Several weeks ago One21 Music posed fifteen questions to a number of music artists in the Christian music scene, ranging from the light-hearted to the deeply spiritual. We received many responses, some very helpful, and some…. not so much. Some of the answers were short and sweet, some were extensive and eloquent. Many expressed frustrations with the current landscape of the music industry, while others were hopeful for a future of uncertainty. We heard from guys who had been performing for years, and bands that are just now starting to get their names heard. From indie rock to hip-hop, from hardcore to worship, the Christian music scene spoke back to us. Realize that these answers are by the people making the music that you are listening to, and these are un-edited and real. The opinions expressed don’t always reflect ours, but we aren’t perfect, right?
Need to catch up?
Read Pt.1: What Do You Love About Music?
Read Pt.2: What Are Some Of Your Favorite Albums/CDs?
Read Pt.3: What Is The Best Thing About Making Music?
Read Pt.4: What Is Your Opinion Of The Music Industry?
Read Pt.5: What Impact Has The Digital Age Of Music Had On The Industry?
Read Pt.6: Who Is Jesus Christ To You?
Read Pt.7: What Is Christian Music?
Read Pt.8: What Is Your Opinion On The Christian Music Industry?
Read Pt.9: Do You Think The Christian Music Scene Is Still Important?
Read Pt.10: Do You Think People Are More Receptive Or Resistant to Artists Of Faith Today?
If you have been reading this series at all, our question this week may seem a bit redundant. After all, it is hard to imagine that many of the people who have been talking with us on this series wouldn’t consider themselves Christian artists. Many of the topics we have been covering seem to make that point obvious, but as we (The (ONE)21 Music) have been doing research to find new music for you guys, we have found that the next question is either extremely resented or not ever asked of anybody anymore. We wanted to find out why no one seems to be comfortable being called a Christian musician anymore, so we decided to ask ourselves.
Do you consider yourself a Christian musician? In what way does this affect your music?
Dewey Lybecker( independent solo singer/songwriter)
I’m not sure if I consider myself a “Christian musician,” but maybe more of a musician that happens to be a Christian. I feel like if you label yourself as a Christian musician, then there’s this expectation that everything you write or release has to be about God. For me, I just want to sing about life and the struggles I have, or the dreams I want to achieve… If that happens to be about God, then it is… but if it’s not, then that’s ok too.
Jarrod(guitarist/singer from Victory Records metal band Corpus Christi)
Yes. It affects you because you realize that your songs are not entirely yours. God’s hand is in your songs, and it comes through in the way you write and the lyrical themes thay show up in your music.
John (guitarist for Solid State Records metal band Inhale/Exhale)
No. Because I have to say I would write music for anyone. Not just Christians. But I do believe in God and I do have a faith in Jesus Christ which I am willing to share.
David (singer for independent nu-metal band Echocast)
I consider myself a Christian and I consider myself a musician… I’m not a worship leader though… That’s the problem that I’ve come across through the Christian music industry, so I’m not really sure anymore… Different people have different definitions of what being a “Christian Musician” means… I am a Christian and I pour myself into all of my songs, so I believe Christian views and values come out in all of them, but at the same time, I don’t have the calling to be a worship leader and when we play a show at a church, we play our set and that’s it…
Dave (half of Holdfast Records electro-house duo Poorly Built Parachute)
I am a Christian that plays music. I try to walk the Christian walk as best as I can. I’m not perfect however. I do pray over our shows sometimes, hoping that the music moves in a spiritual way through people. We really don’t have lyrics at all so our emotions are the only thing that speaks through the music. But yes, our CD is available at Christian bookstores because we’re good Christian dudes… most of the time
Vito(half of Asthamic Kitty indie/folk band The Welcome Wagon)
“Christian musician” is not a label I use or seek out, but it’s certainly not a label I’m ashamed of, or that I would deny. I am a Christian, and my vocation is as a Christian pastor, and my band plays music that is primarily about Christ. So anyone who says we are “Christian musicians” certainly has a lot of valid reasons to do so.
Jon (lead singer/guitarist for independent pop/rock band Hyland)
I am definitely a Christian musician. This makes me focus on my craft even more. I have to be that much better. If there is a cliche’ I’m going to break it. My music needs to have double meanings, word play is even more important.
Bryan (bass player for Forefront Records pop/rock band Abandon)
Do you call a plumber who happens to be a Christian a Christian plumber…? NO. You call him a plumber. If he is living out his life in a Christ like way, you will see that and it will be evident that he is living for something more than this world. So we are most certainly Christians who are musicians, and our music most certainly is about our Lord and savior. But me personally, I think labeling someone a Christian version of whatever career they have is pointless. Christ is alive in me and every member of our band. Everything that we do is for Him alone!
Amy Courts (independent pop/folk artist)
I’m a Christian. Everything I am is, because of that faith, seasoned with Christ. So whether I’m writing about love, work, social justice, or spirituality, it is a “Christian” work. I can no sooner escape that defining part of me than I could escape my humanity.
Johanna Miller(keyboardist/singer for South Pawl pop/rock band Fellow)
Yes, I consider myself a Christian musician. I want God to use me to minister to others. After praying over a new song, I try to let Him speak what He wants to get out instead of only my own feelings.
Daniel(guitarist for Facedown Records hardcore band Take It Back!)
Absolutely I do. This affects my music because everything in my life is based around that, so it shines through in our music because it is the most important thing in the world to us.
DIRT(underground hip-hop artist and founder of Shadow Of The Locust)
I consider myself a musician. If you find Inspiration to better yourself and, more importantly, move yourself closer to God in my soundscapes then I consider myself a musician that accomplished my goal.
Seth (singer for independent hard rock band Endeverance)
I guess first off “Christian” is not a genre of music…to me. It is my personal belief and my faith. Does my faith and beliefs affect my music? You bet, but my band doesn’t promote ourselves as a “Christian Band” we are a band who sing songs about everything. Our beliefs, struggles, and even so called “secular” topics…But I don’t think this is wrong I think this is the right way to go about it…
David (lead singer/guitarist for Tooth & Nail pop/rock band Run Kid Run)
I hate this battle people put too much emphasis on this sure Christan musician whatever you want to call me..I’m a christian I play music our band plays tons of Christian events churches etc. So I guess you would say yes…but you wouldn’t label a doctor or a roofer saying yes I’m a Christian roofer..not that it’s a bad thing see it doesn’t matter people can call me a Christian musician or not it doesn’t matter.
Chris Taylor (BEC solo artist/song writer)
Yes. More importantly I am a disciple of Jesus. I was called to Him before I knew what or how to sing unto the Him. It affects me every time I go to write or sing publicly. I cannot shake what the Lord has done for His people. I want my life and music to reflect the Greatness of the Glory of His Grace.
In the end, it is up to the artists themselves to choose how they wish to be perceived. Many of the artists will disagree with each other, but we know God is using them to create His sweet, sweet sound.
Join us next week when we talk about what is the hardest part about being a musician today.