Franklin, TN-based singer/songwriter Tori Harper has recently released Selah to digital retailers and streaming outlets through Awaken Saint Records and The Fuel Music. The four-song EP is a musical outpouring of Harper's personal journey over the last three years, and reflects the questions and honest cries of her heart to God.
Twenty-one-year-old Tori Harper's songs are meant to speak truth over people as she vulnerably shares her experiences and the ways in which she has seen God work in her own life. Her 2018 debut EP Seasons sparked the radio single, "After Dark," which was penned for a friend who was battling bulimia. Her second single from the EP, "Joy," hit the Top 20 (No. 18) on Billboard's Christian Airplay chart. Her latest stand-alone single, "Revival," debuted at No. 5 on All Access' What's In Store Music Currents chart ahead of artists like Train, Michael Bublé, Josh Groban and Avril Lavigne.
Co-writing songs with Cindy Morgan, Mia Fieldes, Bryan and Katie Torwalt, All Sons & Daughters and more, while further contributing background vocals to songs recorded by Chris Tomlin and Tenth Avenue North, Harper aspires to be the type of artist who points her fellow sojourners to the truth of God's Word.
Q: Tori, thanks for doing this interview with us. Let's start with yourself: tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in Franklin, TN- a small town just 20 minutes away from Nashville. I've always loved to be creative but didn't start writing songs until I was 11 years old!
Q: How did you feel the call to serve God through the music ministry?
As I got older and encountered more struggles in life I began to notice the profound impact that music had on my life. I wanted to be able to make a positive impact on the lives of others. I wanted to show what God had done for me.
Q: Being only 21 years-old, you have written songs for 3 EPs, that's amazing! What inspires you to write? Does song writing come easy for you?
All of my music comes from my life! Sometimes it's easy to write a song! But many times it just feels like you can't find the right thing to say. I am always depending on God to help me finish my next song.
Q: Let's talk about your new EP "Selah." What does "Selah" mean? Why did you title your EP "Selah"?
I chose to call my EP "Selah" because the last season of my life was very tumultuous and the word Selah, which is found in the Psalms, is believed to be a musical term form rest. These songs are my journey from pain into God's rest. It just felt like the right thing to call it.
Q: Your single "The Wreck" is a personal song to you. Can you tell us how this song came about?
The entire EP was the result of a very trying season of my life. In early 2019, I felt God very strongly tell me to break off my then engagement which I had been in for over a year. "The Wreck" more specifically was when I was questioning if I had done the right thing or not and was asking God where he was in the middle of the pain. If this was right why was it so hard? Why did it hurt so much? What was the plan now?
God didn't give me all the answers I was looking for, but in a still quiet voice said "I'm with you" and that was enough. That was all I needed. That simple truth that even when we don't have all of the answers, God is with us!
Q: What were some of the highlights for you in the making of "Selah"?
I got to work with two amazing producers, Max Corwin who did "The Wreck" "Resurrect" and "Hiding Place" and Tommy Iceland who did "Closer." They saw what was in my head and they gave life to my songs! I loved getting to explore a softer sound and every song was written on piano which was somewhat new for me. Every single person that helped to work on this project was so wonderful and really understood the vision I had and gave so much incredible work into it! I am so grateful that the Lord crossed our paths.And You won't let me down
Q: How will this new EP encourage our readers in the midst of this COV-19 pandemic?
The main message of my EP is that nor matter how dire the situation is, God never gives up on us, He always restores us, and He can use any story to bring Him glory! I hope that this encourages people right now in the pandemic! What is encouraging to me is that I had no idea that the world needed encouragement when I wrote these songs! Even when I recorded them, I had no idea the pandemic would hit!
But God knew. He is so purposeful and exact that he knew people would need to hear my story right now. And the same goes for all of us in hardship right now! God used my story, and He can use yours as well! It's not all for nothing, there's a purpose, and He doesn't leave you to figure it out on your own.