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LJ Magazine

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16-27Gloria Deo Artistes: Roll-Call: LJ introduces you to the artistes featuring in the line-up at Gloria Deo 2010.

8BreakFree Tour: Connecting the dots: True Freedom and Living Out Loud!!!

9U180: Turnaround stories: U180’s recipe for change.

10-14Profiler: Living Out Loud? LJ introduces you to the artistes who do it.

15Gloria Deo: LJ on LiveJam’s flagship event, now in its fifth year.

28Music tells Stories portrayed in a sketch by Ashwin Chacko

32-33Top 4 stories in the international music scene

34-35LJ Lifetime Achievement for John Schlitt36

Music and Drugs: Is that a Match

39Winners of Rock Out Loud Competition: F58!

44Music Drives Change: Read on as Don James talks on music as an element that drives change and brings transformation.

40-42Brian Welch: The U180 Experience


5LiveJam: The journey

6LJ in conversation with Bonny Andrews

22-24COVER STORY: Benny Prasad

29-30Akshay Rajkumar on discerning the sound of the decade

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If music be the food of love, play on, said English poet and playwright William

Shakespeare. Four hundred years later, the essence of what he said continues to reverberate in music around us; in similar meaning and thought.LiveJam (LJ) is all about celebrating the sound of music, and teaching others to feel the joy it brings. It began with a mission dedicated to showing the ‘NOW GENERATION’ that they can live their lives to the fullest and say NO to drugs, alcohol, violence and immorality by saying YES to life, hope, peace and purity. LiveJam’s annual international Christmas concert, Gloria Deo, began in 2005, and has seen the performances of prominent national and international artistes and celebrities over the years. This magazine is a souvenir for Gloria Deo 2010, which will showcase some of the finest talents in

national and international music, updates from LiveJam as an organisation, a sneak peek into upcoming bands and artistes, and upcoming music prodigies.While Akshay Rajkumar’s take on what constitutes the most influential form of music in Discerning the sound of the Decade will grasp your attention, interviews with talented artistes will keep you wanting for more. Don in Music Drives Change talks on music as an element that drives change and brings transformation while Justin in Music and Drugs: Is that a Match helps readers think through what really makes music enjoyable.This music magazine will enthrall music enthusiasts and encourage them to LIVE OUT LOUD just as we do at LiveJam!

So, here’s to great reading, while you have a beautiful Christmas!



www.livejam.inemail: [email protected] club number: 9958099861Facebook: www.facebook.com/livejammer

Editorial TeamKalpana Andrews

Don James

Magazine Layout and Design:David Blakelock, The Media Consultancy,


Contributors:Justin Thomas

Archana Sudheer GayenAkshay Rajkumar

Special thanks :

Akhil Singh for Band PhotographyMervyn Titus Koshy for Bonny Andrews’

profile pictureAshwin Chacko for the brilliant sketch

on Music Tells Stories Nikhil Michigan for the U180 advert

Published byLiveJam

1415, Sector A, Pocket B & CVasant Kunj, New Delhi – 110070


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LiveJam began with a mission dedicated to bring and show the ‘NOW GENERATION’ that they can live their lives to the fullest and say NO to drugs, alcohol, violence and immorality by saying YES to life, hope, peace and purity.

The words YES and NO stand out LOUD in the activities of LiveJam as it clearly portrays what the organisation stands for. NO to Drugs & YES to LIFE. NO to Chains & YES to Freedom

LiveJam is a non-profit organization that works among urban youth to spread the message of freedom and hope from the entanglements of drug and alcohol abuse and those struggling from the aftermath of broken homes. This is done through the use of contemporary music, arts, media and entertainment, thus encouraging young lives to live life to the FULLEST.

With humble beginnings that began in the year 2005 in a small town in Kerala, LiveJam has come a long way in terms of its outreach to young kids in schools across the country. Envisioned in 2004 in the heart of Bonny Andrews, LiveJam is a youth movement that has touched thousands of young lives. In the

past, the LJ team have been invited to speak and conduct workshops at prominent schools and colleges in various cities, authorities of which would gladly vouch for LJ’s program quality, motives, and the impact of the same on young lives. Having extensively toured campuses in the cities of Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Trivandrum, Cochin and Ooty over the last four seasons, with a wide array of music programs, the team is excited to be contributing to the NOW generation.

ACTIVITIES Music FestivalsSchool and Campus ToursRadio Broadcasts on National FM (Delhi: every Friday 5:30 pm)Broadcasts on Mainstream TelevisionRaising and promoting Purpose Driven BandsConducting Youth Conferences to empower YouthMerchandising Chain Stores and Coffee Shops in Malls (coming soon)

LiveJam has worked among several top schools and colleges in the country especially in the cities of Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Cochin, Trivandrum.





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What was the inspiration behind starting LiveJam?I saw this immense need to help young people with the struggles that they face; be it addictions, low self-esteem and struggling identity, peer pressure, broken relationships and loneliness. I also realise the power of music as I have seen its transformation in my life. So I thought, Why not use music to spread a message of hope and freedom? And that’s how LiveJam came to be in 2005.

Why the name LiveJam?Well, we wanted to come up with a brand name that would resonate with our audience and since music is all about coming together, jamming and having fun, we came up with the name LiveJam.

Why is urban youth your focus?Urban youth have immense exposure in terms of global music and are also prone to all the effects of it as well. At LiveJam we promote music that is clean, advocates healthy lifestyles and is also in some sense a counter culture to the existing rock scene. Also I grew up in a city setting and was convinced that is where there is immense need and this is where we need to be working.

You’re a musician yourself. When did your musical inclination begin?Well I started pretty young. My parents realised I liked to sing and so my first solo performance was when I was 3! Serious music began when I took to playing first the drums, then the bass and guitar for

my church band. I still remember playing with my first band Levites in Trivandrum; it was such a thrill! Later on from there, I evolved into performing as a solo artist.

What is your concept with regard to giving a platform for aspiring young musicians?Urban youth have a lot of potential, great exposure but often lack direction. That’s what we focus on; basically discovering young talents, giving them platforms to play and build their self confidence, mentor them and also promote them. And since we emphasise on clean lyrics and healthy lifestyles, our concerts are places where even teenagers can come and play and where parents are free to come see what their kids are doing.

Our music also comes with a message where we also help kids with issues of peer pressure, low self esteem, addictions and the like.

Hope for the future with regard to LiveJam and your own expectations?LiveJam aspires not just to be a music brand but a lifestyle brand and we hope we would eventually become part of every kid’s life. A brand with a message; music with a message. We hope to do this through merchandise, coffee shops and other related stuff.

A word for budding musicians.LIVE OUT LOUD!



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BreakFree Tour is an annual tour conducted in schools across the country in the months of August and September focused on the theme Freedom. Centred around August 15, India’s Independence Day, we begin our tour with asking this key question: Are we really free?

One of LiveJam’s primary endeavours is aimed at supporting educational institutions in providing value-based education and value-based entertainment by engaging students through a medium they can easily connect to. LiveJam’s vision is generally conveyed through the use of contemporary music as this helps to get the message across. The mission of the tour is to penetrate into the lives of thousands of youth in India with the message of freedom through the medium of music, and entertainment. Through the tour, professional musicians perform in one or two schools a day for ten days, covering anywhere between 10-20 locations where they talk about freedom: freedom from drugs, alcohol, insecurity, identity issues and other similar issues that plague our young people today. This culminates in a Grand Finale concert, a combined major event that would see the participation of all schools on board in the city.

BreakFree tour first began in 2008 in Trivandrum and Kochi and then on to 9 cities each in 2009 and 2010. Several of the best schools in the country have gone

through the program over the two-year period. Over 40,000 kids underwent the program in 2010. This tour has been conducted across the length and breadth of the country: in cities such as Kochi, Trivandrum, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Allahabad, Chandigarh, Delhi, Dehradun & Mussoorie. It is amazing to see lives of kids being transformed and touched as the team counsels them on a variety of pertinent issues like identity, peer pressure, suicidal tendencies and addictions.


