Anne Wilson: “DON’T BE AFRAID TO SHARE IDEAS”

DON’T BE AFRAID TO SHARE IDEAS — Don’t be afraid to share what is on your heart. I wish I would have known this in the beginning, that I can share what is on my heart even if it makes me cry my eyes out or if it is something hard that I am walking through. I […]

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DON’T BE AFRAID TO SHARE IDEAS — Don’t be afraid to share what is on your heart. I wish I would have known this in the beginning, that I can share what is on my heart even if it makes me cry my eyes out or if it is something hard that I am walking through. I don’t have to feel ashamed of these things and to write what the Lord is putting on your heart. I wish I would have known this so I could have been more prepared for writing songs and sharing the meaning behind them.


As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Anne Wilson.

Singer/songwriter Anne Wilson knows the healing power of music firsthand. The lyrics of Hillsong Worship’s “What A Beautiful Name” became a lifeline for the Lexington, Kentucky native after her brother was tragically killed in a car accident at the age of 23. Although she spent much of her childhood behind a piano, Wilson sang in front of an audience for the first time at her brother’s funeral. It was at that moment that she realized what she was born to do. A video of her moving performance organically circulated, eventually landing her a record deal. With a mesmerizing voice and a visible hunger for Jesus, the 19-year-old relies on personal journal entries and time spent in nature for songwriting inspiration. Her rootsy sound reflects her strong southern upbringing and her admiration for country royalty like Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton married with the heart-on-your-sleeve transparency of Steffany Gretzinger and Lauren Daigle. Wilson’s introductory track, “My Jesus” — which she co-wrote with Jeff Pardo and Matthew West — is a warm invitation to experience her Savior in the same intimate way she knows Him. Her debut three-track single — also titled My Jesus — is out now via Capitol CMG.https://content.thriveglobal.com/media/4a7a5194da509f320341e2c5a06d7e39


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series Anne! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up and what brought you to this specific career path?

I lost my brother in a car accident four years ago and that was kind of the starting moment of how God was calling me to music. Before that I wanted to work for NASA and be an astronaut. Then, when the Lord started speaking to me through the loss of Jacob, I realized my calling was to be in music and not to work for NASA. The Lord kept leading me and guiding me and led me to sing at Jacob’s funeral. It was the first time I had ever sang in front of anyone.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

The responses I get from people hearing my songs are the best. The most interesting story that happened to me was after I got done playing a show in December. Someone came up to me after the show and their mask was filled with tears. He told me that he had lost his son twenty-five years ago and told me that he heard my music from my concert and that was the day he decided to rededicate his life to the Lord and let go of his anger toward the Lord. That has been the most incredible story that I have been able to be a part of.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Absolutely. That person for me is my manager, Jason Davis. God has used Jason for almost four years now in my life to bring me through every milestone and work with me through every part of my journey. It has been really cool to see how God has used Jason to bring me through these four years and how He continues to use him. This has been the sweetest season just being able to see the way that God is using these songs. With all of the work that we went through for almost four years now, all of the really hard times, and all of highs and lows, it is really cool to now be on the other side of it and just see that God’s faithfulness in using these songs to reach others.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I am working on an EP that will be out sometime this year! The songs that are coming out are just a lot of Kentucky sounds and they are just really special to me. I cannot wait to share them with the world.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

BE WHO YOU ARE — When I first came into this, I felt like I had to fit a certain mold or shape in the industry. I realized shortly after that I can just be myself, and I might not fit the specific mold, but that is a good thing. I can be who I am in the Lord and can be who He created me to be. I don’t have to compare myself to other people.

IT’S ALL WORTH IT — Everything that you have to go through is very hard, but it is all worth it. When I first started out it felt like it was go, go, go, go, and no one really ever told me that even if there is not a number one hit, it is still worth it because you are doing it for the kingdom of God.

GO WITH YOUR GUT — This would be the Holy Spirit inside of you! When you have a moment in the writing room or you’re trying to make a decision on something, just go with what the Lord is speaking to you. As long as you are listening to the Lord that is all that matters.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO SHARE IDEAS — Don’t be afraid to share what is on your heart. I wish I would have known this in the beginning, that I can share what is on my heart even if it makes me cry my eyes out or if it is something hard that I am walking through. I don’t have to feel ashamed of these things and to write what the Lord is putting on your heart. I wish I would have known this so I could have been more prepared for writing songs and sharing the meaning behind them.

PROTECT YOUR TIME — It is important to take time for yourself. The industry is a very hard place to survive in and to thrive in. It’s very hard to not let it become overwhelming, so I needed to work on this. This is definitely something that nobody told me in the beginning. Protect your time and protect where your energy is going, because you cannot fill others up unless you, yourself, is filled up. A lot of times I feel like I run on empty; like I am out of everything. So, what happens is I am walking into rooms and not being replenished. Take care of yourself! It is not selfish; it is what you have to do. Working in Christian music, if you want to speak life into other people and you want to speak the gospel to people, you have to replenish yourself.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Make time for the Lord. Put Him first above everything. Make time even if it is just thirty minutes in the morning or at night. Make sure you are opening your bible, spending time with Him, worshiping, and just listening. Be still and know that He is God and let Him speak to you in His still small voice. Let Him reveal things to you through scripture. I would also say that taking care of your mental health is important. Make sure that you are not working yourself to the point of exhaustion, and make sure you are setting boundaries for yourself to just be aware of what you are putting your focus towards. Am I giving it all away? Am I saving time throughout the day for myself to be able to spend time with the Lord? Make time for God.

If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I would like to inspire others walking through loss. We all suffer loss whether it is a grandparent, a sibling, or a friend. We all walk through loss, so that is at the forefront of my heart and my ministry is to reach people that have lost people and have suffered tragedy, loss, and grief. That is the movement that I would want to be behind is helping people who have walked through tragedy, how to navigate grief, and how to still have faith in the Lord while walking through it all.

What is your favorite “life lesson” or quote? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Repay evil with kindness” — That scripture has been huge in my life in every single season because there are always going to be people who put you down and are going to despise you. As a Christian, we are called to repay that with love and kindness because that is what Jesus did.

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

Dolly Parton — She has such an incredible story, and she inspires me with how she literally came from nothing. She was living in a shack and was so poor, and she just has this work ethic that inspires me to work harder and work for the things that you want in life. I think that is a perfect example of who Dolly is, because she has worked her whole life for what she wanted and has always kept her faith at the forefront of what she does. She is a huge inspiration to me!

How can our readers follow you online?

They can find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @Annewilsonmusic

I also have a website that is www.Annewilsonofficial.com

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