Tag Archives: momentous mondays

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.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 46: HILLSONG WORSHIP, HILLSONG UNITED, HILLSONG YOUNG & FREE

I don’t know what your stance is, on this conglomerate of a megachurch called Hillsong. Everyone would have their own opinion. Including me. People may feel like Hillsong have harmed the community and society in general more so than they have wanted, more so than the good that they profess they want to do, and so, Hillsong is a word that brings up a lot of guilt, shame, hurt, anger and disappointment in some people. Others may swear by it, declare that Hillsong in all its music and sermons, are the best they’ve heard and seen in years, and may only listen to Hillsong Music (Worship, UNITED and Y&F) and will only listen to Brian and Bobbie Houston preach, alongside their ministry team. Again others would also think of Hillsong as a decent worship band, but in the grand scheme of things, they may think of their sermons as being too structured and ‘religious’, too leaning on prosperity doctrine that they may still listen to music from Hillsong, but just listen to someone else for their sermon ‘fill’- besides there are many pastors and international speakers out there, from Louie Giglio, Andy Stanley, Francis Chan and Levi Lusko, to Ravi Zacharias, Brad Jones, Erwin McManus, Beth Moore, Christine Caine and Nick Vujicic, to name a few. And so herein, lies the point: that Hillsong in all its facets and nuances, in all its attempts to do right, and how at many times there’s been instances and occurrences where people may think they’re intentionally doing wrong; in all of that, Hillsong have continued to plough through, at least musically, to create a catalogue of musical albums across three different distinct outlets to create a worship ministry that has been delivering powerful songs and heartfelt melodies all the way from the start with songs like ‘Shout to the Lord’ and ‘The Power of Your Love’, to the most recent with ‘King of Kings’, ‘Good Grace’ and ‘Another in the Fire’. We may all have opinions as to their validity in society today, and whether they are truly as important, influential and impactful as what people also say as well. And regardless where we all stand on the ‘love for Hillsong’ spectrum, one thing cannot be denied- their songs nevertheless, have an emotion and heartfelt poignancy about them that, for me personally, rivals only that of Chris Tomlin and Casting Crowns, as they (Hillsong Worship, Hillsong UNITED and Hillsong Young & Free (Y&F)) give to us songs that can touch and move our spirits, especially in this time and place in the world today. Say all we want about Brian and his Hillsong ministry, but much of the discographies of these three incarnations of Hillsong, are touching people’s lives around the world. Just maybe, it’s only going to be a matter of time before the songs touch yours as well.

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Momentous Mondays: Influential artists of the next 5-10 years – Week 18: Little Mix

Justin, living in Australia wanted to go on a holiday. He booked a holiday for June over the phone for Christchurch New Zealand, but also booked via the internet for Wellington just in case his credit card details weren’t written down word for word by the clerk on the other end of the phone. He then packed his suitcase full of woolly jumpers and jackets as he heard that the weather was cold, snowing and windy but also packed his trunks and swimmers just in case he wanted to swim in the Cook Strait, if the weather was up to it. He installed burglar alarms the month before leaving, just in case the 40 he already had were faulty and he had to buy some more. He also enlisted his friend to take care of the place for him, and bought a black Doberman to guard his house as well, just in case his friend was unreliable. He then packed his laptop as well his i-Pad just in case he wanted to use one more over the other. He also paid for Foxtel in his hotel rooms in New Zealand just in case he wanted to watch the England vs Australia Ashes series on TV. He disconnected his SIM card from his international mobile phone as he didn’t want people to disturb him, but also bought another phone with international roaming just in case he changed his mind. And finally, perturbed by the possibility of another Cyclone Larry, or another Bali Bombing that could occur in NZ, he decided to cancel the much-anticipated holiday, just in case.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 45: CHRIS TOMLIN

‘…the thing I’m most proud of is the songs that find their way in the church. I don’t know if any of them will last down the way, but what I do strive for is playing a song people can sing. I love that songs find their way on the radio, as well. I think it can be both. I was pushing for that years ago and I just kept being turned down when I’d sing songs to radio. They were like, “We don’t play worship songs.” I sent “Forever” and I sent “Enough,” and “Famous One,” and they just didn’t get any traction. There wasn’t this cohesion between what was happening in the church and what was happening on the radio. But now it’s completely shifted. So I’m not trying to write a pop song that lasts for three months. I really want to write things that find their way into church…’ I guess everyone has their role within the music industry- both mainstream and Christian alike. U2 have always been the go-to band to listen to if you want to hear something brutally honest, something blunt, or as a matter-of-fact. Switchfoot would be a band to check out if you love music that teeters on the edge of faith-based songs, and songs that challenge the status quo and aren’t afraid to speak about issues that may be a bit touchy in the society in which we live. Rascal Flatts and Lady Antebellum both bring that country-music flair and flavour to the table, while an artist like Skililet serves the cravings of hard rock by anyone who wants to hear songs that are just head-banging and rocking. Backstreet Boys and One Direction have this boy-band thing happening that has its appeal in the market they have inserted themselves into, while you can never forget an artist like Josh Groban, incorporating pop and opera into a fusion-of-genres, something that seems to a little bit underappreciated in a world where straight-up pop seems to be the way to go. Now here we are, in April 2020. Easter is approaching- the biggest day in the calendar for people who profess to be of the Christian faith (of which I am), and upon looking at my blog list, and glancing over the last 44 artists I have delved into thus far, one thing is common- I have yet to tackle an artist whose music is heavily focused upon the genre of music titled ‘worship music’- if ever worship is a genre to begin with.

