Award shows abound, why does today’s Grammies stand out? The celebration tonight occurs despite a rogue policeman, crazy weather, and a newly reinforced dress code (no showing of genitals, side breast, … do we really need to spell it out?). Will Taylor Swift be interrupted again? What will they be wearing? The Rap nominees alone compel a debate…
Who doesn’t like, or love music? Some might debate if the Grammies are still about music… or celebrity? GOOD music transcends our minds and bodies, connecting to each hearer on a personal level. GREAT music inspires us to be better than ourselves, be at peace, exercise/work harder, or create…. It can even change our outlook or mood.
American Idol, X Factor, The Voice, America’s Got Talent, …. All series pay homage to the success of the participants, and the adulation of millions of Americans. Trends in sales dictate reason and pursuit… many entire demographics reject a musical genre because of lyrics, others embrace it.
There are dozens of millionaires made with graphic anger provoking immediate response of the listeners. Violence, murder, rape, the use of F*+(&@# … are no longer edgy. But is that the only way to be economically feasible?
On the other side of the spectrum is the Contemporary Christian movement. This music is hardly recognizable for those that are fans of Beverly Shay or Bill Gaither’s Gospel Tour. One can listen to the contemporary music without receiving a hard core preaching assault, or even a conviction. It’s just great music that won’t insult your sensibilities!
It is still RAP, hip hop, rock, metal, latin, gospel, blues, R&B …. and easy listening. It’s evolved from Amy Grant and Michael W Smith in the 80’s to a force that needs to be reckoned with. Every genre that has a category listed can be found within the Contemporary Christian artists. If my students are any indication (4 bands per year…), the need to expand is ever increasing.
Want to sample, or create a playlist? Check out Interlinc or 1 of the other services.. they can be a great source for giving you band ideas. Even a few American Idol winners can be found within the demographic (Jason Castro, Mandissa,..) reinforcing that the country’s popular vote reflects the upswing.
Still Not familiar? Try a listen to 2013’s winners: Toby MAC and LeCrae. 2 wonderful artists in their own right. They might even be BETTER than their secular counterparts. They are unique, in that, they have not comprised character and values for the mere $. Catchy tunes with inspirational lyrics have earned them beyond platinum! Cincinnati can even catch Toby MAC on February 22nd at Winter Jam 2013!!
Don’t think your kids or coworkers will listen? Never know until you try! Other highly successful offerings that stick “on message” without compromise: Skillet (Platinum in 2012), Switchfoot, RED, The Newsboys, … Routinely crossing over on the secular stage, a number performing on late night TV (from David Letterman to Jay Leno to Jimmy Kimmel).
Maybe you’ll watch, or pass on the Grammies…. It’s great to see a certain group, Contemporary Christian Music ever expands it’s hold on the effort to elevate our souls with music! Will the next generation be inspired by violence and immodest language? Or can they still be shown better options are available?
As the economy continues to struggle, record sales/downloads still need great attention to gain market share. The Contemporary Christian genre is expanding and is generating massive sales. Music executives need to take note=opportunities do still abound, not just where you may typically have thought. Pursue more of these Contemporary Christian artists, the fans abound, and there are millions to be made!!