Franklin, TN-based singer/songwriter Tori Harper releases amidst acclaim her debut EP, Seasons, May 18 through The Fuel Music. Nineteen-year-old Tori's original songs are meant to speak truth over people as she vulnerably shares her experiences and the ways in which she has seen God work in her own life.
Wrestling with depression, Tori was divinely reminded that "God sees her." This became a turning point in her journey that sparked a renewed commitment to Christ. As God began to reveal more of Himself to Tori, and as she began to firmly root her identity in Christ, she became acutely aware of others' heartaches. Her songs are an effort to respond to people's hurt from a place of deep authenticity and relatability.
"Through the good and through the bad, He's with us," inspires Tori. "He's not promising that we're not going to have trials or we're not going to have issues, but He does promise that He's going to be with us right through those things; and in the end, He's going to use that somehow for good and for His glory."
Taking a cue from Psalm 16:11, Tori wrote the song "Joy" that was produced by Colby Wedgeworth (Jordan Feliz, Mandisa, Danny Gokey) and is reaching millions each week through radio airplay in top markets like Houston, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Dallas, Tampa, Minneapolis and more. The song has also hit the Top 20 (No. 18) on Billboard's Christian Airplay chart.
"It says in the Bible that in His presence there is fullness of joy. God was really teaching me about the differences between happiness and joy, and I've been learning that joy is more permanent," says Tori. "My hope is that as you listen to this song it reminds you that God's joy is always accessible to you no matter where you are, and that as you seek God you will find fullness of joy in his presence."
Tori originally started writing songs as a way to "see in the dark" and help her friends do the same. Her debut radio single, "After Dark," was penned for a friend who was battling bulimia. The song's lyrics came out as she struggled to find the right words of hope-filled empathy to extend to the girl, whom she had long admired.
"Very rarely do you meet an artist who at a very early age has a deep understanding of God, art and compassion for others. Tori has that rare gift," says award-winning artist Cindy Morgan. "It comes through in the songs she writes and her voice that is as sweet and pure as it is longing."
Grammy-nominated, Dove Award-winning "Producer of the Year" Jason Ingram (Meredith Andrews, Tenth Avenue North, Lauren Daigle) randomly discovered a video by Tori singing an acoustic version of "After Dark" on Facebook. "I was completely taken back by what I'd heard," he says. After writing an encouraging note to her, Ingram was later asked to produce the song along with Paul Mabry for Seasons. Ingram reflects on the recording, saying that "After Dark" is "one of the only songs I've ever recorded where the artist wrote, sang and played guitar on the song...she's an incredible person.... I feel super honored to play a role with all that Tori is doing." (Watch Ingram's compelling testimony of discovering Tori at https://youtu.be/gpbSog3RWYY.)
In addition to the aforementioned songs, Seasons features the title track and "My Father, My Shepard," both produced by Grammy Award-winning Seth Mosley (for KING & COUNTRY, Skillet) and Mike "X." O'Connor (Brandon Heath, Colton Dixon), and "Stand Firm," produced by Micah Kuiper (Hawk Nelson).
"I love what Tori Harper is doing," says Mosely. "Her artistry is fresh, and her heart is pure. Big things to come for her."
As a budding songwriter, Harper has co-written with Cindy Morgan, Mia Fieldes, Bryan and Katie Torwalt and All Sons & Daughters, among other artists, while further contributing background vocals to songs recorded by Chris Tomlin and Tenth Avenue North.
Ultimately, the type of artist Tori hopes to be is one who points her fellow sojourners to the truth of God's Word with every song.