Indie pop/acoustic/CCM/worship artist Ellie Holomb released her debut solo album As Sure As The Sun last year in February! Full of heartfelt, poignant, emotional and impacting ballads and worship melodies, this album is one of the most personal and honest albums of 2014! I had the privilege of interviewing Ellie via email recently, about the new album. We discussed the album, which songs mean the most to her, what she hopes listeners will experience when hearing the new songs, as well as his goals and dreams for the year ahead. Check out the interview below.
- First of all, for those of you who do not know your story or your testimony, can you tell us a bit about yourself, and how you came to record your own debut album?
I’m a recovering perfectionist who has, by the grace of God, been set free by the love of Jesus.
- Can you tell us about the process of recording your debut album through Kickstarter? How did it work and will it be something that you think will be useful and effective again in the future?
It was a beautiful thing to create music in the context of community. I don’t know that there will ever be a season quite like that one. I felt like I was taking a step off the side of a cliff making a full length record, following where I felt like God was leading. In a lot of ways, Kickstarter was like the ground that kept rising up beneath my feet as I said yes to what felt scary and unknown. I’m not sure if we’ll do it again or not, but it was one of the most beautiful and humbling things to get to create something by linking arms with people who believe in you.
- Are there any artists/writers/producers you would like to collaborate and compose music with in the future?
I love collaborating in general. I’ve always loved group projects and being a part of a team, so co-writing and co-collaborating is totally up my alley. There’s a long list of folks I’d love to work with and a long list of folks I already LOVE working with as well.
- Has there been a recent song that has been ministering to people on the road, and what are some of the encouraging stories you have heard from the impact of your songs on this upcoming album?
The main thing people say to me is, “Thank you for being real,” or “I feel like you and I have the same story.” I love that. I love getting to be really imperfect in front of people because there is something that’s freed up inside of us when we realize that we’re not alone in the struggle. There have been countless stories of God using these songs to speak to His children and I’m honored and amazed by each of them.
I had a girl approach me after a show in December to say that she had recently tried to take her life after battling depression and a lot of shame for many years. She thanked me for being honest about my struggles and for songs like the Valley because it helped her know that she wasn’t alone. She said that many of my songs became her prayers when she couldn’t pray or didn’t know what to pray. She also said that she was beginning to encounter Jesus in the middle of the pain, in places and ways she never expected to see Him. I hugged her, told her I was glad she was alive, and thanked her for sharing some of her story with me. It’s stories like hers that help me see over and over again that Jesus really is a healer and redeemer. And in a world full of a lot of hurt and pain and seemingly senseless suffering, we need to hear each other’s stories of God’s faithfulness in the middle of the darkest nights of the soul.
- If anyone reading this interview wants to move into the music industry, what would you say to them as advice- how would you succeed in the industry with your values intact?
I always tell people that the music business is a roller coaster, so it’s really good to know where your worth comes from before you dive into the water. I’ve learned over the years that at the end of the day, I don’t measure my value by how people receive me or by how many records I sell. My value and worth comes from Jesus alone. It gets tricky when I shift my eyes from Him to anyone or anything else. Certainly this is a struggle within any industry or endeavor, but it seems to be exacerbated within the music business. My counselor says, “The human heart was not built for notoriety.” I couldn’t agree more, so for every one look I take at myself, I’m trying to take ten looks at Jesus. My pastor talks about this concept of refocusing our hearts on what matters and I’m grateful for the instruction.
- Is there anything in your life that places things in perspective as you travel and create music? Is there any song, or Bible verse, or even famous quote that reminds you about why you do what you do and why you chose music as a career and ministry?
People’s stories and God’s promises. Music is a bridge builder. It has a way of connecting people’s stories and helping us know we’re not alone. I started weaving God’s word into songs as an attempt at reminding myself of what is true. Perspective comes for me when I’m singing these songs on the road and they’re somehow connecting with and infusing other people’s stories with hope. It helps me know that I’m not alone, and I get to see first hand that God’s word really doesn’t come back void…it accomplishes the purposes for which He sent it. What an honor and a joy to get to carry His promises around in songs.
- How can fans stay connected with you via social media?
Be sure to check out Ellie Holcomb’s new album As Sure As The Sun in stores now! Also, check out Ellie’s youtube page here, as well as the official music videos of “Marvellous Light” and “The Broken Beautiful”!