Popular UK singer/songwriter Sarah Téibo needs little introduction, but as she set out to record her third studio album 'Restored' the world changed in the face of a global pandemic. Louder Than The Music caught up with Sarah again to find out how this affected her plans for the album, the things that inspired these new songs, and her advice to anyone starting out as an artist.
Tell us about your new album 'Restored' and what the inspiration behind it was?
Back in 2019, shortly after sensing in my spirit that my next album was to be a resource for corporate and personal worship, I heard the word ‘Restored’ as the title of the project. I was unclear as to what God wanted me to write about with this theme, but I took the challenge head-on and started working on the project with grand plans of having it released in 2020.
Then Covid happened and everything ground to a halt. Everywhere. Anxiety, loss and devastation became rife globally and I began to see why God gave the title ‘Restored’, why 2021 was His time for its release and more importantly, what He wanted to say through this project. He wants to rekindle hope and restore faith in this season as we rebuild, restart and heal.
The album ‘Restored’ has been written to bring this message home and the title track of the project - delivered in a stripped-back ballad - conveys this message so powerfully :
‘Now the battle’s won
New life has begun
You’ve restored my soul
You have made me whole’
Which are some of your favourite tracks on the album and why?
‘God alone’ is one of my favourite tracks on the project because of the simplicity of the lyrics and the depth of its meaning. When recording the song in studio, I broke into spontaneous worship in the spirit - something I’ve never experienced before in the booth! This was all recorded and some of it got captured right at the end of the song.
I also love ‘Belongs to You’ because its smooth Afrobeats vibes get everyone in the mood for celebrating God’s goodness with a wiggle, shake and dance!
How would you say the current pandemic has affected or influenced this album?
It’s been a mix of highs and lows. Lows primarily because it’s literally brought my project to a halt at a point. Highs because God has used this season to help me learn new skills and to create music that speaks to what we’re going through globally
Can you describe your songwriting process to us?
That’s a tough question, because my songwriting process is very different for each song.
For example, ‘Secure’ which is the lead single on the project and features my friend Volney Morgan, was written in the most unconventional way - for me at least! I was out running and meditating one morning with my audio Bible plugged in, and was listening to the book of I Samuel which chronicled David’s experiences of being preserved from Saul and other foes.
As I visualised this, I was so moved that I immediately began singing the chorus and bridge of the song. I didn’t even stop running, I whipped out my phone and recorded the rough idea, right there, mid-run! David recounts these seasons of his life in many Psalms and even today, as we read those verses of Scripture we too can see how God on many occasions preserves us from all sorts of harm.
On the flip side, ‘Restored’ the title track of the album was a title clearly given to me by God to write about, and was quite challenging at the start. In the end, I got inspiration for the song whilst listening to piano worship music.
You've worked with quite a few people on this album, from producers to singers, tell us about some of the people involved.
I’ve had the privilege of working with some amazing people particularly on this new album ‘Restored’. These are Lou Fellingham, Zahyón who was on The Voice, Volney Morgan, my lovely friend Victoria Tunde as well as Tom Endersby and Naje Busia. Not forgetting Tab Worship who did a fantastic remix of the first single from the project ‘Spirit Come’.
What message would you like people to take from your music?
It is my hope that the songs on the album ‘Restored’ would help listeners make deeper connections with God and find renewed faith, hope and joy.
As an experienced singer and artist, would advice would you give to anyone starting out on that career path?
Stay focused on what God has called you to do on your own journey as a creative or music artist. Don’t allow comparison steal your joy or kill your zeal, but only measure yourself against yourself
Do you have any plans to get out and tour in the near future?
God-willing, I plan to go on tour next year, but have started going around the country sharing music from my project, so if you’re reading this and you’d like me to come to your church or event feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
What does the next year hold for you?
Hopefully a nationwide tour and maybe a few new songs. If there’s anything I’ve learnt over the last 18 months, it’s to write my plans in pencil and give God the eraser - so ultimately, it’s in His hands!