Pop music changes daily with the many artists willing to take risks. Artists not afraid to push the envelope. True innovators with no boundaries for expression. Christian music is different. Fear of not being accepted by the system slows down the musical evolution. Few artists are willing to take the risk of expressing themselves outside of the mold. In the midst of sameness, there are five artists who are pushing the envelope and redefining Christian music.
There have been many attempts at bringing rap/hip-hop to Christian music but LeCrae is the first to succeed on a mass level. Taking the mainstream charts by storm, LeCrae, has proven to the music world that Christians can make legitimate ground breaking rap/hip-hop. Lecrae’s last two releases topped the iTunes overall music chart. His self owned label, Reach Records, has established a trusted brand in the rap/hip-hop community that is paving the way for other artists.
While Michael Gungor operates under the worship umbrella, his music is far from any worship the Christian music community is accustomed to hearing. After writing “Friend of God” with Israel Houghton, Michael began to forge his own brand of rock opera worship. His live shows drive record sales to the level of artists topping the Christian radio charts. Michael’s incredible musicianship challenges the status quo that has been traditionally accepted in Christian music.
Audrey Assad is bringing a freshness to Christian music with her songwriting. While being somewhat ignored by Christian radio, word is getting out on this amazing, beautiful voice and her record sales are showing it. Audrey’s music pushes the envelope of traditional Christian music to a level that competes with the mainstream. Something magical happens when Audrey Assad takes the stage!
Songwriter/Artist/Producer, Brandon Bee, is breaking new ground with his Seattle influenced sound. While his music doesn’t fit the typical Nashville Christian music mold, Brandon’s music is quickly finding its way onto playlists of taste makers. In addition to making his own records, Brandon’s producer stamp is showing up on many records being released in the Christian music industry. Many are comparing Brandon’s innovativeness and artistry to Charlie Peacock.
Beckah Shae is unabashedly bringing the pop/urban sound to the forefront of Christian music. Someone once said that “four on the floor” dance beats would never work at Christian radio but Beckah has proven them wrong. Beckah’s unwavering mission for bringing Christian radio up to par with mainstream music appears to be working. Her influence can be heard on many of the new artists now being played on Christian radio.