Imbruglia, Tina Arena, Marcia Hines, Newsboys, for KING AND COUNTRY, Rebecca St. James and Kylie Minogue, are just some of the many artists from Australia that have had varying degrees of success over the years. And while a lot of music at the moment is very much America-based, we must not forget that music can still be good and not be from America…shudder to think, right? Because honestly, if we get most of our movies and TV shows from America, then surely the music from America is the best, right? Not necessarily.

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Momentous Mondays: Influential artists of the next 5-10 years – Week 31: Cassadee Pope

I have a confession to make. This blog, while the music and songs have been enjoyable and impacting and inspirational, has been one of the hardest I’ve ever had to write. Not because I don’t have anything to say. Not in the slightest. Because country singer Cassadee Pope has had an interesting road to stardom. The lead singer of her rock band Hey Monday, as well as competing on the Voice and winning in 2012, then becoming a solo artist (country/pop- way, way, different to what she was doing before!)- there is so much to write about and convey to you all. However, whether consciously or subconsciously, I’ve tried to come up with a ‘perfect’ introduction for this blog. I’m not sure why- the other blogs I’ve written about before, I’ve just typed, and out comes a story or an anecdote. Usually the brief short pearl or pearls of wisdom ties into the artist’s life or their belief or maybe a line in one of my favourite songs of said artists. Writing an introduction for many previous artists I’ve written about, wasn’t tedious, strenuous and tiresome. Yet for this blog about Cassadee Pope– maybe I has reached saturation point in terms of blogs. Perhaps I was just tired in terms of how I was feeling on the day. But this blog introduction, was something that I had been trying to figure out in my head for some time- I just couldn’t work out how to start this blog. You know how they say that first impressions is key. Well I feared that my first impression on Cassadee Pope wouldn’t be adequate and wouldn’t justify her inclusion on my list of ‘up-and-coming influential artists of the next 5-10 years’!

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