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With a decade under her belt in creative circles, Yancy’s fingerprints have found their way onto a variety of projects that suggests she has an insatiable appetite to explore, while serving as an ingenious study in contrasts along the way. As her...
With a decade under her belt in creative circles, Yancy’s fingerprints have found their way onto a variety of projects that suggests she has an insatiable appetite to explore, while serving as an ingenious study in contrasts along the way. As her ultra-fabulous new album title Stars, Guitars and Megaphone Dreams implies, there are plenty of reach for the sky empowerment anthems, but also several reflective, praise-centered moments that perfectly juxtapose the blueprints for the switch hitter’s career thus far.
Just comb through Yancy’s credits to find her exploring a series of pop/rock releases, a Christmas collection and a kids’ CD with companion DVD, alongside tour dates with everyone from Newsboys to Mute Math, 4Him and Nichole Nordeman. On the writing side of the coin, she’s teamed up with Third Day’s Mac Powell, co-penned Avalon’s chart topping “I Don’t Want To Go” (off the Grammy nominated Oxygen album) and Jaci Velesquez’s acclaimed “Something Beautiful,” while still finding the time to compose two devotional books for worship leaders and musicians, plus launching a father/daughter speaking event with her dad/veteran minister Jim Wideman. Add in five years as a staff worship leader conducting services for every age group imaginable and still finding time to minister to pre-teens, teens and young adults (in turn, specifically inspiring the Rock-N-Happy Heart CD and companion devotional), and Yancy’s literally run the entire gamut of enthusiastic diversification.
“I started off doing more traditional CCM-type of music performing at a lot of youth groups, festivals and ministry events, but then I got involved in leading worship in a local church setting,” explains the Nashville-based Yancy (and yes, that’s really her first name for inquiring minds about to ask). “I’ve often joked I’ve led worship with every age from birth to death, but through that, I gained ton of experience and knowledge. In the mid-2000s, I was writing a theme song for an elementary camp program once a summer, and after doing that for several years, I thought I could write a few more songs and release a kids’ record, which wasn’t a career move at all, but just something that came really naturally. Out of that, I started touring around doing a lot of events for pre-teens and it was obvious God wanted me to go in that direction because tons of doors kept opening.”
Fast forward through today, and Yancy continues to split her main focus between ministering in standard concerts and leading worship for pre-teens and their families, merging upbeat pop ditties with a serious side that is sure to usher listeners of any age into the presence of God. In fact, Stars, Guitars and Megaphone Dreams is sure to cross pollinate her audience even further, not just because of the various writing styles contained therein, but also a sonic melting pot that manages to mirror the likes of Nordeman to Superchick to Pink to Brooke Fraser to Avril Lavigne all in one contagious, Yancy-stamped package.
“There’s a family-friendly type vibe to the record with parts that are really fun and exciting and parts that are full of worship for anybody of any age to latch onto, assuming that they latch onto what I do in the first place,” she lets out with a laugh given her quirky style. “I’m not making a normal CCM record and worrying about fitting in, or on the flipside, trying to be cooler than the next guy. If a guitar part makes me smile, then I’m keeping it in even it’s its silly or light-hearted. I try not to over analyze the way I make music and people can take it or leave it. I make music from my heart and that brings me joy, and in the process, I've found the listener connects to that authenticity.”
Chances are faithful who give Stars, Guitars and Megaphone Dreams a proper chance will embrace the body of work as a whole, including several standout tracks that relate to the highly personal nature of Yancy’s penmanship. Take for instance the vibrant “God Is For Me,” which was written from a personal experience about “putting our confidence and future in God’s hands and knowing He'll take care of us and work it all for our good,” asserts its author. “I'm really thankful for the promises in God's word in how we can hold fast to those things, whether we're in the valley or the mountaintop, because God is on our side!”
Furthermore, the ballad “Sincerely Completely Yours” speaks of a desire to be genuine and more Christ-like on every step of the journey, the peppy “Every Good and Perfect Thing” evokes a spirit of thankfulness over God’s goodness, while a generation bridging cover of Fleetwood Mac’s spunky “Don’t Stop” suggests sky’s the limit as long as someone places their total trust in God.
Though those tunes help explain the new project’s carpe diem-oriented title, arriving at that destination was just as unconventional as the creator’s career thus far. Across her travels, Yancy asked a multitude of friends and fans to help her string together a title (promising a gift card to their favorite restaurant in return), resulting in the entertainer/praise purveyor starting out the catch phrase and a worship leader pal from Indianapolis filling in the blanks.
“With the song ‘Make It Loud’ on the record, I knew I wanted something with the word ‘megaphone’ in the title, which is a word that sounds very Yancy,” she assures. “So the ‘stars and guitars’ part came from a guy in Indy and I added it to what I had, which I realized isn’t all that inspiring sounding of a story, but it’s the truth of the matter!”
Even if that cheeky but true tale isn’t how most artists arrive at their album titles, its just one more example of Yancy’s originality. But even deeper than the surface of the situation is her authentic investment in the lives of fans, who at the end of the day, are the people she pours into for the sake of stirring their hearts and having them dream bigger than ever before.
“We’re all here for a purpose and I’m here to encourage people to keeping pushing as they realize what things they are drawn to, whether that be creative or industrial, and know that they’re here for a purpose,” relates Yancy. “We all have different talents and abilities that God wants to use, and I make it a point to remind people to go after their dreams with all they’ve got.”
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