One of my favorite female vocalists of the last few years has been Audrey Assad. I’ve really appreciated her transparency in her music. This Friday she has a new record coming out called Inheritance, which features Audrey’s take on classic hymns. I recently spoke to Audrey about her upcoming record. Check it out!
Gabe: As an independent artist, how much do you enjoy releasing music through Pledge campaigns?
Audrey: It has its upsides and downsides—but overall I love doing direct-to-fan marketing and it’s always a huge honor to feel and receive the support of so many fans—it is very encouraging. I’m very grateful.
Gabe: How fun was it to go back and record the hymns that you grew up with as a little girl?
Audrey: It was a great experience and a privilege to re-approach these beautiful pieces with both reverence and boldness. And it was challenging!
Gabe: What was the biggest challenge both musically and personally that you had with this project?
Audrey: Recording it whilst parenting a toddler was challenging. Also, I had been going through some years of deep spiritual crisis when I began the record, and singing these beloved lyrics proved difficult at times. I actually ended up having to schedule more studio time/spend more money to finish the vocals, because I had so much trouble.
Gabe: When you decided to make this project, was there a hymn that you absolutely had to put on there? Why?
Audrey: I felt quite compelled to record “Be Thou My Vision.” It’s been done, of course, many times, but I really couldn’t help myself. It’s so lilting and mystical and quietly joyful—very Celtic, and right up my alley!
Gabe: Why do you think hymns have stood the test of time?
Audrey: Well, thousands and thousands of hymns actually haven’t done that. Fanny Crosby is said to have written as many as 8000 in her lifetime, and Charles Wesley wrote somewhere in the vicinity of 6000. Most of them we don’t sing now—we maybe sing 20 of his—there were plenty of hymns that didn’t last. The ones that have probably did so because most of them still wield an incisive, insightful perspective on humanity and God.
Gabe: Do you think the modern worship songs that are written today will ever be looked at the way this generation looks at hymns?
Audrey: In some ways, no—the music is very different. But as I said above, there have been plenty of hymns written (google: “God of Earth and Outer Space” sometime, just for kicks) that really won’t be seen as masterpieces. I think worship music is the same—some songs will stick around and some will not. Only time will tell.
Follow Audrey Assad on Twitter: @AudreyAssad