With the release of Where’s Our Revolution coming soon, how do you feel?!?! Can you share with the BREATHEcast audience something special about the making of this album?
I am so excited about this season of life and sharing the music from "Where's Our Revolution". I feel a real clarity about what this album is all about and that is the hope and faith which has saved my life during some dark times over the past few years. That kind of message is hard earned, but once you've gotten to the other side of it, you want to scream it from the rooftops! That is the feeling I have right now. God's love is so real to me, and though this album does not shy away from the struggle, it definitely celebrates that love. Anytime you put in all the effort to make music it's a thrill to finally be able to share it with people, so this release is like the beginning of a relationship with an audience. As a generation we can help define a call to action, to serve and live out God's love in a way that answers the question, Where is Our Revolution?
How was the making of Where’s Our Revolution different from the making of your previous albums, Imagerical and Unlearning?
Making this album was a very different experience for me from anything else I've ever done in the music world. Michael Omartian, the producer, suggested that we record all of the songs in the studio with a live band, everyone playing together at the same time. Most of the time when you record pop music you have musicians come in one at a time and each one lays down their parts one track at a time. This was so much more of a fun and creative experience because all the musicians were able to feed off each other's energy and it had the feeling of a real authentic performance. I was singing along with the band in the vocal booth and watching them play and I remember feeling like the luckiest person in the world to have all these amazingly talented people working together to bring life to these songs I'd written. As a result, this album was the fastest recording experience I've ever had and it had a sense of effortlessness to it, which is a new place for me because my first 2 CD's were a learning curve for me and the people I was working with. So this time, being around so many pro and veteran musicians taught me a lot about how to create an atmosphere where magic can happen.
Music is an amazing gift from God and is such a powerful tool to share about God’s dream – can you share with us about an experience you had during your career that has greatly changed your perspective for the better?
A few years ago I was invited by my church to participate on a mission trip to Guatemala . It was part of a series of trips I took during an extended hiatus after my first CD was released. I had not really found my voice yet as an artist and I didn't want to continue writing and making music until I knew what I was supposed to say. The experiences of working in small villages in Guatemala, Jamaica, the inner city in Caracas, Venezuela, and the previously war torn yet fledgling youth culture in Poland affected me deeply. All of a sudden I had a lot of questions. I felt guilt, compassion, rage, and hope all mixed together. It burst open a dam in my soul and everything just came rushing out. I began to see the full power of what music means in all of our lives and what a gift it is along the pathways of life. I have sung in countless wedding, funerals, camp fires, on mud floors, churches, bars, coffee houses, and at huge music festivals. Seeing how music deeply connects during all of these vastly different experiences of life has halped me to see how God speaks to us all through music in unique ways and that has made me see that there is real power there, I don't want to take that for granted.
Which song in your album, Where’s Our Revolution, is your favorite? Why?
Well, actually 2 songs really stand out for me first there's “Where’s Our Revolution” which is the title track and the heart and soul of the album. It’s the first song I wrote for this project and it’s autobiographical in terms of where I was at literally and mentally at the moment I wrote it. The question the song asks is: though everyone is always talking about Spiritual revolution, where is it? It’s easy to get stuck in a rut that we can’t seem to get out of, and it feels like materialism and a sense of entitlement has got us, as a culture, stuck on worrying about ourselves instead of seeing the world as God sees it with every person’s soul being precious and important. Will history remember us as one of the most selfish generations ever or will we wake up and find our purpose and destiny in the sharing and giving of the love of God. It’s a question I think we have yet to answer, and we can’t make it on our own. This song is a call to live lives of revolutionary change and it started as a challenge to myself and then became more corporate as I realized that I can’t make it alone, none of us can.
The other songs is called, "The Other Side". This is the most overtly Spiritual song on the album. One of my older sisters passed away a few years ago and during the months where my family and me were struggling through the grieving process, I happened to go to the grocery store late at night after I got back home from a trip. The chorus of this song began to take shape in my mind as I was walking in the grocery isle. I rushed home and wrote it down and then took months to tell the story in the verses. The song admits to the confusion and doubt that exists when we lose someone we love when it feels like they are needed most. By the end of the song, there is hope expressed that as people of faith we will one day be re-united with our loved ones. A big surprise to me was when my producer convinced Amy Grant and Vince Gill to sing on this song. It was so poignant as my sister was a big fan of Amy’s and I can remember hearing her play her guitar along to Amy’s music when I was a little kid. It was powerful how God reminded my family through this recording in a small but significant way that He remembers us in our sorrow and ultimately that there is purpose in things even when we can’t see all ends.
What is your typical day like?
In my experience, for a musician there is no typical day. Every day is different and that is part of what I love about it so much. There are certain cycles that can be more or less structured depending on what it is you're doing. When recording in the studio there is sometimes a more structured schedule which can be nice. But life on the road is wild and you never know what might present itself and so you learn pretty quick to roll with the punches because you never know how a wrench can be thrown into the plans. I've been stranded in snow storms, broken down on the side of the road, missed flights, you name it...contrary to popular opinion, being a musician is not for wimps. :)
Which character in the Bible (besides Jesus!) are you most inspired by? Tell us why!
Joshua. I have always related to his fear of being a leader and an "up-front" personality. Joshua 1:9 has been a lifeline for me many times in moments when I feel inferior for the opporutnities at hand. "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
Tell us something special and unique about yourself that no one in the BREATHEcast audience would know about. =) Something special between you and us!
I'm afraid of clowns and will run away from anything or anyone wearing a mask.
What is one issue in the world that is very close to your heart and you feel burdened to make a difference for?
Poverty has been something that I have seen a lot in my travels and it's something that we can all make a difference with if we work together. I support World Vision and TOMS Shoes as a touring artist, but I also helped to create a non-profit with some friends in Houston called, New Beginning Resources Inc. NBRI is a relief organization operating in Guatemala, Haiti and Ecuador. The goal is to support missionaries and medical work, and to help educate children and give them hope for a brighter future. We built a school in Guatemala for Mayan kids as well as running a medical mission in a nearby town there. Please check out how you can help at www.nbri.net
Do you have any prayer request that would like the audience to participate in?
We are trying to get everything together for the students to begin classes at this school in Guatemala and we are awaiting approval from the governement to recognize the school as a legitimate institution of learning in the country. Please pray that we get the approval so that we can begin classes in January when their school year begins, and secure the teachers and support for the kids to be given this awesome opportunity.