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Momentous Mondays: Influential artists of the next 5-10 years – Week 17: Lauren Alaina

I think my favorite artists are honest artists and as a songwriter, that’s what you have to do. You have to be willing to put yourself out there in a really vulnerable way. I really wrote the album accidentally [laughs]. I wrote it to make myself feel better and process what I was going through. When it was time to put the album together, it had kind of written itself because I had a collection of songs that told my story and kind of reintroduced me. Which I think is super important for someone like me, coming from a TV show — people don’t really get to know who you are as an artist on something like that because you’re doing cover songs. You’re showcasing your personality and things like that more than the artistry. It was six years ago, which is crazy for me to even say, but I wanted people to know where I’ve been and what’s changed about me. That’s the thing with the music business is, I’m on stage a lot and I’m in front of people, but they don’t know me unless I tell them who I am. It can be a really lonely business. [On Idol], we never talked about my dad’s alcoholism, we never talked about my eating disorder — I felt like my life was a big secret and I just couldn’t do that anymore. I needed to free myself from secrets, and this album [Road Less Travelled] helped me do that.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 44: ONE DIRECTION

How long do you reckon someone needs to be within the music industry for them to be influential or impactful to people of generations old and young? Do you have to be within the realms of music for ages and ages like U2 and release years upon years of chart-topping songs, or can you just be a year in your career, someone like Billie Eilish or Lewis Capaldi, and still have an impact on music and/or society as a whole? Well, I guess the truth is…I don’t really think it matters how long you’re in the music industry- 2 years or 20 years. What matters, I reckon, is the artist’s ability to create music of a nature that is able to inspire, impact, affect people, challenge societies, give hope and become a catalyst for positive change- if the song does that, regardless of how old the artist is (or maybe in artists like Billie Eilish’s case, how young the artist is!), then they are in for stardom quicker than anyone can ever believe. The trick is to maintain that grounding- physically, spiritually, psychologically and mentality, when you’re constantly under the microscope of the media, 24/7. The pressure can sometimes get to you, just understanding the full gravity of how outside people are always looking at you to see if you can slip up in your performances in any way. The stage is set, and people, no matter how kind or good-natured they can be, are often passing judgement, unintentionally, I’m sure. Nevertheless, more often recently, artists have been coming to the table which is ‘the industry’ younger and younger, and frankly, there seems to be a ‘throwing-out’ of these artists on a regular basis, as well. So to come back to my original question- preferably I reckon artists need to have a few albums underneath their belt for them to be called ‘influential’- otherwise anything less, I believe, is often framed as a ‘fad-of-the-times’- harsh but true.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 43: LECRAE

I’ve never been in a box. It’s really the irony of it, but publicly I didn’t realize how much of a box I was in. Personally, I was able to navigate in a million different spaces, but I remember [author/theologian] Christena Cleveland challenged me by saying I was an evangelical mascot. I said, “Wow, is that really how I’m perceived?” When I saw that, it really made me do some internal soul searching and say, “Wow, I didn’t realize that was the perception.” I had to ask friends. I was in the dark. By placating people so often in certain circles, you’re viewed as an advocate. If you hang out at the biker club so many times, people will say, “He’s a biker.” I’m way more complex and nuanced than that. It’s not to say that I hate that world or anything like that; I have great friends over there and everywhere. Now I’m just content with saying I’m just a follower of Jesus. That’s it. I don’t belong in any camp. I guess to drive it home for me, it’s not being worried if I disappoint the box people thought I was in in the first place. Because it’s like, “Oh, you’re hanging out with this person? You must be liberal. No, wait. Why are you hanging out with this person? Are you conservative?” It’s like, “No, because I’m nuanced and complex and I like both of them.” I’m not going to worry about the way people perceive me because if you meet me you’ll say, “Oh, OK, I didn’t realize that there was this lane in the middle here that people could run in.” But that’s what you’re going to have to deal with.

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Momentous Mondays: Influential artists of the next 5-10 years – Week 16: Demi Lovato

