Exploring trEnds in thE christian music industry By matt conner What’s next What’s a girl to do when she’s consistently pursued and made to feel wanted? In the case of new Reunion Records recording artist Kerrie Roberts, the result was her signature on the dotted line. The story of Reunion’s latest female vocalist is a simple tale of persistence, especially by Jason McArthur, Vice President of A&R for Provident Label Group. As Roberts explains, “I would always run into him if I played a show in Nashville. Then I was in New York last year and he would be somewhere that I was playing. He was just so consistent, so that’s what I was drawn to.” McArthur kept at it, because of “one word” as he puts it. “Talent. Unbelievable, unmistakable, extraordinary talent. And a unique spirit,” says McArthur. With that level of belief, Roberts set out to make the label’s trust in her seem like the right move. “I think they knew they were getting an artist who could deliver live and have a lot to say as a writer,” says Roberts. Leading things off for her debut self-titled LP is “No Matter What,” an overview track that displays what Kerrie Roberts is all about as a person and an album. It also doesn’t hurt to have producer Dan Muckala (The Afters, Brandon Heath) behind the wheel. Then again, Roberts says she has other favorites. “I think what is great about the single is that it does a good job displaying the overall theme of the record, which is purpose throughout the pain. For me, the songs that are my favorite are the ones that are more left-of-center, and it will probably always be that way.” When asked about her vision for starting her career out right and how she wants to approach this newfound endeavor, Roberts speaks assuredly of what she’s up against. It’s a blessing and responsibility together, which she’s quick to identify. “This is definitely a two-edged sword,” says Roberts. “Anyone who is a creative person with music or visual arts has a need to express and that’s how I am. I can’t not write. I have to write. I’ve been putting together songs since high school and I’ve always been very passionate about it. “But it’s not just self-expression,” she continues. “It’s also thinking about what people need to hear and what could possibly touch someone’s heart. Specifically, Roberts Kerrie Roberts believes people will be able to relate to the emotional and spiritual themes found within her debut and with an impressive response at radio to the first single, it seems she’s right. “With this record, I want people to be able to identify with it, to listen to it and know they’re not alone,” says Roberts. “I also hope that it encourages them and that they can feel hope in that. I know that’s how music affects me is when I hear it, I know that someone understands me and that I’m not alone. That’s the emotional impact that I’m hoping to have.” That level of impact takes a lot of work, however, and it’s something a rookie artist like Roberts isn’t quite used to. There are endless interviews, lots of time on the road and a schedule that can be unpredictable. So when a recent Twitter feed read “feel like myself again,” we asked her to explain. “The last month has been radio interview month. It’s a lot of travel, which I love. I love meeting new people and the whole thing can be amazing. But you are saying the same thing again and again. It’s not a creative season at all, so it’s a real challenge to feel fresh. So it was really nice to feel creative again. It was nice to have that exercise again rather than just talking about being creative. I’m doing what makes me feel like me, which is staying up late creating at night while everyone else is asleep.” Click here for CCM’s exclusive one-on-one interview with Kerrie. more 62 CCM