(L to R //back row//Tommy Larson,Ari Tidwell, Jared Rich, Caleb Clements, Russell Crain; front row// me, Andy Toy)
it's been (and continues to be) my absolute privilege to travel the world and get to join with the body of Christ in worship and song. i imagine it's a bit like what the old time itinerate preachers used to experience... only they got to go on horse back. which, to me, seems like a plus. but i digress. i've made lasting friendships from many of these trips, both at home and abroad. one such friendship began in CA at the church we attended when we lived there,
. Caleb Clements was one of the worship pastors at that time and we became friends. now, Caleb is the worship leader/pastor at
, where i have the opportunity to sing and lead in worship a few times a year. i've learned a whole lot from Caleb as a leader and as a worshiper. i love his heart for people and i so respect and admire his heart for Jesus. it's a bit rare for someone that lives their life on a stage to be so willing to take a back seat (or spot in the back row as noted in the photo above:) ). i asked him to answer the music monday questions so we could all benefit from his experience...
1// what part do you play within the music industry?
I lead worship in Orange County at Mariners Church
2// briefly describe how you got where you are; tell us your story.
I started leading worship in college to fill a need, which led to more and more opportunities. I studied business and after 6 months in sales I was given an opportunity to lead worship full time. It's now been 10 years that I've been a worship leader, 2 years at Newport Mesa Church, 7 years at Rockharbor, and now just over a year at Mariners. Not sure how long I'll do this, but being faithful with what's in front of me.
3// what advice would you give someone that wants to do what you do?
Never say no to an opportunity to lead, especially as you're developing as a leader. Every experience shapes you, and no amount of reading or training will equip you like actual experience. Look at worship leading as a pastoral role; know theology, learn how to care for people, study leadership, know who you are musically.
4// whats your take on the future of the industry? where do you see it going? will digital music take over the world?
Tough to answer this briefly. I wonder if worship music will have a rude awakening in the next decade. It seems like the wave of "cool" worship, albums, lights, songs may be growing tired. I see hymns and liturgy making a comeback with a lower emphasis on the show.
5// in light of the current climate of the music business, would you advise an artist to seek support from a label or take the more independent, do-it-yourself route of social media outlets ie; kickstarter? or what would you say are the pros and cons of each?
I can only speak to the worship industry. I would stay independent and write for your church. If God wants to highlight you or your songs beyond that He will. Worship leaders need to focus more on the congregation they have and not chase the CCLI charts.
6// what advice would you give an aspiring song writer as far as how to go about pitching a song to an artist?
My only advice would be to do this through relationship. Get to know people you look up to and the opportunity will present itself.
7// what is the best way for an aspiring artist to get their foot-in-the-door?
See the answer to #5 :) I feel pretty strongly about leaving that bit up to God.
8// what is the Christian industry looking for as far as future talent?
9// itunes or physical product you can hold in your hand?
10// what artist(s)/music are you listening to and/or inspired by right now?
Here are my most recent Spotify playlists: Emmylou Harris, Everest, Beach House, One Direction (for my daughter), Haim, Ellie Goulding (guilty pleasure), Kye Kye, Shawn Colvin