Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Life of an Indie Artist

Dear readers, 

I've been telling myself I need to start blogging more. I'm so out of practice and I think I could benefit from this discipline.

As some of you know, for the past couple years I sort of 'dropped off' the public music scene for a little while. Not entirely, but I pulled back. I got married, moved out of Canada, started worship leading, advocating for A21, but more importantly, I needed time to figure out what my next musical step was. What direction musically was I going to head in? I wrote dozens and dozens of songs, spent countless hours scratching my head trying to figure out what I should say in album number two. The answers came slow and painfully, but (and I can't believe I'm saying this) the hard part is finally over. "Unveiled" the new album, has been birthed. 

As I step forward into raising up the funds for this next project, promoting it, bringing it to the public, I'm remembering all over again all the MANY hats that indie artists need to wear. In today's day and age, a musician does  so much more than do the very thing they feel called to do (make music). Often times they need to be their own booking agent, their own web designer, promoter, sound technician, producer, publicist, financial/business advisor... On top of that there are responsibilities they're already doing like putting together their band, writing & arranging the music, putting together show set-lists, developing their skills as musicians etc. And then there's the whole social media world, where artists recognize how important it is to their career that they interact with as many fans/listeners as possible! It's really sometimes more than a full-time job being an artist with only part-time pay. At least it can feel this way in the beginning stages. 

It's a great time to be doing music and also a bad time to be doing music. The good news is ANYONE can be a musician. The bad news, is ANYONE can be a musician. You say, "Amy, you said the same thing twice". Yes. Because anyone can be a musician, it means that you don't have to wait around for a label until you start creating and showing the public your music perhaps on YouTube or some other medium. The bad news, is the music market is SOOO saturated, people have WAY too many options these days that chances are, someone will gravitate to ONE of your songs but move on from you to the next artist because they simply want to see what else and who else is out there. We all suffer from an A.D.D. approach to music. Gripping listener's full attention is becoming harder and harder. That's why building "personal relationships" if that's even what we should call it, through social media is so important. Fans no longer will be satisfied with a song, they need the story behind the song, they need the journey, the inside scoop. Blogging, Vlogging, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.. it's where people are. Listeners go there to see your story. I've still not mastered these things, in terms of what to post, what not to post. Did I post too much, too little, too random, unrelated, too much promotion... the war goes on inside the artist's head. And can I say this-- NO artist enjoys being their own promoter. In fact, that may be the worst part.

Secretly every artist has pockets of insecurity. Artists constantly throw their hearts out there, sometimes amongst doves, other times amongst wolves. People like it, people hate it. People wish you had done more of this, less of that. And if you're thinking that artists get complimented all the time so they must feel amazing about themselves, I think most artists will agree with me, every time you share something encouraging it goes A LONG way. We get the best and worst of both worlds. It's never easy sharing the deepest parts of your heart (your songs), with others. My songs are my children, what the world thinks of them matters to me, and yet it also doesn't change how I feel about them. 

So this blog goes out to all the independent artists/bands out there. I know there are a lot of you. I'm writing to you because I feel like there have been many times I've needed this encouragement. I want you to take some time to reflect on your life. Your achievements. Your goals. I implore you to continue walking this journey with courage. The world needs artists. It needs beauty, it needs art. Some people think art doesn't matter, hence some schools have cut out the arts from their curriculum. All I can say is this-- nothing tells someone more about culture than the arts. Your voice is important. At the end of the day, I know we all make music because it's what we know to do, and we love it. We don't make music for any other reason. People that do it for fame or money either get what they want or they quit the game early because it's too much work. I know each of us constantly question whether we can continue to make music, for we don't know what the future of the industry holds. People don't even really buy music anymore. And CD's, what are those?! Hah. My answer to you artists is this: the world will always need a new song, an anthem of hope. If not the musicians, who will give it to them?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thanksliving - A Human Trafficking Symposium

Like Cargo
Words and Music by Amy Savin © 

Vs .1
The door unlocks, the curtains fall 
Wide-eyed, I hear my monsters call
One by one they take their turn
Think I’m a toy, but I’m a girl
13 years old, crying for mom

Vs .2 
I’m dressed like a dirty magazine
My back’s been marked with tattoo ink 
They label all the girls this way 
We’re shipped like cargo on a train
I die a little every day

I need you
I need you
To save me from here
To save me from here

Can you?

