This year marks my 10th time attending the Creation NE Festival overall and 6th time covering the event for NRT. Being a dad of 3 young daughters, one of my observations over the years is that out of 60 artists performing over 4 days of the Festival, you can count on one hand the number of female artists appearing at each Festival. That represents the proportion found on radio of male to female artists, although the trend of emerging female-led Christian artists and bands is growing in popularity, and certainly in the quality of music being released in my opinion.
That being said, I was thrilled to see the lineup for the third day of Creation NE featuring 3 female artists: 1 Girl Nation, V. Rose and Britt Nicole. As a result, I wanted to highlight the messages of their songs in a recap of my favorite day of the Creation Festival overall.
Electronic pop music has made a big mark on the music scene and 1 Girl Nation's Kayli, Lindsey, Carmen and Lauryn bring a vocal sincerity to their ultra-catchy pop songs which could easily be featured in mainstream music alongside those top-selling pop singers like Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez and Bridgit Mendler. Anyone looking for a faith-based alternative will enjoy their catchy songs.
The evangelistic messages of "Vertical," "Live For You," "Invade" and "1 Girl Nation" are great for young girls and boys who struggle with the idea of how to be salt and light. In "Vertical" they boldly proclaim "We're going vertical, praying for miracles, want to see Heaven here on Earth... help us be Your feet and hands
"While We're Young" has catchy dance beats and in a song that reminds us that while standing up for your faith isn't always easy, we are told in the Bible to be full of joy here, now, while we're young. I love the idea of our youth singing out: "We're going to save ourselves the heartache, we're not looking back on what we wish we'd done, we're going to risk it all for one thing, and live for Jesus while we're young
The message of finding love and identity from the true source of pure love is found in the song "In The Eyes," which I interviewed the band about for an upcoming behind the song devotional. The song intimately shares the idea that nothing can fill the void of wanting to feel loved and accepted other than the true love from God, such as in the lyrics "When the world has told you lies, You are priceless in His eyes
The theme of knowing you are "fearfully and wonderfully made" from Psalm 139 continued on the Fringe Stage with Clear Sight Music’s V. Rose, who NRT recently named one of the 10 most underrated artists of 2014. V.’s set was everything I had hoped for, including her energetic songs "Turn Up Your Light," "Am I Trending" and "No Better U," which I spoke with V. about for an upcoming devotional, along with "Nothing for Love" which was very moving. The message of "No Better U" is a great reminder that no matter how insecure you may be feeling, you are made in God’s image, and there can never be a better you.
Britt Nicole’s main stage set was the realization of prominently featuring a female artist that I’d been praying for the past few years. Britt has the gift of encouragement, and every single song lifts me up. She opened with high energy songs "Amazing Life" and "Ready Or Not," which is uplifting and mission-minded with the lyrics "giving everything to see the lost get found" leading to the chorus— "Ready or not here I come, I'm about to show you where the Light comes from.
Britt's favorite Scripture passage is 1 Chronicles 28:20 which she says reminds her daily of God's calling on her life. "All This Time" has a sincere autobiographical style where Britt shares her testimony of when she was first met God and celebrates her salvation in Christ. It's the type of song that I've come to really love from Britt's albums in the style of "Set The World On Fire." Britt picked up where she left off with "The Lost Get Found," with a great mix of different styles, heating up and cooling down with every song a great showcase of Britt's excellent singing voice.
"Look Like Love" is a wonderful song of encouragement to live as a light and know that in Christ we can do anything. God will never fail us or forsake us until the work of the Lord is finished. Britt belted out the awesome chorus "I want to look like Love, be more than just enough for the hearts that are broken, coming undone, It's up to you and me to leave a legacy, if we're all they ever see, I want to look like Love
." She then spoke over the crowd and prayed for us to look like Love, which was a wonderful benediction.
"Breakthrough" has a contemplative feel to open the song, leading to an explosive chorus which had us hanging on every note as Britt built to the lyric "I can feel a breakthrough coming.
"Gold" opens with the lyrics"You were walking on the moon, now you're feeling low, what they said wasn't true, you're beautiful. Sticks and stones break your bones, I know what you're feeling. Words like those won't steal your glow... you're worth more than gold.
My daughters are more precious than anything in the world to me and to their Heavenly Father. "Gold" is a great anthem to celebrate the biblical Truth from Psalm 139, that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made." That truly was the theme of day three, and these three super talented female artists all sang songs about finding our identity in Christ.
Stay tuned for the Day 4 Recap featuring Shine Bright Baby, Colton Dixon and NEEDTOBREATHE. Read recaps of Day 1
and Day 2
Photos are by Meagan Smith (1 Girl Nation) and Joey Zimmerman (Britt Nicole). Check out the full photo sets on our facebook page