Young artists, Where are they?

The UK Christian and Gospel music scene seems to be losing a generation of youth talent. A pretty bold statement and one that might actually not go down too well but then the truth hurts a little, sometimes a lot. Lets put it another way. How many teenage artists upcoming or otherwise can you name right now?

Looking at the bigger picture for a moment, global statistics report that a glum one third of all young people attend religious services of some kind or engage in their faith community. This surely emphasises the huge work that is needed to engage and positively influence more teens.

Over the past 21 months of operating the UK Christian Charts we have seen many trends, including a male dominated Top 10 which saw only 3 females having #1 tracks. That is out of 210 tracks. The situation is just as dire when one examines the data to identify young artists. Although there has definitely been improvement in the number of female submissions in recent months, there remains the other concern of how many of the overall music is fully representative of the youth perspective and even delivered by the youth.

We are looking at the over 300 public submissions to the UK Christian Chart last year and asking, with great concern, where are the young people? It is also a well known fact that young people care about music so is the UK suffering from a lack of youth talent or a lack of exposure? Where are the ‘youngers’ being brought through by those who came up in the boom years especially in the urban scene? Why are so few or no youth artists linked to those already established. Are churches more inclined to support collective talent ie. choirs, worship teams etc. rather than nurturing individual creativity. Who is being discipled, and by whom? There are many well known names that we would like to ask these questions and more.

We had a quick talk with one upcoming artist who was happy to share his thoughts.

Who are you and what are you about?

“My name is Means and I’m one third of a rap collective called Hope Dealers. We have a passion to see the lost saved by any means.”

What are your thoughts on the lack of more youth talent in the scene?

“Personally I’d like to see artists and musicians bring through or at least highlight the young talent that’s coming up. We all have to take responsibility in doing this but something I’d like to see more of, is artists with a larger influence and following put out activities on their social media for aspiring rappers, singers etc. under 18s for example, covering a song of theirs and seeing the best that comes through from that.”

What would you like to see change?

“People like Guvna B, A Star etc. should shout out more upcoming young talent and give them a platform to stand on. The likes of SBTV and bl@ckbox do this a lot. Doing this is not the only way but its a way to reach and impact the next generation of artists and musicians, pushing them forward.”

So if you know of any artists; singers, rappers, poets or instrumentalists, 19 years old and under, please get in touch. There is a platform here for them as we do our part to support youth talent.

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