Curb recording artist and two-time Dove Award-nominee for Female Vocalist of the Year, Natalie Grant, returns March 22 with her most personal album to date, Awaken. Produced by Bernie Herms, Phil Symonds, Shaun Shankel, and Rob Graves, Grant wrote or co-wrote half of the project¹s 12 cuts.
Thematically, the recording captures a life-changing year for Grant, who was profoundly impacted by a trip to India where she observed firsthand the plight of individuals caught in the human trafficking industry. The album¹s centerpiece, “Home,” penned by Grant, Trina Harmon and Herms and featuring the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, is her musical reaction to the experience.
Awaken also tackles the issue of self-esteem on the cuts “Make Me Over” and “The Real Me,” the latter of which Grant wrote about her own journey of learning to accept and embrace God¹s image of her instead of the world¹s perception. The song is also the inspiration for Grant¹s first book, “The Real Me: Becoming The Girl God Sees,” which will be available this fall on the W Publishing/Transit imprint.
Additional highlights of Awaken include the project¹s first single, “Live For Today,” which was a Top 10 hit on both Billboard¹s “Hot Christian Adult Contemporary” chart and the R&R “Christian AC Top 30 Indicator” chart; the upcoming second single, “Held,” written by Christa Wells in response to the devastating loss of two loved ones; “What Are You Waiting For,” written by Steve Booker, Matthew Gerrard and Bridget Benenate, the latter two who co-wrote (along with Avril Lavigne) the current Kelly Clarkson hit “Breakaway”; and “Bring It All Together,” a gospel-influenced duet with country music icon Wynonna Judd.
“This has really been a pivotal season for me in my artistic and creative journey,” says Grant. “In every way‹personally and professionally‹I¹ve been in a real place of self-discovery, learning a lot about myself and what¹s really important in my life. The more I know myself, the more I¹m writing from my heart. I¹ve realized that in the end, it¹s the power in a song that stands the test of time, and that¹s what I focused on with this project.”
“More than anything,” she continues, “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. 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 won¹t always be answers. I¹ve come to understand that it¹s okay to ask questions, but at the end of the day, we choose to have faith, to believe that God is good.”
In promotion of Awaken, Grant is preparing to hit the road this winter and spring with a band for the multi-city “Awaken Tour,” which will feature special guests Jadon Lavik and Trevor Morgan. Kicking-off February 11 in Jackson, Mississippi, the Tour is slated to stop in the Boston, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, St. Louis, and Oklahoma City markets, among other cities.
Later this year, Grant will help launch “The Revolve Tour,” a nationwide conference designed especially for girls in the 7th-12th grades. Presented by Girls of Faith, a ministry division of Women of Faith, Grant will perform and speak at the conferences, delivering a message on self-esteem.
Awaken will be distributed by Word Distribution.
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