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U180! LiveJam’s staple diet! U180 stands for ‘you’ turning 180 degrees; that is, to turn away from the current track you are on. Sometimes, it’s hard to change our ways and thoughts, even if we want to. At U180, we share real life stories of regular, everyday people who have struggled with issues, who are now out of it, and are making a difference in other people’s lives. U180 is our monthly concert, a platform that provides an opportunity for upcoming bands in the city to showcase their skills and set a benchmark for further bands. The U180 concerts in Delhi in 2010 witnessed some outstanding performances by bands playing

varying musical genres. The focus has however been ROCK!

The whole idea is to encourage creativity in music among young aspiring bands while at the same time encouraging music that has clean lyrics and encourages healthy lifestyles. LiveJam also aims to mentor and promote some of these bands.

If you have a band and would like to perform at any of our monthly concerts, just call 9958099861 or email us at [email protected].


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Formed in the month of March 2008, DEMENTIA is an Alternative Christian Rock band committed to creating a difference through music. Along with alternative metal as the primary genre the band also blends hues of rock, blues, and funk in its musical style.

Dementia has, over the years since they came together, earned acclaim and stunning success but they credit it all to their faith in Jesus Christ. Their name came about because they wanted to make a statement: to let the youth look beyond what they see in society today. Corruption, politicizing in churches, and racism have all taken a toll on the minds of young people. Dementia wants the youth to be able to counter these

negative influences by focusing on their God given purpose in life.

Dementia has gone a long way from being just a band, to making it big in the state. They insist on having a positive attitude towards life, and encourage people to do away with drugs because, as far they’re concerned, you don’t need to get high to enjoy the good things in life. DEMENTIA is Akihito kinimi on vocalsMoatemjen on guitarBendang pongen on bassLanu on drums.Joeinakhu. manager.



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Ave Verdad


www.myspace com/aveverdad


Ave Verdad, as a project, fuses together elements of heavy metal, hard rock, blues, funk and the elementally western classical yet psychedelic strains of an electric violin, all of which are organized into an eclectic and edgy yet homogenous whole. This new sound, an ever-evolving entity, will officially debut as Ave Verdad’s sophomore album, sometime in 2011, once the band develops more material to record a full length effort to follow up its 15 track debut, Selah (2009).

The band has performed across various LiveJam platforms, including opening for the season launch of the U180 2010 season in March 2010. The highlight of their performances with LiveJam was their standout show at The Doon School on the 25th of September, as part of the BreakFree tour in Dehradun. Their amazing energy and brilliant music was an instant favourite with youngsters there.

The band evolved when friends got together in 2007 to jam and

write songs. And they ended up with around thirty of them! They then released their first album, Selah, in December, 2009, a critically acclaimed 15 track effort that received high praise from respected

music critic Indrajit Hazra of ‘Hindustan Times’. Though

initially known as Scarlet Ground,

the band later rechristened itself as Ave Verdad, which means ‘Hail, Truth’. It signifies the change in direction that their music has taken.Recent live commitments have seen Ave Verdad explore new territories and get their music out to a much wider and varied audience than before. Highlights during this period have included playing venues like Hard Rock Cafe, New Delhi, Doon School, Dehradun and Woodstock School, Mussoorie (As part of the Break Free tour organized by LiveJam).

Ave Verdad is currently not signed on to any label.

Line-Up: Leon Dawson - [Vocals], Mark Aranha - [Guitars, Backing Vocals],Inato Sema - [Violin],Vivek Gordon - [Bass], Don James - [Drums],

Former Members:Benjamin Samte [Guitars], July2007-June2010\

Profiler: Living Out Loud? LJ introduces you to the artistes who do it

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Sanjeeb Sircar, an accomplished Classical Sitar performer/teacher and a creative and versatile

musician engaged the audience of the 2010 season launch of the U180 concert in March 2010, with a stellar and much acclaimed performance.

Sanjeeb Sircar has a music career spanning more than three decades, during which he has performed and taught music at many places in India, Europe and the USA. His music reflects a synthesis of subtle diversity marked by a personal innovative approach, and depth of expression, within the traditional norms.

He holds a master’s degree in Indian Music (Sitar), from the Prayag Sangit Samiti, Allahabad, and a diploma in Indian Music (Sitar), from the Benaras Hindu University, Varanasi. Prominent among his teachers are Ustad Shujaat Khan, the late Pandit

Banwari Lal (1912-2003) of Allahabad, Dr. Raj Bhan Singh, and Dr. K.C. Gangrade of Varanasi . He has also attended lecture demonstrations / workshops performances of numerous eminent scholars and musicologists including Sitar Maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar, over the years. Apart from playing the Indian Classical Sitar, his primary instrument, he also plays the Piano, Tabla, and Guitar.

In addition to classical music, he is also a pioneer in using the Sitar in authentic Jazz, Christian and experimental forms of music. He has been an exponent of Fusion Music for more than three decades. Being a Christian and upon coming to know Jesus more personally over the years, he loves to also play and sing Christian Music.

In the year 2008, he was awarded the ‘Best International Ambient Male Artist’ award of the Toronto Exclusive Magazine International Awards. He has produced four albums, besides recording many tracks for other productions.

Sanjeeb is based out of New Delhi, India

Sanjeeb Sircar



Email: [email protected]

KIKingdom International, registered under the Delhi based charity - Touch India Trust, is a Community, largely consisting of University Students, that believes in and follows the teachings of Jesus. The vision of the Community includes holistic growth of all its members with special development of skills and growth in areas of interest and talent of each individual. The KI Band comes from within this community and though the members of Band (Musicians and Vocalists) change every now and then, because of students moving in and out of Delhi, the KI Band holds on to its passion for music and worship, originality in lyrics and composition, sharing of lives and friendship in love and also being accountable to each

other according to the good life as taught by Jesus. The members of the KI Band that featured at the U180 concert were

Charishma - Vocals, Vila - Electric Guitar, Nash - Acoustic Guitar, Benry - Drums, Esther - Keyboard, Sengba - Bass.


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Johanna Macden, is a lover of God and passionate about influencing others to deeper intimacy & authentic relationship with their heavenly father. She is an ordained minister, worship leader, songwriter, pianist, and is currently writing her first screenplay. She has been involved in various recording projects as a backup vocalist, worked in the music industry in Nashville, TN, served on leadership positions in ministries and has travelled throughout USA, Canada, Caribbean Islands, Asia and Africa as a worship leader.

Born in India & raised in the USA, she

has a deep love and appreciation for diverse cultures and has a burning desire to see people know their identity in God, live life from a place of freedom, and fulfill their destiny with joy! Currently living in New York City, Johanna continues to write, sing, and record. She is also the co-founder of Creative Kingdom Expression (CKE), an equipping organization, that was birthed to be a supernatural leadership training center, raising up artistic and marketplace “ministers” outside the four walls of the church. CKE creates an atmosphere where you participate to bring about cultural transformation in every sphere of society.

Johanna Macden

A2JCatching up with the rush hour everyday are 5 professionals making their way into offices. Their professions may not be tent making like the first apostle, but their response to the call was a unanimous “here I am send me” and that’s what’s kept them together as A2J.

A2J was born in the heart of a college student 10 years ago and is based out of one of the most the most vibrant christian centers in India - Chennai. A2J has traveled south India extensively apart from playing at Pune, Indore, Bengaluru, Mysore, Hyderabad and Dimapur.

A2J has in its 10 years as a band supported social causes, played at camps & ministered in schools, colleges and corporate houses. Their single “Prove It” featured in the “WOW India” album which comprises the music of the best Christian bands in India.

They have individual accomplishments as musicians and collective achievements as a band as well. A2J’s style of music includes a wide genre ranging from contemporary worship, classical rock & modern rock. A2J is currently working on a full length album which is to be released in the near future.


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Godwin C Clement (a.k.a Geewin) brings a blend between R & B, Soul and African music. His music is soft, soothing, touching and very well accepted, having strong roots and drawing inspiration from concepts like faith, life, and love. His other areas of passion are media, entertainment and information technology.

Born to the family of Mr & Mrs Clement Uwaegbulem on October 13 1981, in Port Harcourt City Nigeria, GeeWin was raised up by music lovers. His mother, a singer/songwriter in her own right, was a great influence to his musical career.GeeWin is a singer and songwriter who has a passion for music and has been singing since his childhood days - from about the age of 5.

He has worked with the United Nations Development Programme Office in Rivers state, Nigeria. He has also worked with 96.9 Coolfm radio station Abuja and in the banking sector where he has a few years of experience.

