This week, I am talking with Natasha Owens in front of a live audience at Lifest music festival in Osh Kosh, WI. as she shares how her first ever concert she performed was opening for Michael W. Smith as well as touring and learning life lessons from Jason Crabb. We discuss what is like to tour with a full band and the costs and challenges of owning your own production and tour bus and paying a large crew on the road. Plus, when doing music ministry, God does not call the equipped, He equips who He calls.
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In this episode we discuss:
*Working through depression and anxiety.
*The reality of touring on a bus.
*How to find venues to perform for.
*The importance of having a website.
*Having your own band and crew on the road.
*The cost of putting on a show.
*The bus driver’s schedule.
*Having sponsors for a tour.
*Have music recorded to show people.
*Have video to sell yourself to venues.
*Record labels sign artists based on their You Tube and social media.
“There’s something intrinsic about humanity and a survival instinct. Most of us will do whatever we can to keep our head above water, to take one more breath in and out…to keep breathing and keep our heart beating.
But God’s intent for His children, His creation, wasn’t limited to survival. He intends for us to thrive. “I have come that you may have life to the full.” (John 10:10).
For Natasha Owens that verse isn’t merely a comfort or a pick-me-up… It’s a decree. A mantra for life…and it is the very thing that has turned her darkest days into a light that is too bright not to share.
“Life is hard and heartache, tragedy and loss aren’t selective or rare. But for many people, as soon as they make it through the given crisis, they stop there. They stagnate,” she says, reflecting on her own season of loss and the dark days when all she could do was breathe in and out.
A few years ago, Natasha’s father, 58 at the time, was doing a simple task he’d done hundreds of times before. There was no drama. There was no build up. There was no warning. While cleaning his guns one day, one misfired, placing a bullet in his chest. He died soon thereafter.
“After the shock wore off, the depression set in,” she shares. “For some reason, our pastor came to me and said he thought I should be the music minister at the church.”
After a lot of time in prayer, alongside her husband, Natasha accepted the position. Soon, the music, the mission and the ministry captivated her heart. It stole away the listlessness and confusion and hopelessness. Week after week, as she poured herself into the music of the church, thereby pouring herself into the lives of all who comprised that church body, the Holy Spirit poured into her a peace, a reassurance and a drive to take this opportunity even further than she could have imagined.
Unbeknownst to Natasha at the time, those songs lent more than strength. They laid the foundation for what would become the next chapter in her heart, her healing and her ministry. Vacillating between the church platform and a writer’s room, Natasha soon had another collection of songs; songs of restoration, hope and peace. At the prompting of a friend she took her music into the recording studio and created her first full-length project. It didn’t take long for the album to circulate within the music industry, opening doors left and right. The brand-new recording artist landed an opening slot for CCM icon, Michael W. Smith and she was invited to tour with Dove Award Artist of the Year recipient, Jason Crabb.
With each new opportunity came another chance for Natasha to share her heart, her message and her hero. The songs that had been her healing, her comfort and her restoration were becoming that very thing to people around the world.
Following the success of her last project, industry heavyweight and iconic producer Ed Cash agreed to produce her next project and was as excited as Natasha about the message that was about to emerge.
Each track, while beautifully unique in their own right, illuminated the idea of rising. With lyrics that are inviting, melodies that are compelling and delivery that drives home the truth within, these songs allow listeners to be honest and vulnerable in the most challenging and intimidating circumstances.
“He doesn’t call the equipped. He equips who He calls,” she says with stalwart conviction. “That has stuck with me and given me the courage to do what He’s called me to. If God is with me, I can do all things. I can do more than survive. I can thrive. If others can see the power of God to do such a work in my life and then translate it to their own…to really believe that they can do more than just get by, I’ve done my job.”