“Music is food for the soul.” “Music is a universal language.” “Music speaks louder than words.” These may be clichés, but they are clichés for a reason. Music has the power to transform lives—it can help you to transcend your day-to-day experience, and it can empower and uplift. This is definitely the case with New Thought or Posi Music.
Origins of New Thought and Posi Music
Rooted in the broader New Thought movement, New Thought and Posi (short for “positive”) Music emerged to harness the extraordinary potential of music to inspire and uplift. It found its footing in the late 20th century, drawing from New Thought teachings.
The Posi Music movement gained momentum during the 1980s and 1990s, with the establishment of organizations like the Positive Music Association and the Posi Music Festival. These platforms provided a space for musicians to gather, honor one another’s artistry, and share their music’s transformative essence.
Posi Music artists draw from a rich tapestry of musical genres like folk, pop, rock, gospel, jazz, and more. Their songs often reflect themes of love, unity, self-realization, and spiritual awakening. Posi Music aims to elevate listeners, reminding them of their innate divinity and empowering them to lead purposeful, joyous lives.
emPower Music and Arts
Richard Mekdeci, one of the founders of emPower Music and Arts, said about the origins of this genre, “Not so long ago, Unity and New Thought churches were pressed to find music with messages that complemented our unique theology. But for the past 20 years an impressive catalog of contemporary music and artists who are writing songs specific to New Thought has been built, giving us our own distinctive music to use in our ministries.”
He went on to explain, “emPower Music and Arts was formed 18 years ago to collect and distribute this music to our churches and centers. We have a yearly song recognition called the Posi Awards (Positive Music Awards) and a yearly music festival, the emPower Music Festival, that brings these artists together to perform and write so that each year our catalog grows.”
Unique, Powerful, and Universal Messages
John Stringer, an inspirational singer/songwriter, has long had a significant impact on the Posi Music movement. When reflecting on the genre, he said, “I appreciate the diversity in New Thought/Posi Music and the organizations like emPower Music and Arts, who champion Posi Music and are dedicated to ‘creating positive global change through music, writing, and the spoken word.’”
When considering his own music and the way it ties into the larger New Thought genre in general, he said, “Although New Thought/Posi Music is a wonderful category or genre, the thread that ties it together with many of my favorite songs from other genres is the ability for the music to move my soul. As one of my song lyrics reminds me, ‘It’s about what moves your soul: That’s love!’ The music I create comes from a similar frequency to remind those who resonate with it of our oneness, perfection, and power.”
Mekdeci summed up the genre perfectly when he said, “The messages of New Thought are unique, powerful, and universal. Having and using music that conveys that message helps people who are not familiar with Unity to understand our message through a medium that is universally accepted.”
Enlightened Harmonies: A Melodic Celebration
In honor of World Music Day, we proudly present “Enlightened Harmonies,” a curated playlist that embodies the vibrancy of New Thought and Posi Music. Immerse yourself in the enchanting melodies and soul-stirring lyrics of renowned artists such as Stringer and Mekdeci (as mentioned above); New Thought classics like Karen Drucker, Daniel Nahmod, and Faith Rivera; and some new favorites you may not be as familiar with. I encourage you to use this as inspiration to create your own New Thought playlist.
Churches may license this music for live streaming, archiving, and performance through the emPower Music Rights blanket license. See the emPower Music and Arts website for more information.