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Christian music can reach deep within your soul, pull you out of despair and yank you right out of depression. It can give you something to shout about! So come, take a journey with me to explore what it means to become a Christian recording artist.
Make sure you are "walking the walk" on and off the stage. Your music should be a vehicle to deliver your message. The most important part of your performance is your ministry. The Christian music scene is wide open now and open to accepting new styles. Gone are the days where the music had to be corny and the lyrics fluffy. Christian artists can now build a ministry and be free to truly express their art at the same time.
Take singing lessons if you are able, or practice singing along with Christian songs on your own time. The more you practice, the better you will become! Start by joining a church choir. If your church doesn't have one, find a church or organization in your community that does. If you are in high school or college. Join the school choir or ensemble. This is the best way to practice and hone your skills.
Record a demo. A particular trap for Christian artists is to feel like they must have a "Christian" sound. If you're taste and sound is a little out of the ordinary, go for it! You will create your own niche market.
Make sure your lyrics are in accordance with your particular denomination's beliefs if you are looking to be a more traditional Christian recording artist. Perhaps have your minister read over the lyrics before you record to make sure there is nothing contrary to your denomination. This will usually mean making sure every word has a biblical reference to support it. Particular offenders are usually younger Christian rock groups that write lyrics on the fly without realizing the importance of biblical accuracy.
Realize that a strong financial backing is important to a successful record. At first you may need to fork up your own money to record the demo. If you don't have a savings, seek out investors, like family members, or maybe take out a loan from a bank. You may be fortunate to find a recording studio that will let you pay in installments. So do not lose heart. As the quality of your work increases over time, you eventually won't have trouble finding financial backers.
Have others pass your demo around for you. If you can, get a local DJ or radio station to play your music. Have flyers printed up and mail them to potential clients, along with one of your demos. Many denominations have their own distribution companies to place your product nationwide in the church gift shop or office. Make sure your lyrics and style of music fit in with the denomination you are focusing on so they will want to have you everywhere. Print some business cards so you will be ready to give your contact information if an opportunity suddenly arises.
Seek out opportunities to book singing gigs. Start with churches, state fairs and other venues. Christian artists can do performances for a free-will offering and usually do well financially if the show is good and targeted at the particular audience. This means you can book yourself at churches without asking for money upfront. It is standard courtesy to give a percentage tithe back to the church for money received. Network with other artists and those in the recording business. Tour with other Christian recording artists. Many new artists start out as an opening act for a well-known established singing artist or group. Many may know of opportunities that you are not aware of.
Hire your own managing agent. Often your agent will pound the pavement with you to get you in front of record producers. An agent will also be aware of many opportunities for new artists trying to make it in the business. Agents can market you and get your name out there, while you concentrate on developing your talent.
Be patient and consistent. It takes time to get a recording contract and to become a successful Christian recording artist. In many cases, it could take years. Don't give up hope. Believe in yourself and your dream. Your hard work will eventually pay off.