Independent artist Megan Brown burst onto the Christian music scene with her debut single “If I’m Honest,” in January 2020. Quickly garnering grassroots recognition in the underground Christian music scene, alongside bigger names such as Chris Renzema and John Mark McMillan and stylistically drawing inspiration from worship artists like Amanda Cook, Brown has found herself discovering both who she is as an artist and how she wants to reach people with her music.
Built on the desire to uncover hard to reckon with emotions and bring into the light the conflicts of life she faces as an individual, an artist and a Christian, Brown sat down with American Songwriter to discuss where she finds inspiration, motivation and goals.
So Megan, what’s your songwriting process? Where do you draw inspiration?
For me, songwriting is the way that I process and cope with difficult feelings and personal life experiences. Most of my songs are the result of me sitting down and writing down how I feel. Sometimes, I’m able to write when I am in the middle of a difficult circumstance. Sometimes, I’m not able to write about something until months after it happens. With that being said, I draw most of my inspiration from the depth of my own emotions.
In relation to your new single “House I Built”, when did you write it, and how does it apply to your life right now?
I wrote “House I Built” about a year ago. At the time, I was experiencing a lot of frustration with myself for not being able to walk away from a specific idol. I knew it wasn’t good for me, but my desire to be fulfilled kept me coming back for more. It’s funny, because I have currently found myself back in the same cycle. But, I’m realizing that the strength to walk away can only be found at the end of myself. Originally, the lyric “can you help me now? I’m at the end of myself” was written as a way to express the fact that I felt like I kept messing up so much that there was no way that God could help me. But now, that line has taken on a whole new meaning to me. Freedom from yesterday and strength for tomorrow begins when I invite God into the house that I built, instead of trying to demolish it myself. I am realizing that I can’t make God mad at me, no matter how many times I live like a dog returning to its vomit (proverbs 26:11). Not only is He not mad, but He delights to reach into the house I built.
Where do you see yourself fitting into and finding a place in the Christian indie music atmosphere?
I fully believe that being understood is the result of being honest. My entire life, I have struggled with feeling misunderstood and alone. I have only ever experienced freedom from these things through honesty with myself, others, and God. My goal as an artist is to bring a refreshing rawness to the Christian music scene by creating a space for listeners to show up empty handed. There is freedom in vulnerability, and my greatest desire is for others to experience this freedom music. I know that I have.
Who are your influences, affecting your music, both in life and songwriting?
Currently, some of my musical influences include sleeping at last and Amanda cook. I am always drawn to music that feels raw and emotional, both lyrically and sonically. I definitely think these two artists do include both of these elements beautifully. As far as everyday life, my friends influence me big time. Some of my most impactful songs were born out of conversations I had with friends.
Stylistically, what motivates you to create music like you do in sound and lyrical content?
Like I mentioned above, I have always been drawn to emotional music. For this purpose, I tend to write lyrics as if I am pouring my heart out to God with no filter. Sonically, I am always drawn to orchestral elements because they feel cinematic and cathartic. The goal is for the song to tell my story authentically, lyrically and sonically.
What are your goals as you write, who are you trying to reach and how do you do that?
When I write, the goal is to talk about my personal experiences in the most honest way possible. Fear of being alienated often keeps people from being honest, so I want to show the word that freedom comes with honesty. With that being said, my desire is to reach those who feel alone, misunderstood, and cut off. I plan to do this by creating music that connects with listeners spiritually and emotionally.
What’s next for you? Could this single be working toward an album or EP release?
Yes, that is the goal. I have been working on some stuff that I am so excited to share with the world.