At the moment, I am doing little in music, beyond prepping for the few live dates that I have scheduled for the next couple of months. I’ve not been doing a lot of writing. I’ve not been doing planning, or very much social media.
I’ve been thinking. And also, praying. In the past 19 months, I’ve been on a journey with God, in which I have been required of by God to strip “self” out of music. That previous sentence I couldn’t even say “my” music, because that is how much of my own strength, I’ve been squeezing out.
For 7 years, I pursued what I could of the promise I made God to do music until He told me to stop. At that time, I was so broken down by Christians’ actions and words towards me that I only could sing “life” songs. That turned into pursuing “success” in the industry.
Under the name “Erisa Rei”, I did everything the industry told me I should do, so I could have “success”. I spent hours on social media, promoting, liking, following, and creating content. It was my job, after all. I got signed to a label, after being pursued by a few others. I won some awards for my songwriting. I was lauded for my voice. However, there was something pretty obvious about my stage presence. I wasn’t all that into it. The label noticed. I was just trying to get through the drudgery of each set. I wasn’t passionate about myself or what I had to say with most of the songs I did. I only wanted to prove myself to people.
I wanted to prove that I had talent, that my goals weren’t ridiculous and childish. I wanted to have “success” to rub it in the faces of all of the people who said, “Yeah, right,” concerning what I felt I needed to do. I had a small amount of success, but they didn’t reneg. That made me think a little…
Then I watched someone’s concert and people were chanting their name. They were so proud of themselves. I had a realization point there, that I didn’t want that for myself. I wanted recognition for my talent, but I didn’t want lauded like THAT. It made me step back and think some more…
In August 2017, God told me to take my hands off my music. I have been doing that in layers. Those of you who have been following me for years have seen this process and are probably weirded out by all of the changes. I’m sorry about that. I’m just trying to get back to the heart of why I started music in the first place.
That reason is this: 19 years ago, I had a vision right when I was waking up of standing in a huge auditorium singing to a LOT of people. They were listening to me, but then God got ahold of them. God touched them, and I was just the mouthpiece. God was getting the glory.
I thought perhaps I had conjured that up myself due to wishful thinking, but then within a week of dismissing that dream as an active imagination, someone came up to me and told me that the dream I had was from God and it would happen.
The reason this dream is relevant is that it was never about me in that dream. That is why I dropped the “Erisa Rei”, because I built that up mostly myself. I am now “Risa Kopp”, a Christian songwriter, because I want God to build this whole thing.
The dream is relevant because God was getting the acclaim and the glory. They weren’t shouting my name. They were teens, weeping in the presence of the Lord.
Many opportunities have come my way. Over the last year, I’ve turned many down, just waiting for His direction. I’ve turned down gigs that paid hundreds of dollars, because it wasn’t the direction I wanted to go anymore. I’ve turned down a record deal because it didn’t line up with what God was telling me to do.
While I have no problem with other people who feel that they are to sing music in the non-Christian genre, it isn’t where God has me anymore. I pray that they are very effective where they are at with their music, that many lives are touched for the glory of God. However, their path isn’t my path, and my path isn’t theirs. And neither one are wrong, unless out of God’s will. 🙂
So I am still waiting. Usually patiently. Occasionally not.
I’d rather wait to do it God’s way though. It’s more peaceful, and profitable in ways that human eyes can’t see.