How did you come to know the Lord?
I came to know the lord when I was about 6 years old. I was brought up in a single parent home and my mum was a Christian and would take me along to church. Growing up I didn’t have a dad so God became my father and at the age of 6 realized I wanted to make a personal decision to follow him.
What was your family life like growing up?
Life was pretty tough growing up. My parents got divorced when I was 18months old and I grew up hardly ever seeing my father. I felt lonely a lot and jealous of other kids with brothers and sisters and big families and I only had my mum. My dad had another family with kids and i wasn’t priority in his life. But because I knew God he helped me through. he became my best mate – someone who I chatted to when times got tough and also when life was pretty good – I shared it with him.
When did you realize you were called into music ministry?
At the age of 19, I had always had a passion for singing and dancing and telling people about Jesus and God said to leave University and begin working in ministry. So I did. I left Uni and 6 months later joined a Christian Pop Band called “TBC” – I was in that for 5 years, traveling the world telling people about God and how much He loved them.
How did the formation of TBC come about?
TBC was the sister band to thebandwithnoname and both came about through a Christian organization called Innervation trust. They are a Christian charity that set up bands as a way of using popular music to reach kids with healthy lyrics and the message of Jesus Christ.
And what’s the meaning behind the name?
the meaning behind the name TBC – well it just meant to be continued. There were a few line-up changes in its time and it meant that no matter who was in the band the message and reason for TBC would continue.
What was the bands true mission or purpose?
The bands true mission was to reach the lost. We went in and out of hundreds of schools in the UK, Europe, America and even South Africa where we got to perform and then do a gospel preach where we saw thousands of people/families/children give their hearts to Jesus. We used music as a tool; it gained respect and trust so that we were able to share our true hearts behind the mission.
What is the greatest moment you’ve experienced during your time with band?
My greatest moment was seeing and entire family choose to give their lives to God. The mum and dad broke down when they heard our testimonies and decided they couldn’t run away from God anymore. Not only that, independently the children also decided they too wanted to become Christians and follow God. That family are now planted in an awesome church in Hull UK.
Do you have any regrets or would you change anything about how you’ve approached the band or ministry?
Not one regret at all!!! Through God I saw my dreams of being an evangelist actually come true, we experienced things only people hope of doing, and we saw the most amazing places and people. God is one extraordinary God!! TBC decided to disband because new projects were on the horizon and some of us got married, moved countries and pretty much grew older.
What is your take on the Christian Music industry in the UK and what needs to be changed to make it truly successful?
I think the Christian music industry is getting there in terms of becoming more current and relevant. I have personally felt the Christian music industry within the UK has always been a step behind that in the charts, but with great people like Mark Pennells and Zarc Porter who push through to compete with the latest pop music, I feel it is finally becoming just as good as what you hear on the radio. I think rather than trying to be on the same level as secular music, we need to try and be one step ahead, start being fresh and unique and maybe then people will stop and listen.
It seems there are many great ministry, music, and youth conferences in the UK. Why do you think there isn’t an abundance of support of Christian Music?
I think possibly the lack of organizations to create good music. We were one of few in the UK. Just as reaching out in other evangelistic ways, I feel Christians need to get behind music too. It’s such a HUGE part of our youth culture and what young people get influenced by. I think financially it is also a strain and to keep the music going and finding funding can be tough! We were all volunteers when we worked within ‘TBC’ and ‘thebanwithnoname’ to enable it to happen. Most people can’t live like that!?
How would you describe the church as a whole in the UK?
WOW, big question! I will try my best to answer this, but I guess it varies. I have only been to a handful of churches within England and what I know is there is a wide variety of denominations and churches. You have the smaller churches; you have the world-renown churches. You have the more traditional Church of England and then there are the more modern Charismatics. Church is whatever you as an individual make it. I believe church is where people go to grow and to have fellowship with one another and to also make an impact on their community. It’s like different types of ice-cream, not everyone likes strawberry and not everyone likes vanilla! So people go to the denomination that suits them.
Why do you think some Christian bands are afraid of the label Christian?
I guess within the UK there is a bit of a stereotype that Christian aren’t cool. So it is hard to feel accepted and gain respect. Especially when you’re at school, a lot of christians will get picked on or laughed at for saying they’re a Christian. I guess people don’t see it as something that is cool – and I guess Christian bands may fear not being accepted or not getting anywhere just because it is “religious”. I know when we went into schools we got a lot of, “Wow I never knew Christians could be so cool, we thought you were all boring.”
Tell us a little bit about Under Grace
Well I moved to South Africa with my husband Eugene , and decided that I wanted to set-up a Christian solo career. J from “thebandwithnoname” came over from England to help me with this mission. So we first began with a company and band called Undergrace to get us up and running, and now as J is soon to be returning to the UK, I am hoping to launch my solo career come January 2011. Out of the ashes/foundations of Undergrace is the newly evolved ministry, Shine.
What made you choose South Africa for your mission field?
My husband is from South Africa and the Lord spoke very clearly about him and I moving here. We also knew that the Lord was moving us to Africa to work with the people and the young people! We are so excited to have begun this mission and are off to Swaziland for a 5 day mission working to build a youth house in a community!!