New artist Hollyn talks about the personal experiences that fueled this honest song.
Hollyn is the newest signee to tobyMac's Gotee Records. Along with being featured on "Backseat Driver" and "Light Shines Bright" on TobyMac's newest Grammy-nominated album, she was recently on the "This Is Not a Test Tour" with TobyMac, Britt Nicole and Colton Dixon. Her 6-song eponymous EP Hollyn features her debut single "Alone (feat. TRU)." The song was written by Hollyn, Toby McKeehan, producer Bryan Fowler and TRU.
"Every few years it's my honor to discover a new artist to walk alongside helping them write songs and begin their journey into artistry. I love this music, and I love sharing this talent with people coming to my shows," TobyMac shares about the new artist. "She's one of the best singers that I've ever recorded and is becoming a great songwriter in her own right. And the beautiful thing is, this is only the beginning." I had the chance to speak with Hollyn in person before her concert with TobyMac in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania about "Alone."
Please tell me the personal story behind this song.
I got together with Toby, my producer Bryan Fowler and TRU, and we wrote this song. We got the perspective for this song through situations we had been going through in our lives. I know for me personally, I make the same mistakes again and again. This song is my desperate heart cry to the Lord, saying "God, I don't want You to leave me here alone in this same mess that I find myself in time and again. Please intervene like You promised me and come rescue me from that."
I think as humans we feel like the Lord is going to leave us because we don't understand how great His love is for us. We all felt the same way, and we wrote the song from that perspective.
Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song? Any life verse?
Psalm 51:11(NKJV): "Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me."
Psalm 139:14(NIV): "I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
Psalm 139:17-18(NKJV): "How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You."
Deuteronomy 31:6(NKJV): "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you."
Romans 12:2(The Voice): "Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete."
My life verse is 1 Timothy 4:12: "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity."
What is the takeaway message?
I remember when I read Psalm 51:11, I was so inspired. David was in such a dark place, and he felt so alone he cried out, "Cast me not away from You." In his soul he knew that the Lord would never leave, but in our human nature we often feel left alone when we mess up over and over. That was the main Scripture that inspired me for this song.
I remember my sophomore year of high school that when a boy in our school died in a car accident, and his sister was one of my friends. I remember all of us went through that situation together, and the Lord brought me through that dark time. I remember those times that I wanted to get so close to the Lord. When tragedy strikes, you reevaluate yourself, and I asked the Lord to rejuvenate my spirit and evaluate what life is all about. That was a moment in my life that really reminded me that the Lord will never leave or forsake you, and He will not leave you alone.
I want people to take away the message of vulnerability and honesty in my songs. I'm just being real in every song and every melody. Music is my outlet to worship the Lord, and I want people to take away the hope and the promise that God will never leave you or forsake you, and He will never leave you alone. Even when you feel at the bottom, you are always in the presence of the Lord. These are my genuine feelings that I've poured out to the Lord.
Lyrics: Fell for You first day that I met You
Never dreamed that I ever could forget You
But black and white make a mess
When it turn to grey
Sunlight came sweepin' cross the window
Rewind to the time when we were so close
Got me longin' for yesterday
But Lord You, know me, so well
I can be a little punk sometimes
But don't leave me, leave me alone
Bust down the door to my heart like it's Your home
Don't need no keys
I'm on my knees
Begging You please
I've gotta settle this thing once and for all
You got my heart my soul You can have it all
I'm on my knees
Beggin' You please
Beggin' You please, Lord
Don't leave me alone
Through the tears, through the pain comes a new day
Blown away still amazed You pursue me
Ain't no limit to the way You love
Lord I need You like a heartbeat
Rock solid under my feet
And You're callin' me You're callin' me up
I said You had me in your arms but I fell through the grasp
But yep I had You in my heart but I guess I relapsed
Like I'm livin' for the wrong reasons, through the seasons
Tryna fall for you but then they put me on blast
It's like I try to speak my mind because I know that I'm His
And yep I try to speak my mind but it don't fly with them kids
Man if I'm not talkin' bout the newest Nikes or releases
They put the mute on me
I can't speak about my Jesus?
Like I'm living for Him
I'm slippin' to sin
I turn around and make the amends
I try to fit it
I mess it up and stumble again
I'm takin' this pen
And writing everything so I remember just how sweet that it is
Yeah man I got issues I can't even lie
My only saving grace is knowing I got You inside
I'm done with (saving face) I ain't gotta thing to hide
So don't leave me alone
Keep coming day and night
Don't leave me leave me alone
Bust down the door to my heart
Lord it's Your home
I try to tell my daughters Natalie, Cassandra and Bethany how much I love them every day, and that they are all truly beautiful because of their identity in Christ. For me, having three young daughters, it is so important for them to hear this message. They need to look so far beyond what the world says and really find their true identities in the Lord. I had the opportunity to see Hollyn perform this song on the TobyMac tour with my youngest daughter, after speaking with her about her song and music ministry. The songs on her EP are about finding our identity in Christ and not allowing doubts and fears to control our lives, but instead knowing we are sons and daughters of God, and He created each one of us in His image.
Right from my first listen of Hollyn's music I was hooked by the Psalm-like reflective lyrics, especially in "Alone," which has sincere and prayerful lyrics. Hollyn is clearly a grateful believer who is unashamed of her salvation, and many of her songs are invitations into her prayer life. If you don't know how to word your prayers of thankfulness for what Jesus has done for you, just sing along with this incredible song of faith. It's okay to not be okay and bring your thoughts to the Lord no matter what you are thinking. Just like you don't have to wash your hands before you take a shower, just get into a relationship with the Lord and then profess that relationship to Him, "But Lord You know me so well, I can be a little punk sometimes."
Only Jesus can give us our true identity. "Alone" is a very personal song where Hollyn really unveils what's on her heart. I love it when she personally prays "Don't leave me leave me alone, bust down the door to my heart, Lord it's Your home." What a powerful expression of what it means to accept that God never leaves or forsakes us as His followers. He is all we need. Join in with Hollyn as she prays out to Jesus: "You got my heart my soul You can have it all, I'm on my knees, beggin' You please, beggin' You please, Lord, don't leave me alone." Amen to that!
Watch the lyric video below.
NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.
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