(Photo courtesy of Hoganson Media Relations)
Ginny Owens – Letting Love be Loud
By Sarah Komisky
Ginny Owens is one of those people you want to “like” on Facebook or follow on Instagram. Whether she’s playing on tour, posing with fans with a selfie stick, giving others a peek into her makeup routine in a video from her series “How I See It,” or blogging about adventures with jet skiing, traveling to Israel, or thoughts about Pokémon Go, she doesn’t mind sharing life with us. And although she has some pretty cool accolades like winning multiple Dove awards, playing Lilith Fair in its heyday, or releasing eleven full alums (not including EP’s), one of coolest things by far isn’t about what she’s done but who she is.
Becoming blind at age three, Owens didn’t let her blindness limit her or succumb to the world’s expectations of her. Instead, she decided to follow God and let His voice be the loudest in her life. In turn, she became an artist, an author, and an adjunt professor in the songwriting department at Belmont University. Now, she is venturing out again into new territory by transitioning from singer-songwriter to pop artist with her latest release, “Love be the Loudest.” When asked about how the transition came about, she gushed about her love for pop music and frequent use of Apple Music playlists for workouts. But beyond the beats, Owens opens up about her desire to fill the gap with something mainstream EDM and pop music is currently missing.
“I feel also like I can’t do a steady diet of that (mainstream pop music) because so many of the lyrics are negative, often negative towards women and just about things that I just go gosh, I don’t want to fill my mind with this stuff all the time. I certainly wouldn’t want my kids listening to it,” says Owens. “So, it really just inspired me to think about creating pop music and if I was to do it, how would I do it and what would I want it to say?”
Pairing fun beats and pop melodies with meaningful lyrics was both a challenge and adventure for Owens. After crafting songs she loved, she took a look back on the record and discovered a missing ingredient that would make the album even better. Rallying artist friends like Mike Weaver (Big Daddy Weave), Ellie Holcomb, Meredith Andrews, and All Sons & Daughters (to name a few) together, Owens began to set collaborations in motion. Each song took on its own distinct style and became a tangible memory of a sweet time amongst comrades.
Underlying was the message that Owens herself has been embracing and desiring to share with others – the message to let God’s love be the loudest voice in our lives. On her website she quotes, “My greatest challenge is doing battle with the critical voices in my head that distract me from what’s most important. It’s the whispers of those who feel sorry for me because of my physical challenge and don’t think I hear their comments. It’s the shouts of my own doubts and insecurities, asking, ‘Do you have anything valuable to contribute to society?’ It’s the mindless chatter of our culture, inviting me to believe that any voice, as long as it’s loud, is fine. Every song on this album is an invitation to my heart, and the heart of the listener, to allow God’s perfect voice of love and truth to be irresistible to our hearts, drowning out all other voices, and moving us to action.”
When asked about the message she expands saying, “Well, what I keep learning is as long as we’re alive, as along as we’re walking the face of this planet, we are going to hear critical voices in our head. Maybe they’re voices from our past or voices of insecurity or voices of our culture saying, ‘here’s what’s important, here’s what you should value, here’s what you should believe about yourself or about the world.’ Those voices are never going to go away, but for those of us who put our faith in Christ, I feel like the change is that we are always going to have another voice, an alternative voice that we can listen to, we can hang our hat on, our everything on. And, our prayer, my prayer, is that that voice would be the loudest in our heads and our hearts and the voice that guides our hearts and lives.”
Asking how she began to not let critical voices define her, she was quick to point to Jesus, His Word, and prayer encouraging readers to interact with Jesus as a friend by getting to know his heart, what is important to him, and what we mean to him. Speaking into the lives of young women, Owens notes, “We will be defined by the voices that we’re hearing the most from and the voice that is loudest in our heads. So, if it’s friends’ voices, our peers’ voices, if that’s the voice of rap songs that maybe would say something about us that is not true especially about us women, that would maybe devalue us or if it’s media that says in order to be loved, we have to have a guy, and kind of let that guy define us, I mean those things will define us unless we go and find God’s voice and really pursue that voice. That’s the only way for it to be the loudest.”
Spurring Christians, Owens reminds us to not let the other voices crowd our thinking sharing: “Throughout my life, I think I’ve forgotten that so many times and I kind of think, ‘yeah I’m a Christian, so, you know, that’s good, my faith is always going to be there and I can stand on it,’ and that’s all true but if we are aren’t pursuing God’s voice everyday and finding out what it says, then we will listen to those other voices more. They will distract us more, because they are very loud. So I feel that is definitely a message that I feel very passionate about communicating especially to young women because that is just the place that we live and we don’t really think that’s going to happen, that God’s voice is going to get crowded out, but it truly will.”
When asked how she began taking steps out of her comfort zone and facing her fears, she commented, “When I think about stepping out of our comfort zone, I think about a lot of us have heard about our entire lives, people like Moses and Elijah and maybe some of us have never heard about those people but Moses was 80 years old when God really began to use him to do amazing things and to help a whole nation rise up. And you know, he’s like out, taking care of sheep in the middle of nowhere and he’s going, God, do you really want me to do this thing? And God just keeps saying, ‘your weakness, it doesn’t matter. I’ve allowed that weakness in your life so all you have to do is take the next step, take a small step.’”
She continues, “And, what’s really cool is that I’ve actually been reading through Exodus and one of things that is so cool to watch is as Moses takes one little step at a time, his faith grows and God teaches him amazing things until, pretty soon you see Moses just loves God with everything he is and everything he has, and he doesn’t really question him anymore. I feel like as I read different stories in the Bible, I see God’s hand at work but I also see as people take small steps of trust that God does big, amazing things in their lives and they ultimately trust God more and more and more. And, it’s like that with other humans that we know, right? The more someone proves themselves, the more we can trust them and rely upon them, and we go, ‘okay, this person is safe and this person is trustworthy and I can listen to them, I can go to them for advice and they strengthen my life.’ So, I think it’s the same thing with stepping out of our comfort zone. We don’t have to leap out, we can take those small, little steps one at a time and as we continue to move forward, we will gain more strength and gain more momentum, and be more excited about the future and what God is inviting us to do.”
To find out more about Ginny and her music visit: http://ginnyowens.com/