Blog: What Is On Trend Today?

Mar 16 2016

When did being original go out of the window? Another way of putting it, when did it go out of fashion? It happens in all walks of life, but seems to happen in this wonderful world of Christian music more and more. Once something is a success everyone jumps on the bandwagon, that is until people get bored of it and then move onto something ‘new’ and ‘trendy’. But where does this bandwagon jumping come from? And is it OK?

As I said, it happens in all walks of life. How many of us used to have MySpace but now are on Facebook and then Twitter? I'm sure in a few years time we will all be 'on' something else. This goes for clothes fashion, hair fashion, even to the phone we use. We all jump on brand and their bandwagons all the time. Again, is this OK? I suppose the answer is an unhelpful Yes and No.

This bandwagon jumping happens a lot in the mainstream music. Just think of the genres over the years and how that time in music sounds the same. At one stage everybody had synths, at another stage everybody wanted to be a bit rock, and there was even a banjo stage (Mumford and Sons influence). Christian music circles are sadly no different, is it just the modern way of thinking? Yet the whole essence of it feels like a PR machine way of thinking about things.

If there is one way of doing something, and it becomes a success, originality seems to fly out of the window. And the real reason for this is not creativity, it's to fit in and to sell a product. As hard as that is to read, that's the crutch of it all.

This happens in churches as well. Once there was a time where it was a thing of have 'pub' church, and as great as that still is, it was a trend. Same for coffee houses at the back of churches. It was once even a trend to have a Christian bookshop next to your church. It was even a trend to have a projector and cool videos in services. They're all good things, but it always feel like we only do them because other churches have done them, and they feel a bit more modern than us, so we do them too.

Over the last few years we have seen artists/bands/worship teams release a mixture of different styled products. For example, in the last two years I have seen remix album after remix album, and this became 'popular' after the success of one teams original idea.

The same can be said for live albums, kids albums, instrumental albums, acoustic versions of the previous album albums, styles of music, the certain ‘look’. Even the songwriting becomes similar, how many times this year have I heard someone trying to copy the style of 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman. And can I add, putting a banjo on a record isn't being that creative now.

I suppose we could just shrug and say ‘that’s what happens’. Yet there is part of me that wants to see more original music ideas, more creativity, and more excitement (and that doesn’t just mean dance beats/synths). Music is such an important thing and if people keep just copying each other, it will simply become watered down. Everyone likes to think they are thinking outside of the box and that they are doing something new, but this isn't always the case. Yet this year I have seen a few albums that really have done something a bit different and not get the exposure it should or could.

I suppose this blog doesn't really answer any questions at all. It's more a look at culture as it is now. I would love more artists to step out and produce music that is different. And I say it again, that doesn't mean just making a rock record, because nobody is making rock music at the moment. I want to see artists not just say the same old words in a different lyrical format. I want to see fresh and beautiful ways of producing amazing words and music that are glorifying to Him. No easy task, but one worth going for.

Jono

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