10 Questions with ... Jessa Anderson
June 13, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Not Myself Anymore (2011)
1) Give us a quick glimpse at your musical journey.
I have always loved singing. I feel like I am praising God in the best way I know how when I sing. I also love to write and in high school I started combining those passions as a hobby songwriter. When my husband and I were engaged, he had a composition and arranging emphasis at Belmont and I attended a lot of his songwriting seminars so I could spend time with him. God really used that to direct me to songwriting. I released my first CD independently in 2008 alongside my husband's 2008 EP and we officially became full-time musicians. We've made our living touring and performing since then and while it's been a huge step of faith, I can't imagine doing anything else. I feel so blessed that I get to be a wife and mom and I get to be a musician. It still blows me away how much fun our life is!
2) How did you get connected with Tooth & Nail?
Kevin Bruchert, one of the producers of "Not Myself Anymore," sent a copy of the CD over to them when we finished it. He had previously worked with Tyson (who brought me on) on a project with The Glorious Unseen. It's been really amazing for me to see God bring relationships about I could never have anticipated.
3) What's the story behind your first single "Not What I Thought"?
I grew up attending church with wonderful Christian parents who taught me about God and about Jesus Christ from an early age. I always had a deep love for God, but I also grew to feel very familiar with him. While I do believe God acts as our dearest friend, I also think when we regard him as too familiar we begin to limit the way we see him work in our lives. He is so big, so powerful and so far beyond our wildest imagination. I want to see that God in my life every day and not view God through a self-imposed filter that qualifies him as just a character in a storyline.
4) Is there a specific message or theme to the new album "Not Myself Anymore"?
It's basically a synopsis of the things I've been learning and dealing with, and in some cases, struggling through. As a follower of Christ, I am learning to deal with every facet of life by the premise that there is a way to engage in a way that best brings glory to God. Sometimes I get it right and my songs will celebrate that growth, and sometimes I get it wrong and my songs represent the darker moments when I end up learning the hard way! I think people are at their best when they are able to live together in community, walking through life side by side honestly and openly, and I aim to bring down some of my own walls through my music in the hope that others will do the same in their lives.
5) Do you have a favorite song on the new album?
I feel really passionate about all of these songs, but I love "Everybody Has Those Days." I love playing that one live because it's such a representation of who I am: clumsy, somewhat awkward and trying to just take those moments in stride! I tell an embarrassing story or two to give people an understanding that I really am a total mess some days, but I have found God to be just as good in the chaos as he is when the ride is smooth. Life is too short to dwell on the frustrations so I do my best to serve God and have a blast doing it!
6) Do you have any humorous, interesting and/or inspiring stories from your recent radio visits?
The radio community has some of the best people around. Every visit I've had has been a great time and everyone has been so gracious. I had a chance to do an acoustic set in the Air1 Indianapolis studio and it was really an honor to connect with their listeners and hear some of their stories and to share my heart there. We had lunch with their team afterward and I got to hear about how they are involved in serving their local community and I found that so encouraging. I love the idea that on both sides, we are all serving Christ together and trying to change the world for his name's sake. It's cool to see first hand that the DJ you hear during drive time isn't just some "personality," but a servant of God doing great work.
7) Upcoming tour plans? Where can we see you playing?
I am constantly on the road and will definitely be out sharing the CD as much as possible! Fall tends to be the busiest time and I post all my dates online as soon as they are on my calendar. You can find them at http://jessaanderson.com/TOUR or facebook.com/jessaanderson
8) What song do you wish you had written?
"I Am" by Nichole Nordeman (from the album "Woven & Spun") is one of the best songs I have heard and it brings me to tears nearly every time I hear it. It communicates the fragile and intricate relationship we have with God as we learn about who he is from our birth to our death in such a beautiful way.
9) Is it true you named your daughter after a TV character?
We didn't name her in honor of the character or anything, but I am a big Gilmore Girls fan and I first heard the name there (the main character's name is Lorelai). When we were choosing her name, I did some research and we ended up choosing Lorelei, which is spelled like the rock on the bank of the Rhine river in Germany. Jordan and I had a really difficult time agreeing on a girl name that we both loved, but we loved the name Lorelei and now I can't imagine having called her something else!
10) Do you have much time to listen to other artists' music? What are you listening to right now?
We spend a lot of time driving and that's when we do most of our listening. It's a huge inspiration to get out of your own head, away from your own songs and listen to someone else's perspective. I love Needtobreathe. I think they are so talented and creative! Also, I still go back to a lot of Nichole Nordeman's music because she is such an amazing songwriter.