I’ve been really blessed this week to see and hangout with some really gifted artists like DJ Promote and Propaganda, a really great hip hop artist. Tuesday night DJ Promote was doing a set before a big rock band played, and the kids were just going crazy. Propaganda was talking to me and another guy and said, “You know, I’ve been all around the world with this guy (the DJ), and no matter where he goes, within ten minutes the room is just going crazy. He always wins.”
I replied, “I think I know why; it’s because I can feel the joy in his mixing. I can sense the emotion behind what he does.”
Ever met someone who somehow was giving and generous the moment they shook your hand?
I’d met Promote backstage before I even knew what he did, and even then he was gushing with joy and wonder.
Ever felt blessed by just being introduced to someone? You don’t even know how it worked, but you turned away and felt richer and better for just having said “Hello” to them?
That’s the way it was with both Promote and Propaganda. (He did some spoken word stuff that was just so legit, it was amazing.)
Though I have no doubt that they both put in their “10,000 hours”, the thing that set them both apart was the joy and wonder that they put into their art.
Have you ever considered the fact that joy and wonder can be translated by technology? That emotion comes through bits and bytes, electricity and wires? I have not idea how it’s even possible, but I am blown away that repeatedly this is the case. You can hear it. You can feel it.
Great art is, in fact, a gift, but the gift that’s being given in these cases are emotional and spiritual, not merely musical. It transcends craft.
… I would almost venture to say that joy precedes craft.
Keeping in mind that “our art” may involve the crafting of our gospel-shaped lives, or a specific artistic endeavor; remembering that “calling” exists at the intersection of our deepest needs and the world’s deepest joy…
What kind of joy are you putting into your art today? What wonder are you bringing to your calling?
In the meantime… enjoy some great mixing and spoken word.