Keep the Faith
It's never too late to answer God's calling. That's a theory Debra Ashley understands intimately. The 40-something Gospel music ingénue had been hearing the call to music and singing since she was a little girl, but didn't begin working on her first album, Keep The Faith, until 2002. She decided she would write and record her own album. Though her experience in music was limited to singing in church choirs, Debra sat down and wrote all ten tracks on her debut release, Keep The Faith. "I asked God for inspiration. I would pray before I sat down to write," she says of her songwriting process. "All the credit goes to God. It came from Him. It came so natural -- that's how I know it wasn't me." DEBRA ASHLEY KEEP THE FAITH Track-by-Track He Called Me: Debra shares her call to faith and to her true purpose -- to spread God's word through her music -- in this smooth, bouncy track inspired by her own tumultuous young adulthood. Keep The Faith: In this eloquent, soulful ballad (the very first song she wrote), Debra explores the power of faith and it's ability to bring us through struggles big and small. My God: This unabashed testimony of Debra's love for God enfolds a simple statement of love and faith in a soulful, jazzy swing. I'll Praise Your Name: This uplifting praise song is one of the album's most moving ballads and inspires one to praise God all day long. Call On Jesus: Of this R&B-infused groove, Debra says: "I wanted to reach out and let people know that if you're going through something you can always call on Jesus." Anointed: "Even if you feel like nothing, lost in the world, if God anoints you, you're somebody. You can go out and do his work," says Debra of "Anointed," a silky, poignant track that soars with the singer's earnest and powerful belief. Jesus Is Real: Debra's insistent faith also fuels the jazzy, expressive "Jesus Is Real," an engaging tribute to Christ's sacrifice. Get Ready: Debra further explores the power of Jesus and his relationship to the faithful with "Get Ready," a funky, easy foot-tapper urging us to prepare for Christ's return. I Just Wanna Thank You: On "I Just Wanna Thank You," Debra takes it to church, complete with the swell of the organ and soaring vocals, for what is, essentially, the singer's very personal conversation with God. Beautiful Flower: "Beautiful Flower," another intimate and revealing gem, was written for Debra's close friend, Yolanda Thomas, who was just 36 when she died in 2002. "Her mother spoke at the funeral and said God don't pick his flowers until they're bloomed and ready," says Debra of her inspiration. "That stayed with me."