An Interview with Audrey Assad
NRT's Paul Phillips connects with Audrey to discuss cover albums, Matt Maher, next projects, and mainstream music.

AN NRT EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW, An Interview with Audrey Assad
Posted: May 10, 2019 | By: PaulPhillips_NRT
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Audrey Assad is no stranger to music. She has a gentle, soothing voice, which gives her music an intimate and welcoming atmosphere. Her breathtaking songs, "You Speak" and "Death Be Not Proud," are two great examples.

"Death Be Not Proud," from the EP of the same name, has had a profound affect on my and my family's lives. We've used the piece for two funerals. Her passionate vocals and comforting lyrics absolutely capture the listener's ears. "So death, if your sleep be the gates to Heaven/Why your confidence?/When you will be no more/Even death will die."

The singer continues her musical momentum. Last year, she dropped Evergreen, featuring the singles, "Drawn to You" and "Deliverer." She plans to release a few new songs this summer, followed by a Christmas album in the fall. I had the chance to connect with Audrey about her music, her music career and next projects.

What has shaped your vocal style: Sunday worship, vocal training, among others? How do you know what instruments to use in your music?

I grew up in a church (Plymouth Brethren) where we sang in four-part a cappella harmony. So I really learned to read music, blend, harmonize, and just get a feel for singing, since we did that three to four times a week throughout my childhood. I have a really strongly developed gut for instrumentation. But I can't say that I learned it anywhere specific. I'm sure my musical influences (Paul Simon, Sarah McLachlan, James Taylor, Feist, among others) play a part in my musical instincts specifically. 

How do you feel the hardships you and your family experienced has shaped your relationship with God?

There are many ways I could answer this question, but I'll just say that we have all been softened and sharpened in the right places by suffering in any case where we have allowed it to teach and illuminate, rather than perpetually keeping a stiff upper lip. I best connect with God through meditation or moving around in nature.

You've done a lot of work with Matt Maher: collaborations, songwriting, and so on. What do you think of a duet similar to "The Prayer" by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli? Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?

Matt Maher and I have done a few duets already. "Garden," from his album, Alive Again, and "Lord, I Need You," from his album, All The People Said Amen, are great examples. But, I'm sure there will be more. I already collaborate with everyone I would like to collaborate with, and whenever anyone new comes to mind, I just ask. So far, nobody has said 'no.' But, I'm sure there's always a first time.

You did a hymns album. Any thoughts of doing a covers album of Christian and mainstream songs, similar to Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here and Gungor's Beautiful Things. I'd love to see how you'd put your spin on them?

I have so many songs pouring out of me at all times. It feels difficult to imagine taking time off enough to do an entire covers record. But I have definitely thought of doing it. I think it would be so fun to cover "Debris" by Roman Candle, cover to cover, or Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" album.

Your voice kind of sounds like Sarah McLachlan's. I'd say Enya is a close second. What do you think? How about a cover of McLachlan's hit, "Angel?"

Thank you. I love them both. I doubt I could do "Angel" justice. But, maybe someday.

What's next? How can we be praying for you?

I'm busy writing my first book and figuring my first podcast out, in addition to making more music than ever this year. It's a busy and beautiful time. I'm always in search of as much emotional and spiritual and physical wellness as I can get, and practice in the midst of it all. So you can certainly pray for me in that regard. Thank you.

Paul Phillips is a Canadian journalist with over 10 years of experience writing and editing digital and print content. He specializes in health, fitness, nutrition, and travel. He loves music, movies, and, of course, living for Jesus.

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