Wednesday, March 17, 2010
New Records, Songwriting, Vulnerability, and Life Lessons
Recently, I have felt a lift in my songwriting block. I've had a writing block for sometime now...
I don't ever talk about this part of my life, because to be honest, it's one of the most vulnerable things to me. Writing your heart down on paper, then recording it. What if I change the way I feel in 10 years? 10 months? 10 minutes? or Why do I even write and feel the need to record in the first place? These are questions and thoughts that constantly go through my mind. God has blessed me to be able to write...It doesn't mean the songs or melodies are any good :-), but the fact that I can write and make melodies is a blessing; That the Creator allows the created to create is humbling to say the least...I'm blessed that some of my songs have cause people to worship, feel encouraged, or to think differently about God.
Over the last 6 to 7 years I've been blessed to write with several different artists...from female to male artists and from Christian to mainstream pop music. But, the more I have written with other artists over the years, the more I have chosen to not focus on my own personal writing. Well, I think that season has changed. Some of you know I recorded my first worship record in 2005. A long story, as short as possible...for that record, "Needed Confession" I was given a large sum of money to make a debut record that most artists would dream of. I took the money with the idea that I was going to pursue traveling full time on the road and have the ability to pay the money back as a label backed artist. During the mixing of the record, I felt the Lord tell me that my role was in the local church...this was a hard one for me, but I listened. I stop talking with labels and friends who had connections in Nashville and just prayed the record would sell as an independent.
Flash forward 5 years into the future. Adrienne and I are still unfortunately making monthly payments on that first record. Ouch, I know. It has been an incredible lesson. A painful one. Now that I produce and engineer records, I could probably make the same record for about half of what we spent....the point is though, that God is always teaching us. He is so good. So faithful. I had to learn some very hard lessons about life with my first record that I might not have learned any other way.
With these new songs a few themes have come into focus recently. I'm not sure when, but in the next few months or years (probably years) I will be collecting songs for 2 new records. One record will be my 2nd worship record. Themes about God's faithfulness through pain and songs about the great story of life and redemption He is telling through us.....And the other record will be kind of different for me. This will be a "side project" for a lack of a better word. This record is already shaping as I have written 3 songs this last few weeks. The themes are my dad's death (never written about), a broken but hopeful marriage, loss, and hope. This 2nd record will not be a "worship" record. Obviously, I believe that EVERYTHING I am and do is a reflection of my worship of God, but this will not be a congregational worship record. This will be a record about pain and suffering.
In my last paragraph, I would ask you to pray. My conviction is to not record another record of my own until my debt is paid on the first record, but this is difficult for me. I want to move forward with my new vision for my art, but feel a wall in front of me. Also, pray for the vision of these next few records. Adrienne and I believe our monthly finances have been taken care of through our amazing community where I serve, so we believe that the profit from all records I sell should go to others. My vision is to partner with a couple of non-profits and that EVERY penny would go to support those in need. I would basically represent these organizations and when people would buy my record, they would get info on what their 10 dollars just went to support (food for the hungry, charity water, etc.)...Pray for wisdom on what organizations to partner with. Pray for wisdom on if that means I need to seek becoming a non-profit and all that entails. Ok, I need to be done writing now. Sorry for the long post. It's been a while since I've blogged and it felt good. Thank you.
Thank you to those who actually read all the way down. :-)
grace and peace,