Having lived in India for over two years for various periods of time, he also got the opportunity to tour several cities with the LiveJam team. Some of his gigs include performing for U180 concerts, serving as performing artist for the Breakfree tour in

schools in Doon and a spectacular performance at the prestigious Doon School in Dehradun. GeeWin launched his maiden album WORSHIP CULTURE in New Delhi India on March 21, 2010 and in Nigeria on August 8, 2010. This was a LIVE concert which received critical acclaim on national TV and newspaper. The album has been nominated in 4 categories at the forth-coming NATIONAL GOSPEL AWARDS in Nigeria. The hit song ONYE ISI reverberates across Nigeria! It is even loved by Indians because of the rich African groove. WORSHIP CULTURE is available for purchase and downloads worldwide on iTunes, Amazon mp3, CDBaby, Cd Universe, etc.

When asked about his plans for the future, GeeWin is always excited because he has just survived a life-threatening bout of cancer and knows he’s got a long rich life ahead of him. In his words: “I have many more albums to come, many more LIVE concerts to come. Watch out for me! I believe I can fly! I’m about to take the world by storm!”. He’s presently working on a project and radio show aimed at lending a helping hand to people with health-related issues.





Sounds of The Nations is a project based out of Hyderabad in South India. With a line-up that boasts experienced, technically knowledgeable and committed musicians, SOTN have a tight, ‘whole’ sound and a professional attitude that characterises their playing. Genre-wise, their music has distinct alternative, pop-rock and worship strains, united and driven by a philosophy of leading people into communion with God.At the core of this Band are – Anand, Benhur, Anoop Peter, Prasanna, Allen, Rufus and Joel.

Anand- Apart from being the Assistant producer, he is also a writer and a composer who produced some assorted compositions because of his keen ear for music, great grasp of theory and good technical knowledge.Benhur - Disciplined, hardworking, passionate about Music and a gifted guitarist, he loves to use his musical exploits for Christ. He brings in melody and flavor to the musical experience of the Band. He chooses to speak less and lets his music do all the talking. Benhur also assists Allen in the Studio.

Anoop Peter - is a terrific Bass player who binds the Band together with his Bass Riffs. He is known for billowing out poly-effects with his musical expertise. He is free spirited, determined and never flinches from the oft staggering challenges of their musical renditions.Prasanna - is the quintessential manager with exceptional organizational and team management skills. He sets standards for the Band in terms of discipline, punctuality etc. He lives his goal of serving God in the true sense of the word, everyday. Allen - dons many hats with aplomb. He is a Producer, Music Director, Song Writer and a dynamic Worship Leader whose enthusiasm reaps results. He has been influential in grooming young leaders and musicians. He is impeccable with Guitar and also takes care of the designing and graphic needs of the Band.Rufus- The Leader who takes ownership and responsibility of the Band. Being a teacher, preacher and a Pastor credits him with life experiences that the Band can rely on. He guides the band spiritually. Joel - remains the undisputed Drummer of the Band who brings in a unique style to the band. Someone who is brimming with new ideas in songs and has set standards in drumming with his consistency. He is a disciplined musician and irrevocably perfect in his craft.

SOTN (Sounds of the nation band)

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Gloria Deo International Christmas concert is a unique, one –of- its- kind concept in the country. Gloria Deo is a time for people to come together in brotherhood, casting aside all barriers of race and language that so often seems to hinder unity and oneness. With Peace and Unity as its theme, GD centres on people’s coming together in joy, peace, hope and above all, love, for that is the greatest gift of all. And what better time to do this than during Christmas, as love is the crux of what Christmas stands for.

GD which began in 2005 is conducted annually in various parts of the country and abroad and has seen performances by prominent national and international artistes and celebrities over the years. GD was the first ever mega concert to be held in free Nepal in the year 2008 at the prestigious Tundikhel palace grounds with an audience of around 20,000 people with live telecast throughout the country.

From 2005 onwards, GD has been held in some of the best venues in the country including Palace grounds, Bangalore, Ishanya Mall, Pune, Pragati Maidan, Delhi, Tundikhel Grounds, Nepal and Talkatora Indoor stadium this year in Delhi. This concert was also held in Berlin, Germany in December of 2008.

In the city of Delhi, this Christmas, Gloria Deo 2010 will exhibit some of the finest talents in international music. It will feature artists from within the country and abroad including Nina Astrom, Award winning artist from Finland; Benny Prasad, world’s most travelled musician; Yeshua, Radio City 91.1 Best Band in the country; Billy Yesudian, hip-hop artist with Hit Single ‘Cinderella’; Bonny Andrews, Artist and Founder-Director of LiveJam with the LiveJam Band, and outstanding talent from our very own New Delhi Schools and Delhi University Colleges!

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Yeshua is a Christian Hindi rock band from Bombay,

pioneers in the areas of song-writing and originality

in their genre/style of music. They are an inspiration

to many artists/bands when it comes to original

compositions in Hindi. Not only are they winners of

the prestigious Galilean award for the ‘Best New

Gospel Band’, they also participated in the Radio City

competition for the search for “India’s best Hindi

rock band”, where they stood 2nd in the national

level competition.

Yeshua has been associated with LiveJam since

2007 where they performed for the Gloria Deo 2007

Concert at the Palace Grounds in Bangalore. Ever

since, they have been a regular feature at Gloria Deo

concerts as their songs are sung widely all over the

country, especially in North India.

This five-member band was formed in the year 2002

by vocalist, song-writer & music director, Cameron

Mendes. Members include Anson Miranda (lead

guitars), Joshua Fernandes (keyboards), Cleon Dsouza

(bass guitars) and Jason Joy (drums & percussion).

They are accompanied by Gwen Mendes (acting band

manager +host + stylist + Cameron’s wife) and Julius

Lobo (sound engineer), who is also an integral part

of the band. Their concerts have audiences of up to

25,000, in locations like Bombay, Pune, Sholapur,

Delhi, Bangalore, Trivandrum, Ahmedabad, Nashik,

Nagpur, Goa, Allahabad, Chattisgarh, Jamshedpur,

Calcutta and Nepal, amongst several others.

Events that are close to their heart include working

with the children of Mukti Mission (the Pandita

Ramabai Institute in Khergaon near Pune that

shelters orphans and widows), a charitable trust

RUTU (Reaching the Unreached and Touching the

Untouched that supports widows, street children and

sex workers’ children) and caring for AIDS patients

from Mumbai.

Their songs “Yeshu Tera Naam, Sabse Uncha Hai”

and “Gao Hallelujah” from the hit self-titled album

Yeshua are sung today in almost every church in the

Indian Sub-continent and even across the world. The

songs on this album have been a signature for Hindi

worshipers and worship leaders alike. Yeshua’s much

awaited second album, Rock and Roll, which was

recently released with hit releases including Yeshu

Naam and the Bharat song has received amazing


The band continues to write excellent, original and

fresh music, a lot of which can be heard during their

concerts. They aim to inspire a generation of true


Roll-Call: LJ introduces you to the artistes featuring in the line-up at Gloria Deo 2010.


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How long have you been singing?I've been performing for some 25 years but singing and playing the piano started earlier of course.

Tell us something about you and music - your childhood and your family’s influence on your talent.I started to play the piano when I was 7 and my older brother was a big influence musically – he introduced me to a lot of music and taught me the “blues scale” quite early on. I never learned how to read music so I developed a way of playing and composing which requires a good ear. The people that I work with are the same way; they might be able to read music but are geared into this way of looking at things.

You’re a trained English teacher. How did the transition to music take place?I guess I initially thought I would be working with music on the side of my teacher's job. But I pretty soon realized

Nina Astrom



LJ interviews Nina Astrom, an accomplished

musician, who’s on the bill at Gloria Deo 2010

As told to Archana Sudheer Gayen

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that there isn't enough time for family, work and music. So I asked for a one-year-leave from my employer to see if music could become a full-time profession. During this time I also recorded my first album. Some other major things happened as well, things that enabled me to after that one year say to my employer that I would quit my job.

