Center of Me
'I don't think of myself as a performer, more like a messenger,' says Angie, the sincerity in her voice hard to miss. 'Not to put any importance on myself, but when I get inspired by something, it comes out as a song. I'm just trying to keep up with it.' Angie does seems to enter a heightened realm when behind the microphone, but her songs are anything but otherworldly. They draw you in with their simple sweetness, and then cut straight to the heart. There is unusual poise and self-awareness in someone so young and admittedly untrained in the formal musical sense. She explains about her musically sheltered upbringing. 'One of my biggest musical influences was that there were no instruments allowed in the church I belonged to as a young child.' She refined her ear for melody and harmony in an atmosphere of acapella song. 'It was an art form. People were into it whether they were naturally good singers or not.' She laughs. 'And my family was musically-inclined. We actually had a barbershop quartet message on our answering machine at one point.' Angie began writing on her own at the age of 10, as an outlet for typical adolescent angst. Now, that has become a professional practice. 'I tend to write when I'm in the middle of some sort of emotion, and try to find the positive things in it, have hope even when it's really difficult to have hope.' Perhaps that is why, completely self taught, raised in a musically cloistered atmosphere, her unique voice is untouched by the influence of artists popular in her formative years. 'I just like music that conveys something in an honest way, not necessarily the cool way to say it.' The resulting sweet purity of her songs is shot through with incisive intelligence and startling perspective. Although a strong spiritual current runs through her lyrics, she takes on issues outside the tradition of Christian music, focusing on the realistic struggles of daily life. 'My music is broader than my Christian lifestyle. I can't believe in the extremes that say put on a happy religious face, or that you have to be depressed or without hope. I like to write about dealing with reality honestly, getting to a place of hope despite what's going on, despite ups and downs.'