Something we have been discussing for a bit at Tentmaker Music is what we call The Gatekeepers. The Gatekeepers are individuals (or a system) that make the music industry nearly impossible to break into unless you are willing to jump through their hoops or "play the game". Much of this is a driving force behind why we started Tentmaker Music. We know that there are some amazing bands and artists in the Christian underground that aren't getting the recognition they should and we have watched them grind for years. Sadly, one of the hoops people need to jump through is watering down their material or following the current trend. The industry has a way of shaping and molding artists into what they want and the artists end up sacrificing creative integrity to simply catch a break. Now, I am speaking in generalities and surely there are exceptions to the rule but they are few and far between.
While I was casually scrolling through Facebook the other day I came across some wise words from Matt Hanna. Matt is formally of the band Lastwatch and has experienced the realities of the industry first hand.
Here is what Matt had to say...
"After being In the music industry and seeing how it’s run mostly by bands having to act like they’re bigger than they are I get a good hearty chuckle out of spotting it now.
Be humble. Act your wage.
It’s an impossible industry with impossible to reach goals. I get that everyone wants to be the next Skillet or RED, but there’s a reason nobody has been able to get to that level in 10 years now...
Wanna pay 10 grand to tour with a bigger band and get nowhere? Cool. 👍
Wanna pay 50 grand for a top ten single on secular radio? Cool.
Wanna hop on a tour with 10 other bands because nobody is pulling numbers? Cool.
Wanna pay to win an award? Cool.
Dead industry is dead.
Rant over. Sorry if this offends anyone but it’s the truth. Just tired of seeing people getting destroyed over the industry which is collapsing in on itself. Secular rock included. Maybe one day some young band is gonna figure out a way around this with some sort of new fresh “build” that sticks it to the labels.
We shall see. Dare to be different. Be unique.
But seriously, engage your fans, stay humble."
In-conclusion, we at Tentmaker Music believe that in this day in age it is possible to play by a new set of rules. The reality is, The Gatekeepers only have power if we continue to give it to them. It's a new day, and there are ways to get your music out in front of people without having to compromise your message or your sound. Let's strive for excellence, and make music with the intention of bringing glory to God, may He be our audience and our standard. Tentmaker Music hopes to be a part of that new "build" Matt mentioned. It's a grind but it doesn't have to be for not and your labor doesn't have to be in vain. There is so much more and the time is now. Let's Get It!
Though Lastwatch is no longer together you can check out their music on Spotify (https://spoti.fi/2SwbWth) and all other major digital outlets. I really enjoy their music and it's for sure worth checking out!
Till the next time, God bless!
*movie trailer guy voice* In a world where moral values are crumbling and the line between right and wrong is gradually blurred by mass deception and corruption, the faithful followers of Christ are… Sojourners in a Hazy City.
In this more experimental track, A.K.A. Fisher examines moral values and duties, the inevitable deterioration of man-made standards for morality, and the dangers of compromise and apathy in the church. This song, recorded with his wife (Denisse Burks), offers a bit a departure from A.K.A. Fisher’s usual style, and its sound is inspired by both trap music and 80’s pop.
You can hear new singles from A. K. A. Fisher's "Otherworldly Weapons" on Tentmaker Music's BANGERS playlist, and on music streaming sites everywhere.
I need to start by saying this album has me excited. I am a huge fan of underground Christian music and this album reflects exactly why. Jordan has accomplished something here that I think most set out to do but not all achieve, The Ripple Effect is super creative, dynamic and refreshing. Each song is well written and handled with care, this is evident as you go from song to song as nothing is out of place. The Ripple Effect is a journey that will no doubt have an effect on you from a lyrical perspective as well as what is possible in the realm of underground music. One of the overarching themes the album presents, is to run from apathy. The whole album is a call to action, and one we would be wise to heed. It is so easy for us to get stuck in the same routine, to have the same junk different day mentality, it's time to wake up. Jordan put together an album of catchy melodies that are backed by poignant lyrics, and one of my favorite parts, he deals with himself in and through all of it. Jordan has managed to catch all the great parts of Owl City and merges them with pop punk, rock and even a bit of a nu metal edge at times. The Ripple Effect stands on it's own as a new brand of pop that is sure to please any music fan.
The more I listen the more I enjoy it, and that is the mark of a fantastic album. Each song on The Ripple Effect flows beautifully into the next, there is no need to skip around but if you must, there a few songs I find myself coming back to; "Time is of the Essence", "Louder Voice" and "Starlight Symphony", these 3 songs encompass the albums message and would be a good starting point if you wanted to give Jordan's album a chance, but it's my encouragement you just dive in, and enjoy!
As always I encourage you to support those Christian artists that are not only grinding but are putting out quality music! You can pick up Jordan Sovis' album The Ripple Effect on all major digital outlets including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and Spotify. If you would like to purchase the album for digital download you can do so here: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/jordansovis2. God Bless!