Friday, May 15

Center Stage - Josh and Lauren Travers

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Meet the newest Center Stage artist, Josh and Lauren TraversJosh and Lauren married in 2010 and have over 30 years of combined worship leading experience in churches and other groups. (They started young!)

The Florida natives recently moved to the Knoxville, Tennessee area near the Great Smoky Mountains. Along with worship and songwriting, they have also been involved in youth ministry for most of their adult lives. 
The couple and their two dogs, Junebug and Javier, just welcomed the newest member of the Travers family, Lily. She was born July 2014. You can read more about their vision by visiting their blog at www.joshandlaurentravers.com


Describe your sound in one ramble-on sentence..
We are a stripped down folk inspired worship band with some pop rock influence


What inspires you to make music?
Life and faith.  We have strong beliefs and it reflects in our music.  Our songs are birthed out of experience and there's always a life story connected to them.


What aspect of making music excites you the most right now?
I love the freedom in the industry right now.  It's by far the best time to be a DIY musician.  No one will hand it to you, but you can go and get it.  There are so many resources to help in the process too, like Radio Airplay.  Connecting with fans worldwide has never been easier.


What are the biggest challenges you face as a musician?
Time and money.  We operate with zero cushion, so our day jobs support us.  Right now it's all about the love.


What's one of your all-time favorite recordings?
"Cutting Edge" by Delirious?  The title was fitting for me when I heard it.  As a 12 year old it opened my mind with possibility.


Name three people who have influenced your music, and tell us why- Living or dead.
1. Eric Clapton- his music is so raw and accessible.  My finger style picking is definitely influenced by him.  He just turned 70 and his stuff is still amazing.
2. Gabriel Wilson- he's a producer now, but when he played in Rock and Roll Worship Circus years ago I saw worship music that transcended the ordinary cookie cutter sound I was used to.  He pushed me to broaden my scope.
3. My dad.  He bought me my first guitar and taught me my first 4 chords.  I still remember the progression.


Do you have any recent or upcoming projects you'd like to share with us? Tell us about it.
Our first full length album "Always Yours" was released this past December.  The whole album was recorded in a bedroom in Knoxville, Tennessee by 3 musicians and 2 singers on a total budget of $3000 for everything.   Like everything, from equipment, mastering, even Chik Fil A sandwiches during long sessions.  It's not perfect by any means, but I'm still amazed at what we were able to accomplish with so little.


What is your ideal or target audience?
Our target audience is people who like Christian music but are looking for a less produced, more organic feel.  There's not 5 guitar parts and 3 pianos with loops going on.  We can do it all live.  What you see is what you get.


Do you write/compose your own songs? Briefly describe your songwriting process..
We write and arrange all our music.  The main way I write songs is by inspiration.  I keep my iPhone voice recorder handy when a melody line or a riff idea strikes me.  It literally happens any time, day or night.  Then when I can carve out some time I sift through the ideas and craft a song around one of them I like.  The other way is simply to play progressions on my guitar and sing.  I'm not too worried about perfect pitch or even exactly what I'm gonna say, just want to flow and see what happens.  In every session usually there are one or two cool things to work with to get a song started.


What do you like the most about Radio Airplay?
I love how Radio AirPlay makes it easy to connect with the fans that like the music.  I can drop them a Facebook message or invite them to our website.  I've even sold some music directly from the radio play, and I've only been signed up a little over 3 months!  For a modest budget (as low as $10 a month) you can essentially advertise around the world.


Do you have an interesting story you’d like to share with our readers?
We have some friends in Florida who I would consider super fans.  Every time we played, they were there.  They would even have us over for dinner and I would bring my guitar and play a few songs.  After we moved to Tennessee we have stayed in touch and we genuinely consider them friends.  Unfortunately Brian and Dana (names changed) have recently very serious health problems.  This past year Brian had his leg amputated below the knee due to a diabetes related infection.  Dana, just a few weeks ago had major surgery to remove a softball sizes tumor from her neck.  They asked me to keep them in their prayers.  Dana also let me know she would be bringing a boom box to the hospital with our music in it.  A few days after the surgery I called to see how everything went.  Dana was still weak, but recovering nicely.  Brian told me, "Josh, nothing else could calm her down before surgery, but when we started playing your music, she relaxed and was able to go into the operating room."  I was floored.  I honestly never expected our music to help someone through surgery.  She even tried to bring the music in the operating room but the surgeon wouldn't let her.


"You Are With Me" lyric video