"When God has given you a
desire, chase after it and walk through every door that God opens for you."
Although singer/songwriter Tammy Trent was speaking within the context
of comparing her infant days in the music industry with the recent recording
of the CD I See Beautiful the words, make a statement about the
way she approaches her life.
Twelve years ago, Trent
adopted her husband Trent Londerink's first name as her surname for stage
purposes. On September 10, 2001, her world was rocked when her husband
died in a diving accident. After stepping away from the music scene to
heal Tammy Trent slowly made her way back through music and sharing her
story from the platform of conferences such as Revolve (for teenage girls)
and Women of Faith. The release of I See Beautiful in 2006 signaled
that the dance music queen had returned and done so in style.
Responding to my description
of her song "Pray" as hip hop meets pop Trent laughed and said, "I love
it, I love it. When I signed a record deal in 1994, the love of my life
was definitely dance, hip hop and urban (music). I was listening to the
sounds out of Detroit and Minneapolis. Laughing she says there wasn't a
whole lot like that coming out of Nashville. There was really good pop
music but nobody was really doing any dance stuff."
There are people who might
think that Trent has not changed with the times and ten years later is
still performing dance music while many Christian artists are into worship
or pop rock. In response to that line of thinking Trent replied, "I want
people to say, 'I was a fan of hers ten years ago and she still has great
stuff to this day.' I think you have to keep changing with the sound of
the times but stylistically this is absolutely who I am."
Trent said, "A song like
"Pray" really captures who I am. It is such a song of my heart. There were
times that I walked through the door of my house, fell to my knees, was
lost for words and did not know what to say. I felt lonely. I was hurting
and going through the pain of losing a spouse. I remember reminding myself,
'Tammy there is probably somebody praying for you right now. Someone is
lifting you up before the Father right now. Get up, you can do this.' I
would get up, wipe the tears and say, 'I can do this God.'"
Continuing to talk about
"Pray" she said, "I could have written a ballad that would make us just
want to worship God. "Pray" is a song of celebration. It made me
want to get back up off the floor and say yes does anybody want to pray
with me. Do you really want to pray with me? I think that is why
I took this direction for the song. It makes you want to dance."
Six weeks after her initial
record release in 1994 and her single "Your Love Is For Always" debuted,
the song rose to number one on the charts. "That started everything for
me. I knew I was just following my heart. Until this day it is who I am
musically. I love music that makes me want to dance," said the singer.
The words to Trent's songs
are not merely filler used to satisfy a beat. She instead relies upon heartfelt
true life experiences that infuse her lyrics. The lyrics are dropped into
a blender with great beats and the combination creates excellent tunes.
"I am a drummer so when you listen to any of my records there is this groove.
Even on a ballad you will hear that undertone because of the drummer in
me," she noted.
"In 2007 I will probably
spice up my set a little bit and throw in the drums. I think it is inspiring
for other little girls that want to learn to play. I am going to
bring them out on the road with my own band. I think there is something
to be said for an artist that gets up with an acoustic guitar or somebody
like Nichole Nordeman that sets up behind a keyboard. (Hopefully people
will say) 'she's not only a singer/songwriter but she can actually play
an instrument as well,'" said Trent.
The title track "I See Beautiful"
and the track "Is This Love" are collaborations between Trent, David Garcia
and Tim Miner. The songs are good dance grooves that celebrate God's love.
Miner and Garcia also produced both tunes. Miner who has been a solid R&B
artist and a prolific producer puts a solid urban stamp on the tunes. Miner's
past clients have included Debra Cox, CeCe Winans, Anita Baker, Mariah
Carey, Montel Jordan, Babyface, Teddy Pendergrass and Vanessa Williams.
Garcia's musical roots run deep in gospel, R&B and hip hop music. "I
See Beautiful" and "Is This Love" provide evidence of Trent's energetic
vocals, and her ability to motivate people to get up and move.
"I See Beautiful" is Trent's
testimony of emerging from dark shadowy days to celebrate God's divine
intervention and guidance in her daily life. "I feel I just (need to) open
up and share the honest places of my life with people. Those are the kinds
of things that will reach out to people more than pretending I have the
answers or pretending that everything is all good just because I have God
in my life. I think I have learned to be an open book thinking that if
that helps somebody then that is what I was created for," she said.
The song "Stop The World"
is dedicated to the memory of Tammy's husband. It was written by their
friend Pete Orta shortly after her husband's death and was sung at his
funeral. As the megaphone vocals envelope the words "Somebody stop the
world," listeners' hearts break for Tammy Trent's loss but listeners also
find hope in her words. The song talks of shared memories, of carrying
Trent Londerink's heart deep within her hear forever. The tune speaks of
a God who comforts us and breathes life back into us even during our darkest
"I think it was important
for me to capture on this record that God has restored me and healed my
life," she saids and then added, "There are some artists who feel called
to write deeply thought provoking poetic songs. It seems to me that my
music is a bit more conversational. I create songs that somehow will make
you put your clothes on the right way in the morning and help you march
out that front door to take on the day."
The decision to enlist the
services of four producers for the album (Miner, Garcia, John Mandeville
and Tony Montana) contributed to a record that sounds alive and fresh.
"I think when you are working on a record it is always a challenge to find
something new in you. You are hopeful that a new producer will be able
to capture that. Even thought I love dance, hip hop and urban I was also
looking to capture them in a new way," she said.
The courage to tell her
story, backed up with her lifestyle and create danceable music has
attracted a lot of attention. At the end of December, I peeked at Trent's
tour schedule for 2007 and it was booked solid. She has an ambitious tour
that will visit thirty cities and is already accepting bookings into 2008.
She also refers to the album I See Beautiful as her fastest selling
album to date.
The Bible says David danced
before the Lord in praise. Trent's legacy will be that she inspired
others to get up and with grateful hearts dance before God.
By Joe Montague, exclusive
Joe Montague is an internationally
published journalist / photographer. His ministry is dedicated to the memory
of his late son Kent David Montague who went to heaven at the age of 18.
All copyright and distribution rights remain the property of Joe Montague.