The stellar voice of Tiffany Coburn is recognized by many around the world. She is a longstanding performer at Disneyworld with the Voices of Liberty and is a founding member of the acapella force Voctave. Introduced this year as a new artist in Gospel music, Tiffany has performed with some of the most recognizable names in the industry. CCM Magazine sat down for a brief interview with one of the top-selling new artists in Gospel music.
CCM: When did you first realize you could sing?
TC: I grew up in a musical family. My mom sang beautifully in the church and I grew up listening to and emulating her. Also, my grandmother, oh – could she ever sing to the Lord … terribly off tune. (laughing) But my grandmother played the piano beautifully and just loved the hymns of the church. A major part of my musical upbringing was hymns and the music of Bill and Gloria Gaither. Any opportunity, whether it be church or in the community, I would sing.
CCM: How did you transition into a career in music?
TC: At the end of high school, I was blessed to do four tours with the Continental Singers. I loved that time of life, being on the road – different cities and hotels. I joined the Voices of Liberty at Disneyworld in 1988 and that became my full-time job. I love it and I am still there today. My Disney family has been so kind to allow me to scratch my own musical itch from time-to-time which provided an opportunity for me to tour with Truth and be a part of several amazing tours with gospel artists.
CCM: We see your name in the credits of many Gospel projects – do you still do studio work?
TC: When time allows, yes – and I love it. It is always a thrill to team up with amazing singers and create music together. In fact, that’s how Voctave originated. Most of us have sung at Disney one time or another and we came together under the direction of Jamey Ray and began to record Broadway and Disney classics as well as a few Christmas standards.
CCM: And it has been incredibly successful with over 50 million YouTube views…
TC: Many doors have opened for Voctave. God has been so good.
CCM: And you recently stepped out on your own with your first national Gospel release “Near To The Heart”. How are you feeling?
TC: I am incredibly excited and a little nervous. I have been a cast member or background singer my entire career. It’s ironic that in this season of life as my peers are honored as veterans in the industry – I’m here being introduced as a new artist. (laughing)
CCM: And you teamed up with incredible arrangers and producers…
TC: Two years ago, I met Mike Swift of Narrow Gate Entertainment and we hit it off. We share the same vision of ministry and for the church. I signed with Narrow Gate last year and soon partnered with StowTown Records. Wayne Haun produced the project. I adore him. Wayne hears symphonies in his head and is a master at arranging a song specific for his artist. Trey Ivey, Jamey Ray, and Mike Swift all worked with Wayne and together I feel like we created a collection of exciting songs that resonate with the church.
CCM: Do you have a favorite song from the project?
TC: While each song is special, perhaps my favorite would be a hymn that was 100 years in the making. Recently, new writings of Fanny Crosby were discovered and Wayne Haun masterfully took the words she penned over a century ago and brought them to life. The hymn is simply called ‘Jesus’ and it beautifully paints a picture of Jesus in Fanny Crosby’s signature style.
CCM: This project harkens back to the days of inspirational ballads made popular by artists like Sandi Patty. Was this your goal?
TC: I am hearing this as I travel and share these new songs. To have my name mentioned in the same sentence as my music mentor is hard to fathom. While there may be a few similarities in style, there is and will always be just one Sandi Patty. She paved the way for artists in Contemporary Christian Music. I had the privilege to tour for several years with Sandi and it was truly a master class night after night as she connected with the audience.
CCM: You have an incredible resume, why the long wait in releasing your first Gospel project?
TC: (laughing) I’ve asked God that very question many times. You know, I toured with Truth which launched so many incredible artists. In the early nineties, artists touring with Sandi went on to have stellar careers. Each time I had the hope that something wonderful was about to happen. It didn’t at that time. I realized that a national career may not be what God has in store for me so I chose to honor Him and give my best whether it be at Disney, in the studio, or singing backup vocals for another artist.
CCM: And the time has come for you to step into the spotlight…
TC: (chuckles) Some of the promotion for the new record (I still call them records) speaks to this being my moment to shine. That sounds nice and I am eternally grateful for this opportunity. Yet for me, this is not about a moment to shine. My focus is to honor Christ and to use every opportunity that comes to me to say or do something that matters for the Kingdom of God.
Tiffany Coburn’s debut project “Near To The Heart: Cherished Hymns & Songs of Inspiration” is available anywhere you purchase or stream music. You can connect with Tiffany on Facebook (Tiffany Coburn, Vocalist) or Instagram (@RealTiffanyCoburn) or at www.tiffanycoburn.com