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Neon Steeple opened a door for me where I felt like, “Ah, okay.” I’ve never felt like a singer, I just have felt like I’m accommodating pitch and melody and trying to do my best. But then we pulled in “Because He Lives” and I was like, “Oh my gosh, you’re

HERE WE GROW Yes, his music has evolved. And right along with it, has David Crowder’s beard.

getting into something deeper in me and this feels really natural—I’m not having to fight any of the notes or the melody.” It feels as natural as talking to you now. With the “Lift Your Head Weary Sinner” thing, there’s a whole other stream over here that is in equal portion to how I felt like bluegrass and white gospel music fit my insides: I had no idea that black gospel fits my insides. There is a track that is straight up gospel called “All My Hope” that’s just straight up gospel melody chord passing tones. There’s no line between the things that we’ve got lines between. WHEN YOU’RE TRYING TO INNOVATE ARTISTICALLY, HOW DO YOU MANAGE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO REMAIN ACCESSIBLE BECAUSE PEOPLE WORSHIP THROUGH YOUR MUSIC?

THE BILLY GOAT’S GRUFF

It’s the ‘90s granola look you remember from youth group.

THE EASTERN ORTHODOX

The halo hair and full beard signaled a change.

for THE FULL ROBERTSON

What captures Gulf culture better than a hippy Duck Dynasty aesthetic?

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The way I’ve gotten around getting in my mind too much is that I don’t really see myself as an artist. I’ve never really felt like, “Hey man, I’ve just got to create, I’ve just got to make stuff.” I’ve felt very utilitarian. It was just hard to find music that fit our collegiate church setting. It was hard to find music

in a way that people like me can identify with. There’s a sense of responsibility that comes there. YOU’VE BEEN DOING THIS A LONG TIME. HOW DO YOU APPROACH BALANCING THE DESIRE TO KEEP PUSHING WITH BEING CONTENT.

The people who are closest to us are the best mirror for where we are, and if you’re able to be seen completely and allow yourself to be seen completely, then you have the best shot at transformation. If you hear something that’s difficult to hear then it’s like, I’m not very compelled by that. But you can hear stuff that is not pristine, but it’s authentic and real. Authenticity beats perfection every time. It does in the Church, it does in the workplace. When you’re able to open yourself up and be seen, all your flaws and everything. When you’re living in that space, the story of Jesus is incredibly compelling because that’s the point of it. The point of it is this guy who feels far away, who had been given a lot and wasted it, and you haven’t gone too far. He blew the inheritance, but he’s with

THE PEOPLE WHO ARE CLOSEST TO US ARE THE BEST MIRROR FOR WHERE WE ARE AND IF YOU’RE ABLE TO BE SEEN COMPLETELY AND ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE SEEN COMPLETELY, THEN YOU HAVE THE BEST SHOT AT TRANSFORMATION. that we felt like was ours. So it was like well, maybe I can write some. It was that simple in the beginning. Then I found out there are some people who have similar life experiences as I do, they love Jesus, but their experience with church culture has created some difficulty in their approach to God and how to carry their faith in public life. I feel that tension a lot, so I think the way I write and think about how to articulate our experience of God comes out

his father and there’s something really deep and meaningful about that. There’s also people who are home and have the presence of the father, have had the inheritance the whole time and are just angry and upset about all of it. I think finding your space is mostly about opening yourself up to be seen—and then you want to write songs about that. MARGO ROBINSON is a writer and justice advocate living in Baltimore, Maryland.

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RELEVANT-Issue 84- November/December 2016  
RELEVANT-Issue 84- November/December 2016