Monday, January 14, 2013

Allison Escalante - Nothing Lost

Last week I was able to sit down with singer/song writer/ worship leader Allison Escalante to discuss her first full length album, dropping January 18th! Allison's openness and vulnerability with her music is encouraging for all artist. Enjoy the interview and hope to see you at the CD release shindig and snag a copy of her album for yourself!

Here's a sample of one of her favorite songs from the album;  I Need Your Help

LWF: Little Woodland Friend (Amber)
AE: Allison Escalante

LWF: What is the inspiration/vision behind your album title "Nothing Lost"? 
AE: When writing this album I had decided I wanted to convey a sense of vulnerability through each song. I want to connect with people on a more intimate level, even if I don't know them personally.  Even though my heart for this album is to be vulnerable, I still have trouble with it sometimes. I was in LA at the mastering studio the other day, and as certain songs started to play, I began feeling like the walls were closing in on me. I even stooped so low as to take my coat off and cover my head with it. Vulnerability is not easy, but I feel it's necessary.

LWF: What do you hope to achieve through the release of this album? 
AE: I want the listener to know who I am as a person and understand that we all go through trials. A lot of people are uncomfortable with the idea that worship leaders have emotions, or are weak and vulnerable. I think vulnerability is sometimes misconstrued as a form of weakness, but it can also be a way of showing strength, courage, and a valid emotion. I feel like "Nothing Lost" represents that well. 

LWF: How was the album written and did you have a vision for it prior to starting the project?
AE: I went into the project with eight songs and didn't end up using any of them. In my everyday life, I started to notice how annoyed I was getting with passing pleasantries, and how fake I had become. .. So I threw out all of the songs and started writing from past failures, present tragedies and the types of memories you wish you could forget but secretly wanna keep. I  wrote one song in the studio, laid it down and from there the songs started flowing out. That's where I noticed the vulnerability, loss, and emotion coming through. Through this process "Nothing Lost" was created. My songs are about real life experiences, and through those experiences there is nothing lost. There is always a hope.  

LWF: What is your favorite song on the album?
AE: I have two... The first is "We Want to Bless You" because it takes on whatever particular emotion you are feeling at that time, happy or sad.  I listened to this song in my car for 2 full days over and over again once the cello had been tracked. I literally went from being blown away by how awesome the cello sounded against the layered guitars on the instrumental part, to crying my eyes out listening to it in the evening. It somehow took on this incredibly tragic/romantic sound. My second favorite song is "I need Your Help" because it was written for a really good friend who's wife cheated on him and then left him. This was a way for me to comfort and encourage him. 

LWF: Why are you a worship leader?
AE: I know God has blessed me with this gift and I know I'm called to usher His people into His presence through song. I take it very seriously. I'm very aware of the shape peoples hearts are in. I know they come into church broken and burdened and just want to hear God's heart for them. I know this because I'm in the same boat. For a time, I didn't take Leading Worship seriously. I was disgusted at my heart and how I had somehow come to the conclusion that I offered the Lord something amazing and that i somehow made things "Better". I quickly realized how wrong I was and decided to stop being involved in music all together. I had no intention of ever picking my guitar back up again, much less singing in front of a congregation again. But God Restores! I now stand with my guitar and sing from a place of vulnerability in an attempt to encourage people who are also going through hard situations.

LWF: Any Advice to young musicians? 
AE: I think practice is a huge part of honing your craft. It's too easy to let yourself go. Also, make sure to expand your musical interests. Don't box yourself in. Learn other styles and genres. Don't just do it because you know how to, but let things you don't know influence  you. I think it's important to be musically smart as well. There is a huge difference between a musician and an artist. Anyone can pick up a guitar and learn a few chords..  Last weekend I had the privilege of driving to the mountains with another musician to play for a group of 18- 25 year olds. We were listening to music as we drove and I sat there listening to him pick song after song apart. Initially it was slightly annoying, but as time went on I found myself incredibly interested and blessed to sit next to him and just watch. There was something musically smart about him- a definite artist. So often I don't pay much attention to songs. I know I should, but I don't. It was easily a car ride that changed my musical perspective.

(Photo by Robert Escalante)

Allison will be throwing a CD release shindig on 1/18, see flyer below for all the info!

For more info visit Allison's Website 

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