This is a guest post from artist-worship leader Jon Shabaglian.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller
The power of collaboration has been evident throughout the ages. And, I feel like more and more I’m experiencing how dynamic collaboration with kindred creative’s can be. When you connect at the core with another gifted artist and God provides the spark…there’s no ceiling.
Collaboration #1: Just recently I partnered with a dear friend from Mexico, Sean Cates. He’s gifted hip-hop artist and a missionary…nothing like Jesus and hip-hop! This last fall he came up to California and we talked about if God would inspire a creative spark…aka a song 😉 After praying about the initial conceptual seed, “to know you is to love you,” that night Sean wrote 2 verses. And the following morning while driving to work, I got the chorus & the bridge. He rapped, I sang; he’s done music videos, I’ve done more audio editing. We both had strengths and weakness…but coming together the single/music video “to Know you” was just released Tuesday Feb 19 and we’re at nearly 900,000 Youtube views. Collaboration with God’s kiss…power unleashed!
- Watch the Single (YouTube): http://youtu.be/__6HNHlqLts
- On iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/to-know-you-single/id589206045
Collaboration #2: In 2010 I had the privilege of attending my first re:create conference in Franklin,TN and had a visceral encounter. Being an artist and Armenian, I was about to be confronted in a way I could never have foreseen. I was caught up in an incredible worship time, lead by a great group “1211,” and sitting next to their virtuoso viola player. By the end we were both so moved artistically and by the presence of God that we gave each other a hug.
And then in this tender moment I reached out my hand and said, “Hey bro, my name’s Jon.” He shook my hand and with an accent said, “My name is Orhan.” So I asked him, “Hey, uh, what’s your ethnicity man?” And, his reply was a shot through me when he said, “I’m Turkish.”
Now being Armenian, I had never even met a Christian Turk (My grandparents fled the Armenian genocide and my great grandfather was taken up on a death march and shot…simply because he was Armenian. Soooo, I took a breath and responded, ”I’m Armenian…” and, we sort of stared at each other. It was becoming clear that God had set us up…at least me. He had me embrace the enemy….and yet he was my brother. We had already worshiped together, embraced…and now we realize we’re on opposite fences…but united in God. The God of reconciliation. So long story short, after getting home I ended up writing a song called “Reconciliation Song” with the help of another Recreator McKendree on the bridge. And then Orhan ended up playing his breath taking viola on it (which was built in the 1700s) and played like a virtuoso :).
I know God is a God of reconciliation…and so I choose to follow and bless! Here’s a copy of the demo we created: “Reconciliation Song”.
- On Sound Cloud: https://soundcloud.com/jonshabaglian/reconciliation-song-demo
These 2 personal encounters I hope demonstrate the importance for influencers all around, to look for kindred spirits and allow the Creator to write on our canvases!