Vs .3 
If I survive, I won’t forget
Their faces haunt my every step
Dehumanized in every way
Self-worth’s an angel that’s been slain
And still hope sings, if ever faint

I need you
I need you
To save me from here
Save me from here

Can you?

I want to believe that there is good in this world, and that light will overcome the darkness
Show me that love endures the greatest hurt; that it heals the ugliest of scars

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Amy Savin Opening for Sidewalk Prophets

Amy Savin | Ohio | 07/0714
Posing with new friends 
A few weeks ago I took a team out to Ohio to open for Sidewalk Prophets. I'm sure a lot of you are familiar with their tunes. One of my favourites is "Live Like That". We had a wonderful night of laughter, fellowship, and FOOD! Have you ever had crispy sugar waffles?? Oh man. So good! Apparently it's an Ohio thing ;)

I have to say the people in Ohio are absolute sweethearts. Really. I've never played there before and we got such a warm welcome. On top of that, I got to hang out with a new band About A Mile that is currently on tour with Sidewalk Prophets. Really loved getting to know those guys and hear about their journey. They are a group of brothers who love people and love the Lord.

A special thank you to Shine FM who invited me to play. I have a special place in my heart for the team at Shine :) I really appreciate their heart in supporting new, up and coming artists.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Modern Day Slavery

There are more slaves in the world today than at any other point in human history, with an estimated 27 million in bondage across the globe. Men, women, and children are being exploited for manual and sexual labor against their will. 
~ The A21 Campaign

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Hey friends !!

I am not dead. Incase you have been wondering :)

Having said that, it's definitely been a long while since I've blogged. Y'all ready for a little heart to heart??

So what has been going on in my life? Much of it is being spent inside my new little studio I've created for myself. I've been working hard on writing my second full-length. To be honest, it's been probably the most challenging project I've ever worked on. So often I feel stuck in such a dry spout. I don't know what is going on, but writing music for me these days is like pulling teeth out of a t-rex. I feel like I used to produce songs so much easier, but then again, I think my standard for "good songs" has gone up a whole lot. That, and I'm also writing in a genre (more soul/ rock) that I'm not extremely fluent in. I think most of the time I tend to write very emotional ballads, or folky tunes, but I'm trying to create a new kind of energy for this album. So far I have a few gems that I can't wait to record, but there is still much more writing to do. I hope to be sharing some samples with you shortly!

I've started learning to play the drums and I absolutely love it. I feel like if I can expand my musical capabilities, I will be able to be more creative. With every new skill, comes another OPEN DOOR. I'm definitely in a season of learning and walking through NEW doors. I'm also in a season of choosing to do the things that I fear the most. Sometimes when you're wounded, emotionally or spiritually, it can be tempting to never try new things, or explore new relationships. God has been showing me however the blessings of choosing faith over fear. Just last year I was petrified of my husband's jeep, because driving stick was so scary to me (especially in a crowded city). Now I feel like I never want to drive an automatic car ever again! Overcoming your fears is so empowering.  So freeing.

So, as I look at this monster of an album to finish, despite all the sweat blood and tears that are going into it, I'm determined. As Thomas Edison once said, and I LOVE this quote, "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." 

My studio in Brighton, Michigan

Monday, October 28, 2013

Austin Stone Worship Conference | October 2013

Dear readers,

It’s really been such a long time since I've blogged. The last entry was in June. How terrible! This year has probably been one of the fastest years I've ever experienced. In just a couple months, it will already be Christmas-- and in just about one month, it will be my one year wedding anniversary! Craziness!

