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Music & Culture

My Journey Through Hollywood’s Music Industry – and What I’ve Learned

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?

Image: Christigiven.com

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14 Comments

  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by Artist_In_Blue on September 4, 2012 at 17:19

    i like writing music, but I seem to find inspiration from conflict that other people and I experience. I would like to write songs that praise, thank, and point towards God,though. However, the only way I can think of to do that is to read the Word. That seems like a daunting task, as I have trouble devoting myself to reading consistently.

  2. Maryon

    Posted by Maryon on July 30, 2012 at 10:19

    Thank You for your inspiring testimony, It comforts me in my faith; what the Lord said was true “We didn’t choose him, He choosed us” May God bless You. Amen

  3. gymluv101

    Posted by gymluv101 on July 19, 2012 at 13:03

    I loved this article. My dream though is to be a singer. Christian though, not secular. I don’t know exactly how to get started though. Any tips?

  4. Project Inspired

    Posted by PinkRose on July 3, 2012 at 20:00

    I’m so happy that you’re glorifying God with your gift! Before I surrendered my life to the LORD, I did not enjoy Christian music. I found it boring and meaningless. Once I came to know God, I could finally enjoy music that praised and worshiped Him.
    Hollywood is deceptive. It is glorified all the time on TV, magazines and the radio; but once you look below the surface of all the gliz and glamour, you see that a lot of celebrities are just people who are hurting on the inside. They’ve gone through a series of divorces and addictions. I think we should pray for Hollywood and as Christians, we shouldn’t gossip about celebrities, but use words of kindness. Imagine what the celebrities would think of Christians if our talk was encouraging and loving about them!!

  5. bethechange14

    Posted by bethechange14 on June 30, 2012 at 20:47

    Love it! Good job Christina! It’s such an inspiration to see how your faith has really developped over the years! To God alone be the glory!

  6. Project Inspired

    Posted by bri on June 30, 2012 at 13:59

    If people don’t know by now how Hollywood works…they need to be slapped in the face. EVERYONE knows that Hollywood is fake. The movie/music industry is all fake because…hello it’s ENTERTAINMENT!! No one wants to see real life. Movies are fake, music videos are fake, TV shows are fake. If people think they can show up in Hollywood and instantly become famous, they are delusional.

  7. Project Inspired

    Posted by Monica on June 29, 2012 at 07:53

    In some songs on the radio I can sometimes sense an evil presence in it, and it makes me uncomfortable. Like the songs about how the guy wants to sleep with the girl. I think it’s called “I’m glad you came”. Seriously girls, listen to the lyrics real closely. Listen to anything real close. Almost everything in life has a deeper meaning to it. I prefer to listen to Christian rock bands on Youtube like Skillet. I recommend the song “Imperfection” for all those struggling with insecurites. I have started to realize that we grow each day in the Lord. And when you say a prayer, say it from the heart and say the words slowly so that you can FEEL them. God bless you all! (And sorry for my long comment lol) 🙂

  8. Project Inspired

    Posted by morgi on June 28, 2012 at 07:00

    I love this! Music is really important to me and I am super careful about what I put on my iPod. I have favorite christian artists like Switchfoot, Twenty One Pilots, Gungor, Francesca Battistelli, Cory Asbury, Misty Edwards, and much more! I encourage all of you to try them out!

  9. Paris

    Posted by Paris on June 26, 2012 at 21:28

    I love this article,christina!

  10. Project Inspired

    Posted by Bellastar37 on June 25, 2012 at 20:24

    helping out at a dog center would be great! theres soo many pets out there that need your help! you could donate blankets and dog houses♪

  11. Project Inspired

    Posted by Erinie on June 25, 2012 at 16:42

    Your story is very inspiring. I hear a lot of girls saying how they want to go to Hollywood and be actresses, singers, and all these stuff. I was personally one of these young teenagers. I was blinded by the Hollywood scene, but now I know better. Most of the celebrities in Hollywood end up loosing themselves in the process of getting cash and being famous. It’s sad. However, the thing is that you’re not just harming yourself by being part of Hollywood, you’re also being a part of an industry that’s twisting everyone’s facts ; an industry that mistakes fiction for facts.
    My goals in life have changed since God opened my eyes to see what I was getting myself into. Now, I have a bigger goal in my life. I’d like to be a Highschool teacher. I want to be a role model and give hope to a generation that is lied to by MTV and Hollywood.

    • ChristinaGiven

      Posted by ChristinaGiven on July 12, 2012 at 01:06

      Being a teacher is a wonderful goal! I pray God will give you the desires of your heart as your glorify & honor him!! 🙂

  12. Project Inspired

    Posted by tNOgreaterlove on June 25, 2012 at 16:20

    I LOVE this! Thank you Christina for all you do… there is truly no better use of our gifts than giving them to God’s glory… what a way to witness!

    Some people ask my why I listen to Christian music… I call it my “happy music” because it is true that what you put into your ears can change you…