DISCLAIMER: I know that this is MY blog and it is implied that anything I say here is MY opinion, but I’m going to keep emphasizing the fact that this is my own opinion so no one takes offense. I know a loooooot of singers and some artists, and I definitely am not making a blanket statement. However, if the shoe fits…wear it! 🙂
My brother is a fan of a certain contestant on this new talent search show called The Voice. I won’t mention her name, but I’m sure you’ll figure it out. She’s actually already recorded two albums, and my brother was confused as to why she keeps going to these competitions–this isn’t the first show like this she’s been on. I thought the answer is very simple, but he’s so smitten he can’t see it. I think that there is a huge difference between singers and artists, and frankly I don’t believe that she has what it takes to be an artist which is why her career hasn’t taken off like she wants it.
To me, all singers are not artists, and all artists are DEFINITELY not singers. I think that artists have a few key characteristics that a singer may not necessarily have. Artists have drive & some goal/mission in mind. Some folks do it for the money which of course drives them to keep being more and more creative, edgy, or whatever their trademark is. They don’t even have to be really good at what they do, and it’s amazing what a little guts and determination will do. Artists aim to do something whether it’s just to be the best, be creative, spread a message, take you on a journey (musically), or even make the world dance as Jessie J says. As with anything, it’s hard to progress or be driven to do something if you do not have a purpose for it.
Singers *heart* singing, and some artists do too. They think about it night and day and do it as much as they can. However, oftentimes singers just sing to be singing. There isn’t necessarily a goal/mission in mind. There was something this contestant said that confirmed to me that she may not be artist material. They were asking her why she wanted this so bad, and why she should win, and she said that she knows God gave her a good voice. I said to myself, “God gave me a good voice too! Does that mean I should pursue a singing career?” Is that the only reason? If so, then everyone who can bring the house down should be given a contract, right? I think that far too often we, especially Christians, get into this predetermined, semi-automatic destiny mentality. You know how it is…if someone can sing, then everyone thinks they should be a singer. If a man is tall everyone thinks he should play basketball. If a woman is gorgeous we say she should be a model. If you’re charismatic, love people, communicate well, and are Biblically well read, then you should be a pastor. All of these are just stereotypes! I would almost be willing to bet that the most beautiful woman in the world is not a model, and the tallest man is not a basketball player! We need to remember that God has a plan for our lives, and it is up to us to consult with HIM to find out what it is. Now, I’m definitely not saying that this contestant or anyone else who is failing at launching a singing career hasn’t sought God about it. Everyone has a journey and has to go through things to earn their stripes. However, their are a LOT of people out there who are not doing the right thing with their lives because they just assumed that because I’m x I should do y because that is what everyone is going to expect of me. Man…forget them! Besides, I think that we glamorize things too much. Yeah, being a superstar looks good, but if everyone who can sing becomes artist, then who will be left to lead worship at church? Who will be left to teach the music classes at school? If everyone who thinks they are called to preach becomes a pastor and starts a church, then the things that are less glamorous such as prison ministry, campus ministry, Bible studies for the elderly, etc. will greatly be lacking. I understand though. Everybody thinks that God wants to bless them with what WE think is the best, but who says that being the best Sunday school teacher is not God’s best for your life? Who are we to decide who needs to be ministered to more? We all make these plans for our lives without permission, and then we get mad with God when we don’t think He’s working things out for us. We can be such spoiled brats!
All I am really saying is that people need to get into the habit of recognizing their talents–ALL of them…not just the predominant ones. I know all too well that the Lord works in extremely mysterious ways! Take stock of your gifts and talents, render them to God, and ask HIM what you should do with your life. He will be more than glad to tell you–when you’re really ready to know. It just may surprise you!