STORY BEHIND THE SONG // EZEKIEL 16 by Izzi Ray

This is the third installment of my STORY BEHIND THE SONG series, where I shed light on the writing and recording process and the heart behind each song on my record! 

Today I wanted to share the story behind one of my favorites, Ezekiel 16. This song is dark and dirty on the edges but has the most beautiful story of mercy and redemption. 

 

WRITING // 

Most of the musical and melodic inspiration came from listening to a lot of Jeff Buckley's record "Grace". His poetic style of story telling and raw emotional vocals was unlike anything I've ever heard. 

Reading through Ezekiel one night, chapter 16 stopped me in my tracks. the intense story hit me really hard, and the beauty of the mercy that God shows us despite how unfaithful we always are was so powerful. (I strongly encourage you to pause and go read it) Inspiration struck. I wrote the chapter out in my own words and put it to music. It came together so effortlessly I knew this was an important story I was supposed to tell. 

There is an unfaithful bride in all of us to some degree, and I think this story is such an important reminder of how unworthy we are of his mercy and love that He showers us with when our human nature just wants to run away again. I'm incredibly grateful.

RECORDING // 

We recorded this song in two parts. First, we all went to the studio and recorded it live to get the foundation. Then a couple months later, when I was doing all the final vocals in Montana, we ran my vocal mic through an amp and a memory man to give it some cool texture and I gathered every ounce of emotion I had bottled up and let it out into this vocal. It was so challenging and fun to push myself to try something different and out of my comfort zone and I would encourage you all to try something outside the box because it is so exciting when you do! 

We recently filmed a live video for Ezekiel 16. Check it out and share it with someone who needs to hear this story. 

Thank you for your love and support!

Meow

Story Behind the Song // REND THE HEAVENS by Izzi Ray

Continuing with the 'Story Behind the Song' series… 

I recently released a live video for my song REND THE HEAVENS *check it out!*

 

Rend the Heavens was the first song written for this record, so the musical style was very experimental. I had a lot of writers block after finishing my first record  simply because I wasn't quite sure what kind of an artist I was yet. But once I realized that artists are always growing and evolving my mind was opened to try new things and to stretch myself and push my own lyrical and melodic boundaries. 

The first writing venture of a new batch of song-children is always exciting, a little scary, and certainly unknown. 

My writing has always been and will always simply be just what comes out of my heart and what's going on in my life, so I decided to start at the beginning and write about my personal longing to have more of Jesus, and my desire for this generation to be changed. 

Further inspiration struck after reading Isaiah 64:1. 

"Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence." 

REND : to tear violently. 

The mental picture of God 'rending the heavens' was just too much to pass up. 

A lot of the heart behind this song is recognizing that we can't draw close to God. We can desire to, but God draws close to us/draws us close to Him. So I wanted to convey that in the verses. Its describing the desperate longing for God to reveal His glory to me.  And the chorus is a request for God to violently shake us awake and to change us. And the bridge is the real key here.. 

I believe God speaks to us through His word, therefore If we have the desire to be changed we should go to the word, for it contains His very breath, and let Him come in and make the necessary changes. 

 

On the production side of the story… here are a couple fun facts. 

My favorite thing on this recording is that we got really creative with different percussion things and thought way outside of the box. We had lots of fun. :) We used lots of metal objects and weird things like that. It was so fun to experiment with the production just like I experimented with the writing. 

Rend the Heavens was also the first song we recorded! So this is the eldest child, if you will. 

Thank you so so much for watching these videos and reading these blogs and buying my music. Your support means the world to me! More story behind the song blogs coming soon! 


Story Behind the Song // MAKE MUCH OF YOU by Izzi Ray

Yesterday I released a live video on my youtube channel of the title track of my record.

*check it out!*

This song is very special and personal to me so I thought I'd share the story behind it and give you a glimpse into the songwriting/recording process! 

This song was inspired by pride. being affected by other's, and my own. It's about our human tendency to want to be first/best/loudest. And typically we push others down around us to get to the position we want. We all have that evil root of pride in our hearts. No one is immune. 

This song is about recognizing my own pride and realizing that it needs to be drastically taken care of. The Chorus is a request to be humbled. A proclamation that my desire is to have a pure motive. It's a reminder of what Christ has done for me. He made the ultimate sacrifice, He gave His life for mine. Now He wants to use me to make much of Him. 

