American Idol Semi-Finalist JOANNA BEASLEY Stirs Up 'Loud Love'
A lot of teenagers crumble when their dreams are shattered on reality competition shows, but for Joanna Beasley (www.joannabeasley.com), being cut after reaching the semi-finals on "American Idol" in 2003 proved a blessing in disguise. It was the start of a multifaceted decade long musical and spiritual journey that's led her to this moment in time, shouting about God's love from the "Rooftops" on her explosive new pop/rock single and video.
Originally recorded by the band Jesus Culture, Beasley's version of "Rooftops" -- the second single from her latest full length album Loud Love, after "This Same Love," featuring singer/songwriter Chris McClarney - is receiving airplay throughout the U.S. The video clip features exuberant images of Beasley's home region of the Midwest in the fall, along with shots of her performing with her band on a rooftop and also dancing joyfully in a club setting.
"My team and I picked 'Rooftops' as a single and the song to create a video for because it was fitting for the overall message of the album Loud Love," says Beasley, who launched her recording career at 19 in 2005 with My World and followed up with Patiently Waiting in 2009. Her initial popularity led to an opportunity to host "Steelroots Top Ten Countdown," a Christian music video program, in Nashville for several years and to appearances on "The Harvest Show," "The Place For Miracles" and "100 Huntley Street."
"I wrote most of the other songs on the album and everything is geared around the wonderful truth that we can trust God in all things. He loves us and cares for us as his children, the way we care for each other. My previous album was more focused on seeking love and overcoming fear and confusion. But this time, it's like I've been through so many things in my life that have shown me the reality of His love for us and I thought it would help others by singing about it. We've received such great feedback from the video too. I mean, at the end of the day, it's all about hope - isn't that what we're all looking for? People are enjoying the video because it shows love and hope in action in all facets of life - and who can't enjoy watching that?"
The much quoted concept of a "peace that passes all understanding" is something Beasley draws on to maintain balance in the midst of her exciting but often crazy whirlwind of a life and career, which straddles the line between success in the Contemporary Christian (CCM) world and mainstream pop.
When her debut album came out, she moved to Nashville, where she has been based and has written and recorded for a decade now. Up till recently, she and her husband Kerry had homes there and in their hometown of Edwardsburg, Michigan (population 1,200 just north of South Bend, Indiana), and they're excited about remodeling and moving into a new lake house in Michigan soon. They finally sold their Nashville home this past year.
Yet Beasley is always on the road. She performs upwards of 75 concerts a year throughout the country - a slate that generally includes a mix of secular and Christian festivals. She is also invited by many churches to lead their services alongside local church worship teams, and is a popular presence at numerous Christian conferences, where she sings, shares stories on various spiritual topics (often along with her testimony) and conducts workshops for local musicians. She's also participated in many events sponsored by secular rock stations, charity groups such as Relay For Life (a breast cancer charity), and has even performed at pep rallies at public schools.
Off the top of her head, her recent itinerary has taken her to California, Washington, Hawaii, Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina and throughout her home region of the Midwest to various cities in Illinois and Michigan. Helping her along the way is a great band and a solid team of music industry professionals, as well as a lucky intern that Beasley has chosen from among her fans. She accepts one per year and gives that person a place to stay locally for six months when he or she is not on the road with her. She mentors them even as they work on administrative issues with her; if they are aspiring vocalists, Beasley often invites them to open shows for her.
Beasley is also the first artist representative for the Global Pastor Outreach, a subsidiary of the Oasis Network For Churches and is an Artist Catalyst for the Oasis Network, coordinating worship resources and teams for churches, events and conferences. Based in South Bend, The Oasis Network is a non-profit organization with church plants all over the world; the organization incorporates a lot of business and counseling activities, including publishing, life coaching and music consulting.
Among her more high profile appearances, Beasley has performed at "Celebrate Freedom," the largest Christian music festival in the world, and has shared the stage with Chris Tomlin, Mercy Me, Natalie Grant, Michael W. Smith and countless others. She has also performed at renowned author, speaker and life advisor Tim Storey's "The Study," a Hollywood-based Bible study for entertainment personalities held at the infamous East West Studios. Storey recently launched a new collective project called "The Dream Academy," several of whose events have featured Beasley both singing and rapping.
Over the years, she has written songs with Chris McClarney ("Your Love Never Fails"), Krissy Norhdoff (Dove Award winner for worship song of the year), and Dustin Burnett (Newsboys, Rhett Walker Band), and works closely with her producer Stephen Leiweke (Jason Castro, Kari Jobe), to share her heart for the message of Grace.
Lately, Beasley has been shouting from "Rooftops" and doing all this other related activity while pregnant. Six years into their marriage, The Beasley's are expecting their first baby in August 2014. Considering how strong and enduring her faith is, Joanna doesn't have to figure out a way to be even more of a "Superwoman" than she already is to make motherhood work alongside her already busy array of activities.
"As much as I love music and ministering to others," she says, "my first priority has to be to family and myself, my relationship with my husband and the Lord. I plan to take a few months off after the baby is born to figure things out, stay at home and learn how to be a mom as I continue to do some of my other things as well. Now more than ever, we're so positive that God is taking me to the next level in My Music career. My team and I just have to step out in faith and take chances.
"We know this is the right time for us to start a family and it's going to be amazing. Kerry is currently in the middle of a career change so he can work more from home and come with us on the road," Beasley adds. "I say 'We' a lot when I'm talking about my life and career, because I feel none of this would be possible without the support of my family, this great team of professionals and the fans - all driven by God's love and guidance every step of the way."