The music industry offers acclaim, glitter, sequins and applause. Yet it may not allow expression of challenging or difficult emotions or feelings. Dami Im opens up and shares part of her story and some of the challenges of stardom and how she finds comfort, peace, and purpose.
Our guest: Dami Im is a singer-songwriter, who won the fifth season of The X Factor Australia in 2013. She represented Australia at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest where she came second overall. She’s released numerous chart topping albums and top 20 hits. In the show we talk about Dami's song Crying Underwater. She also talks about Compassion Australia. Her website is found here.
Check out the video from our Monday night Facebook Premiere (you can still access the video after the Premiere).
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Bigger Questions asked in the conversation
So Dami, you’ve sung at Grand Finals, Eurovision and on National Television, do you get nervous before a performance?
What’s it like to be singing before large cheering audiences?
Eurovision has been described as singing competition on steroids where nothing is too over the top. Sam Pang once said, "Nothing says Eurovision like a man playing a piano on fire." It’s the world’s most watched non-sporting event. So how did you feel when you were chosen as Australia’s entrant in the competition?
How was the Eurovision experience?
Dami’s singing story
So when did you realise you could sing?
So what made you enter X Factor?
It’s promised that singing competitions like the X Factor can change your life - so has it changed your life much?
Challenges of entertainment industry
Sparkles, glitter, lights, glamour, and pianos on fire at times, many aspire to be in the music industry, but is it all that it appears to be from the outside?
Legendary singer songwriter Van Morrison once said, ‘Music is spiritual, the music industry is not’. Does this give an insight into the challenges of life in the music industry?
Commentators, critics and the general public can very critical of those in the public light - is receiving criticism hurtful?
Is it easy to get your self worth tied up with where you are on the charts?
Now Dami, you are a Christian believer, but why is that - tell us your story - what convinced you that the Christian message was worth believing and following?
Does your faith help you with self doubt or with seeing you as your chart position?
Dami, you released a song, Crying Underwater, it seems quite personal and a more meaningful song than many other popular songs. So why did you write a song?
Music is so uplifting and many songs are about happy things, so is it hard to sing about hurt and suffering?
Bible’s answer - Comfort in suffering
Many of the themes of your song Crying Underwater are also found in the Bible. For example, Psalm 69, verses 2-4, where the Psalmist writes
I sink in the miry depths,
where there is no foothold.
I have come into the deep waters;
the floods engulf me.
I am worn out calling for help;
my throat is parched.
It seems that the idea of crying underwater is familiar with the Psalmist here - ‘I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me’. Does it surprise you that the Bible has these profound emotions recorded in it?
The Psalms were songs - and probably would have been sung - so how do you imagine the Psalmist singing about the floods engulfing him?
There seems to be deep resonances with your song Crying Underwater, particularly when you sing ‘Swimming upstream like I'm trapped in this ocean’. Do you think the Psalmist is capturing similar emotions to your song?
You are a Christian believer though - how does God help you when you feel like crying underwater?
The Bible speaks a lot about singing and a lot about hurting, there is another passage in the Bible, in Psalm 23 which has helped you,
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil,
for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
How has this helped you with challenging times of your life?
The Big Question
So Dami, how can we sing when it hurts?