Award-winning singer-songwriter, Ginny Owens and her new album “Love Be the Loudest” makes me happy. Released in November of 2016, it is fresh and vibrant and makes me want to get up and dance along (should I admit the kids and I have been doing just this?). The music provides a way in to listen to lyrics that speak right to my heart- Ginny shares her faith and encourages listeners to seek God’s voice above our doubts and fears. So often fear and anxieties cloud our day, overshadowing the joy that should be ours in Jesus. As women, we struggle with burdens that we should be surrendering at the feet of our Saviour- we feel things deeply, we question, we hurt, we worry, we get weary. Ginny draws on her faith in Jesus to encourage us- when doubts and fears swirl around us, may his love be the loudest voice we hear. As Owens’ says, “We live in a world that doesn’t make sense. What’s right is wrong; what’s important is devalued… My prayer is that these songs will inspire listeners to walk with the hope and courage given us by God.”
The Intro creatively invites listeners in to experience a world where a strong beat combines with meaningful lyrics that urge us to look upward instead of inward. It is unusual hearing such depth in a pop music album, yet this was a challenge Owens set for herself and one I feel she achieves with beauty and raw vulnerability. In this album, she collaborates with other artists, including All Sons & Daughters, Mike Weaver, Meredith Andrews, Andrew Bergthold and Andrew Greer. On those days when your spirit is downcast, “Love Be the Loudest” will lift you; on the days when you wakeup dancing, this album can provide the soundtrack to your day. To purchase the album, head over to iTunes: http://smarturl.it/lovebe
As I listened to the album, I wanted to know more about Ginny. She kindly joins us at Pursuits of God below.
Hi Ginny, it is lovely to have you here at Pursuits of God. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hello, it’s great to be here! I have been a singer/songwriter for about 15 years now. I grew up in Jackson, MS, in the U.S., where I was very influenced by Blues and Gospel music. I started playing songs by ear on our piano at age 2, and discovered during elementary school that songwriting was a great way to work out what was going on in my heart and life. I moved to Nashville, TN to go to college and never left. Though I planned to be a high school music teacher, I got signed to Rocketown Records, (a label that was owned by Michael W. Smith), and I’ve been traveling and sharing music ever since. Oh, and also, I lost my eyesight at the age of three, due to a degenerative eye condition inherited from my dad’s side of the family.
You have been working in the music industry for almost two-decades, what sets your latest album “Love be the Loudest” apart from your other work?
Love Be The Loudest is my most pop album. In many ways, it was the most challenging to create, because I wanted to incorporate thoughtful lyrics with singable melodies. I’m very proud of the end result, though!
When I listen to this album, it puts a pep in my step. It makes me excited to be a Christian and encouraged to live it out. What were your thoughts behind these songs?
Thank you! I’m so glad to hear it! I love working out to pop music, but I find after a while the negative lyrics aren’t great for my brain. I was inspired to take the electronic and EDM sounds I’m loving and combine them with hopeful lyrics about how our lives are changed when we allow God’s voice of love and truth to be loudest in our hearts. Every song is inspired by that theme.
You have mentioned you went through a period of great personal growth that spilled over into your writing for this album. Can you tell us a little about that?
As I was writing for this album, I was walking through some challenging circumstances. After doing quite a few concerts, I began to experience pain in my vocal cords. Not only did it become increasingly painful to sing, but I was having trouble hitting the notes. The first specialist I saw said my voice might never return to normal. Needless to say, I was scared to death. As I began working on healing my voice, I discovered something else unnerving. My doctor found a grapefruit-sized tumor in my abdomen, and thought it might be cancer. Surgery revealed that I did not have cancer, and my voice is on the mend. But I learned so much about God and myself during that season. I realized how much of an idol my career can be. I also came to understand how my security is largely dependent on my perceived ability to control my circumstances. In those scary months of walking through the fire, God redirected my heart to what was most important – His love. He carried me through the uncertainty, reminding me over and over again that I had no need to fear. He had already walked through the ultimate fire for me. All that I learned during this time was written into the lyrics of Love Be The Loudest.
As a singer, the public often get a bit of a glossy picture of your life on stage or in music videos. Away from the public eye, how do you pursue God in your everyday?
Every day begins with time with God – Bible-reading, prayer, and time to think about what I’m learning. I’ve had to make this a habit. Otherwise, I’m in the ditch. I’ve also learned the importance of community. With a busy work schedule and an introverted personality, I tend to want to put community last on the list. But over and over, God shows me how I usually hear His voice most clearly when it comes from those in my space. I’ve learned that in order to preserve my sanity and to hear God’s voice, I have to make my time with Him and with others the top priorities.
In a world that is growing more hostile to Jesus and his disciples, how do you think we navigate the culture, loving people we meet, but also remaining true to Jesus’ message in the Bible?
This is a question I’m currently asking myself every day. I think hearing God’s voice and knowing what He says is key. I’ve finally come to understand that if I’m not reading my Bible – His spoken Word to us – and asking His spirit to change me with this Word, then I simply won’t know how to wisely navigate the times we find ourselves in. So the first step is to seek God’s heart through His word and prayer. I also think a key prayer for us is for passion to pursue those in our world. It’s challenging to take the time to listen and initiate conversation over and over again, especially with those who despise Christianity. But Paul, Peter, John, and Jesus all show us that personal conversations are key to hearts being changed by the Gospel.
Do you have any plans to venture to Australia?
I would sure love to! Hopefully soon!!
Listen to one track below: The Loudest Voice