Well, since June, there really is a whole lot that I could fill you in on, but I've decided to dedicate this blog to my latest experience at the Austin Stone Worship Conference, in Texas. I spent the first morning exploring the city. Cities are always amusing to me because you have the rich and poor living closely side by side. You have homeless people begging on the street for coins, while 6 figure-making business men sit inside ritzy cafes or restaurants enduring long meetings. Needless to say, regardless of people's exteriors, you know deep down each person is dreaming of happiness. After much window shopping and gps navigating, I decided to take a stop inside probably one of the nicest coffee lounges I have ever been in: the Departure Lounge. I started to journal and pray. I wanted God to prepare my heart for what was about to happen during the next couple days.

That evening I walked all by my lonesome to the Austin Music Hall which was where the conference was being held. The first night of worship absolutely blew me away. When you have a room full of artists and worship leaders singing from the depths of their soul, there's nothing like it. I was so moved. I was actually battling a bad cold (still am) so I hardly sang, but I just soaked it all in. I stood there closing my eyes, allowing myself to get lost in the beauty. 

Following the service we were all dismissed and invited to get a free gift on the top floor of the building, as well as enjoy a live concert series at 'the Parish' on 6th Street. I quickly introduced myself to a couple girls around my age as I didn't want to wander around town by myself at night. The girls were God sent. We immediately clicked and had so much in common and so much to talk about. We enjoyed a lovely organic concert by Penny & Sparrow, as well as Miranda Dodson. We had to leave before Matt Mccoloskey took the stage. 

All the speakers on Wednesday were incredible. I was torn between taking extensive notes or just simply listening to the powerful words being spoken. Worship leader and artist Charlie Hall had a lot of wisdom to share with the audience. He talked about how so often we want to do what God asks with a little twist. God might call is into music ministry, or to lead a church, and we get so distracted by our own 'ego' that we end up pursuing His will for our own personal gain. Maybe we try and write the next big worship song not because we are simply moved, but because our hidden agenda is to get our name out there. We often want to do things that will bring God great glory so that we can share some of it. However, we will never really be effective until we are working side by side (with no pretenses) with Jesus. We cannot serve the church without doing it FOR Jesus and WITH Jesus. 

Christy, Brooke, Jill, Donna, (unknown).
For the sake of time I'm going to take some massive leaps here. Skipping ahead to our small group sessions, I went to one lead by Jourdan Johnson called, "Is This Really My Identity". The conversation centered around learning to embrace God's own personal story for our lives rather than getting caught up in the game of comparison. We need find confidence and contentment in our own callings, as we celebrate, encourage, and inspire each other as women in ministry. As artists sometimes we can be so focused on iTunes sales, or how many events we're playing at, that we forget God is at work with something so much bigger.

Any Jill Paquette fans out there??? The group I was with discovered I was from Canada and then a voice called out, "I'm from BC!" I looked behind me as this outgoing woman started to chirp in on the question I had posed about understanding the difference between being a performer (singer-songwriter), and leading worship. For me I feel there is such a huge gap between the two. Jill expressed the exact same feelings. She explained, "Some people think because I play and sing that leading worship is a give-in. That couldn't be further from the truth. Leading worship is a whole new world". At the time I didn't know Jill's last name (or Artist name) until after the discussion was over. When I found out, it was so neat to have met an artist I grew up listening to. It was humbling to know that even the more seasoned artists shared my weaknesses and we could encourage each other.

Now on to some of the meat and potatoes. The last thing I want to share is a moving message by Jesse Reeves. This sermon wrecked me, and Jesse isn't even a pastor. This blog won't do justice. I will just be scratching the surface. Bear with me:

Feed My Sheep
Jesse brought to life one of the most familiar stories found in the old testament. He talked about the life of David, starting from when David was first anointed as king in 1 Samuel 16. 

