5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became a Recording Artist
Modern Day Cure is a worship band led by Aaron and Tamar Chipp. Originally from Michigan, with two EPs and a full-length album behind them, they have now just released their new single CONFIDENT in anticipation of their 2018 EP release. Since 2012, Modern Day Cure has had the privilege to share the stage with the Newsboys, Sanctus Real, and Francesca Battistelli among many other Christian artists. “Confident came from trusting God in a season of transition and uncertainty,” said Modern Day Cure. “During our move from Michigan to Nashville, we didn’t have all the answers, but we knew God was leading us into a new place and would direct our steps. We believe His word, and that’s why we can have confidence.” Through CONFIDENT, Modern Day Cure hopes that people will be strengthened and encouraged to put their hope in God.
Yitzi: What is your “backstory”?
Aaron: There’s so much to share, so I’ll try to keep it succinct! In 2007, I attended a youth leaders conference in Atlanta and during one of the sessions (which included a time of worship with Desperation Band), the Lord spoke to me to start a band. It’s crazy because that’s the last thing I expected to come away with that weekend. The band was rocking, thousands of people were singing in the arena, yet I heard God’s voice so clearly. When I returned to Michigan, I told Tamar and she got on board, which led us to ask our friend Tifani from our church to go on this adventure with us. The funny thing is that we weren’t even playing our instruments when we started the band. I hadn’t played the drums in 6 years, Tamar hadn’t played keys since elementary school, and Tifani had just bought her first guitar. None of us had written a “real song”. We really started from nothing. Fast forward a few years, and we started playing festivals and shows consistently across Michigan and experienced some really cool opportunities along the way, including winning a few indie band competitions.
We also served at our church in pastoral and worship leadership for 10 years before we made our transition to Nashville this March. We don’t have all the answers, but we’re in the same place now as when we started: out on a limb trusting God. Our move to Nashville inspired us to begin writing for a new project, which eventually birthed our new single CONFIDENT. We have learned over the years to put our trust and confidence in God, not in our own abilities or strength.
Yitzi: Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your music career?
Tamar: We’ve never shared this, but the CD’s for our first EP came in the DAY OF our release party (gasp)! We had to scramble and pay extra for next day shipping for the CD’s, and it wasn’t available digitally until after the release party. Through a series of circumstances beyond our control (we won’t divulge), some files were compromised and the mixing and mastering process was significantly delayed. In the midst of all this, we had already invited people from our hometown, church, and friends/family from out of town to attend the release party, so there was no turning back! We can look back and laugh about it now, but it sure look liked we were going to be on the shame show that night! The one thing I can say about us is that we’re finishers. Regardless of the outcome that night, we were determined to push through. That entire experience taught us so many lessons that have stuck with us. We thank God for helping us get through that and for the person who help us get our project back on track! He knows who he is :)
Yitzi: What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Aaron: We just released our new single CONFIDENT. We wrote it with our friend Matt Hein (I Am They) and it was produced by Jay Speight (Bottle Rockit Productions). The song is inspired by our journey as a married couple, band, and our recent transition from Michigan to Nashville. CONFIDENT is a declaration of hope and trust in God even when we feel abandoned. We’re excited to share it and it’s our prayer that people will be encouraged in their faith journey no matter what they’re facing.
Yitzi: Who are some of the most famous people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
Tamar: Over the years, we’ve had the opportunity to share the stage with Newsboys, Matt Maher, and Francesca Battistelli, among many other Christian artists. Living in Nashville for the past few months, we’ve gotten used to seeing well-known people all time. Many in the Christian community attend our church and I can’t tell you how many times we’ve run into people we’ve admired over the years at the grocery store!
Yitzi: Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?
Aaron: People who overcame great struggles and difficulty to fulfill their purpose in life inspire us. For us, many of those individuals are characters from the Scriptures and some of our own friends and family members. We are moved by people who sacrifice for others and do good.
To a certain extent, the odds have been stacked against us our entire adult life. We’ve always had to fight for what we believed in, even at significant personal loss. We’re stronger because of the battles we’ve faced over the years. We’ve drawn on the strength and wisdom of those who have gone before us and those who’ve walked with us through the fire.
Yitzi: Who do you aspire to be like one day?
Tamar: No person in particular. We live in a world notorious for striving to belong and trying to keep up appearances. It’s our aim to be authentic to who we are, while at the same time, allowing our character to be shaped to the image of God.
Yitzi: How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Tamar: We’ve always tried to serve others and point people to the Lord. When we release new music, we like to include stories from other people so the focus is not just us promoting ourselves. We always get feedback from people who share how they’ve been encouraged and inspired after reading the testimonials we share. We shared several stories during the release of CONFIDENT. The responses to these stories have encouraged us!
Yitzi: What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
Aaron/Tamar: In all honesty, it feels like we’re still “starting”. But there’s definitely been some things we’ve learned along the way.
1. If you wait until you feel ready, you’ll wait forever. We’ve learned to just go for it. Things don’t have to be perfect to start. The majority of the time, circumstances won’t be ideal. Ecclesiastes 11:4 (NLT) says, “Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.”
2. Collaboration is the better way. When we were just starting out, we tried to figure out things by ourselves, writing by ourselves, etc. There is so much wisdom to be gained by working with others who have more experience than you.
3. You’ll write a better song. I remember being so excited about the songs I was writing (by myself) and how closely I held on to them. When I started learning and collaborating with other writers and producers, they encouraged me to be open about feedback and believe that my best song is always the next one.
4. It will take longer than expected. Be committed and have a “whatever it takes” mentality. We’ve learned that detours are to be expected and are a part of the journey. The journey is the destination.
5. It will cost more than expected. Dreams will cost you more than money. Walking in your purpose takes daily sacrifice. It will require you to make hard decisions about how you spend your time and who you spend it with, but it’s worth it in the end. The reward is always greater than the sacrifice.
Yitzi: I have been blessed with the opportunity to interview and be in touch with some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she just might see this.
It’s so hard to pick! We’ll go left-field here and won’t pick a musician. We both enjoy basketball, so we’ll say LeBron James. We’d love to hear how he’s dealt with the pressure of carrying a franchise and city on his back since being a teenager.