By Aaron Evans, Features Editor
“I don’t consider myself an artist.”
While this isn’t something one would expect to hear from an emerging artist, junior Worship Arts major Madelyn Baier and her music are humble and full of life, calling others to see the purity of simplicity.
With the low hum of conversation colliding with the whistling of the Hiccup, I chatted with Madelyn, who has recently been making her name in the singer/songwriter community – at Asbury and beyond. Baier is playing various solo acts and open mic nights on campus and the surrounding area.
“I don’t really consider myself a creative person; I don’t think at a super [fast] pace or have these super creative ideas, but that’s okay,” Baier admitted with peace. “I really value simplicity, and as an artist, I would describe myself as passionate, but simple.”
As I listened to Baier discuss her life, music and family, her humility and vision for music evidenced the purity of her motives as an artist. Unlike many musicians, Baier was not raised in a hyper-musical home; however, she found a love for singing at a young age.
“My sister and I were singing along to ‘Genie in a Bottle’ by Christina Aguilera one time in the car – embarrassing, I know – and I realized after that I really loved singing. The rest is history.”
Though her family is not musically gifted, Baier’s father has a history with music that left a lasting impression on Baier and her love for music.
“My dad was in a band called ‘Mars X’, and he’s a really good singer. He and I listened to a lot of music together, like The Police, but I never had a crazy musical family like other musicians. I loved a lot of music growing up, and I really look up to artists like Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles.”
Baier released her first single, ‘Words’, on May 5 of this year. This debut song, driven by piano and the innocence of love, founds its inspiration from the simplicity of childhood love and seeing her older sister get married.
“I got to play the song at my sister’s wedding and it was incredible. I never thought it would happen. At the time, the song didn’t even have a title, it was just called ‘Devin and Andrew,’ because so much of the song was about them.”
Through our long conversation – with no shortage of interruptions from dear friends at the Hiccup – Baier and I found ourselves talking about God, her call as a worship leader, and how “secular” music is not always devoid of the Holy Spirit.
“There aren’t any songs [on the new EP] that would be technically categorized as ‘Christian’ or ‘Worship,’” Baier explained. “One is about a book I read in middle school.”
Baier recounted an experience at one of her first live show that, in many ways, was an answered prayer.
“I remember praying before the show that though these songs that are not outright worship songs, people would experience purity through [them]. After the show, a friend of mine came up to me and said, ‘I don’t know how to describe this, but I felt the Holy Spirit when you were singing.’”
Listening to Baier talk about her music and the spiritual simplicity of her process revealed the liberation we find in hearing about art that comes from another person’s soul. In listening to what makes another person’s soul come alive, we are provoked to unapologetically leave the mundane parts of our life at the door.
A soon to be titled EP from Baier is currently being crafted and dreamt over, and should be released sometime in the spring.
“I’ve been doing a lot of planning, what instruments I want to use, who I want to be involved, but it’s so exciting to be making decisions like this and making connections with other people,” Baier expressed her excitement and hope for the EP. “I really want to make something good, and I’m so excited for it.”