Abigail Crown is on the cusp of releasing her first album. As a Gospel worship leader at the tender age of just 22 she carries a natural authority for this kind of worship. You can check out our full review of her album "Incomprehensible" here.
Recently I had the pleasure of having a chat with Abigail over the telephone to tak a bit about her background, the idea behind the album and how it all came about.
Tell me, who is Abigail Crown? Where do you come from? What is your background?
Abigail Crown is a music minister, a singer and worshipper. I came from Nigeria to the UK in 2009. I was born and raised in Nigeria. I come from a family of four children, I am the last of four children. I love to sing, I love to worship, I love to write music and lead God's people into worship.
You are leading worship, so at some point in your life you have chosen to make a commitment to God. How did that come about for yourself?
My parents are Christians so I've always been in church, I grew up in the church, you know? I've always been active in church. When I was in school, in secondary school, I went through some bullying and I didn't have any friends because I just came from Nigeria, so I didn't know anything. So it was quite a lonely time in Secondary School, my outlet was music because we had a studio that I had access too, so I just used to go in there and work with the people there and write some songs and things like that.
From then I started to have an interest in music and doing this full time and all of that. So I prayed about it and God provided me some money and some songs and sent lots of people my way and it just happened from there. So I would say the time that it started was on my birthday, 23rd October 2015. I just woke up and I had this sense of gratitude, like never before, I was just so grateful that I was alive. I just recorded a video of me singing some worship songs and I put it on YouTube, and then the response was great and people loved it! I thought, 'do you know what, this is time' so I started working with a producer and I released my first single the following year, so it's just gone on from there.
You said you had access to a studio that you could go to, was there musical inspiration around the home? Were your parents musical themselves or lead worship, or anything like that?
Yeah, my mum was a choir director in Nigeria and my sister also sings, my brother plays the keyboard and my other brother plays the drums, though we don't play together because we don't live together. There was always music, and we all knew that when we come together everybody can do what they can do, so there was always the gift there. It wasn't something where we would sit together and sing all the time, because we didn't live together, but it's in the genes. I think it runs in the blood, so I just decided to run with it!
A lot of people have some of the kind of experiences that you have had like being able to lead worship, or being able to help out in churches, a lot of young people like to record covers on YouTube. What actually gave you that impetus to actually go ahead and commit to recording a whole album?
I say this to the people that know me, music is not something that...I really enjoy singing, but I see other musicians and I see how they struggle to promote theirselves, and I see how hard and competitive the industry can be, so I said to God 'This music thing, I really don't want to stress myself, and if it's not going to work, then I don't want to do it.' I said, 'I want to sing, I can sing and I have this gift, but I don't want to be in competition and I don't want to beg people to buy my stuff or beg people to listen to my music.' But God just began to open doors, He provided me with some money to do the album, He provided me with a nice producer, He provided lots of things, even the songs, I didn't sit down to write the songs, the songs just came!
So I thought 'it would be so ungrateful of me to have all these resources and not do anything with it.' So that's what pushed me, God has blessed me, I prayed about this thing and now all these things are happening, I have to get up and just do it for God. I may not want to put myself out there and be the one in the forefront, but I just have to show my gratitude to God for providing me with all these things and for showing me so much love. I have to do music and I have to do it the way that He wants me to do it.
You said that you don't want to push things out there. With listening to the album it sounds like you have a real authoritative leading that comes through in the worship. Is that like you in real life, or is that something that happens in the musical structure? The authority you carry on the album seems like beyond your years in a way.
I do hear that a lot, I don't act my age at all. In terms of when I am singing and when I am on stage, it's really not me! I can say this with every boldness, it is not me, if you see me singing powerfully and ministering powerfully, it's not me, it's just God. Sometimes when I am on stage I cannot see anything, the audience is blurred, I cannot see the people. I just stand there and it just happens and by the time I know it, I'm done. So I feel like God just uses my body to do whatever I do. So it's not me, if I sing a nice note or do something fantastic, it's not because I rehearsed it, because I really don't rehearse anything. It just happens and something just takes over and I just get this confidence.
When I was recording the album I literally had to discharge myself from hospital to record the album because we had already booked the session. I was in the studio for a week and I was in so much pain, my arms were hurting, my back was hurting, but when it comes to doing this music thing, I just get this strength and confidence, I don't know where it comes from, and then once I'm done singing I'm back to myself! It just shows me again that it's not about me, so I just have to do it with all my heart and to the best of my ability.
So how does it feel now to be recording and releasing your own work, as opposed to doing covers of other people's things on YouTube, but actually putting something of yourself out there?
It feels good, it feels really good! I was looking at iTunes just yesterday and it feels good to see not just one song, or two songs, on there from Abigail Crown. To see ten or twelve songs on there with my name on it that feels really good! So I feel like a real artist now, but then it's responsibility too. "To whom much is given, much is required."
So I have to work hard to promote the songs, I have to make sure that every time I stand to minister the songs I am representing what God envisioned for the songs and I have to know the songs inside out and there is so much work that needs to be done. I have to learn the songs and let it minister to me and then when I go out to minister I have to make sure that I am speaking into the lives of people and get a word for the people.
There is a responsibility that comes from having your own songs because people don't know the songs so they are looking to you to encourage them, to tell them what God is saying about the song. So it is good, and it's a lot of work, but it's not me that is going to do the work, it's God that's going to do the work, so I don't have to be stressed about that.
Why did you choose "Incomprehensible" as the title track and the album title?
I've been through a few things in my life, and God has done so much for me. He's been my provider, my protector, my healer, my comfort, my friend, my refuge. He's been so much to me, and sometimes I feel like 'Oh God, I just worship you because you are this and this based on what I have experienced you to be.' What I have realised is that there is so much more to God that I haven't even experienced.
I was listening to a message the other day and the man of God was encouraging us to begin to see God as the one who sits on the throne. He can be all these things to us but He's also the God who sits on the throne, He's God over all, He's God who sits on the throne in our situation, so that's another side to God that I now need to begin to explore. So that just tells me that's He's incomprehensible, we can't know it all, He's so much greater than what I've experienced.
So this album has songs where I am praising God for the works of his hands and being a mighty God, thanking Him for all that He's done, for being my protector and my healer, and I'm worshipping Him as the God who gets all the glory. Then there is the song about unfailing love and He's a God of salvation who is waiting for us and wants to save our souls, so in the album I am trying to explain the different sides of God that I have personally experienced, but then there is so much more. So that is why I have chosen that title to say there is so much more, He is incomprehensible. Looking back to it now I wish I had a song on there that says 'there's so much more'. That's the message, what you know of God is not all that there is, is basically what I am trying to say.
The album is released on the 20th March. How do you feel right now on the cusp of it, what are your hopes for the album and your dream for what is going to happen with the worship that comes from it?
What I am really praying for is that people will listen to the album, they will fall in love with the songs. I have already had testimonies of people saying "Wow" and that they are inspired and they love the album from the snippet that they have heard.
I just want people to listen to the songs and fall in love with the songs, and the thing I've realised about this album is, if you listen to it, that's good, you can listen to it and enjoy the music, but there is more of an impact when you actually sing along. You get the full impact of this album when you sing along. So I am praying that people will grasp the songs and learn it, and actually sing along, because that is when you will experience exactly what the album is about.
I want people to experience the songs, take it to their churches and worship with it, take the praise songs and praise with it and I want it to bless people. I want people to worship God for being so incomprehensible. That's really my prayer for this album.
That all sounds really good, thank you very much for your time.