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.

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Memphis: Week One

Well, this is now my third week of support raising for my internship in Africa, and I am at 30% of my monthly goal and one time goal. I have two set goals: a certain amount of monthly support needed and a certain amount of one time gifts needed. Monthly partners commit to giving a set amount monthly. So, I’m at 30% for both of these. That’s exciting. 🙂 That’s an average of 10% a week. If I keep this pace up, I’ll be done in 7 weeks. I have a goal of being done with support by July 1st. That’s pretty bold. I’m going to strive for that goal. Pray with me that I’m done with support by July 1st! 🙂

I’ve been in Memphis for the past week working on support. I have REALLY enjoyed being in Memphis. I’ve gotten to have appointments with people I normally don’t get to see since I’m 6 hours away. I am so glad that I’ve been able to see family, friends, and especially my sisters! Speaking of sisters, Theresa graduated from Ole Miss last weekend with her Master’s degree in linguistics. She’s so smart. Here’s some pictures my dad took.

T is the first in our family to get a master's degree!
The sisters with the graduate!

I’m headed to Nashville at the end of next week for more appointments (hopefully). I haven’t exactly set those up yet, but I’m going to make some calls tomorrow. Prayers are much appreciated.

Well onto things other than work…  I have had one of those days (I’m thinking it’s because I’m wearing a long flowy dress) that feels like all I want to do is run outside in a field, dance around, sing, and just enjoy being. You ever have those days? Those moments are so freeing. There isn’t a care in the world. You just let go of it all and just enjoy life! I love those moments. I need to hold on to those longer. Conundrum…

Anyways! Tonight we’re having a movie night at my sisters house and we’re watching Despicable Me. If you haven’t seen this movie, please do. It’s SO funny! I love love love it. In fact, here’s a great clip for you to watch. Enjoy this glimpse of sunshine and enjoy your weekend!

The Day I Let Jess Cut My Bangs

 

If I just tilt my head a little this way….

Yesterday was super busy. We had a CRU meeting around 12 which got me really excited for school to start (Let’s be honest. I got excited for CRU to start). Around 4:00 p.m., I drove to Nashville with my friend/roommate Aimee. I really, really love Nashville. It’s so beautiful there. I stayed in Franklin, Tennessee last night with my best friend Jessica. We dyed her hair and she performed a very impulsive and crooked bang cut for me. Jess hasn’t really ever cut anyone’s bangs, so they turned out a little interesting. Good thing hair grows back. 🙂

Today is Jess’s college graduation party. 🙂 I’m so excited for her to be officially graduated. We started our first day of college together as roomates, and it’s so cool to still be friends at the end of it all (college that is!). Everyone say, “Yeehaw for Jess!”

Today, Jess and I had old women moments and decided we wanted to go tour the Carter House in Franklin. This house was the center point for the Battle of Franklin. I suggest everyone take about an hour and a half to go tour it. I can’t really tell much about it (for time’s sake) but here’s a link to their website.

What else? School starts on Monday. I’m not too sure how I feel about it. I’m a little annoyed that this is going to be my fifth year in school. I feel like I should be graduated, but I’m not. It’s such an awkward position! I am excited for CRU and all the ministry opportunities there, I’m just a little disappointed I’m going to be a student still. I’d much rather be doing full time ministry for an occupation rather than being in school. I just need to remember that God has me where He has me for a reason. I am so tempted to jump ahead and get into my young woman, adult role. But if I do that, then I’ll be missing out on what God has in store for me during this season.

Back to school. Back to school, to prove to Dad that I’m not a fool. I got my lunch packed up, my boots tied tight, I hope I don’t get in a fight. Ohhhh, back to school. Back to school. Back to school. Well, here goes nothing.