Samuel Anoints David:
Samuel goes to the house of Jesse (David's father), asking to look at all his sons. One by one each son is turned down by Samuel. Even the eldest is rejected. Finally Samuel says, "Are these all the sons you have? The Lord has not chosen any of these". I can imagine Jesse feeling perplexed. Sure, there was one more son, but he was the baby of the family. He was just a small shepherd boy. What use could he be to Samuel? Still, Jesse brings him in. David was God's choice. "The Lord does not look at all the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (Samuel 16:7).
Samuel takes a horn of oil and and anoints David as king in the presence of his brothers. What would YOU do if you were anointed as royalty? Would your perspective change? Would you start expecting more from people or lording over them? Chances are, we probably wouldn't go quietly about it. Yet David, after been anointed as king, simply goes back to tending his sheep. 

David in Saul's Service:
Isn't it interesting, how in your Bible, the next chapter is probably labeled, "David' in Saul's Service". After David is anointed, instead of raging war against Saul and taking his rightful crown, David becomes a servant. When Saul is emotionally distressed he urgently cries out for someone to play music for him to soothe his anxious heart. David is summoned from his regular shepherd duties and becomes a loyal servant and music minister. 

Next heading...David and Goliath
David has been faithful in the little things, and now God has called him to things much larger. When the Philistine army threatens to destroy all Saul's men, David is the one brave enough, and willing to fight their biggest warrior, Goliath. Even Saul thinks David is too small for the task. Saul says: "You are not able to go.... you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth..." But David replies: "Your servant has been keeping his father's sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and killed it...the Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine..."

So much is said in these verses. It's so hard to unpack it in a short blog. David loves his sheep. He has spent so much time caring for them, risking his life for them. What a foreshadow of Christ. David's heart is what catches God's attention. David is someone that God can use because he has a loyal and compassionate heart. Because David has been faithful in the lesser things, now God has brought him to face battles far greater, and he will be victorious. 
The bottom line here is, David never let his head get too big that he forgot his first calling, which was to take care of the sheep. When Jesus repeatedly told Peter in the new testament to feed his sheep three times, it wasn't because Jesus was trying to do anything poetic with the number three, or because Peter was deaf. I believe it was because we so quickly forget. We need to be reminded. I don't think it had sunk in the first time Peter heard Jesus' words.

I was so humbled towards the end of the service. So convicted to make every day matter. So often we hear a word from the Lord, "Amy (insert your name here), I'm going to anoint your ministry..." And the first thing we think of is: Green room. Big opportunities. That is the way Jesse put it. What we do in the waiting process between getting anointed and "becoming King", is where our character is proved. It's so easy to get up on a stage and share the good news. So easy. It's not as easy getting down and dirty, going to all the abandoned places where lost sheep have wandered off  to, and bring them home. We need to pour into people's lives. We need to be loving the world around us. Worship pastors need to be loving their local congregations. This is the radical call: to feed His sheep.  

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Amy Savin | October 2013
Amy Savin | October 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Amy Savin at 2|42 Community Church

Amy Savin @ 2|42 Community Church | September 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Writers Night in Nashville

Richard Jordan, Rachael Mann, & Amy Savin | August 2013

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Oh the Joy(s) of Being Single | God Help Me!

Hello Bloggers! :)

Thanks for spending about 5-10 minutes with me. You're awesome. Let me HIGH FIVE you. ((( WHAP! )))). This blog is dedicated to all you lovely single people out there. Why?? Because I TOTALLY get you, understand you, know what it's like... and I think y'all deserve all the love in the world.

*Disclaimer: There may be some of you reading this who are like, "I'm single and I'm totally happy! Why does everyone thing single people are miserable????" Good for you! That's the way it should be! We should be content always. But, for those of you who have been hit pretty heavy with the fear of being single and you've seen every last one of your friends run off and get married and leave you in the dust, this blog is for you.

