I had spent countless hours working social media, day-after-day, month-after-month. I had promoted the shows, contacting radio, media sources, fans, etc. I had checked all the boxes as to what helps an artist succeed. I had been excited about my first show in NYC, but I as I drove home to IL after the mini-tour that took me there, I cried. I cried all the way through Virginia, and didn’t stop until about halfway through Ohio. I realized all of my preparation was futile. I had a “come to Jesus” moment. I had my first stirrings of desire to do music centered in around Him again.
I wish I could say I followed through with that moment, but it took years to get to it, and it came in stages. That first moment was back in May 2015. Still, I kept on trucking along with my own thing. I kept on rationalizing my intuition that I needed to take a different route. And maybe it happened the way it was supposed to, as I definitely wasn’t ready to step foot in a church again. I just loved God. I loved Him, but couldn’t trust Him.
We went back to church in 2016, not regularly, but we did go fairly often. In August 2017, I had a breakthrough in which I found my inner strength again. I consider that moment to be the one where I got my authority back. That was the time He told me that I was going to have to get my hands off of my music and begin to trust Him. There was an immediate trust about one specific situation, and as for the rest, I’ve been gradually getting better and better at trusting Him.
These past six months or so, God has been doing a lot of fixing me up. Strengths that I used to have, (ones that I thought were perhaps gone for good,) He has restored. And things that I thought I would heavily struggle with, through His grace, I’ve been able to have a rather steep learning curve, as opposed to pre-wilderness Risa.
And that is where I was at – the wilderness, licking my wounds, feeling sorry for myself, but still holding onto that thread of faith that said, “Jesus is still Lord, and He is love.” So here I am now on January 19, 2019, making what seems like extreme changes to those on the outside. However, these changes have been in the making for a couple of years now. I wasn’t ready for the clean break until now.
So here is the change.: After 12 years, I’m no longer singing under the moniker “Erisa Rei”. I will be singing under exactly who I am: Risa Kopp. I won’t be singing blues music, Americana music, soul music, etc. I will be writing Christian music and, in particular, pursuing worship music. See I have to play to my strength, and to the natural eye/ear I will NOT be doing that. To the hearer, my greatest skill is my voice. To the writer, another skill would be songwriting, because I have won a few awards for my songwriting. But my greatest strength is a spiritual thing, that eyes can’t see and ears can’t really hear. That strength is my calling, and that is only achievable by the grace of God.
Who I am in Him is much more powerful than the loudest, most skillful vocal run I can do. What He has to say through me, (or anyone else,) is much more impactful than any of the words that I can pen in my own creativity. Some will thinking I’m waxing over-spiritual through this change-up, but I’m telling you, I never thought I would have such peace laying down 12 years of hard work.
Why? Because my switching to this is an offering to God. All of my vocal skills, all of my songwriting laurels are put aside for whatever it is He has for me. Very little that I have built, except possibly the essentials of musicality, will be useable. Honestly, I have no idea what He has for me right now. Miraculously, I’m not freaking out about that. I actually feel relieved. That is grace, friends. That is 100% grace that I am grateful for.