We live in a very different society today than the one I grew up in in the not-too-distant past… Things that were taboo and wrong are now celebrated, and things that were once considered “the norm” are now becoming shameful. No commentary, just an observation. When I got the cross tattoo on my wrist, a friend’s first reaction was, “Wow! That’s brave.”. Perhaps it’s because of these growing societal pressures that I’ve been nervous about declaring certain things about myself. It’s not that I’ve really tried to hide from this, it’s just that I haven’t exactly come right out and defined my artistic self as this…
How do I get through my days
Don’t give in to my wicked ways
Stay positive through troubling times
Take a sad thought and make it rhyme
Stay up with my kids though my pillow is calling
Walk straight ahead without tripping or falling?
I couldn’t do all these things on my own
Time and again, I have been shown…
It’s my Higher Power, God living through me
My Higher Power, that’s who you see
Whenever I’ve done something that earns me fame
To my Higher Power, direct your praise.
That was the poem I wrote that was on the sleeve of my first professional demo, Snapshot. It was completed in 2010, (I told you I’ve been at this music thing for a while!) and was a 3-song Country demo. By that time, I had shifted my focus away from Praise & Worship to, what I believed, was a more commercially viable Country market. (You can easily deduce how well that particular avenue panned out for me.) This was just the first of many steps away from making God an obviously central part of the music I write.
Part of being an artist, like everything else in life, is figuring out where you fit in and who you are. It’s taken me 10 years to figure out that I really don’t fit any defined mold that exists today. This has made my musical journey a little difficult, to say the least! Are you pop/rock? Sort of. Contemporary Christian/Praise & Worship? Sometimes. Rock? Blues? Country? Depends on the song. I’ve learned to embrace the suffix, “ish“. Add it to the end of any of those categories and it works to describe any given song I write.
(So, how does such an eclectic mash-up get marketed? I’ll let you know when I figure it out… I refer you to my previous post for a more in-depth look at how I handle life’s more difficult questions.)
One thing that has remained constant throughout my musical self-discovery is the inclusion of God. It became more subtle for a while, but He’s the reason I’m doing this in the first place, and I feel like I’ve come full-circle. I had to explore those alternative musical paths so that I could choose the one that led me back to where I started… Contemporary Christian. Mine may be a different flavor, but at the core of everything I’ve written is a journey towards, or a dependence upon God.
So, in case you’ve missed it in the previous posts, I’m officially “coming out” as a Christian artist. No more innuendo; this is who I am. In the midst of a cultural upheaval where we as a nation are struggling with our identity, I am firmly and irrevocably declaring that I am God’s.
As an artist, I will lend my voice only to declaring God’s love for everyone. You don’t get much more inclusive than, “God so loved the world”, so that’s my model. I am not so arrogant as to believe that on any given issue, I have all the answers or that my opinions can’t possibly be wrong, so I will keep them to myself and stick to the broader message… God loves us all and wants to have a relationship with us. I will gladly discuss that with anyone. Let’s just keep the politics out of it.
Lots of Love,