Sarah Reeves: Christian Music's New "It Girl"
By Christa Banister, senior music editor, GospelMusicChannel.com
With five Dove Award nominations, tons of great reviews and two big radio hits from her much-lauded debut, My Paper Heart, Francesca Battistelli proved it didn't take long for a new artist to make a big impact. And if my intuition is right on the money, I'm thinking that Sparrow Records worship artist Sarah Reeves will definitely follow suit with her debut, Sweet Sweet Sound.
While the project just hits store on Tuesday, April 21, tracks that Reeves has posted on her MySpace page already have a celebrity following. Not only has 'tween and teen favorite Selena Gomez given an enthusiastic thumbs up, but so has Miley Cyrus and Demi Levato.
Now in anticipation of the release of Sweet, Sweet Sound and an upcoming tour with Robbie Seay Band, we got to know a little more about the 19-year-old self-described "short redhead who loves God with all of my heart."
GospelMusicChannel.com: When was the a-ha moment when you knew that music wasn't going to be just a hobby, but your life's work in ministry?
Sarah Reeves: I always imagined making music for a living as a child. The moment was when God called me to be a worship leader at 15, though, was when I really got serious about it. Thinking I would always be a rock star, God humbled me quickly and turned my world upside down at a youth camp I was attending. It was there He called me to be a worship leader and opened doors for me to usher people into His presence.
GospelMusicChannel.com: Who were some of your earliest influences musically—and as worship leaders? How about today?
Reeves: Rebecca St. James was a huge musical influence for me. Her concert was my very first. Toda, my biggest influence is Jeff Deyo (former lead singer of Sonicflood and now, a solo worship leader). He has become a spiritual father in my life and has an incredible heart for Jesus.
GospelMusicChannel.com: For someone who hasn't heard your music before, how was you describe it?
Reeves: All the lyrics are vertical—speaking to God. There are songs that are corporate, congregational songs that churches can sing together on Sunday mornings, and then there are tracks that are more personal that you can sing to the Lord while you're driving in a car or by yourself at home. I would describe myself as a progressive pop artist.
GospelMusicChannel.com: Speaking of progressive pop, I heard that Tiffany Lee (a.k.a. Plumb) is one of your mentors. How did that relationship begin, and what has she taught you about being an artist?
Reeves: In June 2007, I handed her one of my demos at my father's request, and she ended up listening to it and calling me at my house the next day, saying she wanted to help me further my career in music. Since then, she and her husband have introduced me to the wonderful world of the music industry. She has always taught me to stay true to who I am and to not let anyone change me or try to alter who God created me to be.
GospelMusicChannel.com: As a worship artist, what do you hope to contribute to what's becoming a more saturated arena by the day?
Reeves: Pure and simple, I hope to contribute a message of freedom and power through worshipping our Savior.
About the Writer
After graduating with a B.S. in Journalism from North Central University in 1998, Christa Banister moved from Minneapolis to Nashville, Tenn. and eventually started working at CCM Magazine/Salem Publishing in various editorial capacities as an editor, columnist and website guru for five and a half years. After that, she launched her own freelance writing company and writes for numerous clients including Salem Publishing, Crosswalk.com (she review movies for them each week), Christian Single, Christianity Today, Threads Media, Songs4Worship.com, PassAlong.com and also helped kickstart the first Christian music blog for MTV. In addition, she also writes bios for professional recording artists and authors and penned her first two novels, Around the World in 80 Dates and Blessed Are the Meddlers for NavPress.
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