“I’ll Get By” – How the Story Begins

I don’t know if you were aware of this or not, but for the past 10-20 years a large portion of the Christian music industry has used a term or label for it’s target audience. Ready to hear about it? Here ya go. Most AC (adult contemporary) stations call their typical listener “Becky” or “Soccer mom.” Picture a caucasian woman in her 30’s or 40’s, probably drives a mini-van, attends church, is middle to upper class… You get the picture (you could be that very person! ha.) Now of course there is absolutely nothing wrong with “Becky” or mothers of soccer players. And there is certainly nothing wrong with making music with them in mind. But I have personally witnessed a tragedy both during my time in the music industry and even before I ever got involved in it. Instead of encouraging and helping promote individuals to be unique and to be all that God has made them to be, the industry has promoted a homogenized method of pressuring artists into being cookie-cuttered into fitting the pre-established format that may have worked in some scenarios in the past. Now when I say “industry” I don’t mean everybody! I’m just sayin’ typically this has been the mindset of most.

I have personally experienced this pressure. The people at Virgin Records flipped out over my music way more than 99% of the people I met that worked in the Christian music industry. Why? I believe it’s because I have a “mainstream” sound with an embedded Christian message. It doesn’t fit the format. It wasn’t written just for “Becky”.

Can I just speak my mind? Thanks :) I have a HUGE problem that a faith labeled genre of music would create an entire industry geared towards a specific people group and end up leaving everybody else out. Especially when the faith it’s based on believes in a God who loves EVERYBODY equally and is “no favorer of persons.” God has placed a call on my heart and my life for DIVERSITY. I’ve been around diversity all my life. I’m talking racially, economically, stylistically, artistically… I desire to bridge the gap and reach people who are being overlooked. The people who aren’t a part of anybody’s target audience. I feel like I’m meant to reach into the gaps.

I believe that I will get by with or without radio promotion. I try to write with them in mind on a couple of songs just in case, but I will most certainly not forsake who God has called me to be in attempts to fit their format. It’s a narrow path. I’ve met a lot of others along the way that are doing the same thing. Our stories encourage each other. What do you do if you don’t fit in anywhere? Do you give up and quit? Do you lose your soul – the unique personality that God imprinted in you just to be accepted by “gatekeepers”? Some do. But that’s devastating to me. Instead we choose to press on. And we tell ourselves, “I’ll get by.”

I vividly remember the night of April 12th, 2011. It was a sunday night, and I was still processing/embracing the call to write (or finish writing) and produce a new record. I was overwhelmed at the thought. I was sitting at the kitchen table, and something inside me was unsettled. It was only 7:00 so I couldn’t go to sleep yet. It was like I couldn’t sit still. I couldn’t turn on the television. I was restless. I saw the book “Radical” by David Platt sitting on the table. I had avoided reading it for quite some time because I knew it was going to punch me in the face. I didn’t want to read yet another book and walk away unchanged. But I had nothing to lose that night so I picked it up and started reading. And bam. I couldn’t set it down.

I believe that night God spoke to me through what David Platt had written. He was talking about the American Dream vs. The Kingdom of Heaven, how the 1st promotes self-sufficiency & relying on our own abilities while the latter promotes trusting in the power of God. As Americans it’s easy to chose the 1st one, but God gets no glory when we live out of our own strength and abundant resources. Here is what it said: “God intentionally puts his people in situations where they come face to face with their need for Him. In the process He powerfully demonstrates HIS ABILITY to provide everything His people need in ways they could have never mustered up or imagined. And in the end, He makes much of His own name.”

Looking back I can see how God has provided miraculously in ways I couldn’t have done myself. His grace/strength (abilities) have been made perfect in my weakness (lack of ability). In my nothing He has been everything. That theme echoed in my heart as I pressed forward and worked day in and day out. It still echoes as I’m approaching my deadline and still waiting for last minute miracles. I believe that on 11/1/11 people will assume that I just magically made this record happen. But whoever hears my story will for sure know it was not of human effort that accomplished this task, but of divine enabling and provision.

I hope you can have hope today in believing the same is true for you. Embrace God’s strength in your weakness. If you don’t have it all together then welcome to reality :)

  • Lizzievincent

    Wow….profound! I feel like I should thank you for what you do, for doing and saying what a lot of people won’t! You are a true blessing to all your fans! Can’t wait for the new album…counting down the days til 11/1/11!!!!!! :-)

  • Josefina Lpez

    It’s amazing how GOD IS ABLE to touch a life for use in the establishment of His Kingdom on this earth, you’re going to get ahead in JESUS NAME!!!!

  • Raxy

    Thank you for speaking the truth, God has giving you an amazing talent He will open the right door for you, and give you Grace and strength that you need.
    don’t forget that “the heart of the king is on the hands of the Lord”.

  • Lana

    Thank you for your honesty, and for sharing what the Lord is doing in your life. You cab feel the Lord’s Spirit in your words. I can’t wait to hear your new record!! I know it’s gonna be a blessing!!

  • http://www.truevined.com Tonye @ True Vine Productions

    Amen Brother!!! I share your dream and passion for the Kingdom too.
    The Great Commission and the gospel is for everyone, every nation, every tribe and tongue.
    Not only that, as ministers, without God’s grace, we’d be nowhere doing nothing.
    I’m so blessed and glad to see this post and you post about your reliance on God.
    God bless you and your ministry.

