Audrey Assad, winner of the 2010 iTunes Christian Breakthrough Album of the Year, will perform at Union College on September 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the College View Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Assad released her third album, Fortunate Fall, in August. A translation of the Latin phrase “felix culpa,” the title of the new release is derived from St. Augustine’s writings on original sin. “I chose this name because I have been meditating on the concept for some time, following several seasons of suffering,” she wrote in her blog. “I have no doubt I shall spend the rest of my life wrestling with the idea that God would judge it better to bring good out of evil, than never to permit evil to exist. What it communicates to me, beyond several very personal and intimate truths about who I am and how He cares for me, is that God is in His very nature a Redeemer.”
After releasing her first two albums with Sparrow Records, a Christian record label representing artists such as Kari Jobe, Hillsong, David Crowder and the Newsboys; Assad is now forging her own path as an independent, Catholic artist. “My husband and I have always had a dream to facilitate arts in the church,” she told Patrick Stafford in Christianity Today. “We’d like to start a label that would resource the church with music for praise and worship, and mass and liturgies, not only do that with my music, but also with other artists who are in the mainstream but want to help the church.
In her new album Assad makes the transition to music for groups of worshippers. “Writing a helpful and useful, beautiful corporate worship song is something I have to work hard at,” she told Hannah Goodwyn of cbnmusic.com, the music news service of the Christian Broadcasting Network. “It's an intricate balance between approachability and depth, and thoughtfulness and art. My favorite worship songs are the ones that both cause me to think and give me a place to respond. That's what happens when you take old hymns and add a chorus. It makes you think and gives you space. But ultimately I want to make music that smells sweet, that is anointed—and that's what I spend a lot of time praying for.”
Born in New Jersey to an American mother and Syrian father, Assad grew up with her nose in a book. Experiencing social difficulties as a result and frustrated with the learning pace, she convinced her parents to let her home school through high school. “People didn’t get books,” she told Bill Lurwick in an interview with NewReleaseTuesday.com, a website spotlighting new Christian media. “I didn’t know how they could not want to read something and so, I had [only] two or three really good friends. I didn’t know the rest of the kids or even what to do with them.”
But Assad believes the experience gave her a sense of identity and, as exhibited in her music, her own unique style. “I just threw myself even harder and harder into school, into reading, into music,” she told Jen Rose in an interview with JesusFreakHideout.com. “My identity became about the things I was good at.”
Following her graduation from high school, Assad’s family relocated to Florida. Unsure what to do with her life, she worked the next six years as she pondered further education.
Feeling confused for the future, Assad began to pursue her most obvious talent: music. “I was 19 when I started to fully understand the idea of surrendering my life—not just as a concept, but the daily hopes and dreams and disappointments—and giving that away to God,” she said to Lurwick. “That’s when I first started to realize He had gifted me with music.”
Assad began to write songs and play them around town, working at local shows and venues as often as she could. Within five years she had built a fan base in Florida and decided to move to Nashville to expand her circuit where she was picked up by Sparrow Records.
Assad will perform for vespers in the College View Seventh-day Adventist Church on the campus of Union College. The church is located at the corner of 48th and Prescott and the concert is free and open to the public.