Fight Lies With Truth: 
Satan knows all your weaknesses. The things that you are most sensitive about, he will attack. Relentlessly. The enemy will whisper your biggest fear in your ear over and over: "You will be single until you die..." He may also whisper:
You're too fat | You're not attractive enough | Your not tall enough | You're too old | There is nobody out there for you | You've made too many mistakes in your life. You have too much baggage. No one is going to want you | You don't have a penny to your name. You'll never be able to support a wife or a family| Your parents will never be happy with who you marry | You're so old and you've never had sex. You're a loser. Just give in already! 
I don't know what it is that the enemy is whispering to you, but if the voices in your head are not giving you peace and a sound mind, you know they are not from God. God doesn't bring us fear or anxiety. He is peace. Love. Joy. Whatever it is you are facing, this truth is unchanging: HE HAS PLANS FOR YOU! BIG PLANS! SO BUCKLE YOUR SEAT BELT AND HOLD ON FOR THE RIDE!!!!!

Learn True Contentment: If you are not content with your life, to be quite honest, it's probably not because you're single. When you're married, your problems don't go away! Believe me! You just get new problems. And, what's worse, if you haven't dealt with all your baggage BEFORE you get married, you're just going to bring it all into the marriage and things may be rocky for a long while. Take this time (that you will never get back), to get to KNOW GOD. Get to know him so intimately. You have to cling to God inside your marriage just as much, if not more. Know what it means to have a relationship with Him. Allow God to love you the way you need to be loved. Only He can love you so perfectly. There is no other love like that.

Let Yourself Shine. Embrace Opportunities.
If it's been a gazillion years since you've had a crush or since someone has had a crush on you, don't think that by working 24/7 and keeping your face tucked behind closed doors is going to find you a partner! Be open to opportunities. I'm not saying that you need to spend all your time tracing down every single social event and say hello to every single guy or girl, but when there are opportunities to meet new people, be open to it. Maybe God has been trying to do things in the past but your excuse is that you're too shy, or not in the mood. Get involved with ministries in your community, school, or church. You may end up finding someone who shares similar passions or interests. I found my husband in the middle of doing ministry! He flew out to Canada from California to shoot my music video. I never would have thought in a million years I would marry someone from the other side of the continent! So be open to ideas :) Your husband (or wife) may be nothing you've ever envisioned.

A Word to the Girls:
Guys love a woman who is confident and who knows who she is. Sure, I know it seems that many of the guys in your life go for the girls who are a little more helpless, dependent, (and drop dead gorgeous!), but that isn't every guy. In fact, I know many of you are probably thinking, "I think my confidence is a huge turn off. Guys are intimidated by me." I disagree. Of course, please don't confuse confidence for attitude or snobbery. Confidence meaning, you aren't afraid to be yourself, speak your mind when it is appropriate, follow your dreams, goals, and just simply enjoy your life. No guy wants a girl who has "desperate" tattooed to her forehead. At the same time, you don't need to pretend you don't desire a relationship, but live your life so that whether single, dating, or married, your confidence in who you are never changes. You will be like a breath of fresh air. God created you just the way you are. Embrace yourself. The right guy for you will love you for you. All of you.

A Word to the Guys:
Guys, I don't think I can emphasize this enough: Girls WANT you to PURSUE them! No girl wants a guy who she has to endlessly flaunt herself in front of. There are so many godly woman floating around on this planet just waiting for a dude to really be a gentlemen and pursue them wholly, and in a Holy manner. If it's rejection you're afraid of, let it go! If you are confident in who you are in Christ, then you can trust Him with all things. Even rejection. I'm not saying to go and attach yourself to EVERY girl, but if there is one that you have been thinking about, praying about, trying to get to know, then don't be afraid! If she is a godly woman, chances are she won't be a jerk about it. And, best case scenario, you'll get yourself a life long partner! Lastly, there is nothing more attractive to a Christian woman than a man who is on fire for God. Bottom line. Even the guys who are not the most attractive people get woman flocking to them simply because they shine. Maybe you feel like you're not in a place where God is your everything. Maybe that's the first thing you should work on before looking to do life with someone else.

