CMB: How did you get started in music?
S'ambrosia: My mother was a pastor, playwright, poet, and choir director. That being said, she was quite the literal drama queen and my siblings and I were frequently forced to participate in every musical, choir, worship team, and nursing home performance that she was involved in whether we liked it or not. It didn't take long for me to decide that I enjoyed music, but my musical aspirations never went too far beyond being a backup singer. My mom was a boisterous and extremely talented singer, and I was... an introvert.
Towards the end of high school I began drum lessons, and by the time I had completed my first semester at Kansas State University, I had been recruited to play for the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship worship team. It took a year or so before I decided to step up to be the worship leader, but once I did, I realized that there was no place I'd rather be. Leading worship for the campus ministry really opened me up to the concept of living the lifestyle of a worshiper, and it truly transformed my life. At that time I didn't have a home church, but I rotated singing on and leading worship teams at various churches every weekend.
The idea of using my gift to serve members of the body whether they be Methodist, Presbyterian, Brethren in Christ, or non-denominational really allowed me to establish essential connections and opened me up to a variety of expressions of worship.
CMB: What would be your top three musical influences?
S'ambrosia: Isa Couvertier (Agape), Andrea Marie, and Lauryn Hill
CMB: Nice! Tell us about your process for writing a song from start to finish....
S'ambrosia: Most of my songs are saturated with Scripture, so they are typically born from my devotional life. My favorite way of writing songs is to meditate on Scriptures that catch my fancy and then play the piano or guitar and create new melodies. As cliche as it sounds, I feel most inspired when sitting by a lake. There's something about taking in the beauty of God's creation that elicits creativity.
CMB: Let’s talk about your album My Name, Your Seal. Where did it all start?
S'ambrosia: My first album "Faithful" was an EP I made with friends in less than three weeks to make quick work of support raising for a trip to Kenya. And quick work did it make. I received all the funds I needed at the CD release and more! Shortly after my return to the states, I decided to make another album, since I had planned on moving to Kenya with my soon to be husband, but this time I wanted to make it professional so I could reach a wider audience. Producer Greg LaFollette was someone I knew from college, he led worship for another campus ministry, so I figured I'd reach out to him. Over the course of the summer, "My Name, Your Seal" was born.
CMB: What would be your biggest piece of advice to us as a believer when writing and creating original music?
S'ambrosia: There is no greater creator of originality than God. The same one who spoke all diverse beings into existence and every natural wonder that we can do nothing but marvel at, can inspire a creativity within us that we can't muster up on our own. Seek to know Him and soak in all of His goodness if you want to be able to pour something unique and revelatory in this world. I personally desire to release a fresh sound with fresh revelation, but I know that I can't what I desire until He becomes the true desire of my heart. As the introductory prayer/song on my first EP states:
What can I say that hasn't already been said? What can I do that You haven't already seen? All I can bring is that which You've given to me So, Lord, receive this offering I humbly lay it at Your feet May it please Your heart, be enthroned in my song As I bring this offering Lord, I lay it at Your feet
Everything we are and create comes from Him and is for Him. As artists we should never lose sight of that.
CMB: Can you tell us a little about your local church community where you worship?
S'ambrosia: I primarily served as the worship leader in my dad's church (NorthPoint) in Salina, KS, but I also served on worship teams at various churches around the city. My church community wasn't limited to one building, but to many. Currently, in Nairobi, Kenya, I continue to travel from church to church leading worship, singing specials, and training worship teams.
CMB: Thanks again for sharing your music with your fellow CMB-ites. Where should people go to find out more about you online?
Also, here is my latest music video....