Evvie McKinney Is Not Afraid To Flaunt Her Faith In Her Music
Interest in Christianity is plummeting in the U.S. these days. According to a national survey from the American Enterprise Institute, millennials, in particular, never had religious ties to begin with, newly married ones are unlikely to have a religious spouse, and those who are parents are increasingly seeing no connection between churchgoing and moral righteousness.
Evvie McKinney is bucking this downward spiral for organized faith, though. If you haven't heard of her, she's a gospel artist who extols her religious convictions without looking over her shoulder.
"I am a living testimony that being quiet about God will only force you to blend in with the world, restricting you to never truly understand your identity and purpose," McKinney tells GRAMMY.com. "But when you speak up about Him, you are a light and know exactly who you are."
This axiom forms the essence of her recent EP, This is Evvie McKinney, released on February 26. On tracks like "He Did It," "Just Like God" and "Look No Further," the singer underlines how faith doesn't just give her a refuge on Sunday mornings, but every day—and forevermore.
Read on for an interview with Evvie McKinney about how her convictions guide her through her daily life and the good news she hopes to impart through her artistry.
What's been your experience with faith-based music in the public sphere? Are people generally turned off by it, or open-minded, or a mix of both?
My experience with faith-based music in the public sphere has been the most influential responsibility I've ever had in my life. To write and perform music that consistently inspires and informs people of God's amazing grace and His unfailing love is more than fulfilling. Thankfully, most of the people who encounter my music are enlightened and want to hear more about my personal relationship with Jesus, so that's what I write about.
How do you overcome the self-consciousness that might result from singing about something this personal?
Sometimes, people feel self-conscious when singing about something as personal as their relationship with God, but truth be told, I feel the most free. I'm never embarrassed to talk or sing about how much the Lord has blessed me and I'll tell you why.
I grew up with a mother that never doubted God, never questioned Him, and never let the opinions of other people stain her own knowledge of Him. She and my father both instilled in me a confidence as bright as the sun, which makes it so easy to write about the things I've been through with God.
I am a living testimony that being quiet about God will only force you to blend in with the world, restricting you to never truly understand your identity and purpose, but when you speak up about Him, you are a light and know exactly who you are.
Do you think some people who haven't given faith a second thought have been reconsidering in the midst of global catastrophes?
In the midst of global catastrophes, I believe one of two things have sparked consideration of "getting on track with God." Either people are more upset with God or people have been galvanized to start reading God's Word and praying more.
And I believe that by spending more time in His Word and more time in prayer, you'll see that God is with us even in the minute areas of our lives and in the pandemics. And I believe that by spending time with God, you'll see hope rise in you both as it relates to the pandemic and other world affairs, but also in your own individual life.
What other faith-based artists are leading the charge in 2021?
When shows and in-person studio sessions fire up again, what's your next creative move?
When live shows and in-person studios fire up again, I plan to tour so that I can get back to live, high-energy performances! I miss performing in front of a live audience. And I will also continue to write inspiring songs that give people hope. I've been writing a lot even after my EP was released.
Anything else we should know about your musical and lyrical approach as a contemporary gospel musician?
If there's anything I'd want you all to know about my musical approach, it'll be this: Before I am an artist, I am a believer and follower of Jesus.
As a young woman, I want to continue to grow in grace and knowledge of God for the rest of my days. My goal before writing any song is to simply allow God to place in my heart what He wants me to share about who He is and what He's done in my life.
I believe in eternity, and I want people to know that God is real; He's near and He wants a relationship with you for all eternity.