You won the Finnish selection for the Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm in May 2000 with the song A Little Bit. Did that change your life? Well, it did change many things for my career; more exposure usually gives more work. Also, it opened certain doors and also made people listen to what I have to say about many things. It was a huge gig (a couple of hundred million viewers) and a lot of media exposure otherwise as well, but I don't see it as the highlight of my career. For me highlights have a different set of criteria.

What are the main influences for your music?Musically I guess I'm a child of my own time, I've heard it said that what you're listening in your teens usually affects your musical taste and direction heavily. The singer-songwriter music and soul, blues and pop of the 70's set a foundation for me. There are others that came in later of course and have influenced me musically and spiritually. Nowadays I listen to a lot of instrumental music (guitar and piano) that is somewhere between jazz and classical music.

What music are you currently listening to?The music that is in my player right now is by a pianist and composer, a guy that I've worked with, Dani Strömbäck. Apart from having a brilliant technique, his “colors and language” speak to me.

Most of your songs have the central theme of ‘love’. Why so?Love is the most important thing in the world. Love is the reason that this world and everybody in it is created. God is love. His love is not the kind of love that we oftentimes envision love or experience it. It is different and much more. This love has huge consequences in our lives and in many of my songs I'm exploring that.

You have been to over 20 countries. What draws you to different cultures and peoples? From a practical point of view one could say that my interest for other cultures than my own has pretty much always been there, hence my studies in the English language.I guess there's been the openness to go where I've been invited and the Lord certainly delights in our personal traits and abilities. Later on in my career I've somehow come to see the whole world as one big field of work with cool people all around :)

Tell us about your family. How do you balance family

life and career?I am married to Benni, we have two daughters (twins): Wilma and Natalie. They both got married last year (not at the same time! :)). Balancing family life and career is never easy, everyone who is trying to do that knows that this is the case. I have a great husband who loves me and supports me in what I do. For me family comes first, although I love my work, and from time to time you have set and adjust your priorities right.

You just released an album, The Way We Are. What was the inspiration behind it?The texts that I had written during a couple of recent years somehow just seem to point into the title of the album; the way it was created, the way it was meant to be and the way it is.Dan Weeks (and his brother Matt) from London were a great inspiration to me.

What have you lined up for the near future?Well, Christmas will be soon and after a lot of traveling I'm looking forward to family time. Right after NewYear more performances, Finland and elsewhere. We're also hoping to finish and promote a TV documentary . There are prison gigs, "regular" gigs (whatever that means), teaching within music/ministry, and a little bit of writing as well.

Archana Sudheer Gayen works as Manager - Communications, Centre for Public Policy Research, as well as Editor of MindTEXT, the organisation’s online journal.

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Mix lyrics that have rhythm & rhyme with dynamic hip-hop tracks... blend influences from rock, pop and Indian music... and you have Billy Yesudian - NOT your typical rap artist!

Billy decided to jump on the hip hop band wagon after a North East India tour with the rock band Blood and Fire. He was pleasantly surprised by the roaring response of audiences to his rapping. That got him thinking and he has been at it ever since.

Billy has been writing and performing from his school / college days. During his tenure with FEBA radio, he composed and recorded many jingles and also co-produced a program called “Echoes of Music”. His song “When Tears Fall”, written when he was with World Vision was telecasted on Star World, Star Plus and Hallmark.

Billy’s first break came when his song, ‘I Found Love’ was featured in the album ‘WoW India’ in 2002. Since then his music has reached far and wide. He has been performing at numerous venues across the length and breadth of India. He has also toured The US and Germany. “Waves of Compassion” released in 2005 to help people affected by the tsunami received very good reviews (including CCM magazine) and airplay in different parts of the world. After his success with “Waves of Compassion” and his take on Dan Brown with “Breakin’ Da Code”, Billy is interpreting hip hop his way. He says “To me, it is more than just the image or attitude, it’s a lifestyle. A lot of ‘rap’ culture is the “Hey! I’m invincible” kind of deal, but I bring my guard down and write about life issues”.

When asked about his inspiration, Billy says “My biggest inspiration is everyday life – conversations, relationships, love, hurt, joy, dreams, hope, memories, regrets,

forgiveness. Most times lyrics are wrung out of me... something that impacts me deeply inspires good lyrics and makes a great song.” He experienced a creative turning point when he toured as support artist and emcee with John Schlitt, the lead singer of the multi-Grammy award-winning group, Petra, in May 2008. Billy imbibed songwriting wisdom from the master. “John said that when you write, you should keep your audience in mind - the song HAS to connect with the listener.”

Billy is passionate about the craft of songwriting. “You can hammer pieces of wood together and make a useable chair,” he says. “The difference between that and a well crafted chair is when you pay attention to finer details like style, dimension, texture, carving and finish. I really work hard on my lyrics.”

About his style Billy says “Honestly I find it difficult to put my music into a box... it is unique for sure... I try to write and play within my strengths, which would be rock, rap and pop, adding a blend of Indian spice to it as well. It appeals to a wide audience.”

PowerHouse invited Billy Yesudian to write and record a song for their “Rise India” album. The song called Cinderella (music composed by Timothy Madhulkar) talks about how we all long to belong and how at times we are oblivious to the obvious. Cinderella was a BIG hit with school students in Delhi during the BreakFree 2010 tour. Billy has contributed immensely to the tour across the country especially in Delhi and Trivandrum. Billy’s music is catchy and he is an instant crowd favourite, with audiences clapping their hands together and singing along. He is currently working on his full length album which will be out soon.

Billy Yesudian: Rocking The Talk


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The LiveJam Band is an alternative/ contemporary Christian rock act based out of New Delhi, India.Comprised of the ever calm and cool Vivek Gordon on the bass, the jovial Asher on the guitar, the groovy and solid Denny on drums and the ever energetic Bonny Andrews on lead vocals, The Livejam band is a crowd favourite and also the resident house band at all Livejam music events.All accomplished and experienced musicians in their own right, The Livejam band is known for a tight sound and a locked-in, in sync tone and presentation. The solid low back end comprising vivek and denny is very well complemented by the mature guitar playing of asher, who drives and rounds out the band’s compact and solid sound.The hallmark of their live set is the amazing crowd interaction engineered in equal parts by the livewire stage presence of Bonny Andrews on lead vocals and the solid and composed approach of the musicians in backing him in impromptu improvisational sections.Besides the band’s obvious musical and personal synergy, the driving philosophy that the band derives its identity from is their total commitment, as individuals and as a group, to glorify God through their music, and to lead people into a relationship with him.

the livejam band


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What do you do when nobody gives you a chance to succeed? What if you are not shown an iota of hope to excel? Worse, you are told you’re a failure. Now, a world renowned musician, instrumentalist Benny Prasad’s spectacular life journey is peppered with instances which are a beacon of hope for those who have lost it.

By the age of 16, Benny felt that he was worthless and nobody cared. Quite similar to what our present generation is experiencing. He suffered severe asthma which required him to take cortisone steroids. Because of the steroids, he developed Rheumatoid Arthritis, resulting in 60 percent lung damage and his immune system failing. Finally, his life reached a nadir where he contemplated suicide.

At this point, Benny recounts that he experienced a supernatural power that would change his life’s

course forever. There was a person called Jesus who told him that his life was precious and important to him, prompting Benny to surrender his life to him and later join a seminary. It was here that he picked up a guitar with no strings, unaware then that he would later create a world record of playing guitar in almost 245 countries!

He managed to tie a few strings together and started learning to play the guitar. People around him didn’t give him a chance and told him point blank that it isn’t worth trying. Undeterred, within two months he was the star in college! He claims that his identity started to take shape and as he began to grow in confidence, they were sceptics murmuring, “Let’s see how long he’ll last”.

Benny is more into arrangement of songs rather than composition. His playlist has influences of jazz

Strumming to a





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progressions and his skill set improved considerably after he joined School of Music in Missions in New Mexico, USA. It was here in 1999, that he first played in a concert. Though he was playing with others, it was here that he realized that he was onto something. That something took a form of a six nation tour of Europe in February 2002. He played in front of crowds ranging from three to a thousand. Literally, a star was born.

However, fame is a difficult partner to satisfy. There have been times when God told him in no uncertain terms that he needs to be humble. That happened when after a concert, he came back straight to his

hotel room without staying back at the venue. Once, the punishment was swift. During one of his sets, Benny realized that he couldn’t play anymore as his fingers had gone numb. He had no option but to walk off the stage. It’s like you are waiting to write an exam and accidentally your fingers are chopped off. Wasn’t any accident in his case though.

