10 Questions with ... Ginny Owens
October 10, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- Soul Stride Records
- Get In, I'm Driving (2011)
1. It has been five years since your last studio album. What has been happening in the life of Ginny Owens in that time? How did this time bring you to the songs on the new album?
The past five years have flown by. I recorded several projects independently, including a Christmas CD in 2006 and a hymns project in 2009. I moved from Nashville to New York City for half of a year where I took several fiction-writing classes at Columbia University, helped lead worship at several area churches, and made some great lifelong friends. I was seriously considering moving to NYC when my Mom was diagnosed with cancer, so I moved to Mississippi instead, where I stayed for eight months until her treatment was finished. When we were certain she was cancer free, I came back to Nashville and have pretty much been working on the new CD ever since.
2. What is the story behind the new single "Before You Fly"?
I remember the day I began writing this song. I was walking along the beach of the Gulf Coast soon after Hurricane Katrina left its indelible mark of disaster and reflecting on how difficult tragedy is to comprehend. The first lines of the song came to me:
"The world is wide / You can't climb over it / you can't crawl under it / Baby, I've tried." My progress on the lyric ended there, as finding words of comfort and encouragement to share with those who have experienced extreme loss is nearly impossible.
In the same season, I was grappling with my own inner hurricane. I often wondered if I'd actually make it through the tumultuous time, and if I did, would I have words of hope to offer on the other side? The answers didn't come quickly. The song took five years to finish, because there were more disasters, both internal and external, that had to be faced before I had any words of hope to offer.
As time passes, I understand that wisdom comes only from placing one foot in front of the other, moment after moment, day after day, seeking the face of God. I fall, I fly, and as God's truth grows bigger in my life, the highs and lows of the journey take on deeper meaning. Life is full of joys and tragedies, and holding on tightly to the hand of our heavenly Father is the only way to get through. If any wisdom came from my hurricane, this was it.
3. Is there a specific message or theme to the songs on "Get In, I'm Driving"?
My prayer is that each song communicates hope: the hope that comes from knowing a God who loves his children so much that he'd sacrifice even himself to save us. As I lived in New York among many young folks who seemed to have everything except hope, and as I lived with my mom and we prayed and fought for hope on a regular basis, I realized that this message, though simple, is one we can never hear or believe enough.
4. Do you have a favorite song on the new album?
Having a record full of new songs is like having 11 new babies. They're all so lovable and exciting. OK, well, that's probably where the similarity between songs and babies ends. I'm very excited about all the songs right now, but I do love the title track and the last track "The Song."
5. Do you have any humorous or interesting stories from visits with radio stations in recent days or days past?
It's difficult to choose just one. Because of the title of the new CD, the driving jokes have been out of control. I've had several DJS say they'd be willing to let me take them for a spin. (Most have turned down my invitation, though.)
6. Who inspires you personally, spiritually and/or professionally?
Jesus, Paul, C. S. Lewis, my friend Dea who has conquered MS with healthy eating and prayer, my brother who is a Marine and has been to Afghanistan more times than I want to count, and the sermons of Dr. Tim Keller
7. What song do you wish you had written?
"I Can Only Imagine," "Yesterday," "Signed Sealed Delivered," and "Be Thou My Vision"
8. Where is your favorite place to play? Favorite city or favorite venue?
I love small venues best: coffeehouses, clubs, even home concerts. I love being able to interact with an audience that is in such close proximity. Large venues like arenas or huge churches are fun, too, as long as I only have to play a couple of songs.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't start the day without:
Prayer, coffee and protein. No girlie pastries; bring on the bacon and eggs!
10. Do you have much time to check out other artists' music? What are you listening to right now?
I listen to everything: upbeat pop on my morning runs, worship as I plan for Sunday morning services, singer/songwriters that my college students have brought to my attention, etc. When I really want to relax and escape, I listen to podcasts about technology. [smile] That being said, some artists I really like are Carole King, Corinne Bailey Rae, Stevie Wonder, Adele, John Mayer and Kari Jobe.