BETWEEN THE LINER NOTES
Tammy Trent Finds Hope in Sunny Days
By Chris Carpenter
CBN.com Program Director
Contemporary Christian recording artist Tammy Trent is back and better than ever. Known to Women of Faith conference audiences for her straight-up songs of hope and truth, Trent returns with her first album of new material in five years called Sunny Days.
But life for Trent has not always been filled with blue skies and endless days of summer. Losing her husband in a tragic accident more than a decade ago, she has developed a great deal of admiration over the years for sharing her personal journey of love, loss, and ultimately hope due to an unwavering commitment to Christ despite the circumstances.
I recently down with Tammy to discuss the new album, seeing God’s sustaining grace in the midst of tragedy, and why she believes God has brought her into a new, beautiful season
It has been five years since the release of your last album, Stronger. Why such a long wait between projects?
I’ve been really busy, thank God, in the last five years of ministry. For a long time I traveled with the Women of Faith conference. That season for me has kept me so busy with women’s ministry across the country. And so the phone was just ringing constantly, so I was out almost every weekend doing a women’s conference someplace, and I loved it, and it really has kept me so busy, honestly, the thought of working on a new record just gave me a headache. There’s just so much work involved. And I’ve always been one of those girls where I don’t want to do something just to do it. I don’t want to write a book just to write a book. I don’t want to make a record just because I need to. I really have kind of loved where God has had me, where there’s been no pressure. I’ve just been out ministering, doing what I love to do, but after five years, I took a year off the road and I just felt like there was a new season coming, and I didn’t know what it looked like at all. And so I thought, I’m just going to take some time away. I’m going to step away from the platform and say, God, what’s next, just simply what’s next? I felt like I had to get away from the busyness, the noises, the “everything” to be able to hear God’s voice clearer in my life. So, I just stepped away so I could hear God’s voice, and I just felt like He was saying new music. It seemed like a very natural thing for me, because I’ve been doing music for so long, but I knew I was going to be more involved. And I knew that through this music would come that next season. With this new record, I believe I will be walking into a new season of something brighter, something newer, and hopefully more sunny days.
You have been quoted as saying, “This musical offering has brought me to the most beautiful season yet on my personal journey from love to loss, and into a deeper understanding of God’s faithful commitment to us through life’s growing moments.” Why do you say that?
Because I feel braver, I feel stronger, I feel more healed than I’ve ever been. I feel like I know who I really am. I know clearly what I want to say. I just feel like I’m in a much better place in my life. I’m ready for love again. I’ve never been ready for that the last 12 years really fully, but I do feel like I’m in a different place of opening up my heart freely and meaning it this time of saying “God, whatever you have for my life, I’m okay with it now.” And for any of us to truly be in that place and really mean it, because you have to be careful what you say to God, because we could go there, and then we’re like, “What are you doing with my life?” But I think I’m in the best place I’ve been in the last 12 years from my loss.
What brought you to that place? Just time, or any specific moments, or what is it?
Truthfully, it is time. I know that time doesn’t heal, I believe only God can heal you. It’s not like you’re saying, oh, I’m going to be better in twenty years, because look, I’m 12 years into this and I was crying hysterically on my couch a week ago because I felt lonely, and I hated this. I hated living without Trent (her deceased husband). And here I am 12 years later and I was feeling this, and I was thinking, why am I feeling this so strongly the last couple of weeks? I’m 12 years into this, come on. I obviously have become stronger even just through doing things around the house by myself now. I can look at the things that I’ve accomplished by myself when I thought I needed Trent or a man in my life, so I’ve been able to look at that and go, man, I can do a lot. I’m independent, I’m strong, my family’s been incredible. So, I just think living life and life experiences has made me stronger, and just realizing that God will never leave me alone, even though I may feel numb at times, I can never interpret that as God’s absence in my life.
Your new album, Sunny Days is releasing soon. What can you tell me about it?
