10 Questions with ... Audrey Assad
April 18, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- 2008 Firefly EP
- 2010 For Love Of You EP
- 2010 The House You're Building
- 2011 iTunes Live From SoHo
- 2012 Heart
- 2013 Fortunate Fall
- 2014 Death Be Not Proud EP
- 2016 Inheritance
1. Introduction.....birthplace, childhood, schools, jobs, current hometown.
I was born in NJ, and lived there til I was 18. First job was bleaching toys and cleaning at a daycare facility - I worked with one of my best friends, and those were some of the sweetest, most carefree days of my young life. I live in Nashville now. And since I have a toddler I'm still cleaning toys!
2. What does a normal day at home look like for you?
When I'm home, I get up with my toddler some mornings (some mornings my husband does)-I make breakfast, fit a shower in about half the time, do about 4-6 hours of admin work and writing. Some days I write music, but that's way rarer than I'd like it to be. Around 4pm I head home and hang with the little guy and make dinner...I put him down around 8 and often go right back to work-if I don't, I either do chores or hang with my husband on the couch til I fall over from tiredness and go to sleep around 10/11.
3. What's the song that you just can't get out of your head right now?
"Youth" by Troye Sivan. I think it's so fresh and unpredictable for pop music. I love the musicality, the originality, the honesty of it. (I feel that way about the whole record, Blue Neighborhood)
4. How much do you travel, what are the challenges? How do you juggle life on the road with wanting to be home?
It varies from month to month-but on average I'm probably gone 12-14 days out of the month. It's actually a constant juggling act-every month we have to kind of put our heads together (my husband and I) to figure out what works best for the family. I always miss being home quite a bit when I'm traveling, so I facetime with my son almost every day when I'm gone, and we have an amazing nanny/assistant who helps out at home. We make it work one way or another!
5. What Artist or Pastor has had the greatest impact on you?
If I had to pick one I would say Pope Francis (he counts as a pastor, right?) - his focus on the mercy of God has been really formative in my spiritual journey the past few years.
6. What's the last book you read?
The last book I finished was Wild, by Cheryl Strayed. She hikes hundreds of miles along the Pacific Crest Trail after her mother's death and after a painful divorce-I really loved the honesty and vulnerability of the story. As someone who is rich in love, but who has still lost a lot in her lifetime, I found it strangely parallel to my spiritual journeys. I've never hiked long distance in the physical realm but this book made me think about how it might really reflect my interior changes to do something like that.
7. Funniest or most embarrassing moment on the road?
I got food poisoning once and I puked into the garbage in an airport bathroom while I was standing in line waiting for a stall to open up. Nobody said a word or made eye contact with me. I croaked out "sorry" and ... no response at all. I was definitely embarrassed and kind of weirded out that people pretended like nothing had happened. I'm sure they were all grossed out :)
8. Take us through a couple songs on your latest project.
My new record is called Inheritance. It's mostly a collection of hymns I grew up singing at church, but there are a couple of originals on there too.
One is called "New Every Morning," which I wrote with Matt Maher about three years ago, and it's a birds-eye view of salvation history, with a focus on the mercy of God (which, as Lamentations tells us, is new every morning).
"Even Unto Death," the other original (which I also wrote with Matt-ha!) was the first single off the record and it was inspired by the 21 Coptic Martyrs of Feb. 2015. I really wanted to write a song that adopted the prayer of the martyrs-and the verse lyrics are inspired by Bernard of Clairvaux' beautiful hymn "Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee."
Inheritance has been really warmly received by fans and critics. I think the feedback I hear the most is that it's very helpful in facilitating a contemplative moment (or hour) of prayer -and that makes me very, very happy. That is why I do what I do.
9. What organization/service group are you affiliated with?
I do a bit of work with The Society of St. Vincent dePaul -- they are unique among charities that serve the poor because they also devote a fair bit of energy to growing their volunteers in holiness. I also love that they focus not only on the physical and temporal needs of the poor, but the mental/emotional/spiritual needs of the poor as well.
10. Person you'd most like to have a discussion with, living or dead.....Deities are excused from this question