The first time I heard Audrey Assad’s album, I fell in love with it. Maybe it is because of the way the songs were written, maybe it was the way she sang or maybe it was because the album was excellent. The album “The House You’re Building” was named Christian album of 2010 on Amazon.com and also Christian Breakthrough album of the year on iTunes. I got a chance to have a chat with the Dove Award nominee. Read this amazing interview as Audrey talks about her music, her Catholic faith and her upcoming album. Enjoy
YADA: It has been over a year since the release of your debut album “The House You are Building”. How has the journey been so far?
It has been an incredible year, packed with traveling, playing, writing, and beginning work on the second project (which will be released in February of 2012)–I also got married since I put out The House You’re Building, and that was definitely the icing on the cake. Overall, it has been a whirlwind…I have learned a lot about my faith, my art, my artistic goals, and myself.
YADA: Amazon.com named your album the Christian album of 2010. How did you feel when you heard about it?
I was quite honoured! It is an amazing gift, when you have poured your heart and soul into a piece of work, to receive a mention from a business like Amazon.
YADA: “The House you are building” talked about a lot of things and Christian and non- Christian listeners were able to relate to the album. What will you say are the things that inspired that particular album?
Several of the songs on The House You’re Building dealt with suffering and trouble, which in my opinion are two very experiences in humanity. People of all cultures and faiths can dialogue about those things. I’m humbled and honoured that anyone of another belief system would be able to bring their experiences to my record, and take something away from it. I would not want it any other way.
YADA: How will you describe your sound?
As with all artists, my sound is evolving; at the moment I like to think it’s a little bit 70s and a little bit quirky pop–I grew up listening to the Carpenters and Simon and Garfunkel on road trips, but I love Imogen Heap and Sarah McLachlan. I think they have all influenced my music a bit.
YADA: What is your creative process like?
I go through dry spells and creative bursts, like most artists I know; I tend to be focused on lyrics, but I am pushing myself to focus much more on the music. One thing I have been doing lately is forcing myself to write without a pen or an instrument of any kind–just entirely in my head. It is difficult but it’s opened up a whole new world to me creatively.
YADA: You are currently a contemporary Christian recording artist of Catholic faith. Tell us a little bit about that. Where there any challenges in the industry as regards your faith?
Honestly, I have to say there have not been. Most people are either curious or unfazed – I am happy to answer questions, and people do ask. I do not mind at all!
YADA: Presently very few Contemporary Christian music artists are of Catholic faith. What do you think is the reason for this?
Whatever the reason, I am happy to be one of those who are doing what I do. It may be partially because, in the past, there has been misunderstanding between Protestants and Catholics about what each other believes, and so it has been only very recently that more Catholics are beginning to be involved in the contemporary Christian music business. It will be interesting to see what the next generation brings in this area. I think it is a marvellous opportunity for communication and the building of relationship.
YADA: We are very excited about the new album. Tell us what to expect from it?
I am beyond proud of the upcoming record. I had a much shorter time to write these songs than I did for The House You’re Building—only a little less than a year! And so I had to be a little more focused thematically, a little more intentional about what I wanted to say with the songs. I studied other songwriters and their processes, particularly Paul Simon and Leslie Feist. I zeroed in on the theme of the human heart, and the Divine heart of God as Father, Christ as Brother and Friend, and so on and so forth. The interesting thing is that, though I was more focused and specific in the writing process, I feel that the record is even more widely relatable than the last one was. I think the themes are subtler, and more creatively employed. As for the music, my 70s influence definitely shows up a little more, and we did some cool things with live drum loops. I cannot wait for you to hear it.
YADA: Are you currently working on an international tour? Maybe a visit to Nigeria. (laughs)
I would absolutely love to come to Africa. Hopefully one day soon! I will make sure and look you up. (smiles)
YADA: A final word for our readers.
Life is short—take time to love God, your family, your friends, and your enemies. This busy year has taught me that!
Current songs on your playlist: The Spirit and the Bride by Matt Maher, 1+1 by Beyonce, Hungry Heart by Bruce Springsteen, My Little Town by Paul Simon.
Last movie you saw: Fire In The Sky.
Last book you read: “Jerusalem, the Eye of the Universe”, by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan
TV series you watching now: 30 Rock
Favourite pastime: Cooking!
Favourite bible verse: 1 John 1:1-4
For more information on Audrey Assad, visit her website ( http://audreyassad.com/) , be a fan on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/audreyassadmusic) or follow her on Twitter (@audreyassad).
Interview conducted by Harry Itie.
Images courtesy: Audrey Assad, Zimbio and South Jersey Bible Church International.
Watch Audrey perfrorm “For Love of You live on K-Love Radio