I’m not sure if there was any one specific thing that made me want to get into music. I grew up in a very musical family and so, whether I did it on a stage or not, I knew that I wanted music to be part of my future, even if as a hobby. It was just so closely connected to home. I started writing most of my songs when I entered High School, but at that time, they were songs mainly for myself. But every now and again, I would write songs for friends who were going through a hard time, or dealing with loss. But I never really shared it on a large scale per say. But I remember though, when i was about 15 years old, one of my favourite Christian artistes from back home had visited my school for an evening to do a songwriting/sing-along session with the girls in my year group. and I remember him saying that he wanted someone brave to come up and sing a song for the group. So a bunch of my friends started chanting my name ( I guess by that time, most of them knew I dabbled in songwriting). So he called me out, handed me his guitar and I sang a song I wrote. I think that may have been the first time I sang a song I wrote in front of such a large audience. When I was done, everyone was screaming, the musician was blown away and I could have nearly melted into the floor and cried at how many emotions were going on in me all at once. I think that was the first time I saw myself as a legitimate songwriter, as one that could actually make radio-worthy music.

when I was a child

I found fear
hanging off the edge of my throat
so, in came the earthquake
a violent shaking
a visceral rupture of thought roads
and will

I bled

as fear smashed its head
against the rocks of my lungs
I laughed
as songs, like Spirit, came rising.

© Candace Coker

Sometimes, the thought of losing myself in music is so crippling that I don’t know what to do with myself. What if I pursue this and lose my sense of rootedness? What if it becomes the loneliest experience of my life? What if all this dream-pursuit stuff is all just selfishness? What if I’m not strong enough to be vulnerable in front of large audiences? But I realized over the past couple years that all of those questions come with the underlying assumption that any of this is about me. But nothing in this life is about me. Not even this. It’s about God, and light, and truth, and meaning, and healing. It’s about everything but me. And I won’t myself because anyone who loses themselves in God and light and truth and meaning and healing and love…well…they aren’t lost at all <3

I have this dream that I could write songs that communicate the beauty, realness and nearness of God in a world that’s so bent on silencing Him or denouncing His realness. I have this dream of writing songs that people can listen to and experience deep peace, freedom, hope, and a rekindling of wonder. I have this dream of singing lullabies to my children, songs that speak to their identity, and Light, and that remind them of how extraordinary this life is.

What do you dream about?