Identity crisis was a major problem for Benny and he asserts that his testimony is a proof of what is possible. He has performed before presidents and parliaments, before the crowds of the 2007 Military World Games, 2006 FIFA World Cup and the 2004 Olympic Games.

Benny at the Olympics Greece

Benny in the USA

Benny at the FIFA World Cup in Germany

Benny Prasad in 2008 in Kathmandu

World Record for the Fastest Time to travel to 245 countries- 6 years, 6 months & 22 days!

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he said she saidAs told to Archana Sudheer Gayen

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Your singing talent was spotted at a very young age. How did your childhood and family influence your gift?My father claimed I’d be an opera singer from the age of two or three! As a child I was extremely shy and thus, even though I sang at home nonstop, I did not perform publicly until the age of 10. I slowly but surely began singing more and as word got out (in my teeny village of 400 people!) I was asked to sing at every possible function. Before I knew it, I was 15 and auditioning to sing the lead for the Canada Games Theme Song. And I got it. It was strange to turn on the TV or radio and hear my song playing frequently in the two years leading up to the games.You graduated with the highest vocal mark possible in Applied Voice from one of Canada's premier music universities and were offered a place at the Salzburg Mozarteum in Austria. Tell us a little about the experience.

My four years at University were a blur because I loved it so much. The training and experience were second to none for a young person of 17. When, at 21, I graduated and was offered training at the Mozarteum, I knew I needed to make a tough choice. I knew I dearly loved singing classical music, but it was not my true passion. Thus, I never accepted the spot in Salzburg and took a totally new career turn.

What are the main influences for your music?Genre-wise, my first influences were gospel music, Christian contemporary, classical and jazz. Now, I primarily write pop music; however that is a very general field. My music ranges anywhere from traditional ballads and jazz to R&B and techno. In the future I would love to incorporate the odd operatic riff into my music, as well as Indian influences. Artists who have influenced me most profoundly are Mariah Carey, Lauryn Hill, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Dinah Washington.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?I spent many years dreaming of being a singer, but just as many thinking it would never happen in the big way I dreamed as a teenager. I can not pick a specific day or event, but just living in England and pursuing this dream for ‘real’ is HUGE. One highlight is the day my manager called me in Canada from England to tell me that Universal wanted to distribute my music worldwide. It was the first time the potential ‘bigness’ of everything seemed real and not just a pipe dream. I truly believe there are so many great surprises in the future and that God just can’t wait to bless every one of us that is willing to step out of the box and live for Him.

A record label producer spotted you at Gloria Deo 2007 in India and offered you a contract. Take us through your journey since then to now, and how the experience has changed your life.I sang in Gloria Deo 2006, and when I was approached to sing again the following year, my husband, daughter and I had just moved to Canada from India. I was flattered, but money was tight and the whole idea seemed impossible. Well, as God tends to do, He worked a miracle and got me there. Days prior to the Gloria Deo 2007 concert I met Kevin who is now my manager. He couldn’t believe I was not signed nor pursuing music.

After the concert we returned to our respective homes in Canada and England and spent the next six months keeping in touch with thoughts of doing something musical together in the future. He called me up the summer of 2008 and asked if I would like to come to England to record a Christmas song and music video. I didn’t need to think long about that! What an opportunity. At that time, I had no idea it might actually lead to something, nor did I know Kevin’s musical history, experience

tara mathew

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or capabilities. Well, here I am, two years later, living in England fulltime with my family and pursuing a ‘real’ music career—my long lost dream! My first album is set to release in January 2011 and the path during this past year of recording, promoting, and learning has been nothing short of incredible.

‘He Said She Said’ is all about relationships. What was the inspiration behind the song?‘He Said She Said’ is the epitome of my song-writing. It sounds like any other pop song, yet it carries a message rather than meaningless words and negative influence, as so many pop songs do. This song is all about gossip and the tongue being a deadly weapon. How can we curse and love from the same tongue? Why do people get their kicks out of spreading lies behind another's back? It is a fun-loving party song, and people will find themselves singing along to the words without even realizing. At some point they will notice what the words are actually saying.

Tell us about your family. How do you balance family life and career?When I am on the road a lot, my husband becomes superman! He is an invaluable support. He takes over the roles of both mom and dad with ease and cooks the most incredible meals (everyone thinks he should be a chef!) His support is an absolute necessity. There have been times where I have been gone for a week or even several weeks, but they manage just fine without me! Our daughter, 4, understands what I am doing and is accustomed to my absences, as she knows what I am working towards. She used to get very upset when I’d leave earlier, but it is old hat to her now!What advice would you give upcoming artists?Most important –Find a manager who is interested in you as a person and not as a product; someone who does not want to exploit your talent for their personal gain. Secondly, DO NOT listen to all the negativity. There will be tons of people questioning your motives and your visions and goals. Take negativity with a grain of salt.

Archana Sudheer Gayen works as Manager - Communications, Centre for Public Policy Research, as well as Editor of MindTEXT, the organisation’s online journal.

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There’s more to Eminem than his anger. Andrew Fletcher, the Scottish writer, once wrote, "Let me

make the songs of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws”. He knew that its the artists, the songs and the stories of a nation that shape the life of a culture. Its not the politician, the preacher or the pitiful parrots in popular media. It’s the artist who wears the soul of a generation and speaks to the spirit of the age.

We listen to what we are. We are what we listen to. There’s something ethereal, visceral, even spiritual, about our relationship with music. We listen to what we struggle to say with our souls. We’re drawn to music that sounds familiar, because we heard it first in the sound of our own spirit. The artist’s desire is my desire. His voice is my voice. Her words are my words. This song is my song.

At the risk of losing all the rock-boys, Hip-hop is arguably the most influential genre of music in the world today. Rock sells more albums than other genres but when we steal more music than we buy, truth is off the record. That said, between rock and hip-hop, no genre of music sells more albums, fills more stadiums and holds more space on iPods all over the world.

But this isn’t about record sales. Its about influence. In its broadest sense, hip-hop is more than music. It’s the soundtrack to a way of living. Its an unscripted story; an undefined mood. Its a restless movement that can’t be caged within a culture. Its influence is global and universal. When Akshay Kumar and Snoop Dogg are in a music video together, you know that the world has changed.

Hip-hop has worked its way into language, fashion, sport, television, record labels and even art, architecture and interior design! Its influence in India might justly seem to fade in comparison to rock, pop, or the bollywood empire, but the truth is that its more viable in India to start a garage band with the fundamental elements of rock; than it is to wrap your mind around a mouthful of poetry in rhythm-infused rap. We’re just not cool enough for it! Have you ever met an Indian who thought he was Eminem? Seriously!

But why am I making the case for hip-hop to a reader who probably suffered a mild heart attack when he heard that Mike Portnoy just left Dream Theater? Its true. Get over it. Move on.

Its because, globally, the spirit of hip-hop is alive and moving. TIME magazine recently voted Sri Lankan artist, M.I.A., as one of the year’s 100 most influential people in the world. Bilboard’s top five artists of the decade are Eminem, Usher, Nelly, Beyonce and Alicia Keys. Nickelback is the only rock band in the top ten. Creed and Linkin Park are the only others in the top twenty that includes 50 Cent, Destiny’s Child, Jay-Z, The Black Eyed Peas, Kanye West, Rihana and Ludacris. One of the greatest pop artists of our time, Lady GaGa, was signed by Akon.

It might be heart-breaking to many, but rock music simply isn’t what it used to be. Its dangerous, but its fair, to say that rock today caters to a niche market - a very devoted market - but a niche market nonetheless.

But here’s where the debate over the most influential form of music becomes moot. Both genres, like every other unmentioned one, are slaves to the truth about music. It’s a

discerning the sound of the decade

Akshay Rajkumar gives his take on what constitutes the most influential form of music, over the last decade.

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force that resonates with the longing of our souls. If anything I’ve said has made you want to find me in a dark corner or meet me in a room without windows, its because of the way you’re connected to the sound, the mood, the feeling and the community of people that possibly don’t even know that you exist.

We’re bound by our relationship to this force that feeds our minds. And it’s neither a good thing nor a bad thing. It’s a true thing.

