Karyn Williams has been pegged as one of the ‘Best Bits’ of 2012 by Billboard Magazine, and is set to stun the Christian music world with her emotional and inspiring debut album – ‘Only You’.
Her story begins when she took a leap of faith by relocating to Nashville in 2007. She was convinced she had a calling on her life in the music industry, but had absolutely no connections, no resources and no clue. It was a sink or swim moment, but her long drive from Orlando to Nashville gave her plenty of time to pray.
This supernatural trust and willingness to follow God shines through one her debut album. Kayrn reminds me of Amy Grant, she has the same powerful songwriting ability to capture profound thoughts and Bible verses to then sing them with vulnerability and honestly. Her gorgeous vocal tone is stress relieving, you can feel your muscles relax and your brainwaves smooth as she sings every note with genuine faith.
“You can listen to a great speaker or sit outside on a sunny day and feel better about life, but when you are lost in a song that is speaking to you, there’s nothing quite like it.” – taken from Karyn’s official website.
Growing up with 18 brothers and sisters has had a huge impact on her life, especially as 14 of them were adopted. Being an older sister to siblings from Brazil, Korea, Romania and the Philippines must of influenced her life, her faith and her songwriting in more way we can imagine. “I’ve seen firsthand the impact adoption has on families and lives.” She works closely with Holt International, an international adoption organisation founded after the devastation of the Korean War.
If you listen to one of her songs, watch her talk about them or browse through her website one thing is screamingly obvious – her heart is in the right place. She is a Christian first, then she loves people … and then she is a songwriter (to realise the first two). She wouldn't call want she does a career, or a job, or a mean-to-an-ends, it's her ministry. Karyn Williams’ debut album, ‘Only You’, features 11 faith-soaked songs. Here are some of the stories behind the songs:
Story Behind: ‘Waiting in the Rain’
Originally this song wasn’t even on the album. It took Karyn’s label GM, Andrew Patterns (find correct spelling), to listen to a rough tape of the song and persuade her to go back to the studio and record it, immediately.
The song was inspired by Psalm 27:14: “wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”
When recording the song, Karyn revealed that she was picturing her dad, who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called multiple myeloma over a year ago. She has been waiting on God for answers in her rainstorm, but this song is a declaration of surrender to God’s will – “in my head I was saying, ‘let the cancer strike and the treatment come’ … God wants us to stay right where we’re at and trust him, even in the storm. So put your raincoat on, head outside and wait in the rain if you have too. He’s right there with you.”
Story Behind: ‘Hey There’ (feat. Michael Tait, former member of DC Talk and Newsboys new lead singer)
Karyn know the impact music can have, and so she delights in writing healing music for broken people – capturing raw, honest lyrics that speak into situations. ‘Hey There’ speaks to the people hide the hurt, put on a smile and face another day.
Karyn describes ‘Hey There’ as “a big hug”. It reassures you no matter what’s going on, God cares and is with you. Newsboys lead singer, Michael Tait, decided he needed to sing with Karyn and choice this song.
“At the end of the day everything comes down to the ‘voice’ for me. That said, Karyn’s tone is PURE HONEY! The first time I heard ‘Hey There’, I knew I had to be on this tune….somewhere….with Karyn. I could not be more happy and pleased with our collaboration!” – Michael Tait.
Story Behind: ‘Possible’
Karyn wrote this song before she signed her record deal with InPop Records. It was her personal mantra, feeding her desires to become a female artist, keeping her motivated and pushing her to press into God. The chorus lyric’s are: “Every dream, every plan, is possible when it’s in bigger hands.”
The song is infectiously optimistic, oozing positivity with a solid rock feel and catchy chorus. Even Scrooge couldn’t succumb to a smile when listening to ‘Possible’. On a recent YouTube video, Karyn offers her advice to listeners: “My advice [to you] when listening to this song is keep getting up, showing up, doing the next right thing and trusting God with the results because you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.”
Story Behind: ‘Only You’
Karyn’s marriage was feeling the strain, which was causing stress and exhaustion in her everyday life. One night she couldn’t sleep so she crawled out of bed and crept up to her music room to play her guitar and pray. The words ‘only you’ kept echoing through her head. A few days later she told her friend about that story and 25 minutes later ‘Only You’ was written.
Karyn calls this song “her life song”. It speaks of all the things in life that fade into insignificance, until only God is left in our lives. Ultimately, Karyn wants to centre her life on God. Not the music, not selling albums, not filling concert halls, but God.
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please peoples? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:10.
January 18th, 2013 - Posted & Written by James Warwood