10 Questions with ... Hannah Schaefer
September 7, 2015
1. Birthplace, childhood, schools, jobs, current hometown, etc.
I grew up in the small town of Columbia City, Indiana. My childhood memories consist of catching frogs on warm summer nights at my grandparents' lake house and, in the wintertime, pretending to be a professional snow boarder down the hill in my backyard. I've loved growing up in a flyover state where Jesus is frequently the center of it all. In high school, I was heavily involved in anything musical. I was apart of many things, but my main focus was show choir and youth activities at my church. I would sing and lead the congregation at church, loving every bit of it. I am the oldest of three and graduated in 2014. After high school, I had originally planned on attending Indiana University with a scholarship to study Vocal Performance. Even though I had been working toward that goal for years, I could just feel the Lord calling me to take a different path. About two weeks after my high school graduation party, it really hit me that God was calling me to become a Christian Artist. I just knew that that was what I was supposed to do. So, I took a leap of faith and told my parents I wanted to decline my scholarship and pursue this dream. I work several part time jobs so that I am able to fully focus on my career. I am so blessed that the Lord gave me the courage to follow Him, and I can truly say this decision is the best one I have ever made!
2. What does a normal day at home look like for you?
Well, I usually get up around 8 A.M. then make myself a vanilla chai or cappuccino since I am not a huge coffee fan. After my warm cup is made, I'll get my writing gear out and begin songwriting. I usually write until lunch then go to work for a few hours. When I'm done with work I'll run errands, catch up with some friends or make supper until band practice. We practice usually three times a week in the evening for 3-5 hours. After they leave I usually finish up my day by writing a little more or by answering emails. On evenings that we don't have band practice or performances, I put together new show sets, look up/work on new material, schedule writing and recording dates, etc.
3. What's the song that you just can't get out of your head right now?
I love the song "First" by Lauren Daigle. I love the immense power behind the melodies and her roaring tone. I can't get it out of my head! Not only are the pop beats and synths infectious, but also the lyrics are a wonderful way to get into a Holy mindset for the day. I strongly recommend everyone check out her single.
4. How much do you travel, what are the challenges? How do you juggle life on the road with wanting to be home?
I travel every weekend with my band to perform for benefits, festivals, charity events, Christian concerts, etc. I also travel during the week to visit youth groups or any other small group that invites me to come in and share my music and testimony. Lately, I have been making a lot of trips to and from Nashville finishing up my EP before the end of the year.
Because I am single and nineteen, I don't face the challenge of balancing family time and career time. This allows me to spend more time on the road.
5. What Artist or Pastor has had the greatest impact on you, and why?
I met Ben Calhoun from the band Citizen Way in 2013. At that time, I wasn't fully pursuing my career, but I had the chance to discuss the industry and the faith with him at a festival near my hometown. As the years went by, I would see him at Judson University (that was one of my college choices for visits, and his band originated there). I would also see him at concerts. His contagious driven nature has influenced me to never give up on this journey for Christ and motivates me to continuously work towards bettering myself in skill and as a daughter of God. I have experienced Christ living in Ben, and I want Christ to use me as well so that I may touch thousands of people with my music.
6. What's the last book you read?
The latest book I have read is called The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman. A friend of mine had been talking about her "love language," and I was really curious to what she meant, so she let me borrow the book. Even though this book is geared toward married couples (and I'm single), I have really enjoyed it. It teaches a theory about five ways people speak and understand emotional love and how to understand and "speak" each other's language. For example, one person may show their love by doing the dishes or making a meal for someone, while the other may show that same amount of love in a different way, like buying them a gift or taking them out on a date. Everyone expresses love differently, and it was something I had never really analyzed before. I loved reading it because it gave me insight to my love language and was able to help me connect more to others. It also allowed me to think about the beauty of love and just be in awe of how our God is such an amazing artist and creator. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is fascinated by the gift of love.
7. Take us through a couple songs on your latest project.
I am currently working on a four song EP. "All the Way" and "Go" were the first two songs I released. "All the Way" came to life when I was trying to decide on a college to attend. I wasn't sure where God was trying to lead me, and all I wanted to do was to follow His will.
As I casually expressed my feelings of confusion and frustration with my co-writer and producer, Jeff Pardo, he quickly reminded me how important it is to trust in the Lord with all your heart. I had gotten so caught up in the world that I had forgotten to relax and trust my God. Within the next few minutes, the first verse of "All the Way" was born, and we were able to encompass my moment of revelation.
"You're with me all the way, all the way, all the way." No matter what I was going through, God would never abandon me, or anyone else. I hope that this song gives listeners a peace of mind and enlightens their hearts, reminding them that they don't need to worry about whatever situation they are in because our God will be with them all the way!
Click to download or stream ALL THE WAY
I also co-wrote "Go" with Jeff shortly after I gave up my scholarship to attend Indiana University. I was ready to put the past behind me and leap into the unknown. I was tired of being afraid of the future, and I was ready to trust God. I was ready to walk upon waters I had never been on before and GO. "Go" was written as my anthem song, but it was also written for anybody who is afraid to follow what the Lord is calling him or her to do. It was written with the intention of encouraging everyone to not be afraid of the unknown, and it was meant to inspire him or her to have faith!
This EP is meant to enrich and empower listeners in faith. I am extremely excited for everyone to hear the last two songs and hope you all love the EP as much as I do!
8. Person you'd most like to have a discussion with, living or dead...Deities are excused from this question
I have always wanted to meet my great grandmother. I was 6 months old when she passed away and so I never got to truly know her. My parents have had nothing but wonderful things to say about her life, and I am actually named after her. It would mean so much to me to meet her and hear her tell stories about her life and historical events.
9. Favorite Bible Verse...life verse?
My favorite verse is "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart" -Psalm 37:4 I love that verse because it reminds me to always let my life be in His hands. By letting go of the reins of my own life, I am able to serve others in the best way I can. This brings me so much joy, love and peace. I love that verse.
10. How & when did you become a believer?
How did I begin believing? Well, it's because of my parents that I was able to grow up in the church and have a firm foundation in the faith. We would go to church every Sunday and after service, I would go to Sunday school classes. Mom and dad would read us kids bible stories and say prayers with us before bed and mention God in a lot of daily conversations. To tell you the truth, I don't remember I time that I didn't believe. Now, I continue to grow exponentially in faith because of my career path. I learn more about God and see Him work through multitudes of people everyday.
1. What's the biggest "God moment" you've ever experienced? Personally or professionally, when has God shown up in a powerful way?
A year ago I was asked to perform at the Indiana State Distinguished Young Women program in Kokomo, Indiana because I was an alumni. It just so happened that that week I lost my voice. I tried so hard to heal and get my voice back to its normal strength, but it was useless. No matter how much tea I drank or sleep I got, I would still open my mouth and barely anything would come out. I had been stressing out the whole week until a few moments before I went on stage. I prayed, "Dear Heavenly Father, you have given me an opportunity to sing for you and I am afraid. I haven't been able to get through these songs yet this week and now is the time to go on. I pray that you heal my voice so that it may reach everyone here tonight and touch hardened hearts...Amen." I went out onstage and all of a sudden, there was a great strength in my voice. It was so clear and sounded like I never lost it. After the performance was over, I went backstage and my friend ran to me and hugged me saying "Hannah, that was the best you have ever sang that song! What happened?" All I could do was grin and point upward because as soon as I went off stage my voice was gone again.
Although it was only one performance and one night, it became a huge God moment for me. I could feel His power come over me and take over while I was onstage. I loved it and though it wasn't as big of a "God moment" as my calling to become a Christian Artist was, it still was a beautiful powerful moment.