The Road Less Traveled:

A Conversation with Charmaine

By Jasmine McNealy

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The question of whether a musician is a Christian artist or an artist who just happens to sing Christian songs has plagued the music industry from the time the first record was recorded.  Does it matter if a singer does not live the life they sing about?  What about the God they talk about; does it matter if they don’t keep what he commands?  Are they really called to sing the songs, or are they just singing for popularity?

These are all relevant questions during an era when singers popular to youth claim strong convictions but their lyrics and dress belie their declarations.  If some one believes in abstinence until marriage and abstaining from drugs and alcohol, shouldn’t their audience be able infer this from the musicians actions?  Fortunately, a new artist has burst onto the scene devoid of suggestive lyrics and bare midriff.

 

Charmaine, at only 17-years-old, could easily be considered similar to other mainstream pop stars.  The Australian born beauty has been singing for since she was a small child, where she traveled around the world 10 to 11 months out of a year, with her parents’ music ministry Endless Praise.   Unlike other pop stars, she has known for a long time what would be her direction in life.  “Deep down inside me, doing what I knew God wanted me to do like singing with EP, my parents’ music ministry, and my love for doing it, was far stronger than having a normal life,” she said.  “I really believe God put this in my heart!”

The decision to continue in music came after a talk with God, when Charmaine was only 11-years-old. “I was around 11 when I said a prayer and basically gave everything that was me to Him and told Him I’d leave it all at his feet to do as He wanted with me,” she said.

 

It is this sense of surrender to God and a sincere worship of Him that Charmaine seeks to impart to other youth.  Her answer to all the violence, illicit sex, drug and alcohol abuse and selfishness of this generation is simple.

 

“Run away as quickly as you can from yourself,” she said, “and totally get lost in Jesus!”

 

Charmaine’s debut CD, “All about Jesus,” allows the listener to do just that.  The ten tracks, six of which Charmaine co-wrote, range in style from hip-hop beats to soft rock guitar.  These different styles attract the listener and make them play the CD the whole way through.

 

“I Love You Lord,” the first single, is a new take on a theme that has lasted throughout the years.  Lively drumming, an upbeat melody and Charmaine’s delightful vocals make for a tune that is quite infectious.  Charmaine, herself, considers it her favorite track on the album.

 

“I see Him as a friend, savior, Father and my God. The very fact that He would consider me enough to save me amazes me,” she said.  “I love this song because it’s my personal love song to Him. You see, the more that I spend time with Him, the more I love Him.”

Other songs on the track show a mix of Australian and American influences.  On the track “Falling on My Knees,” an Aboriginal didgeridoo is distinguishable, and on track seven, “Acceptable,” a deejay’s “scratching” can be prominently heard.

But no matter what the style, Charmaine’s message of worship and praise directed to youth is clear. “Jesus is the only thing that will satisfy your heart.  Look up at Him and don’t turn your eyes towards something else.  I’m a witness when I say that He really is worth living for,” she said.  “He is love. He is life. He is the source of everything we’re looking for.”