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Six “Christian Artists” You Need To Know

Decypher Down-I got to do photography and co-interview them for my internship at a Christian Radio Station
Decypher Down-I got to do photography and co-interview them for my internship at a Christian Radio Station

You’re probably thinking, “Why did you put Christian Artist in quotations?” I just think it’s weird to be categorized as a Christian artist. It almost makes it sound as if you aren’t Christian enough [that’s no such thing!] if you’re not marketing directly toward the Contemporary Christian Music realm. In my little ole’ opinion, there are so many unique “Christian artists” that don’t get airtime on Christian radio for either marketing purposes or radios don’t pick them up. I have a lot of theories for why they don’t get picked up, but I’ll just share my favorite theory.

One: most Christian radio stations are listener supported. What does that mean? That means that listeners fund the station. No support, no station. So, who is their target audience? People who like music yes, but mainly the target audience is moms. Moms want their kids to listen to music that’s wholesome and Christ-centered (amen!). And moms generally have a little extra income to support something that impacts their family directly. And that’s great! I’m thankful for you moms!

Now, before people say, “Mary, why are you hatin’ on these moms?” I most certainly am not blaming moms for the lack of diversity on CCM stations. I’m blaming the Contemporary Christian Music industry. Y’all give these moms some street cred, bruh. They ride deep. I promise if you play something other than the same G, C, D, E/F# chord progression they’ll love it. For instance, it took forever, but finally fresh artists like Rend Collective Experiment, Audrey Assad, and All Sons & Daughters are getting some airtime. And trust me on this one, if mom’s can handle RCE’s Flogging Molly stick? Jumping Jacks? Jingling Johnny, they can handle these next six artists.

Here’s a list of artists that even though they aren’t getting played on the radio, you need to check them out. Why? Because missing out on musicians like Lecrae because the owner of a station doesn’t know who he is is just plain wrong [TRUE STORY]. It’s straight up gospel of Jesus Christ doe….

  • {ONE} 1-1-6 Clique: There are some stations that will play Lecrae, but overall the only hip-hip heard on Christian Radio is Toby Mac. I’m not hating. I’m juuuuust sayiinnnn. Check out Lecrae, Tedashi, and Trip Lee for sure. **Click on their names to open up a YouTube video of my favorites from each person.
  • {TWO} Page CXVI: If you grew up singing hymns, you’ll love this band. Actually, I didn’t grow up listening to hymns, and I love the way this band has revamped old hymns. So good. I have almost every one of their CDs. Hymns are some of my favorite, most doctrinally sound worship music to listen to. It’s a different feel than most modern worship songs that tend to focus on self, or emotions, and not on exalting Christ. So, check these people out!
  • {THREE} Brooks Ritter: His voice though… It has such a deep, rich texture to it. I love his EP with Sojourn called The War. It was not a miss at all. His rendition of Rock of Ages is one of my favorites. I also really like “Good Day”, if you have any Memphis Blues in your soul you’ll appreciate this one.
  • {FOUR} Soul Survivor: Okay, so this isn’t really a band. It’s a funny story how I stumbled across this ministry! Simon, a friend from Senegal, lives in the UK. He went to an event put on by SS where Rend Collective led worship. It popped up in my newsfeed, and since I’m RCE’s BIGGEST FAN, I researched what SS was. While researching I stumbled upon their music. One of the worship leaders, Beth Croft, is amazing. And one of my new favorite songs is performed by a guy named Sam Bailey. The song is “One Touch.” [sidenote: when he says “Hi, my name is Sam,” I always want to follow it with “Samwise Gamgee.” #LOTRNERDAMIRITE]
  • {FIVE} Josh Garrels: Okay, this is one of those “Christian Artist” things. Christian undertones, but not labeled as a Christian artist. [Which I think is fine. Plenty of other bands do this like Needtobreathe, Switchfoot, and Gungor]. But really, check this guy out because he’s awesome! Unique lyrics, yet surprisingly so hopeful!
  • {SIX} Shelly Moore: Y’all. Refreshment to my soul. I cannot tell you how much I love her Unraveling cd. It’s the best $10 I’ve ever spent. She’s a singer-songwriter based out of Raleigh. I first heard about her through my friend Michelle Wijaya and then my friend LB! You will not regret buying any of her music.

Anyways, I hope this was interesting and helpful! I love new music and discovering new artists. Comment below with some artists that you love that aren’t getting enough radio time. Maybe we can change that!

Like always, thanks for reading. Thanks for sharing.

7 Pop Songs That Could Be Played On Christian Radio

When I was living in Senegal, Africa a teammate and I used to listen to mainstream songs and find ones that could be worship music. [Celine Dion’s CDs are a great place to start.] There were other songs that I took and would transform the lyrics a bit and make into a really funny Christian parody. I mean really, what would you do with your time during power outages and long drives across uninhabited land?