Funny enough, the title Sunny Days I have had written on a sticky note on my computer for the last two years. I don’t know where I saw it, why I thought of it, I don’t know where it even came from, but I wrote “sunny days” down, put it on a sticker and put it on my computer. I thought at that time, if I were to ever do another record again, I want to title it Sunny Days, because that’s where I want my life to be at that point, when I’m ready. And honestly, even now, I don’t know if I’ll ever do another record. I never record an album thinking, “I’ll do this the rest of my life.” I have no idea. But when I walked into this one it was with that heart as well thinking, “This could be my last record, so what do you want to do, what do you want to say, what do you want to sing about?” And I thought about a praise and worship record. I thought about so many different things, and I kept coming back to Tammy Trent, the heart of Tammy Trent, which is fun and alive, and a little bit of dance, and a little bit of energy. Every platform I’m still on, that’s what they’re asking for: tell us your story of hope but then help us to dance through the rain, come on girl, bring it. Walking into this, writing these songs, I was thinking about every platform that I get on every weekend and what do I want to leave them with? So I would sit down with different friends and write songs like “Sunny Days,” and the message of “Sunny Days” is, you know, I wanted a fun song of life, just life stuff, here I am hanging out with my friends, I’m going to head to the shoreline, I’m going to catch a break, catch a wave, just relax. I love sunny days, I love the feeling that I have that God brings me to these places when I’m just captured by sunshine, I’m captured by His amazing grace, just singing songs.
One song on Sunny Days is actually a re-recording of one of your signature songs called “Welcome Home” (1997). Why did you decide to record this one again?
Because I sing it every single time I get up on a platform, and it’s that track from 16 years ago that was so timeless. It is still relevant, the message is completely relevant. Musically, it’s still good, but I wanted to re-do it because I love it.
So, is it a different arrangement, or is it the same as when you first recorded it?
Musically, it’s a little bit different, but I wanted to stay true to the original, so, it’s just updated a little bit. I sped it up just a little bit more, it’s got a little bit different feel, but it’s still “Welcome Home.” There’s a danger in sort of re-cutting a song and changing it too much. For me I knew I didn’t want to do that, there’s something very special about the original, so I didn’t want to steer too far away from it, but I think people will like it.
I think one of the new songs on Sunny Days really does a good job of capturing the journey you have been on for the last 12 years. What can you tell me about “Stronger Now”?
It’s a great song of my own testimony because of who God has been in my life. I’m definitely stronger because of Him. Without Him, I wouldn’t be stronger, but with Him, I have truly found such strength in the weakest parts of my life. The chorus goes, “You are here and I’m stronger now, no more fear, I’m stronger now, I found a safe place to fall. Because of you, I’m stronger now.” This song is about just finding a safe place in the arms of Jesus. When we let go we are always held, we are always captured, we are always found, and I think that’s just one of those anthem songs, like, I’m stronger now. And I wanted that anthem song at the end of the night, when I’m with the women on that platform and I’ve taken them through my testimony, I want these songs to make them want to stand up with me and confess and profess that they are stronger. Because I think it takes us speaking those things, when we speak things they come to life. If we speak things about ourselves, like, I’m a nobody, I have failed, I will never make it, we believe them. But if we start saying, I’m stronger now, I can get through this, I have a safe place to fall, I’m okay, God will capture me, He’ll get me through this, I’m stronger, I’m stronger. I think the more we do that, the more it’s like we believe it. So, all of these songs are sort of anthems like that.
Final question, as an artist what is your greatest hope for Sunny Days?
I’m just still so blessed that anybody is interested in my music. But man, it would be incredible if more people heard about the music and the life of Tammy Trent. However God wanted to see that happen would be so awesome. I love touching the lives of people, I love knowing that my pain has not been in vain. So, if through this record I reach a thousand more people that have never heard of me before, I’ll be like, man, that’s so awesome. If it reached ten thousand I would think it’s incredible. If it reached a million, I’d be like, no way.
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official web site
Sunny Days (2013)
did you know?
Tammy co-wrote eight of the ten tracks that appear on Sunny Days.
Tammy Trent is 'Stronger' Than Ever
Tammy Trent: Love Story Lost
Tammy Trent Artist Bio