Spicer, Minn., artist records first worship album out of Nashville
Everyone knows that Nashville is home to the country music industry. But the city is increasingly becoming the capital of Christian music as well.
For aspiring Christian artist Andrea Olson of Spicer, it was a dream come true to spend time in Nashville this year working on her first professional worship album. “It was an incredible honor to work down in Nashville,” said Olson, who has led worship at Harbor Church in Spicer for seven years.
“It was such a blessing to work with and gain wisdom from the people there.” Olson spent two weekends this fall working with producer/songwriter Don Koch. Koch has won six Dove awards — the Christian music industry’s version of a Grammy — and has worked with big-time artists, including Avalon, 4Him and Phillips, Craig & Dean.
Before meeting with Koch, Olson spent much of this past summer working on song ideas and possible lyrics. When she arrived in Nashville, the pair fine-tuned her ideas and came up with an overarching theme for the yet unnamed album: trust in God.
“I really wanted the songs to focus on worship. I’ve come to learn how to worship even through the difficult times,” Olson said. “I’ve learned to acknowledge that God is still good, even when my circumstances change. This album is about trusting that even when your life changes, God is still the same. My prayer is that these songs will lift spirits and provide encouragement.”
Now, Olson is trying to fund the rest of the album’s costs with help from her community. She’s started a campaign on Kickstarter, a crowd-funding platform. On Kickstarter, users pledge money to a campaign. If the campaign meets its goal, it receives the money. If it doesn’t, it receives none of the money pledged.
Olson has set a goal of $15,000 for her Kickstarter campaign, which ends Dec. 20. The $15,000 will cover final production costs: mixing, mastering, art and photos. So far, she’s raised a little over 20 percent of her goal.
“This is an opportunity for our community to be a part of something together,” Olson said. “At the end, people will be able to say, ‘This CD would not have happened if I hadn’t given my $10 or $100.’ It’s been a blessing to see that support from our friends and family.”
Olson says that if funded, the album should be finished by late February. Currently, Nashville studio musicians are recording the guitar- and piano-driven tracks for the six songs.
With a husband and 21-month-old daughter, Olson is grateful that technology has allowed her to finish work on the album remotely from her Spicer home. She does vocal training over Skype, a web-based video calling service, and sends recorded vocals through email.
Because of technology, Olson doesn’t anticipate that her family will move to Nashville anytime soon — even if she decides to make another album in the future. For now, her roots are planted in west central Minnesota.
“My husband and I love being close to family,” said the Litchfield native. “Our daughter can be close to her grandparents. And we love our church. It’s important for us to have that community.”
No matter what happens with her first album, Olson will continue to work toward her dreams. She’s already waiting for the day she hears her first single on the radio.
“I’ll probably just cry,” Olson said. “I’m not sure exactly what it will feel like, but I know I’ll be overwhelmed with gratitude. I just feel that this is the calling God has laid on my heart: to bring encouragement to others through music. I want to give people a moment in the middle of their day to just breathe and be blessed.”
For more information on Olson’s music and her Kickstarter campaign, visit andreaolsonmusic.com. To hear one of the songs visit this link at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5c9rVBAHiIw&list=UUsfW7CvtcCgXX3BkOdEFPiA&index=4