K-Love, Way-FM, J103… you’re welcome for these song suggestions. A little variety never hurt anybody. {Let’s be honest, Christian radio desperately needs variety.} So, let’s get on to the top seven pop songs that could be played on Christian Radio:

1. “Safe And Sound” by Capital Cities

And every person on www.beardedgospelmen.net said, "AMEN!"
And every person on http://www.beardedgospelmen.net said, “AMEN!”

“I could show you love;

In a tidal wave of mystery;

You’ll still be standing next to me.”

love, Jesus

2. “What About Now” by Westlife

They kind of look like the Pastors at Calvary Chapel Chattanooga. Pastor Erik did you also do a stint as a Westlifer!? (second dude from the left)
They kind of look like the Pastors at Calvary Chapel Chattanooga. Pastor Erik did you also do a stint as a Westlifer!? (second dude from the left)

I mean, let’s be honest, this sounds like the perfect altar call song. I Have Decided is out, What About Now is in! Am I right Southern Baptist preachers? WAHOO SBC!

“This broken heart can still survive 

with a touch of Your grace

Shadows fade into the light

‘I am by your side where love will find you.’”

Love, God

3. “Wake Me Up” by Avicii

This is what I imagine the services at Hillsong to be like...
This is what I imagine the services at Hillsong to be like…

I think I first heard this at Awaken Ministries, or was it at Adrenaline? Or was it at Extreme, Velocity, Ignite, the Edge, the Ramp, Fire, Courageous, Passion, Echo, Reverb, Anointed, Drive, Elevate, or Radiate??

“All this time I was finding myself, I didn’t know I was lost.”

Prodigal son…  so sweet.

4. “Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia

Wow! They so look like they could be the husbands to the Point of Grace girls. Match made innnn... HEAVEN! ;)
Wow! They so look like they could be the husbands to the Point of Grace girls. Match made innnn… HEAVEN! 😉

Seriously, Way-FM pick this up. “Heaven’s got a plan for you,” sounds like the first point to the KGP. Talking about a Holy Spirit rave: I’ll bring the glow sticks. No need for drugs. #moshforjesus

“There was a time

I used to look into my father’s eyes.

In a happy home

I was a king, I had a golden throne.” – Jesus talking about Heaven

“Those days are gone,

Now the memory’s on the wall.

I hear the songs

From the places where I was born.” – Jesus as an adult

“Upon a hill across a blue lake,

That’s where I had my first heartbreak.

I still remember how it all changed.”– Jesus at Calvary

5. “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri

Oh, she would so fit in at Mars Hill church. Don't you think Pastor Mark?!
Oh, she would so fit in at Mars Hill church. Don’t you think Pastor Mark?!

This is some Jesus Calling material. Sisters, you know what I’m talking about!

“I have died everyday waiting for you

Darling, don’t be afraid I have loved you

For a thousand years

I’ll love you for a thousand more

Time stands still

Beauty in all she is

I will be brave

I will not let anything take away

What’s standing in front of me.” -Jesus

6. “When I Look At You” by Miley Cyrus

mileycyrus

…because we’ve all been there. Pit of despair, where’s my chocolate? This song really does have some great truth to it! I love it.

“When I look at You

I see forgiveness

I see the truth

You love me for who I am

Like the stars hold the moon

Right there where they belong

And I know I’m not alone”

7. “I Will Wait” by Mumford & Sons

Can you imagine worship at Awaken Church with M&S? Out of control.
Can you imagine worship at Awaken Church with M&S? Out of control.

I’m a huge M&S fan. Shamefully, my mom has seen them in concert more times than I have [she’s cooler]. But this song sounds like a psalm. Psalm 27:14 to be exact.

“So tame my flesh

And fix my eyes

A tethered mind freed from the lies

And I’ll kneel down, 

Wait for now

I’ll kneel down,

Know my ground

Raise my hands

Paint my spirit gold

And bow my head

Keep my heart slow

‘Cause I will wait, I will wait for you

So that’s my list of pop songs that could be played on Christian radio.

What are some songs that’d you would add to this list?

“Hymn 27” Shelly Moore

Photo Credit: Camil Tulcan
Photo Credit: Camil Tulcan

My God, the spring of all my joys
The life of my delight
The glory of my brightest days
and comfort of my nights
In darkest shades if He appear
my dawning is begun
He is my soul’s sweet morning star
and He is my rising sun

Father, my gracious Lord, guardian of my days
Your mercies all my heart records
in songs of grateful praise
Ten thousand, thousand gifts
they find their radiance in this
that Jesus shows His heart is mine
and whispers “I am His”

Alleluia, Alleluia

Savior, true word made flesh,
Thy goodness I’ll pursue
And when I stand on Heaven’s shores,
I’ll sing thy praise a new

Where death is bound by laws fulfilled,
my praises will ring out
And all the saints will join the theme,
Let heaven’s walls resound…

Alleluia