  • Kevin Hairston

    Hey B.

    This is Kevin. We talked a couple of weeks ago. I also read the book “Radical” when we were transitioning to TN. My life is forever changed. Everything I do has to be Kingdom driven. I am convinced of it now. Have you read “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan? He talks a lot about the lukewarm church. I am currently reading “The Forgotten God” by Francis Chan. This book teaches about who the Holy Spirit really is and how he desires fellowship with us. I can’t put it down. We recently drove 28 hrs in a weekend listening mostly to your last CD. We believe & support you. Go Indie!

  • Brothermarree

    That’s real talk man. Be Blessed!

  • HilCeleste

    Thanks for being real! That is the truth and I know God is going to use you to for His glory. I’m glad that you spoke this. I also have to get that book that is awesome. I’m excited about the new album I know it will be off da chain!

  • Thinkaboutit

    No, would not name drop Maroon 5. Their album cover is pure crude smut as are their lyrics. PJ Morton hangs with them b/c he’s not converted. Are you? 2Cr 6:14 “…for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” I hope your new album is a return to songs like Bottom of the 9th and Hurt No More. I hope if you produce music videos you’ll put priority on doing so for songs that lift up God and Jesus Christ rather than becoming a pop music staple It’s not enough to say you believe in Jesus Christ. James 2:19: “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” Sell out. Put God and Jesus Christ first if they’re truly your lords.

  • TRUTHWINS

    B.Reith Please DON’T listen to this VERY IGNORANT person. They don’t know you and they are judging you incorrectly. Keep doing what GOD has called you to do and not what ignorant people like this want you to do. SMH at how stupid “thinkaboutit” sounds.

  • Thinkaboutit

    I’m not judging, I’m asking. If you’re converted, how can you point people to a band that’s going to blast them with pornographic images and dirty lyrics. Why give them an endorsement (even taciturn)? That’s irresponsible and I wouldn’t have commented if it didn’t seem like B.Reith had a good head on his shoulders. Not hatin’, just sayin’. Also on the LeCrae collaboration, isn’t LeCrae part of the occult? Seriously, his Rehab logo looks like the 666 symbol. There are other hints in his videos if you know what to look for. In fact, Trip Lee’s on the same label and in his “Invasion” video people take a mark on their right arm or on the back of their neck. That can’t be good. You know what’s great? B.Reith’s melodies. Let’s go have a party!

  • Fireballsflame

    Lovin the new album thank you!

  • JaycoBlaize

    They aren’t 6.. they are R’s. And does content mean nothing to you? Does it take people throwing up signs and having supposed 666 symbols for you to think they are devils or at the least aren’t right with God? Does a person’s walk mean nothing? You look at LeCrae and he talks about God and Jesus more than most artists (even B, actually. no disrespect, just sayin’) I’m tired of Christians looking for someone accidently making hand gestures and not looking at a person’s walk. You don’t need a hand gesture to tell you that most secular artists aren’t living for God. LeCrae fully understands his role and calling that God has for him, and I’m glad that B. Reith does too. They are in different lanes, but it’s beautiful to see them work on a track together. We must encourage these men of God and stop tearing them down! If they were in the world, they would receive all the love in the world. But they use their talents to serve God, and Christians tear them down. We have to unite!

  • CallieTobygirl

    This is a great blog, really great, thank-you for your honesty. For starters, I must say I’ve grown up in church but despised christian radio; I always had this yearning to somehow change what was being played. My local christian radio stations play the cheesiest most trite music that does not appeal to my generation, YET there is so much great music out there (found this out after going to a christian rock festival)! I was involved in worship music and got completely turned off as I started going through very dire circumstances and battling immense sickness and I was not being encouraged by the songs played in my church, I had to dig really deep to find stuff to keep me afloat and always wondered, “why aren’t they playing ______ on the radio?” So thank-you for being one of those encouragers and addressing the suffering of the world (we’re not immune)! The latter half was very profound and encouraging, love Platt’s quote and yours, “But whoever hears my story will for sure know it was not of human effort that accomplished this task, but of divine enabling and provision.” I hope I can say the same one day………..

  • Detina27

    I appreciate your realness! Though I don’t quite fit the description of Becky, my love for God with a minor for great music makes me a definite fan. Keep doing what you are doing and continue to seek God’s grace thru your belief. He is spirit is showing through you.

    ~Dee

  • Yemimaputrialmalamtiur

    B.Reith please keep doing what you’re doing! you’ve been a blessing to me.. I sometimes cried when I heard your songs (even if it’s upbeat).. I’m sure God is very very proud of you and He will use you in many greater ways! Love from Indonesia. xx

  • Kevin Hairston

    B. I experienced a similiar life changing moment by reading the book Radical. God’s has a special unique plan for each and everyone of us. He is waiting for us to answer the Call. Your music speaks that message so clearly that if anyone isn’t in tune with God they will miss it. God has a special place for your music and I am convinced God’s Word through your music will reach the masses to prove his Perfect Will for your life. Your music helped me through a challenging job lay off. Before every interview I played your music to keep me going. Soon I had 3 job offers. Keep Grinding my friend you are making a difference.

  • Yemimaputrialmalamtiur

    AGREE!!!

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