P. Diddy says, "I always relate hip-hop to our old Negro spirituals. They were sung in the cotton fields to help us get by, to help us not kill ourselves by going crazy [under] the worst oppression in the world. The music, the soulfulness, the spiritualness expressed in song helped us to get through another day. That's the same impact hip-hop has had on this generation. People could try to undermine it, but it's honestly the truth. Hip-hop has helped us make it through our life in the inner cities."

Every art form is a cry of the soul for something that it struggles to name. It doesn’t matter whether its hip-hop, rock, pop or emo, every musical art form reveals a longing of the soul and uncovers what lies in the heart of humanity.

We’re living in a generation that listens with its eyes and thinks with its feelings. Every artist inspires feelings that influence action. Every action shapes our values. Every man is the sum of his values.

When it comes to the force of musical genres, we go from being passive listeners to discerning ones when we begin to ask questions that take us to places our hearts may not be willing to go.

Why do you listen to the music you like? What does it tell you about what it means to be human? What does it say to your anger? What does it say to your pain? How does it shape the way you relate to people? How does it define what you accept to be the best way to live?

Music will last forever because it was conceived in the heart of God. A never-read-hardly-mentioned prophet in the Old Testament tells us that God so painfully delights over His people that He bursts out into singing. What would it sound like if we could hear the song that God is singing? I’ve never heard His voice but I know that it’s the same as the sound of truth. Nothing moves the soul more powerfully than a voice that is telling the truth. Nothing inspires you to be more than what you are than a song that is soaked in truth.The kind of listener we need in the age that we live in is the one that can discern the sound of the decade and press his ear to the ground to hear the voice of God that gently whispers to bring His rest to the longing of our souls. We need people who can discern the sound of truth, even when its hiding under the sound of the vile, the offensive and the obnoxious. I write this to you because I want you to know that every song brings a longing to the sky and the sky answers with a song of its own. We need people who can hear both songs and bring desperate longings to satisfying rest.God is always singing. May you learn to sing along.

Akshay lives in Delhi and listens to everything from Lady GaGa to Eminem. He works in an office, pretends to be a writer, loves Spanish football and is engaged to be married.

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Monday, November 22, 2010Multi-platinum selling band MercyMe was named America’s Favorite Contemporary Inspirational Artist at the 2010 American Music Awards.

The ceremony aired on ABC and was held at the NOKIA Theater in Los Angeles. Winning by fan vote for their latest album The Generous Mr. Lovewell (INO Records), the GRAMMY ® nominated band previously took home the title in 2004. Since then, they have sold nearly 6 million records with all of their albums being certified Gold or Platinum. MercyMe has also made appearances on The Tonight Show, CNN, Fox New Channel’s Fox & Friends, ABC News, CBS’ The Early Show, and on the pages of Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times, USA

Today, Billboard, and more.

For more information on MercyMe please visit www.mercyme.org

Mercy Me

Thursday, November 18, 2010GRAMMY and GMA Dove Award winning artist Rebecca St. James, respected as one of contemporary Christian Music’s groundbreaking and key influential personalities, announced her signing to Provident Label Group’s Beach Street/Reunion Records. Plans for a 2011 worship project, produced by Mark Miller (Casting Crowns), are currently in motion. Emerging on the music scene in the mid-90’s while still in her teens, the Australian born St. James has become one of Contemporary Christian Music’s most beloved and enduring artists, embraced by audiences worldwide. Her signature sound yielded 17 Top 10 singles (nine of which were No. 1) and two RIAA Gold Album certifications (commemorating sales of more than 500,000 units) for God (1996), as well as GRAMMY winning Pray (1999). In addition to a successful recording and touring career, Rebecca is an accomplished author having released eight noteworthy Christian market titles

including the Top 10 ranked devotional, Pure, (Hachette/Faithwords, 2009) on the CBA Bestseller Chart. While fully engaged in balancing the demands of recording, touring and authoring, this modern-day renaissance woman made the decision three years ago to pursue acting. Rebecca’s first dramatic lead role in the film Sarah’s Choice, released in 2009 by Purefix Entertainment, won both critical and audience acclaim for its strong pro-life message. Having travelled the globe as an advocate of faith and values topics, ranging from purity to pro-life, Rebecca has been invited to speak or perform in venues including the White House and is even a frequent guest on the highly rated FOX News show, “Hannity” anchored by Sean Hannity. For information on Rebecca St. James’ tour dates and events, visit: www.facebook.com/RSJames

Rebecca St James

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Gloria Deo artists

Monday, November 22, 2010 Their CHR single “Look Away” is already climbing the charts as their third Top 20 CHR single from this album.

One year after the release of their critically acclaimed release “Welcome to the Masquerade,” Tooth & Nail Records’ Thousand Foot Krutch celebrates their third No. 1 Rock single from the album and their 10th career Rock single with “E For Extinction,” for the past two weeks. Their CHR single “Look Away” is already climbing the charts as their third Top 20 CHR single from this album.

The past year has been a whirlwind for TFK since the release of their fifth studio album, “Welcome to the Masquerade,” which has produced three No. 1 Christian Rock singles (“Fire It Up,” “Bring Me To Life,” “E For Extinction”), two top 10 Christian CHR singles

(“Forward Motion, and “Already Home”), one top 15 Active Rock single (“Fire it Up”), as well as numerous TV, film (GI Joe), gaming and sport arena placements including being featured at the Super Bowl in February as well as ESPN’s use during recent NCAA basketball games.

The album was touted by media as “their best,” the “best album of its genre to be released,” and one of the “very best albums of the year.” Thousand Foot Krutch was also recently awarded three 2010 GMA Canada Covenant Awards: Rock Song Of The Year (“Forward Motion”), Rock Album Of The Year (“Welcome To The Masquerade”, and Hard Music Song Of The Year (“Bring Me To Life”).

For more information on TFK visit their website www.thousandfootkrutch.com

Thousand Foot Krutch

Thursday, November 18, 2010Hitting the road the weekend after Thanksgiving, Newsboys will join Newsong to ring in the Christmas cheer across the U.S.

2010 has certainly been a momentous year for Newsboys. From their July CD release of Born Again to the major radio airplay with both the No. 1 hit “Born Again” and current radio single “Way Beyond Myself,” to the consistent touring at venues and festivals, the band just hasn’t stopped. Top that off with kicking off a remix contest, filming music videos and releasing their first-ever Christmas project, Christmas! A Newsboys Holiday, the year is not yet over for Newsboys.

Hitting the road the weekend after Thanksgiving, Newsboys will join Newsong to ring in the Christmas cheer across the U.S. on the “Very Merry Christmas Tour 2010.” The 20-city nationwide tour will kick off in North Carolina and finish in Florida December 19th.

The band’s current single, “Way Beyond Myself,” climbing this week to No. 5 on the CHR charts, is also the song of choice for the Newsboys Remix Competition. As announced in October, the contest is to find the best remix of the single and the winning version will also appear on the Born Again: Miracles Edition. The winner will be chosen by a combination of fan votes and by Newsboys themselves. The competition is currently open and is available to fans of all ages and no production experience required. All submissions must be made by December 6th. A specific list of details is available on the official website, Newsboys.com/remix.


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by Don JamesFour Grammy awards, some twenty albums, millions of which have sold all over the world, an illustrious musical career spanning over three decades, and accolades galore. Recognition in almost all parts of the world as a vocalist beyond compare, worldwide fame that is the envy of many a musician. You could say John Schlitt has seen it all. And yet, he doesn't seem too frazzled by it. Why? Because as you'll discover, there's much more to the man than the man himself...

Born in Lincoln, Illinois in 1950, John Schlitt took to music early. Very early! By the time he was five, he was performing lead vocals in school recitals and plays. At 13, he joined the quirkily titled “Vinegar Hills Hometown Band: Something Different”, where he was paid $25 as the lead singer. Thereafter, John continued with music throughout his school and college years. However, this first experience of playing with a band made a big impression on John. It seemed to him to foretell his future in the music industry. So, despite graduating from the University Of Illinois as a civil engineer, John Schlitt continued to look out for musical opportunities.