Demetria Devonne Lovato, or Demi Lovato as she is known by her fans, friends and the general public. A future star in the 2000’s, she was thrust into the spotlight at a very young age. Fame at a very young age can make you or break you- it can destroy and warp a person’s psyche beyond belief and beyond reparation, and while we all may be laughing and just shrugging off the effects of fame and the pressure of always being watched as something that comes as part of the package of being a role model for young kids; let me tell you that the long lasting effects of not having much of a childhood can be closer than we all can imagine, fathom and comprehend. In 2018 Demi Lovato had an overdose on drugs. The type of drugs were irrelevant- the fact was that in July 2018 in the middle of her Tell Me You Love Me World tour, she was fighting for her life, broken beyond comprehension and stifled by what she later described as a toxic management relationship. I’m not sure if you know this about me, but I’m not the one to speak ill about anybody especially without any proof or tangible evidence, but when the evidence presented before me is Demi fighting for her life way back in 2018 and her revealing interview with Ashley Graham in 2020 about her plight; well then that gets very real and scary. Truth be told, I wasn’t really much of a Demi Lovato fan, but right now as of this moment, I am definitely a Lovatic. Not to the extent of camping outside of a concert line for hours and hours and hours- that’s crazy talk, however after investigation into Demi’s story and her songs and her passion for making the world a better place; I can definitely say that the world needs to sit up and take notice of this emotional and powerful singer.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 42: LADY ANTEBELLUM

Have you realised that the more and more you try to explore something there’s more and more to discover, and you find out that there’s more that you know that you don’t really know at all? Let me explain for a bit. If you haven’t been around regularly on our website 365DaysofInspiringMedia.com since last year, then let me tell you this- we’ve decided to undertake a series that is bold to say the least, unique and challenging, and a chance to explore music that we as a site may not initially check out from the get-go. Yes, we’ve decided to write a list of our own- 100 Influential Artists of All Time, 50 Up-and-Coming Artists, and 30 Classic Artists, each entry and post discussing a band/artist from one of these categories as we delve deep into the artist, their songs and what it means not only in our lives, but in terms of shaping music, culture and society as a whole. And about a year in, our site has unpacked a lot of artists and their music- from Josh Groban, Avril Lavigne, Casting Crowns, for KING AND COUNTRY, Switchfoot, Rascal Flatts, Tina Arena and Carman, to Maren Morris, Selena Gomez, Zach Williams, Matthew West, Echosmith, Marc Martel and Rachel Platten; this site has been stretched, in a good way, in relation to music and what we believe are such music that have shaped culture to a point where God Himself has shown up in a lot of these songs and has changed our own perceptions about what we believe inspirational and uplifting, challenging and thought-provoking music to be or even to look like. Which brings me to yet another artist I’m about to discuss and delve into today- Lady Antebellum. And yes, you guessed it- another country artist/band. You scratch your head and wonder- why haven’t you discussed a lot of country artists before? Yes, yes I have- artists like Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts, The McClymonts, Faith Hill and Martina McBride have all been artists that I have decided to deem worthy of being within the confines of the top 100 influential list, and maybe, just maybe, I’m becoming more and more biased towards country than I was when I first started this blog series. And maybe that’s ok.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 41: GUY SEBASTIAN

I don’t know where you were in the world and what was happening in your life when the year was 2003. I mean, that was 17 years ago, and if I can’t remember sometimes what I did or where I was even last year, then I guess 17 years ago will be a bit of a stretch. But let me refresh your memory about what was happening around that time in the history of…well, everything. Australia won the Cricket World Cup against India by more than 100 runs, while Steve Waugh stopped the news at 6pm on day 1 of the Sydney Test in early 2003 against England, the 5th Test in the Ashes Series that was won 4-1, as he reached a personal milestone of scoring a century within a session. England defeated Australia in extra time in the Rugby World Cup final, while Andre Agassi, Rodger Federer and Andy Roddick won the Australian Open, Wimbeldon and the U.S. Open of 2003, respectively. Arnold Schwarzenegger was sworn in as the Governor of California in November, movies like Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Matrix Reloaded (and Matrix Revolutions), Finding Nemo, Love Actually, Mystic River, Daredevil, Bend It Like Beckham, Anger Management, Freaky Friday, Mona Lisa Smile, School of Rock and Secondhand Lions, all were unveiled during the year of 2003, while the top honours of Best Movie of 2003 at the Oscars was handed to, rightly so, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Long-running teen drama TV show Dawson’s Creek ended in May 2003, while another teen drama was unveiled on TV in September, One Tree Hill. Switchfoot (The Beautiful Letdown), Newsboys (Adoration), Skillet (Collide), Steven Curtis Chapman (All About Love), Delirious? (World Service), Mandy Moore (Coverage), Train (My Private Nation), Kelly Clarkson (Thankful), Evanescence (Fallen), Delta Goodrem (Innocent Eyes) and Martina McBride (Martina), to name a few; were all actively releasing music in 2003, while we saw major events happen in that particular year as well, from the invasion of Iraq by the U.S. on March 19th, to the release of the predecessor of Facebook, Facesmash, in October 2003. All in all, 2003 was a busy year indeed for a lot of people that have lived it, or can remember it at all. But one thing that I reckon that may have been overlooked by a lot of people who can remember 2003 and all the joys and sorrows that particular year brought to them, is this: Australian Idol debut. Yes the inaugural competition found its way to Australia, and based on the UK format of Pop Idol, this competition, in its many country forms, has swept the globe and has become the catalyst of many careers being kickstarted in music by this singing competition. And so what was the direct result of the first season of Australian Idol, to ever be considered as being a pivotal moment in not only Australian history but history for the entire world? Well, the crowning of singer-songwriter Guy Sebastian as the winner of Australian Idol, Season 1, of course!

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