Christian / Pop / Rock
The world is full of dreamers. And rightfully so, God created us that way. But at some point in our lives, we have the choice: to keep the dream for sleeping, or to wake up and live it.
For Natalie Grant, critically acclaimed artist and three-time Dove Award nominee for Female Vocalist of the Year, the choice was to awaken.
Awaken, Natalie's second Curb Records studio album, is the follow-up to her hit-laden label debut, 2003's Deeper Life (which featured the mainstream radio/film soundtrack hit "No Sign of It"). Unearthing a deeper, richer, risk-taking artistry, Awaken is more self-aware and socially conscious and finds Natalie Grant writing and singing the songs of her life."This has really been a pivotal season for me in my artistic and creative journey," says Natalie. "In every way personally and professionally I've been in a real place of self-discovery, learning a lot about myself and what's really important in my life. The more I know myself, the more I'm writing from my heart. I've realized that in the end, it's the power in a song that stands the test of time, and that's what I focused on with this project."
Perhaps that explains why Awaken is the most unexpected, honest and compelling project Natalie's ever created. Produced by her husband, Bernie Herms; Phil Symonds; Shaun Shankel; and Rob Graves, Natalie wrote or co-wrote half of the songs on Awaken, along with a supportive roster of such notable songwriters as Stephanie Lewis, Trina Harmon, and Matthew West.
"More than anything," she says, "I wanted to be challenged, to take risks, to go to the edge of myself beyond my comfort zone, to reach for whatever my artistic limit is. I'm more alive than I've ever felt before, and it was important for me to have that come through in the music."
In the end, although she never aimed for a thematic center for Awaken, one inevitably surfaced. "It's amazing how that happened," she says, "how it all came together in the end, but it makes sense. My spirit has awakened to the need to make my life count for something other than myself. Life is hard and sad and messy and there won't always be answers. I've come to understand that it's okay to ask questions but at the end of the day, we choose to have faith, to believe that God is good."
Natalie has most recently written "The Real Me: Becoming The Girl God Sees (W Publishing/Transit)", a book that addresses issues of self-image. "The book is my story as honest and as transparent as I can tell it, but it's also a tool to help girls understand the truth of how God feels about them versus that pop-culture myth of perfection we've been bombarded with all our lives."
As Natalie stands poised to write the next chapters in her life, music and ministry, her heart is set on staying fully awake and fully alive, making every moment count, and living her dream to make a difference in the lives of those she can reach. Through the stereo; from the stage; next door, and around the world.