16th September 2017 marks the one year anniversary since I launched as a Christian singer/songwriter.
It’s been 12 whirlwind months of adventures I never could have imagined or planned for myself! The excitement continues with more bizarre and exhilarating opportunities every day, but to mark this momentous day I thought I’d share my TOP 20 exciting moments from the past 12 months.
Kicking off, at number 20…
Writing to 45 lovely email friends
This time last year, I was emailing updates to a group of just 5 of you. 12 months on, I so look forward to email time every fortnight when I get to share all the joys, all the challenges and all the prayer requests to 45 email update buddies. If you’d like to receive a fun, in-depth update from me twice a month, pop your email address here and you’ll be promoted to Email Friend, effective immediately. 😀
Opening an Etsy shop
Etsy is the perfect place to share lyric and Bible verse designs, and reach new people via a different medium. It’s been great to continue my hobby of graphic design as part of my musical ministry. You can find the Etsy shop here.
Being Samuel Ball's 'Guest of the Week' on UCB2
UCB2 presenter Samuel has been a great encouragement to me, so it was a total pleasure to share my favourite Christian songs and some personal stories of God working in my life for his ‘Guest of the Week’ feature earlier this year. I felt so self-indulgent tuning in to listen to myself talking every evening for a week! :L
Being Andrew Marston's 'Featured Artist' on BBC Introducing in Hereford & Worcester
The local BBC Introducing show in my area has been so supportive; from interviewing me to raise awareness of charity single Thirteen, to providing me with awesome performance opportunities, to playing my tracks on air. I’m so grateful to presenter Andrew Marston, who described me as: “A rising star on the local scene with inspiring songs from somebody who just wants to help others”.
Receiving miraculous financial gifts from amazing supporters
Two awesome businesses, Perfect Choice and Amy Box – Singing Coach, (plus a further two wonderful individuals – you know who you are) have partnered with me this year to support me financially. This has been the most humbling, moving and joyous experience and I’m so grateful to each and every one of them.
Chatting live on local radio
Kate Justice was so encouraging as she interviewed me on BBC Hereford & Worcester radio live one Sunday morning in May. It was a pretty exciting experience, there were a few butterflies in my tummy, but Kate was really lovely and made it all come so easily. You can listen back to the recording here.
Seeing my husband graduate, start a new job and become a flippin' ninja youth leader
My epic husband Nathan needs a mention in this list, because nothing here would have happened without his support, in every sense of the word. ARGH emotional moment! Let’s move on… 😛
Raising £550 through 'Thirteen' for Safe From Slavery
(This one had to be number 13!)
This time last year Amy and I never imagined our song would raise this much money for the Safe From Slavery safehouse, restoring women rescued from sex-trafficking here in the UK. The project just had God’s hand on it all the way through; He provided press coverage, radio interviews and financial success which just amazed us. (You can still download Thirteen here of course!)
Taking up more and more speaking opportunities
From busy Ladies’ Breakfasts to quiet evenings in village halls, I’ve had such an exciting few months as God has been opening doors for me to share my testimony. The most incredible times have been when I’ve seen others stepping into healing and been a catalyst in that – WOW. What a confirmation that I’m in the right place “for such a time as this”. (Esther 4:14)
Hearing my singing improve through training and confidence
One of the most exciting things to happen in the last 12 months is noticing my voice improving and developing. When I compare my first with my most recent recording, I’m so encouraged by the difference I hear. That’s been a result of two fantastic singing coaches, Cathy Crompton and Amy Box, and taking on more opportunities to practice, perform and be BOLD!
Visiting the UCB (United Christian Broadcasters) studios
What a day! UCB has been such a prominent part of my journey as a Christian singer/songwriter, so being able to meet the people that make it all possible and peeking behind the scenes was a really rewarding experience. It really is a family of people who love God and want to give him glory, that connects people all over the world to discover Him for themselves. So proud to be a small part of that family. <3
Growing into a worship leading role in my church
I felt really challenged this Spring to step up and start taking more responsibility on our worship team at church. I had been receiving some wonderful mentoring to help me prepare for this as knew God was nudging me towards it, but the additional need for a pastoral and co-ordinating role started tugging at my sleeve and I started to feel the call of God into it. It’s not been easy at all, but I can see the work God’s been doing on my character to get me ready for it and I’ve been stepping into it with intrigue and quite a lot of trepidation!
Singing at weddings, parties and events
Ha! Funny how ACTUALLY SINGING is just one tiny point in this massive list of things that have made up a rollercoaster 12 months of success! “Actually singing” has, in fact, featured almost every day on that journey. Just sometimes it’s limited to shower singing! :L
Meeting with Resound Media to develop my artist identity
It sounds fancy, but it’s foundational stuff. More exciting than nailing my niche audience and identity in the first session though, was discovering that my mentor is a wonderful Christian bloke called Dean – and he actually IS my niche audience. Could that have been more perfectly set up?!
Getting onto iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Play Music and the rest!
It was amazing back in February seeing my first songs sitting there on Spotify, looking beautiful. You can now find all my songs on all these platforms and more.
When Til I'm Blue was accepted on the UCB1 playlist
This was one heck of a day. 🙂 Til I’m Blue still plays often on this national station!
When Least was accepted on the UCB2 playlist
Least has been playing on UCB2 for just over a week, and I’ve been so blessed in that time. I’ve received comments from listeners I’ve never met telling me they’ve been helped by it – how fantastic is that? Feeling so grateful for the opportunity to reach those people and glorify God.
Performing at the Hay Festival 2017
Andrew Marston invited me to perform at this internationally renowned event, for later broadcast on the BBC Introducing in Hereford & Worcester show. I was so humbled to have the chance to share my testimony of healing with the diverse crowd of 100 or so, and perform my songs live for the first time in the prestigious BBC tent. Andrew later called it: “Possibly one of our best recording/roadshows ever.”
A nearly finished debut demo EP
I’ve learnt SO much through the process of writing and recording 5 tracks professionally, all thanks to the help of amazing Christian producer David Pickering-Pick at FFG Media. Today, I’m a week away from my final recording day – then I’m going to actually have an EP.
WHAT A YEAR?!
I couldn’t have got to this stage without the love and support of so many people. Thank you.
If you’d like to walk the journey with me, I’d love to have you along for the fortnightly email catch-up. Sign up here and I’ll send you a fun update every two weeks – it’s a blast! See you there. 🙂