What did your church sang this Lord’s Day? Did it lift both your soul to worship and your voice to praise the goodness of Christ? Does it prepare your spirit for the weekly servings of God’s Word through the sermon? Does it convey words that you can’t express on how to be thankful for God’s providence? Does it bring you to tears knowing the truth of God through the lyrics of the song? I hope and pray that it’s a blessing to you as you sang either a contemporary worship song or hymns.
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) has this group called Norton Hall Band that plays a fresh take on hymns. They have a new album, Still Our Refuge which is the third album they released this year. I reach out with Evan Sams, guitarist of Norton Halls Band to talk about hymns, their band and their new album.
For those who are not familiar with hymns, can you define what a hymn is?
When you hear the word “rap”, what comes to your mind? Probably you’ll think about popular rappers like Francis M. or Gloc 9. You might also think of the message of their songs that you hear on the radio like nationalism, peace and unity.
But do you know there is a Christian artist who raps about the gospel? In fact, he raps about the Doctrines of Grace or Calvinism in his latest EP. I connected with Jerrel Pilarta, an indie gospel rap artist and we talk about Calvinism, rap music and his new release titled TULIP.
How did you came to know Christ?
I grew up in a Christian household, so ever since bata pa ako lagi ko ng naririnig ang Gospel. Pero for me, I believe last 2016 ko lang na fully grasp ang Gospel at natanggap ng buong puso. Nung na realize ko na kahit sobrang makasalan ako, papatawarin pa rin ako ni Jesus if I will repent and accept Him as my Lord and Savior. Dun nag-sink in sakin ang ibig sabihin ng grace.
I love music. I enjoy listening to albums on Spotify. I like exploring playlists. But I love more is listening an album of an artist or band from the first track down to the last. Reminds me of those days of buying and listening to cassette tapes. More than that, I want to catch the vision of the artist or band for that specific album. Themed or concept album has one message in the strings of songs that it include. That’s what I want to discover and savor it as a music lover. As a believer, I want to see biblical message it want to convey.
In this interview, Jonathan Ogden talks about concept albums, his process of creating a project and how to maintain these project gospel centered. I hope you as an artist or listener will get some great takeaways on our conversation.
Is there an advantage (or disadvantage) for an artist in creating a concept album?
A concept album is definitely a different kind of project compared to a regular album. There’s a little more restriction in terms of what you’re going to create, and making sure that it all relates to the concept. But equally, those kind of restrictions can bring about a lot more creativity sometimes!
How do bands strive through this pandemic? How did COVID19 affected their music? More importantly, how does God work to a band to bring the gospel message to this world? I reach out to the metal band, Context and asked these questions, about their music and their new album.
Please tell us about yourselves and how you got to know Christ?
We are the band, Context. Each of us came to know Christ in different ways. Kyle grew up in a Christian home by the grace of God. In college, he was challenged to live out his own faith and to take what he learned from his parents and put it into practice. Jam heard the Gospel from Ezekiel 36 while in high school at a local church plant. A few years after Jam had listened to the Gospel, he began a Bible study with a group of men through the Gospel of John. Chow heard the Gospel in John 1 and responded in faith.
As promised, this is my list of 2021 releases that I got hooked into. Like the albums and EP’s that I discovered post, this is the final list. Since my musical taste is all over the place (LOL), you’ll get into different sounds and genre. Nevertheless, these jams are my favorite for this year and I think you’ll like it too. For some heavier music, I created a separate playlist just in case you’ll be listening to as relaxation and all of a sudden a song will give you rock you out (LOL). If you want a throwback of my favorite picks in 2020, then click here.
Welcome to my list of albums and EP’s I’m currently listening. Is the final list for 2021 and here’s the link to the playlist with sample some songs from those releases. I know that you love music and I think you’ll looking for some good recommendations. That where this post come in. Hope this will help you listen to the right kind of stuff. Aside from that, Delighting Grace has plenty of artist and band interviews in 2021 you might want to read. Just search the blog and enjoy.