Bel Thomson Opens Up About the "Seasons" of Her Life Including Motherhood & Her New Album
Australian singer and songwriter Bel Thomson returns with her 4th album. "Seasons" was recorded in Nashville, USA with executive producer Ed Cash (Kari Jobe, Rend Collective, Chris Tomlin). The album features 10 new songs co-written and written by Thomson herself. "Seasons" is filled with personal testimonies of how God has been faithful to her throughout the various seasons of her journey.
Bel Thomson is an award-winning Australian Christian singer, songwriter and speaker. Thomson loves to share a message of encouragement through her inspiring songs and real-life stories of faith & hope. She shares at conferences, events, women's gatherings, schools as well as churches of all denominations and traditions across the country.
To purchase "Seasons," click here.
Q: Bel, thank you for doing this interview with us. Congratulations on the forthcoming release of "Seasons." This new album is recorded in the US, why did you decide to record it there?
The main drawcard to Nashville was the producer I wanted to work with (Ed Cash), who is based there. Nashville is such an incredible hub of great musicians, which makes it a great place to make music. It is an environment where I always get challenged to strive to bring my best, being surrounded by such excellent musicians. There are a lot of Australian musos who move over there too, so I've enjoyed collaborating with gifted Aussie singer/songwriters like Paul Colman and Nathan Tasker, who now live over there.
Q: How is this album different or similar compared to your previous records?
Becoming a mum has had a profound impact on my songwriting. I think it's given me a depth and maturity that I didn't have before. I genuinely feel like these are the best songs I've ever written.
Q: Ed Cash, who has produced songs for Kari Jobe and Chris Tomlin, has a hand in the making of this record. How was he involved?
Ed is executive producer, and his production company has produced my last two albums. I worked directly with a producer called Cody Norris who was simply excellent and such a joy to work with. Our whole family came over for the recording (me and husband Phil, our son Mikey and my mother-inn-law who came to help with our son!) and Cody was so flexible and understanding about the juggle between being a recording artist and mum. The production company set us up in a studio that had a playroom upstairs FULL of toys for my son and his Nana to play with (they had a BALL!) and we would bring him into the studio several times a day to hear our work and dance around with us as we listened back to the songs we were working on. It was a great experience for our whole family, and the producers really helped make it excellent.
Q: Why did you entitle the new album "Seasons"?
This album is called "Seasons" because the songs have been written through the ups and downs of my life in the last few years, with the overarching theme that God has been faithful through the tumult of those changing seasons.
Q: One of the songs I raved about in my review is "Shepherd King." How did the song come about?
Shepherd King is a song I wrote based on some of my favourite verses in the bible, Psalm 23. I heard a story about a preacher in Scotland who taught the kids those beautiful verses from Psalm 23 "the Lord is MY shepherd". He taught them to hold up their fingers for each word "the Lord is my Shpherd", and when he got to the fourth word "the Lord is MY...", he stopped, and he said if you want the Lord to be YOUR shepherd, all you need to do is ask Him, He died on the cross to show His love for us and to take away all our sins, and if we choose to let Him, He comes to guide us and protect us, just like a shepherd guides and protects his sheep. So this preacher said to the kids, if you want to invite the Lord to be YOUR shepherd, to forgive your sins and take you to heaven, then just simply say with me "The Lord is MY Shepherd", and when you say "MY" grab your finger and hold, to show that you want Jesus to be YOUR Shepherd, your Saviour.
Well not long after sharing that with those kids in the little Scottish village, there was a huge snowstorm that blew through that town, and one of those little children was tragically lost in the snowstorm. And days later, when they finally found his frozen little body, he was found holding that fourth finger- the Lord is MY Shepherd. As if his final decision in his life was to trust his life to Jesus.
When I heard that true story I cried, because I can remember making that decision as a child, and I believe it is the best decision we can make in our lives, whether we make that decision in our last moments, or whether we still have many years ahead to live. I'm so thankful to know "the Lord is my Shepherd". I wrote Shepherd King thinking about those beautiful words from Psalm 23
Q: Recently, I believe, you have a new addition to your family. Is the arrival of the new baby the inspiration behind "Holding You"?
Yes! Motherhood has been life changing!
I've clung to God's love more than ever since becoming a mum. I had been so excited to have my baby, and I really wasn't expecting it to be so challenging. I struggled with postnatal depression after Michael was born, and I never thought that would be my story. It was as if everything went black, and all I could do was trust that God was still with me and would bring mw through, even though I couldn't see Him there. Many of the songs on this album were written in that dark valley. It was a difficult season, and songwriting became an outlet for me. Writing "Holding You" was a big part of my own healing, as I worked through the birth trauma and post natal depression. When I first started to sense that God wanted me to record a new album, I felt Him say that the songs that I'd written in my winter season were actually meant to be shared with other people, to comfort them in their own struggles.
Q: I think you are great in singing worship songs for the church. For instance,"Lift You High" is superb. Ever thought of doing a live worship album?
Maybe one day!
Q: Do you lead worship in your own local church?
Absolutely! I regularly lead one of the music teams at my church. I think it's important for every touring artist/minister to also be part of a local community. Having a place to be vulnerable and honest about struggles and be prayed for during difficult times is what keeps us sustainable and growing (hehe it also helps keep us humble because people at home are not "starstruck" and know our flaws as well as gifts! It is very healthy and freeing to just be "me"). We try to be at our home church 50% of the year to give balance to our lives, and for our son to have a regular church community also.
Q: What are your hopes for "Seasons"? How do you wish this record would impact the lives of your listeners?
I hope the vulnerable nature of the album makes it easy for listeners to connect with Him and experience the same healing and comfort that God has given me as I've recorded this project. I hope the songs that I've written through the changing seasons of my own life will bring comfort to many other people, as a reminder that God is constant while our worlds change.
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