Above all, pray. Never stop communing with God for wisdom and direction. Remember that God is FOR you. He wants good things for your life more than you even want good things for your life. God is not the author of your pain and suffering. He is not keeping you single because you've been a bad boy or girl. He just has his timing. It's as simple and hard as that. You need to trust Him. If you don't trust Him with this, it will become an idol in your life. In other words, you'll decide you cannot be happy until you have found the "love of your life". Don't let that happen. God loves you now. In this very moment. He has not forgotten you. You are single yes, but most likely not forever. But- even if you are, He will only give you the very best things in life. He never gives second best. Try the Cross for example.

Monday, April 1, 2013

At the Heart of Easter

This past Saturday my parents came out to visit me, along with my sister Hannah. It had been a busy week for me as I was preparing for three Easter services at our church. Still, I managed to get all my work done and the house clean. I was so excited to see my family. I squeezed little Hannah for like 10 minutes. I've always been close with my family, but the older I get, the more I realize that family is everything. Family and friends that is. Without people in your life, without a community of loved ones, life would be completely empty. Even God himself is a community- the Father, Son, the Holy Spirit. Surely God knows the significance of community. It is why we exist at all- to have RELATIONSHIP with God.

Really soon after my parents arrived, Peter and I took them to the local Farmers Market downtown Ann Arbor. I had never been there before and I was a little nervous that maybe it wouldn't impress them, but we had a great time :) We walked in and out of all the little shops, bought some pastries, looked long and hard for some daffodils (which we eventually found elsewhere), and just embraced the joy of being together. Dad caught me up on all his latest puns ;) You know you're a dad when you pull out the puns. Just sayin.     
Saturday went by far too quick. By the end of the day I was crying fat crocodile tears as I said my goodbyes. Peter held me tight as my family drove away. I had to go to bed early that night, since Sunday would be a little crazy for me. As already mentioned, Sunday I lead the worship and choir for three services. The choir was an absolute delight to work with. They had so much enthusiasm and spirit. The kind that is fitting for celebrating the fact that JESUS IS RISEN. Even still, I think sometimes we as Christians have a hard time getting into Easter. 

The Daffodils dad bought me :)
Maybe it's because we've heard the story so many times over and over. We struggle to make it real, authentic, personal. I think too often we cannot wrap our minds around the fact that Jesus' sacrifice on the cross was extremely personal- that it was for YOU, that it was for me. We forget that Jesus weeps over our pain and suffering. We forget that in our darkest moments Jesus is sitting right beside us holding us, praying for us. Maybe we think to ourselves, "why would Jesus care for me, when there are so many other people to care for..."  At our latest small group I made a statement to everyone. I said, "You know what sometimes gets to me? The fact that you read the old testament, and see God speaking to people in such awesome and miraculous ways. Through burning bushes, through clouds of fire, or an audible voice, it seems God is much more quiet..."As we all sat there and pondered, one of the guys spoke up: "I can't help but think that in the old testament, all the people ever wanted was a personal God, one who could speak directly to them. Instead people had to rely on the prophets for direction, or for Words from the Lord. Yes, they got all the "fireworks" of the Almighty, but they never had the intimacy. Today, because of Jesus sacrifice we have a personal relationship with God. We have what people two thousand years ago were dreaming of...".  For some reason this really hit me. So true. God doesn't need to part the seas or speak through burning bushes to get our attention anymore. We have his word; His LIVING word. We have his Spirit. We have a direct bridge to God. We don't need prophets to tell us how to live, where to go. His Word is the lamp to our feet. I feel like this leads me to my initial theme for this blog: community. Easter is about this very word. Because of Christ's death and resurrection, we have the ability to commune with God. The gap caused by sin has been bridged by the cross. Because God took our punishment upon himself we are now able to have community with Him. This truth is just so completely beautiful.

Friend, maybe your family is broken. Maybe your family continually fails to love you the way you need to be loved. Maybe you've never known any kind of healthy relationship or community. Let me tell you this: God wants you in his family. He loves you perfectly. Endlessly. I'm praying for you now- that the Easter story becomes real to you- that the heart of Easter can be born in you this very moment. Jesus is Risen. He is alive and well, healing us, and healing all of our broken relationships. Amen.