We are really excited to share with you guys an interview with Grammy nominated artist, Sarah Kelly! Sarah was nice enough to take the time and chat with us about her new cd, “Born To Worship”, working with mainstream artists such Slash from Guns and Roses, and her new music school! We want to thank Sarah for doing this interview with us! We hope you guys enjoy reading!
TW: You just had your cd Born To Worship release in July,Can you tell us what inspired you to do a worship album and what was the writing process like?
Sarah: Well…I started most of these songs when I was really young….some as early as 7…..these songs brought me through some of the toughest times of my life…and I worshiped through a lot of circumstances I didn’t understand with these songs….I wasn’t ready to share them publically till now. My hope was to make my old home church in IL smile, cuz we used to play these songs all the time….and go back to the roots of who God made me to be, as I move from one season to the next in my life…..it was a message to them…that I am ok…and a reminder to myself…of my true roots.The writing process was just improving old songs…adding a bridge here..a second verse there…but the heart of the album was these simple songs from my early youth.(thus the name…born to worship)
TW: You’ve talked about how you were involved in abusive relationships,how has it inspired your writing?
Sarah: Well…it’s no secret that soul doesn’t come from vocal chords…but from hard times….when someone is pushed to the limit, more risks are taken creatively and in life because there is essentially, less to lose. I have been completely honest in my music…..to the point where it has probably cost me…both financially and emotionally….but the bottom line is….no one is perfect…..we all have our issues…and the “truth” part of “spirit and truth” is a little, well, missing in today’s glossy version of Christianity…I am hoping that I will inspire honesty…not only on the issue of abuse…(which is totally relevant in the church!!!!…whether people want to believe it or not)…but on other issues as well…it is a part of humbling ourselves…then God will heal our land!
TW: How did you start singing and when did you feel the Lord calling you to music?
Sarah: I was always singing as a child….then stopped through jr high…and then my pastor made me after college again. But I have always written music since I was a small child.
TW: How did you get signed to Gotee Records?
Sarah: I guess Toby’s asst. heard some hype about the “new girl” (me) and the other labels that were approaching me….they called me…and it was magic!…Their down to earth approach was sooooooo nice!….and they really have been more than good to me through the ups and downs of the last 4 years!
TW: Can you talk a little bit about your song “About Midnight” and what inspired you to write it?
Sarah: Well….that song’s hook line is “where the past meets today”….which is the theme of the whole 2nd album….which is by far the most personal of the 3. I bear all on that thing!…. About midnight is a song that I wrote at my darkest hour…. and Paul and Silas were my “mentors” of how to worship…..they worshiped when they didn’t understand why God was allowing things in their life that seemed bad….so this song is what I guessed they would have sang in that hour…and it helped me through my “dark hour”.
TW: You’ve worked with a lot of mainstream artists,can you talk a little bit about that experience and how has your music been received?
Sarah: I am more than pleased at the response I have gotten….I mean, how can I complain with 2 Grammy nods….that is just crazy!…..I really enjoyed working with Chris Chaney from Janes Addiction and Slash from Guns and Roses….but my very favorite was Mike Clink, who is a legendary producer….I learned that people are cool with a Christian stand…as long as your music is good enough to stand on it’s own…I know a lot of people were not so happy with my decision to open my music to “main stream rockers”….but we are all just people trying to figure out life…you know? Far be it from me to judge anyone!
TW: We heard recently that you started a music school,can you tell us a little about that and where the idea came from?
Sarah: Yep….I have been teaching songwriting since I was 17 years old…it was what “got me here”…..I used to have somewhere around 700 students enrolled in Rockford, IL…before my first nod…and the sad part about pursuing the new ops coming my way ….was having to put the schools on hold.You see…songwriting got me through some of the roughest seasons of my life…it is a connection to God that is always there to run to….it can be a voice when you are silenced…..so I have a passion to pass that knowledge on!…..And I am doing that for about 50 students right now in southern Cal!…That is all my calendar will allow for…but it has been sooooooooooo refreshing to me!
TW: So what should we expect from your new live dvd coming out soon?
Sarah: Well…it is a cd and dvd….and one thing I ALWAYS hear is that people wish the albums were more like my live shows….so we did it right…spared no expense..and are finally releasing what people have wanted for a long time from me….I am sooooo excited to share with people here what God is doing in Europe…I think it will open a lot of eyes.
TW: What music have you been listening to and what books have you been reading lately?
Sarah: I just read 2 books….”The Female Brain” which was written by a Harvard physician and professor…..about the physical differences between man and woman….I think to be the best woman I can be…I have to know my God given strengths!….
And also…”The Shack” , which I was not expecting to like, but told a friend I would read…..so I had to make good on a promise…..but I ended up loving it…God totally used it in my life huge!
TW: What do you think is the biggest problem facing this new generation and what would you say to them?
Sarah: I know I would say to my fellow xers….to drop the ridiculous judgment of churches going on right now…and if you have been burned…said lovingly…..move on…and find a new church…but we all need fellowship…the bible is clear on that….I mean if anyone would have a reason to hate organized religion it is me….it is a choice to forgive and move on…..Josh McDowell says that 85%of the 18 to 30 are leaving not to return to the church….I really do understand the skepticism….I get the not liking the “monarchy” of what the church has become…to question authority is to question God…and that is not what we are about…and we like it honest…not glossy…..but how are we gonna help this situation if we totally just stop going altogether…..give it another try…and then another.
For more info on Sarah Kelly go to: www.myspace.com/sarahkelly