I've noticed that after people try to 'elbow to the top', they have the tendency to think that they deserve more honor for their achievements. But I think it should be the other way around. Give the people around you double honor. Love people. really genuinely love people. And in reality, we have absolutely no reason to boast of our achievements. Even our own faith was gifted to us. Whatever position we have is a gift. 

I wrote this song to break down the idea that some of us are more special or more gifted than others. We are all the same. We are all sinners. And we are all loved by God. 

Make much of you, simply put,  is a song that contains a cry for humility, a desire for a pure motive, and a response to God's call on our lives.

Songwriting and Recording Process// 

Blaine and I co-wrote this song. We wrote the melody together and then I wrote all the lyrics a few days later. It was one of the last songs written before recording the album but it quickly became my favorite.  

Blaine recorded most of the song at his house and got a hold of a Roland Juno 6 which became one of the main elements to the track, and then I did the vocals at my parent's house up in Montana. This was the one song on the record that we really experimented with drum samples and analog synthesizers which was very exciting :) 

I chose to make the title of the record 'Make Much of You' because I felt that this song perfectly summed up what all the songs touch on and this was the agenda I wanted to brand the record with. 

Thank you so much to everyone who bought/listened/enjoyed this song. We put blood, sweat, and tears into it and we are proud to present our hard work to you! Thank you for your love and support! 

Meow, 

Izzi



Single minded pursuit by Izzi Ray

I seek You with all my heart. Psalm 119:10

What does that really look like? I want to but I don't know how. I already read the bible everyday but I'm not seeing any changes.

Honestly, I've thought all those things. I've read over and over the phrase 'seek Him with all your heart' and I always 'mmm' in agreement, but never really take a minute to ponder what kind of action it would take to truly do it. 

I seek You with all my heart. 

The message and the amplified translations of that phrase uncover a lot about how to accomplish this simple yet complicated task. 

I'm single-minded in pursuit of You. (MSG)

Seek, Inquire for and of Him and crave Him with the whole heart. (AMP)

When you read through Psalm 119 there are countless mentions of how precious God's law/precepts/decrees/word was to the author. Why is that? and how come we don't have that same addiction simply because it's the Word of God? I think the answer is in verse 10. 

I seek you with all my heart. 

Being in pursuit of something is a conscious decided action. 

Yes, I believe that God opens our eyes to see wonderful things in His law, (Psalm 119:18) but I'm specifically addressing what comes after that. We know that God is good and what He does is good, (verse 68) therefore we want to study the instructions he gave us, right? 

If we have that God given desire to know Him more, then try to approach your personal time studying God's word with this heart posture. 

"Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end. Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways."   -Psalm 119:33-37

Then, to seal the deal…

I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. (verse 15)

I have found that when I have a beautiful, rich, much needed time studying I tend to be drawn to very mindless things throughout the day, when I should be doing the exact opposite. We need to allow time for what we read to sink in and actually affect our thoughts and actions and words. 

I think that spending time pondering the miracle wonders of God is just as vital of a step to seeking God with all your heart as having a posture of humble desire while you're reading. 

Meditating and memorizing is what really makes the change. 

"I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You." (verse 11)

I know its simple but I think trying to spending more time thinking throughout the day about what God is revealing to you makes profound changes in not just your mind, but your heart. 

lastly, this is not something that will change overnight. Living a life of steady single minded pursuit of our creator takes the daily practice of obeying. 

"This has been my practice: I obey Your precepts." (verse 56) 

 

I pray that this helps inspire you to truly seek Him with more zeal, passion, and delight. 

Moving by Izzi Ray

Well, it's official! I'm moving down to Orange County, California August 26th!!!!! I could not be more excited about this new adventure! God has clearly been preparing me for this for a long time, and with the release of my new record this is a perfect time to do it!

 I've been praying my guts out about this decision and everything seems to be lining up so smoothly, there have been lots of exciting new doors opening down in OC, God is so good and faithful and creative. This has been one of the hardest decisions to make though.. It's not easy to move away from where you grew up and live in a different state than your family. But I truly believe God has called me to pursue my music ministry/career and there are very few opportunities to do that up here. I will get to be in an environment where there are countless musicians that I can learn from and play with, and lots of beautiful godly friends and family members that will help me grow as I'm figuring all of this out. 

    This is an extremely exhilarating (but also scary) time. I would appreciate your prayers and support as I step out in faith into unknown, uncertain territory. I know without a doubt that God's hand is in this and that He will guide me through this next season.