Podcast Episode #175: Elevation Rhythm on Youth and Music

Josh and Davide of Elevation Rhythm join the podcast to discuss writing music for a young generation, the reactions they get, and what gives them hope for the youth of today.

On forming the band

Elevation Rhythm was never meant to be a band. I just came out of a desire to serve the youth at our church. We were taking Elevation songs and remixing them using 808’s and synths to put a different spin on that. From there we started writing our own songs and we felt how much we enjoyed them and thought maybe someone else would too.

On the eclectic sound

We actually approached the album more like a playlist. Kids rarely listen to a single album straight through. We even noticed when we were leading how different parts of the room would engage with songs differently. You might do something really rock oriented and one part of the room would light up but another area wouldn’t be feeling it until we switch to a more hip hop.

It’s all a response to what we see in youth ministry and we see how kids can experience God through any genre. There’s no holy sound, God is reaching kids where they’re at and we are trying to be a part of that.

What are your influences

We really wanted to break the idea that there are worship limitations on styles. Who says you can’t say God is dope on a worship record? What inspires us is trying to reach different audiences with the love of Christ. We listen to a lot of pop, and there are a lot of tools there that aren’t often used in a “modern worship” context but those can be used to bring people in. We’re just inspired by different sounds that grab our ears.

On the reaction

There’s a positive discomfort. There’s an appreciation and a recognition that there is a musical shift happening. At the same time when they dig down into the lyrics they find there is real substance to the lyrics and that’s the import thing. It’s the same truth packaged in a different way. We’re taking Christ’s revelation and trying to pair it with cultural relevance.

On the topics

The things we feel as humans are universal. You take a song where the message is “Everything is going to be okay”. That speaks to the adult that’s worried about losing their job in the pandemic and the teen who’s worried about what school is going to look like for them. I think we really try to share messages for those moments when you’re alone. This generation is very internal. The battle is with their inner thought life, the lies they tell themselves. We’re writing a message about who God says they are. 

On what gives them hope in this generation

They are so resilient. They ask questions but when they have a personal experience they hang onto it and don’t change their minds. They can come up against all kind of opposition to their beliefs but they will respond with “but I know because I’ve experienced”. They are also more willing to bring people bring in. The curiosity is a strength because God isn’t afraid of those questions.

Follow Elevation Rhythm on Instagram and Facebook.

Listen to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

Kristina Kislyanka leads worship and student ministry at her church in Washington state. She’s passionate about songwriting, producing music, and growing community within the Church. Kristina is a member of the Maverick City Music Choir. 

Podcast Episode #175: Elevation Rhythm on Youth and Music

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