CMB-ite Spotlight #9 : Stephanie Boyd

1-Stephanie-12CMB: How did you get started in music? Stephanie Boyd: I have always walked around the house singing to myself. I have been drawn to the piano and singing for as long as I can remember.

As a teenager in New York I found an amazing vocal instructor and learned a lot about myself as I learned to control my breath and pitch. For years I sang other people’s songs and studied each one as a performer and a songwriter.

I had many great experiences where I felt God’s love and strength while singing. Then I started writing songs myself and loved the endless possibilities with each song.

I keep learning and working at it because I can’t imagine life without making music.

      CMB: What would be your top three musical influences?

Stephanie Boyd: I grew up listening to a wide range of music, from classical Bach to the Oak Ridge Boys, to Electric Light Orchestra, to the Cranberries and the Eagles and Whitney Houston. These days, I love the strong piano beat in music by Sara Bareilles, the electronic production of Owl City and the storytelling lyrics of Mindy Gledhill.

CMB: What would be your general process for writing a song from start to finish?

Stephanie Boyd: It starts with lots of thought and tuning into the world around me and my feelings to get a good idea of the kind of song I want to write. I listen to the radio in the car and scour the internet to find songs I love. Then play them on the piano by figuring out the basic chords. I mess around with different songs and lots of other ideas will come to me for melody and the general direction a song could take. For the soul of the song, the lyrics, it’s really random. I tend to get ideas anywhere I am, so I have a little notebook to write down interesting thoughts. Then I have to take some quiet time, buckle down and think through the actual words for the verses and chorus. For some people it seems so simple and fast! It’s not an easy process for me, but it’s rewarding.

CMB: Let’s talk about your new album, Touching Sky. Where did it all start?

Stephanie Boyd: The very first song my co-writer and I wrote together is called "It's okay to be Happy." I love the idea that we don't have to be perfect first and then be happy. One of my favorite lines is, "Arms open wide, we're touching sky. No matter that our feet are on the ground." It doesn't matter that we grounded with a real life with problems and mistakes. We can still close our eyes and touch the sky and feel heaven’s warmth even when life is chaos. Like mine half the time.

CMB: What would be your biggest piece of advice to us as a believer when writing and creating original music?

Stephanie Boyd: Great question! I believe God is supremely creative- He created the earth with all its beauty, He created our bodies, and the entire universe. He is the author of love and everything good. I feel that when I am trying to create something that reflects love and goodness that God will help me. I have definitely had moments of inspiration where ideas came to me from God. As a songwriter, I can write any kind of song I want. But I choose to make uplifting music. If I am going to spend my time and pour my heart into something, I want it to add to goodness in this world and bring people closer to God’s strength and joy.

CMB: Can you tell us a little about your local church community where you worship?

Stephanie Boyd: I attend a congregation with about 500 people. We sing and pray and hear the spoken word from people in our own congregation every week. Our services are filled with traditional hymns and not loud music because we believe that when we are peaceful and reverent, we can feel the Spirit of God. We listen to more upbeat music outside of our worship service. Everyone dresses up as a sign of respect to God. We have a lot of young families and activities for children. I attend the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and feel very much at home there.

CMB: Thanks again for sharing your music with your fellow CMB-ites. Where should people go to find out more about you online?

Stephanie Boyd: My website is www.stephanieboydmusic.com where I blog about music, faith, and life. I’m also on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

I love to get in touch with new friends and chat about music or anything else. Life is good! Come say hi!