LiveJam Lifetime Achievement Award for

John Schlitt

John's years with Petra were a complete turnaround for him musically, where he enjoyed the thrill of being on stage again without being high and with the express intention of touching lives

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His unique tenor voice caught the attention of the rock band ‘Head East’ in 1972 and he landed his first gig with them. By 1974, John Schlitt had become a full-time musician.

During his eight year stint with Head East, John enjoyed all the fame that a rock and roll lifestyle brings, as Head East gained a loyal following through the release of five albums (including a Gold record ‘Flat As A Pancake’), a string of hits and appreciative reviews. However, it all came to a grinding halt in 1980, when John had to leave the band, because of an out of control cocaine and alcohol addiction.

He then tried hard to start another band, but his addictions proved too strong for him to even have a fixed musical goal. This period after the end of his stint with Head East was the darkest in John’s life as he struggled with his dependency and with the desire to end what had become, to him, a failed life. His own personal problems aside, he also had a wife (Dorla) and two children (Kari and John Kyle) to support by now.

At this time, as John struggled through intense depression and suicidal thoughts, his wife Dorla became a born-again christian. John’s initial reaction was one of derision, “Get outta my face! I don’t need this Jesus stuff; I’m too cool for Jesus. I’ll tell ya, I’ll become a Christian when I’m rich, famous, done everything, too old to have any fun, and then I’ll do it just… hmmm….. to be safe.” However, he was also intrigued by his wife’s constantly happy demeanor. Dorla, meanwhile continued to pray for him. One day, when he had finally come to a point where he was sure that he was going to end his life by overdosing on pills, his wife Dorla convinced him to meet her pastor. However, this meeting changed the course of his life, as he recalls, “I… got hit with a boldness about Jesus that I’ve never known before, I got saved that night, and it was a new beginning for me. I didn’t feel that burden of guilt anymore, and I had a new chance. Although I still had all my debts from all my drug stupidity, I knew that God and I were gonna be able - you know, we’d take care of it.”

John decided to leave the music scene and dedicate his life to taking care of the family he had ignored. As a first step, John went to work in a tool and dye factory. His initial days there were a struggle, as he was hired to sweep the floor. But it was a struggle that John was happy with, because he was lucky to get some form of regular employment after years of having only toured with a band. In five years time, John rose to become the company’s cost and scheduling engineer. During this time John was also blessed with his third child, Kris.

By now, John had pretty much stopped focusing on music, mostly because he didn’t want to go back to a life of drugs. As it turned out, that wasn’t really the case at all. About six years after he had exited from the music scene altogether, John was invited to audition

for the christian rock band Petra, by Bob Hartman, the band’s guitarist and co-founder, after their original singer Greg X. Volz, left to pursue a solo career. The call for an audition was in itself a miracle, according to John, because it involved an audition tape that he had recorded for another act, which had reached the hands of a renowned critic, who was a friend of Hartman’s and upon whose recommendation, Hartman had tried looking him up only to find that his(John’s) number didn’t exist. Hartman somehow persisted and found John’s brother, who had him (John) call up Hartman and that completed the series of miraculous connections that resulted in John finally landing the audition. For the audition, John sang the song ‘Altar Ego’, and in the process hit a note so high that Bob Hartman was impressed enough to take him on board. John’s first show with Petra was on February 3, 1986 and the collaboration lasted nineteen years! His first album with the band, ‘Back to the street’ also featured the song he’d sung for his audition, ‘Altar Ego’.

John’s years with Petra were a complete turnaround for him musically, where he enjoyed the thrill of being on stage again without being high and with the express intention of touching lives.

During the nineteen years that John was in Petra, Petra won four Grammys,(Best Rock/Contemporary Gospel Album for ‘Beyond Belief’ in1990, Best Rock/Contemporary Gospel Album for ‘Unseen Power’. in 1992, Best Rock Gospel Album for ‘Wake-Up Call’ in 1994 and Best Rock Gospel Album for ‘Double Take’ in 2000), Ten Dove Awards and also had to their credit two Gold certified records, ‘Beyond Belief’ and ‘Petra Praise: The Rock Cries Out’. In addition to all that, Petra were also the only artiste to simultaneously have 4 albums in the Top 100 of SoundScan’s top Christian albums (‘No Doubt’, ‘Beyond Belief’, ‘Petra Praise’, ‘Wake-Up Call’), the

first group to win 10 consecutive CCM Magazine Reader’s Choice Awards, and the first Christian group to ever be inducted into the Hard Rock Cafe (1994).

After Petra’s retirement in 2005, John released an album ‘Vertical Expressions’ along with Bob Hartman for their project II Guys From Petra. John also has three solo albums, Shake(1995), Unfit for Swine (1996), and The Grafting (2008). 2008 also saw John tour India with his backing band StoneJava, for a six city tour, where he played music off his solo albums, besides some Petra favorites. The same year John was officially inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, for the second time (the first being in 2000).In 2009, John was named Best Christian Rock Singer by GospelMusicChannel.com. Currently, John Schlitt tours as both a solo artiste and with a backing band. He also co-leads music at Celebrate Community Church, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Don James James is the drummer for the Delhi-based band Ave Verdad

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Justin Thomas talks on what really makes music enjoyable and the perception of drugs and music.

Music has always transcended boundaries to reach out to the listeners. However, some listeners have modified the path by indulging in substances to reach music. Drug strewn lyrics and references are found in much of today’s popular music. While Joseph Edgar Foreman, better known by his stage name Afroman, created a hit single when he crooned “I messed up my entire life because I got high”, reality check indicates that it’s not far from actuality.

If anyone has been to any sort of gig or concert, there is this perpetual haze settled around the venue and in the eyes of onlookers. Some might argue that it helps in connecting with the flow emanating from the stage. Others may suggest you are in the right groove to join the moshpit or hold on, be a rebel.

Clichés have always been in the running for Oscars, but the fact is, a non-user enjoys music as much as a user does. It is the addiction for substance which propels anyone to tag oneself to the pretext of enjoying music on a higher altitude. The mind convinces the addict that if you don’t take your share of fix, good times are not assured.

This piece does not propagate not to use drugs as that is a huge subject altogether. The focal point is to clarify that drugs does not fuel your capability of enjoying music better. Infact, it places you in a parallel universe wherein enjoyment factor is directly proportional to the kick delivered by the


In other words, the moment the effect of the substance

subsides, the music which was leading you to the highway of ecstasy would seem

more like the highways of India. No offence to the National Highways Authority of India.

Pertinently, the whole concept of mixing music with drugs opens up just another avenue for the substance abuser to enjoy the drug. Strictly speaking, in this scenario, music is not the main course.

Lyrics also play a major part in associating drugs with music. There is this constant energy tempting a listener to experience what the lyrics suggest. It’s when the bait is taken that the person carries the drug influences to other areas of one’s life and it is late before the realization occurs of getting caught up.

If the above mentioned points are taken in the right context, and I dare say, music in its own entity is a drug. On the other hand, the addiction of this kind in some sphere is also harmful. The whole idea is to balance the usage. Such that enjoyment is solely stimulated by what hits your ear and at the same time misuse in terms of what you listen could drive you to create a ripple effect in other spheres of your life. So happy listening!

The author is a journalist based in New Delhi. When not writing, he indulges in food, travel and photography.

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F/58 as is the name of the band gets its inspiration from the house number of Dan, its drummer (F59, Green Park, Delhi!). This is where they met frequently to eat and jam! And so the band got the name F/58!F/58 as a young gospel metal band comprises of:

Dan Thomas- drummer, Band Manager and 10th standard student at St. Columba’s School, Delhi. Vivian Lawrence- keyboardist and 12th standard student at Ryan International, Vasant Kunj.Stanley Thomas- Rhythm guitarist, back-up vocalist and 12th standard student at Reuben George- Lead vocalist and a first year B.A student at Saint Stephen’s College, Delhi University.

Joshua Samuel- Lead guitarist and a second year B.B.A student at JIIMS, Delhi.

The question of how they ended up together still bewilders them, but then that’s what God does, doesn’t he? Prayer is an important part of F58 as a band and its music. We pray for every little thing…..from the guitar processor not working, to the nervousness before performing, thanking him for the time we spend together….He doesn’t mind at all (FYI, He IS up at three in the morning!! He answered one of our prayers at that time too!)

For F58, LIVEJAM has been an awesome platform to perform and share their music. F58 ROCKS!

