I thought it would be fun to do a different type of interview/post here. So, I asked my assistant, Megan, who is a super fun person to interview me about the new CD, Roots for the Journey. She asked the questions, I answered them. Sit back, read along and enjoy:
1. How did you come up with the title Roots for the Journey?
Oh my, it definitely was a process. Originally I was working on titles when I thought this would only be a lullaby CD and came up with some pretty fun ideas like “Hope from a Music Box”. But, then when I realized that adults were going to really enjoy this music I wanted the title to encompass that idea. At that point the artist who did the artwork, Elizabeth Foster, had already designed the cover painting with the birds playing instruments and the trees….So thinking of those images and ideas mixed with what the messages are in the songs I decided on “Roots” being God’s Word/the trees “For the Journey” being our lives at any stage and season/the birds and their ability to fly around wherever, all made sense. I think it sums up the hope that these songs offer us. I love this verse in Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the one…whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers. (NIV) Yep, that pretty much sums it up!
2. Tell me about the process you went through for choosing the Scripture you based the songs off of on this album?
There were definitely scriptures that I immediately knew I wanted to write songs about. I went into this thinking if something happened to me tomorrow, what scriptures would I want to make sure my son, Sparrow would learn? So, I started with my ideas and then asked the question on facebook/twitter and looked at the scriptures that those friends would want to make sure their kids knew. Then it was just whittling down the list cause I could only put so many songs on this album!
3. What is your favorite song on the album and why?
Oh, narrowing it down to only one is so hard! Some of my favorites are “Safe”, “Creator”, “Hope”, and “Healer.” Although I think my favorite will continue to change just because the truth of these songs is the scriptures they are based on. Life is a journey with highs and lows and mountains and valleys. As I navigate my life and all the twists and turns it brings each one of these songs is relevant within those different experiences. I will say there have already been many days that I needed to bring some peace to my crazy life. I’ve turned on this record and I find that peace, often mixed with a few tears as I am reminded how much God loves and cares for me. He created all of us and He loves all of us. He wants to be in our lives caring for every detail of every season. These songs remind me of what an incredible God I serve and that I don’t have to do it alone because He cares for me. “I Don’t Want To Go” has always been a special song in my life. I wrote it in a very hard season and how God used the song through Avalon exceeded my expectations. It’s a wonderful example of God’s grace and provision. Thirteen years later from when I wrote the song God is still using the song to speak into my life. For that I am so grateful.
4. What other artists did you collaborate with on Roots for the Journey?
Vocally, Sam formerly of Mike’s Chair sang on “Trust”. I worked with some incredible musician’s on this project. Actually these guys have worked with me on the other albums I’ve recorded over the past few years too. Stephen Leiweke produced. He’s worked with some of the greatest female Christian songwriters ever including: Cindy Morgan, Margaret Becker, Sara Groves and Kari Jobe. Stephen played guitar on my very first record and we’ve worked together a lot over the past sixteen years. He’s like family now. Ken Lewis played drums and he works with everyone from The Civil Wars to Steven Curtis Chapman. Matt Stanfield played piano on most of the record. He’s so great and has worked with Plumb and Norah Jones. Matt Slocum of Sixpence None the Richer added some cello too. I’m a huge Sixpence fan so that’s awesome.
5. What is your prayer for families and churches in listening to your new album?
That a life live based on God’s Word is the best way. Jesus said that He is the way, the truth and the life. The only way we can have life is through Jesus. I hope that people will experience God’s peace that passes all understanding. That they will be reminded they are not alone, that God cares for them and has a purpose and a plan for their life. When you choose God’s way it’s always perfect. It’s not always in our time with our conditions but if we learn to trust we will experience God’s best for us. He protects us and watches out for us. I’m so glad I don’t always experience life the way I thought it should go cause that would just end destructively. God’s way is a firm foundation, a rock, that we can build our lives upon.
I definitely know that adults will love the low key worship experience that this music is. It truly is a record that anyone can listen to. Because it’s filled with God’s promises and ultimately HIs word there’s a lot of peace and grace that you feel when you listen to these songs. I hope there’s many people that don’t have kids or maybe their kids are grown that will take a listen to this music. Yes, it’s different from the music I’ve been making the past seven years or so. Different is good. I hope those that are new to what I do or maybe have me pigeonholed in their mind about what I do will give this music a listen. I know it will soothe their soul.
Because so much of my time is spent doing family concerts and making music for minivans and children’s ministries I wanted to make sure that I could tie these songs in to that audience. That is why I had a bunch of ministry friends contributed to make the “Roots for the Journey” app. It is filled with a family devotion, conversation, prayers and activity based on each song/scripture on the album. It’s a way parents can teach their kids these scriptures and truths and help instill Biblical roots in their kids for the journey of life. I think this app will be a great way to help parents connect and train their kids to have a love for God’s Word!
About Megan Smidt:
Megan is Personal Assistant to Yancy and also a Certified Christian Life Coach specializing in Relationship Coaching and more specifically, Blended Family Relationships. She and her husband Craig have been married 8 years. She is the adoptive full-time mother to Craig’s 5 children from a previous marriage, all ranging in age from 21 years old to 15. Megan is very active in her church and in ministering to women. She leads a family small group in her home every week along with her husband and she works with teenagers at church on Thursday nights. Megan loves to travel and spend time with family and friends. She enjoys reading, music, movies, photography, paper crafting, sewing and roller skating. She is silly, fun, and loves making new friends!