How To Be A Christian DJ

Ben Tankard is a Jazz pianist with no formal training, but extraordinary gifting in creating soothing melodies.

Christian emcee. What?! Yeah. What I love about Christian music is that every genre of music works within the confines of this industry; transforming them into sub-genres. Because in Christian music, it is the message that counts. Which is why you can take a dope beat and put a sermon/speech over it and it rocks like nobody's business. But in order to function as a Christian DJ, you have to love the music, understand the music and know the music.

First you need to understand that Christian music is based (or should be based) on the Word of God. But whereas this seems to limit some mixologists, it only fuels me to greater heights. Why? Because knowing this important fact allows me to find Christian music in genres where the intent may have not been to inspire as much as to just have an hit song.

I can fill my playlist with songs by BOYZ II MEN, STEVIE WONDER, BRANDY, LEANNE RIMES and Smooth Jazz artists. Instrumentals, Classical and even Opera can fit into the confines of my playlist. I'm looking for an inspirational message about community, family and/or faith that lines up with Christian theology. Also, I'm looking for no profane words in the midst of the lyrics; which can be like investigative reporting when some Christian rappers have tried to slip the "N-Word" in their songs over the years.

That's understanding the music. Knowing the music is knowing that there is Christian Rap that rivals what we are bombarded with on Mainstream radio. Knowing that there are great Jazz artists, Neo Soul artists, Celtic, Techno artists within the super-genre of Christian music. Knowing that there is a song for every mood, every setting, every season.

Loving the music means that even if you can't "get with" a certain sub genre, that you respect the artist; you respect his or her self expression. That you honor and admire their gift, their talent and their desire to put it across to any and all that will hear.

I can't give you all of my secrets, but know that the hunt for great music is a wonderful fact finding mission. Whether it is an artist that is unabashadly a Christian artist, or a Secular artist who only thanks God at awards show. Like a Scooby Doo mystery, clues can be found in the darnest places. And even if you don't strike it rich and find yourself playing more requested "hit" songs than the eye opening obscure songs that you'd rather play, in the end you'll at least be able to marvel at having one of the most unique music collections in town.

Artists of note to consider are as follows:

Hip-Hop: The Ambassador, Cross Movement, T-Bone, Toby Mac, Lecrae, 116 Clique, Tedashi, Corey Red, New Breed (Elsie and Macho), LPG, Sup The Chemist, Peace 586, Ayeesha, True II Society, FTF, Cas Metah, Caramel Skillington, KJ52

R&B: Kirk Franklin, Deitrick Haddon, Mary Mary, Shadonna, Lisa McClendon, Virtue, Tonex, Special Gift, Angie & Debbie Winans, The Winans, Commissioned, Marcus Cole, Lexi, Montrel Darrett, Jon Gibson, Tim Miner, Michelle Williams, Al Green, Fred Hammond, Parkes Stewart

Jazz: Allen & Allen, Ben Tankard, Marquis, Justo Almario, Abe Laboriel, Ralph Carmichael, Yolanda Adams, Lanny Cordola

Rock: Allies, X-Sinner, White Cross, Stryper, Margaret Becker, Cindy Cruse, Apologtix (parody cover band along the lines of WEIRD AL, but often sound like the original artist)

Pop: Britt Nicole, Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Jump 5

Dance: Planet Shakers, AJ Mora, Scott Blackwell

Commissioned has touched the lives of many Pop/R&B artists, such as Brandy, Whitney Houston, Brian McKnight and Boyz II Men

PFR stayed for just a minute, but were critically acclaimed and often compared to The Beatles.

TruSoulDJ is a self proclaimed expert on all things trivial to the Mainstream. He is an avid classic comic book reader, non popular music lover and tv-show-on-dvd binge watcher who shops the clearance racks near and far to find the best deals. He would like to think he knows everything important within the realm of Pop culture. But in actuality, he only knows about 99.9 percent of what he thinks he knows.

Do You Know
Do You Know

Michelle Williams shines on this Sophmore solo album that features Jazzy and Neo-Soul type interpretations of faith.

 
Love Peace & Happiness
Love Peace & Happiness

Out of Eden spent at least a decade serving as the Christian alternative to raunchy Mainstream girl groups; but like many great Christian acts, retired with few bells and whistles.

 
Time
Time

Paul Overstreet is mostly known for writing hit Mainstream Country songs. However, its his songs of faith that hit home for me. Especially this jewel of a project that seems directed towards the frustrated and long suffering married man. Very encouraging, soothing and melodic.

 

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Comments 14 comments

Brinafr3sh profile image

Brinafr3sh 5 years ago from West Coast, United States

Very well written article. Yeah and I agree some Christian Rappers do slip in the "N" word, in their songs. It's this one Christian Rapper (Bizzle) who had the "N" word in his song, mocking Jay-Z. But he recently took the "N" word out of that song, due to blog comments complaining about him using that kind of language as a Christian Rapper. Voted up


trusouldj profile image

trusouldj 5 years ago from Indiana Author

Thanks for stopping by Miss Brina. Hope that all is well with you.


Sunny Barb profile image

Sunny Barb 5 years ago from Central Florida

This was excellent, and very well-written, Trusouldj. Knowing your music as you do can help you to appeal to all types. There are many artists out there that are hip who thankfully do not result to profanity or using the "N" word. Definitely voted up!


trusouldj profile image

trusouldj 5 years ago from Indiana Author

thank you Sunny Barb. your words are so good for my self esteem :)


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 5 years ago from the Ether

This was very interesting. I had no idea there were Christian DJs out there! Voted up and useful. Keep on rockin' and being unique.


trusouldj profile image

trusouldj 5 years ago from Indiana Author

Thanks Kitty. I'll try.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

I enjoyed reading your excellent Hub. You picked an interesting and original topic. I agree with your ideas. Well done!


trusouldj profile image

trusouldj 5 years ago from Indiana Author

Thanks James. I love that for every genre of music there is, each genre is actually a sub-genre of Christian music. Seriously. Thank you for reading my work, I really appreciate it.


mulberry1 profile image

mulberry1 5 years ago

Interesting read, this isn't something I know much about. Sounds like you love what you do. I'm sure your passion shows through, as it should.


trusouldj profile image

trusouldj 5 years ago from Indiana Author

Thanks Mulberry1 for reading. I've put down the DJing for the time being because I wasn't getting enough jobs; as well the jobs I was getting wanted me to play everything but what I love. So now I'm concentrating on my writing, in hopes that one day i'll be able to have a little cafe where i can spin music and provide a haven for other writers.


a49eracct profile image

a49eracct 4 years ago

Oooh yes! Love Lecrae!!! And the comment above -that would be amazing! When you open I will definitely pay you a visit :) we need more people like you in this world.


trusouldj profile image

trusouldj 4 years ago from Indiana Author

You're so sweet. You're doing a lot for my self esteem.


Bro Dre Jackson profile image

Bro Dre Jackson 3 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

Being an Urban Gospel Music DJ myself, I reallly found this Hub very informative. Great job

@BroDreJackson


trusouldj profile image

trusouldj 3 years ago from Indiana Author

Thank you Derek. Sometimes I miss it, but I still love the music and listen to Cds 99percent of the time, versus radio.

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