Winners of Rock Out Loud Band Competition organised by LiveJam:

Band Profile

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Troy Anderson: © Christianity Today International

It was 2004 and Korn's lead guitarist Brian "Head" Welch had hit rock bottom. As a member of the controversial numetal band that became the voice for youth worldwide with lyrics about alienation and abuse, the pressures of the rock star life had torn his marriage apart. Addicted to methamphetamines and alcohol and left to raise his daughter by himself, the childhood dream of stardom had become a nightmare for the longhaired, bearded, and heavily tattooed musician. The wealth and fame he once thought would bring him happiness and fulfillment had left him miserable and empty, mired in a dark depression. At the end of his rope, Welch prayed and God answered in a big way.

The Rise to RuinBrian Welch grew up in Bakersfield, a central California city nicknamed "Bako" for its scorching desert heat. In 1980, while listening to a drum solo on an 8-track Queen tape, the ten-year-old boy decided he wanted to play drums. But his dad talked him out of it, recommending the guitar instead. He

started taking lessons. While his talents as a guitar player progressed and he played in various bands, Welch said he also developed a "paralyzing fear" that haunted him even as he gained riches and fame; a condition he attributes to his father's angry outbursts, as well as bullies who picked on him and nicknamed him "Head." By high school, Welch had met most of the members of what later would become Korn. It was here near Death Valley where Welch and fellow guitarist James "Munky" Shaffer developed the groundbreaking band's heavy, growling metal-influenced sound using 7-string guitars, a phenomenon that ultimately helped Korn sell more than 30 million records and spawned a host of imitators.

In 1992, the band started playing clubs throughout the Los Angeles area and eventually landed a record deal. During this time, Welch began using drugs and became addicted to speed; and also met his future wife, Rebekah.Coming to a Head As the band's popularity grew, the partying and mayhem intensified during the Ozzfest and Korn's own Family Values tours. Sometimes when Welch and Rebekah were together, they were physically abusive toward each other. »

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The couple nevertheless bought a home in Redondo Beach together. When she became pregnant, they married shortly after in March 1998. But despite several attempts to free himself from his addiction; nothing, not even the birth of his daughter Jennea could spur him to quit drugs for good. As the pressures of the business increased, his addictions worsened. Rebekah left him in 2000, falling into a new crowd of drug addicts; as it turns out, she was having an affair with a known skinhead and felon. When she failed to attend the court date concerning Jennea, Welch gained full custody.

By 2004, Welch was deeply depressed, suicidal, and addicted, fantasizing what a relief it would be if he overdosed. Then one day he heard his then 5-year-old daughter Jennea singing a Korn song about sex ("A.D.I.D.A.S."). Welch knew at that point that he had to leave the multi-platinum band and raise his daughter right. Reaching out to a Christian friend in an e-mail, Welch hinted how unhappy he was.

Days later, the friend wrote backs saying Welch came to mind after reading Matthew 11:28 that morning: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." The verse touched something deep inside Welch and a lifetime of pain came pouring out. He told his friend he was a lost soul, and recalled asking Jesus into his heart as a child, remembering a presence of peace and love that had embraced him in his youth. He prayed, 'Jesus, if you are real, take this stuff away from me. Make me a good person again. Take away my suicidal thoughts. Help me want to live again.'"

Days after that prayer, Welch felt enough resolve to finally give up his drug addictions. Leaving Jennea in the care of his parents, Welch checked himself into a hotel for a week simply to sleep, eat, and pray. Remarkably, the drug withdrawal symptoms went by relatively quickly." It wasn't just drugs he said goodbye to either. Welch decided to leave Korn in the midst of a multi-million dollar contract negotiation.

In early 2005, Welch shocked the music world when he announced on local radio in Bakersfield that he had become a Christian and was leaving the band; the Internet, CNN, and MTV caught wind immediately after that. "A New Thing"

Welch, 37, now lives in Arizona, where he spends time with his 9-year-old daughter while writing enough Christian songs to fill three albums. The first album is expected to release in late 2007 under Welch's name. A number of other famous musicians contributed to the album, including Josh Freese (Nine Inch Nails), Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle), and Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel). The songs are about his spiritual transformation, and one called "Save Me from Myself" is specifically about how God set him free from drugs and alcohol."[That's] probably the most personal song that touches me the most. It's something of a rollercoaster ride from my drug use to my suicidal thoughts; to me crying out to God to save me from myself. My favorite part of the song is when I'm screaming to God, thanking him for saving me from myself, and telling him that I'm through with me and am living for him now."

Brian with Korn

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By Don James

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In our day and age, we have all, in varying degrees, come to agree with that old truism 'Change is the only constant in this world'. Borne out of our own experience(s) in an unpredictable and tenuous world, we have all come to accept that unimpeachable control over circumstances is not something that we can really ensure, even though we continually aspire to do so. There is a dynamic aspect to the way our lives play out that we can't fully comprehend. Curiously, the resultant search for meaning sees us try and co-opt this fundamentally dynamic concept of change into our search for constancy and stability. And yet one could argue that this is not necessarily a contradiction in terms, rather it is a more nuanced position that overcomes the apparent polarity. Central to this position is the contention that change, while being dynamic, can also be directed directionally, and be categorized as good or bad, by the end it serves. And anything that serves to help us better comprehend the human condition, anything that helps us come to a better understanding of the very purpose of our existence, is good, if not precious.When I was younger and at the height of my 'experimental' phase, a time when restraint was thrown to the wind and mind alteration and/or elevation through the ingestion of 'substances' (notice the suggestive euphemism) was the norm, I was kept from descending into irrevocable and uncontrollable chaos and possible death, by the timely intervention of a friend who spoke to me in the language that I understood best: music. To cut a long story short, I was in a bad way immediately prior to that intervention: I had lost another friend to a drug overdose, and earned the dubious distinction of being thrown out of home, through a series of bad lifestyle choices . As a result, I had come to the momentous conclusion that life, in and of itself, was meaningless and not worth living. At this time, I was met by a musician unlike any I had met before. I had seen Ashwin Andrew play at different shows, with many different bands, playing different genres, on different instruments. As a two-time winner of India's most prestigious rock competition G.I.R. (on two different instruments, a feat unlikely to be replicated soon, if ever), as the drummer chosen to back the legendary John Myung of Dreamtheater for his only solo appearance in India, as an internationally travelled musician with one of India's foremost rock

acts Orange Street, and (later) as a graduate of the internationally renowned Musician's Institute in Los Angeles, U.S.A., Ashwin Andrew was, and continues to be, a great inspiration to me and many other fans. So much so that for a good six months after meeting him, I attended church only for the pleasure of watching and hearing him play the drums. During this period, I got to know about his faith and eventually attended a camp at his invitation, where I was also challenged and convinced to accept the same beliefs, a decision which changed my life a full 180 degrees. Of course, the change took a good seven months to work itself out, but it did happen. To put it in a nutshell, I was saved to faith in Jesus Christ through the agency of music because of God's divine plan to reach out to me through a medium which I understood best. And the musician I credit for being the facilitator of that process of change, is Mr. Ashwin Andrew, because his inspirational talent was what initially drew me to God.The reason for writing this condensed account of my story is to put before you, for your consideration, another truism: Music has the power to change lives, especially among carefree (and sometimes careless) urban youth. Out of my own personal experience, I can vouch for that. Music also has the power to stand up for values, evidenced for instance, by the late Michael Jackson's efforts 'Black Or White', (a critique of racism) and 'Man in the Mirror', (a critique of human greed) and Petra's 'Jekyll and Hyde' (a description of our daily struggle against hypocrisy and two faced-ness). And musicians have the power to inspire, and direct people on to the right path, if you consider my (condensed) life story. There are many Don James(es) out there that need many Ashwin Andrew(s) to inspire them to eventually choose right. What everyone around needs to do is realize this reality. Music is the weapon of the future, especially if you want to reach out to the youth. Some people, including LiveJam, have understood this reality already and are using this medium to reach out to the young (and young at heart). It remains for everyone else to either follow suit on their own, in whatever capacity, or to strengthen the hands of those who are already doing it. Either way, it's time to LIVE OUT LOUD!!!

Don James is the drummer for the Delhi-based band Ave Verdad.