Preparing for the Moment

wsmvWell, if you hadn’t heard already, I was on TV this past Monday!!!!! WOO! It was super fun and exciting and I was really happy with how everything turned out! And I’m really hard on myself, so for me to be happy with something is success in itself! 

It’s been great to see everyone’s responses! People have been like “How did you get on TV?!” At first, I think to myself, “Well, it wasn’t really that hard. I saw my friend on the show and asked her who to contact, and voilà!”

But then I stopped myself….actually….it was hard. The reason it was hard is because I had to prepare for years and years to be ready for the moment when I was given this opportunity. 

First, I did a lot of praying…

Second, I had to spend years learning how to sing! Countless lessons, a degree, and many stumbles and hurdles!

Third, I had to learn how to write songs and hope that I wrote a good one, one they would hear and let me play on TV!

Fourth, I had to build relationships. I had to meet the right people who would connect me with great opportunities. 

Fifth, I had to record the songs and spend countless dollars on an EP so that when I submitted my music for people to hear, they would like it and let me play!

Sixth, I had to already have something going on. People want to showcase artists they think are going somewhere or are “on the rise” and so I had to spend years and years showing the world that everyday is a step forward for me! 

Seventh, I had to craft my performance so that when the opportunity came, it turned out to be a good one! You guys have no idea how bad my first shows were compared to my more recent ones…or maybe you do! haha! But I really had to learn how to perform….by performing! 

And……I’m sure there are countless other steps along the way besides these few mentioned. But in the end, I think it’s important to keep preparing and crafting and perfecting whatever it is you want to do, because you never know when the right moment may come. It may seem easy at first, but when you look back at how you actually got there, I think you’ll be satisfied with all the hard work you put in! 

If you’d like to watch the TV segment, click here.

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Reviewing “Jericho,” Erica Bryan’s Debut EP

music musings, beaverdamusa.comWhile I have written about songs, artists, and various other things over the life of this blog, I don’t recall ever reviewing an album.  Fellow BeaverDamUSA blogger, Erica Bryan has released her debut EP entitled Jericho.  I decided to try my hand at reviewing it for her.  You can download the album on iTunes and follow Erica’s journey to the EP’s debut (among other things) here.

Overall, I enjoyed listening to the Jericho.  Erica has a nice vocal range and great sound.  Recently, a lot of country music is over-produced and too slick; but not this one.  No one went knob-crazy in the production booth.  Speaking of country – I don’t consider this a country album.  Of course, my idea of country and today’s country are pretty far apart.

The album has seven tracks and provides a very nice sampling of Erica’s range and styles.  Erica was smart in putting a variety of styles on the album.  If you don’t like a particular song or style, there is always the “next” button.  I typically judge an album by how many songs do I reach for that “next” button after I’ve listened to it once.  I am happy to say that I only tapped it once.  Here are my quick hits on each of the tracks:

  • Jericho – Has a marching feel to it due to beat.  Love the bass line on it and see this as a top-down, turn it up, driving song.
  • Immune to You – Nice keys starting the track. This song soars in vocals and tempo.  Best song on the album.
  • Gypsy Life – nice ebb & flow on this one.  Like the slow, sultry feel.
  • Billboard – This is the “next” song – just a little too pop’ish for me.
  • Sad Song – Everyone has lived this song.  This has the same sultry feel as Gypsy Life.  Love the line “birds are singing in minor key” – a minor key can make Happy Birthday seem sad.  This is Erica’s wheelhouse.  I picture listening to this song in a dark room with a drink in hand while thinking of what might have been.
  • Leaving You in Memphis – Nice catchy tune.  Like the image of driving east on I-40 after leaving whoever in Memphis.  Of course, the thought of being left in Memphis is plenty scary.
  • This House is Haunted – This song should be played after listening Sad Song.  Along the same thought, this song again lets Erica soar on vocals.

In summary, this is a very solid debut album.  Erica has a beautiful voice and Jericho lets her show it off. I would definitely recommend purchasing Jericho.

Musing In Jericho

Zach

Behind the Song: Jericho

erica bryan, behind the mic, beaverdamusa.comFirst off, a huge thank you to everyone who downloaded, streamed, listened, shared, commented, liked, and even thought about “Jericho” at all. You guys rock!!

I touched a little bit about the story behind “Jericho” in my interview with The Odyssey Online but now I’m here to give you all the juicy details!

When I first moved to Nashville, I was excited to take a leap into the unknown, but I knew that there needed to be a lot of prayer involved if I was going to be successful! I started reading a book called The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. The Circle Maker relays the story of Honi, a man from ancient times who drew a circle around himself and refused to come out of it until God answered his prayer for his people. The book encourages everyone to pray circles around their dreams, like Honi did with his relentless faith.

After reading this book, I started walking circles around Music Row and prayed over and around every music building. I walked down 16th and walked circles around the publishing companies and entertainment groups. I circled my publishing rights organization, BMI, and prayed that their hearts would be open to me and my music. I circled record labels, praying that doors would be open for me, and circled many other buildings that I didn’t even know what they were!

As I walked circles around Music Row praying, I felt a lot like Joshua who circled around Jericho. As recorded in the book of Joshua in the Bible, the Lord instructed Joshua and his army to walk around Jericho, a city that was promised to the Israelites. Joshua and his army walked around Jericho once a day for six days. On the seventh day, seven priests blew their horns and the army walked around Jericho seven times and gave a big shout. Then, the walls came crumbling down and the city was given over to the Israelites.

I’m astounded by Joshua and the Israelites’ faith in this story. How would you feel if you needed to take over a city and you were instructed to simply walk around it a total of 13 times and then blow through a horn? That tremendous faith is what inspired me to try and have faith and hope during my move to Nashville.

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This idea of “Jericho” as a song was obviously very personal and pivotal to me so I sat on the idea for 3 years until I found the right person to write it with. I ended up writing the song with my producer, Tommy Harden, from a metaphor-perspective of trying to win someone’s heart – because I often feel like I’m trying to win hearts here in Nashville!

I decided to call my whole EP Jericho because every song captures some sort of journey I’ve had while living in Nashville and I cannot wait to share the rest of my stories with you through my EP!!

My hope for you when you listen to “Jericho,” is that you’re inspired to circle around something that seems unreachable. I hope you keep going after what you’ve been working so hard to achieve until the walls fall down.

So let’s keep marching!

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