You now have access to the exclusive Camp Electric magazine. Each year students receive this limited edition magazine and now you can download your own copy for free!
For people looking to become part of the next generation of Christian music, one way to understand the path before you is to read the story of today’s biggest Christian musicians. Not only can you learn about the pitfalls of being a working musician, you may pick up a few important lessons on road life or writing hit songs. These artists have incredible stories that will appeal to readers of all backgrounds. Here are some of the Christian music biographies for student musicians to read this semester.
“Unashamed” - Lecrae
Lecrae is a name recognized across genre lines and one that is often paired with the phrase “Grammy-nominated.” He is one of the people responsible for Christian rap becoming what it is today. Reading his autobiography, “Unashamed,” you’ll learn his personal struggles with issues like abuse and rehab. Student musicians will also better understand the artist’s views on being a Christian voice in the culture and knowing how to navigate the outside world. Lecrae’s story is an ongoing one, but the road thus far is quite the read.
“Between Heaven and the Real World” - Steven Curtis Chapman
If you’ve followed Christian music for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard one or more of the hit songs by Steven Curtis Chapman. The singer-songwriter has been in the business for over 30 years and still hasn't lost his touch. If you want to learn about his early days, Chapman’s thoughts on family life, or how to stay principled as a musician over the course of decades, you’ll want to read “Between Heaven and the Real World” this semester.
“When God Rescripts Your Life” - Jaci Velasquez
After spending the late 90s through early 00s as one of the most popular musicians in Christian music, Jaci Velasquez knows what it takes to be in the business. Over the last 25 years, she has seen both the good and bad offered by the industry. In “When God Rescripts Your Life,” Velasquez takes the lessons she’s learned from her music and her faith to teach readers how to turn failure and pain into a chance for redemption. That’s an important lesson for student musicians to learn.
“Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon” - Greg Laurie
When you think of Christian music biographies, you’re likely going to bring up names you’d hear regularly on K-LOVE. Though much of his life was troubled, the later years of Johnny Cash were devoted to sharing the gospel and singing about Jesus. In Greg Laurie’s 2019 book, “Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon,” you can learn about the faith behind one of the most famous musicians of all time. If any artist can teach young people about mistakes to avoid in the music industry, it’s Johnny Cash.
“Losing My Voice to Find It” - Mark Stuart
Audio Adrenaline may not be as well-known today, but the rock band was one of the pioneers of the modern movement in Christian music. Mark Stuart was the main vocalist for the group until the late 00s, when a debilitating vocal condition took away his ability to lead the band. In “Losing My Voice to Find It,” Stuart talks about the heights of his career. He also walks us through the massive losses he’s suffered along the way. His story is a life map for student musicians who will face great odds on the journey of being a professional musician.
“I Am Redeemed” - Mike Weaver
The voice of Mike Weaver and the songs of his band, Big Daddy Weave, have made a profound impact on listeners around the world. You may not know the tragedies that have plagued the group over the years. Life-threatening medical conditions and the loss of loved ones are just the start. Big Daddy Weave’s songs move us so powerfully due to the nature of life’s heart-wrenching moments. As student musicians, this book can offer you an example of transferring pain to artistry and not letting the hurt win out.
“Hope in Front of Me” - Danny Gokey
Danny Gokey dealt with some of the toughest setbacks any man could ever imagine long before he found fame in music. Taking its title from his popular single, this 2018 biography dishes out encouragement and life lessons from Gokey’s journey as a musician. The book also gives us reasons to maintain a positive outlook of hope. You may not be seeking to make it big on “American Idol.” Maybe you're just looking for a story with a compelling message. Either way, you’ll want to give this a read.
“Washed by Blood” - Brian “Head” Welch
Not all Christian music biographies come with radical conversions of faith capable of pulling a heavy metal rock star out of drugs and into a healthy lifestyle, but that’s what you get with Brian Welch’s journey in “Washed by Blood.” Formerly known as the lead guitarist for the band Korn, Welch has since begun to use his music as a testimony for what God has done in his life. While the story of his life before Christ may be a bit much for some readers, high school and college students can find plenty of wisdom to glean.
“Hurt Road” - Mark Lee - Christian Music Biographies for Student Musicians to Read This Semester
Some Christian music biographies are telling us stories we’ve already heard several times before, while others share with us something totally new. Mark Lee was the guitarist for Third Day for the better part of three decades. During that time, he learned what it means to be a Christian musician and how our spiritual lives play out through our careers. “Hurt Road” may not be filled with crazy stories of unbelievable spiritual moments, but it outlines the road walked by a Christian musician over a long and successful career.
“I Can Only Imagine” - Bart Millard
Even though you may have seen the biographical film by the same name, student musicians can discover more about the story of Bart Millard’s life with this book. Members of the next generation are just as eager as he was to heal their families and channel their emotions into their music. Read about how God changed the MercyMe singer’s father and inspired Bart to create one of the most successful songs of all time.
“The Return” - Lacey Sturm
Last on our list of Christian music biographies for student musicians to read this semester is “The Return” by Lacey Sturm. Though the stories of God forever changing the lives of people who have greatly sinned often get the most press, the tale with which most of us can relate is the struggle to understand our purpose in this world. Lacey Sturm has walked this same path and in “The Return” she shares what she has learned from finding her purpose and giving her gifts back to the Lord.
So, if you want to know what it’s like to be a Christian musician or you’re looking for some experienced wisdom from your favorite bands, these are the Christian music biographies to check out. On top of the useful knowledge you’ll gain about playing music, they are great reads to enjoy when you’re tired of practicing your instrument.
Reading books isn’t the only way to understand what it takes to be a professional musician. One of the best uses of your time is to attend a place like Camp Electric where you can learn from the biggest musicians in the Christian genre. Our instructors come from today’s top acts and they will walk you through everything you need to know in a series of workshops and classroom sessions. Discover how you can be the next student at Camp Electric by clicking on the banner below.