Relevant Heart in a Digital World

     What an amazing time to be living and serving The Lord in music ministry! We are already halfway through 2016, and it seems as if the master time knob has been recalculated and turned up a bit. The days are coming and going a lot faster than they used to! Technology has produced the realm of social media and smart phones, which has given us the chance to connect to an entire world within 10 seconds, but unfortunately, can also take us out of the world we are literally sitting in, leaving those next to us with only a human figure consumed by a device in our hands. Instant gratification is the subconscious heroin that’s being sold under the table to billions of users. We are all guilty of it at times, because this mental drug has no respecter of persons. It’s our generations’ blanket for covering loneliness, hurt, procrastination, bitterness and so on. How does this affect our relationships with people? How does this affect our relationship with God? More specifically, how does this alter the way we are developing as musicians, worship leaders, writers, producers, or any other hat we may wear that God has so graciously placed upon us?

Philippians 3:14-15

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

     The day and age in which we live has altered the music business. Being in this industry is not what it was 50, or even 20 years ago. It’s not even what it was 1 year ago. The nucleus of music itself has not changed, but the way it is thought about from a sales or distribution point is no longer the “old faithful” industry we once knew. You have to figure that if the digital world is changing our social skills, it must be altering our music ministries as well. Our role is to be the channel in which God can mold and use to reach our generation. Sometimes our everyday rituals clog that pipeline and the buildup begins. We can get lost in the present moment or current task, and forget about the eternal destination we are marching towards.

     I have the amazing opportunity to do something I love every day. I am a recording studio and record label owner in a tropical paradise we call south Florida, Fort Lauderdale to be exact. I get to walk into a timeless environment every day and help people do something that is just as much spiritual as it is physical. I am either wearing the hat of project coordinator, engineer, producer, or most of the time, psychologist. It’s a situation in which we have to get the person behind the mic or instrument to a place of complete trust, safe vulnerability, and sometimes insecurity. By doing this, we can capture the absolute best recording of that person for later listening. Getting the person to the point that they first heard that song the Lord was telling them to write; that exciting energy when you are in a restaurant full of background noise and you hear nothing but the words you have to aggressively write down on the closest napkin before you forget them. All of these experiences happen to the writers before they ever walk into the door, and my job is to get them back to that place so the most honest, true and genuine recording can occur. I was once told by a hero of mine that the vocalist behind the mic will only remember the feeling they had while recording it. Not so much the actual take, technically, but the emotional connection they had to the lyrics, song, room, and person behind the console at that moment of the recording.

     Being in this environment on a daily basis, I also see the negative effect the digital world has taken on them. It isn’t but two takes before the person picks up their phone to see who liked their photo they posted five minutes ago. Or they are instantly ejected from their present environment when they’re mid-sentence and receive a text, and they immediately go into sluggish words and loss of eye contact while trying to let you know, I can multi task by finishing the sentence I was just saying to you in our face-to-face conversation… all while reading, processing and texting this person back. Again, it’s certainly not in every case, but it is getting more and more regular.

     I could be wrong, but I believe that self-discipline is key to writing, arranging and producing music in this generation if you want it to stand the test of time. For it to be relevant, and on point to what God is calling us to do, we must focus in and earnestly seek God’s face like the ones that led this journey before us. Relevance is key. Anointing is vital.

Written by Joseph Salamida
Edited by Noel Hixon

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