Music & Culture
My Journey Through Hollywood’s Music Industry – and What I’ve Learned
Written by Christi Given | June 25, 2012
Being a musician, especially one living in Los Angeles, has been challenging yet rewarding. I have experienced the secular world of music as well as the Christian world, and still believe I have more in my journey and future ahead.
When I was 15, I began recording and was very taken by the smoke and mirrors, the glitz and glam, of the Hollywood life. I was deceived. The music I did wasn’t bad, but it definitely led me down a road of curiosity, meeting “industry” people and “networking.” This led to clubbing and following the celebrity scene, which opened my eyes to the darkness and deceit in Hollywood. Believe me, it is not what you think it is.
There are a lot of empty promises, high hopes and big dreams in Hollywood. But the truth is, only a handful actually make it to be well-known.
Thankfully, I outgrew this, and my passion for the youth and this next generation began to grow after God peeled back the blinds of what I was missing. A lot of fame is deceptive and shallow. It doesn’t mean you can’t sing, act, or do what you love but a warning…it absolutely comes with the territory. The Lord calls us to different assignments in life, but I am glad I went back to my roots of writing Christian music, which began when I was only 12.
The Lord has given me a couple dozen songs and I am on an exciting journey–working on new projects, collaborating with musicians and being able to sing at different churches. In addition, I love singing at my church and giving the Lord my gift back because honestly, I feel He deserves my gift more than the world. Realizing this has been humbling, exciting and a transformation over the last few years. We are called to be set apart and to serve God first in our lives.
The Bible says:
No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money (Matthew 6:24).
But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15).
The Lord gave me spiritual insight to what the enemy is trying to do through music, TV, film and other sources of media. There is a destructive and dark spirit behind a lot of popular entertainment, whether you realize it or not. Most of the music on the radio that is “popular” is vulgar, about partying all night long, worshipping money and other repetitive themes. For some reason, it continues to sell.
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world-the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does-comes NOT from the Father but from the world (1 John 2:15, 16).
My question is, when will we stop accepting demonic, violent, perverse media? We are the consumers, therefore we have the say: We influence who is on the top of the charts, the amount of records labels sell, how many movies are bought and so forth.
My advice is, if you don’t like what you hear on the radio, then DON’T BUY IT! You choose! You can still enjoy great music; I encourage you to buy a good, positive CD and listen to uplifting music! Even better, support the Christian music industry–there are a ton of great artists out there and many more on the rise!
Don’t just jump on the bandwagon because your friends like the newest club hit. Now, there is a balance–we live in a world where we will engage different types of films, music, and so forth. I advise you to be wise what you open your spirit up to, and be selective. It is sad most of the leaders in the industry are selling their souls, promoting disrespect, perversion and compromising. We need to pray for our leaders because ultimately, they influence society.
What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? (Mark 8:36-37)
This is why I am even more excited to be doing music and journalism so I can make a positive impact, along with Nicole and other young people of God, for this generation! Let us rise up and be the change we wish to see! God wants to restore Hollywood and the people, not only in Los Angeles, but everywhere in the world! The good news of salvation is to be spread throughout the nations, and I hope to continue to stretch even further for the Kingdom of God while being in the entertainment world as a platform for the voice of truth and insight.
You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden…let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven (Matthew 5:14,16).
PI readers, what are your goals? How do you want to change the world?