“The biggest thing that has kept me afloat this season is learning to receive God’s love. It’s hard to trust anyone when you don’t truly believe they love you. When I struggle with that trust, I do my best to sit and receive God’s love, to remember He’s a good father that loves me.“
This week, we are excited to share about Jen Aldana’s full EP (Extended Play) release! Jen was one of our featured artists in the Love Boston concert last fall and she has been working hard to put together an amazing array of music collectively called “Trust in You”, which is now available on Spotify, Apple Music, or Amazon Music. Jen took time for an exclusive interview with UniteBoston resident journalist Peter Seremetis; read below to hear the impactful story behind the EP’s creation, and some hopeful words from Jen!
Peter: Tell me about your first EP. It sounds really exciting!
Jen: Yeah absolutely! The whole EP is called “Trust In You.” It’s about trusting in God every step of the way. I’ve had to trust that the path I’m on is the track that God has for me, trust that His promises are good and that they will be fulfilled, trust that even in the midst of a pandemic and struggles and fears, He’s got me and He loves me, and He’s guiding me. It’s like a big part of this whole journey for me.
Peter: Have you been working on this full EP for a while? Or is this a recent project?
Jen: This has been a long time coming.
Peter: Admittedly I’m not as familiar with the music business, so I’m curious what exactly is an EP, and how did you put it together?
Jen: So EP stands for “Extended Play”, and is a collection of songs that’s a little shorter than an album (e.g. albums usually have 7+ songs, and this EP has 5). Usually with music, you first have to write the song and come up with demos. Then you produce the song by bringing in other musicians and record it. Then you get help to mix and master the song, and once this is finished, it is ready for release. So I had this project mastered, done and ready to release (for distribution, shipment, etc.) since December 2018.
Peter: Wow! So it’s been ready for two years. What had been holding you back from releasing it?
Jen: The last two years, I was almost waiting for the right moment and I just felt there was never the right time. It was really just fear that was holding me back. I was fearful that it wouldn’t do well, or that people wouldn’t resonate with it, etc. So what I ended up doing was releasing it song by song–like “Heaven Rejoices”, “Trust in You”, and “Your Peace” performed in UniteBoston’s Love Boston Concert last year.
So come 2020, I’m like “this is the year! I’m gonna release it! No matter what!” And then the relationship I was in at the time ends the week right before quarantine, and now we’re in this pandemic and everything is completely shut down! So all of my motivation and all of my inspiration is just kind of gone and shattered, and I’m like “how am I supposed to go through with this project in a pandemic? What is even going on in the world?” I had so many plans, I was going to do a tour, I was going to do an EP release show, I was going to do this and that, and suddenly I couldn’t do those things anymore. So, I was sad and heartbroken about it, and again, I didn’t release it.
Peter: It sounds like you’ve been through a lot with this EP, and a lot of those feelings definitely resonate. So what motivated you to release it now?
Jen: Come 2021 I was like “Man, I have to do this. I have to move on!” I have other projects and music that I want to work on and release, and by holding onto this project, I just felt like it was keeping me from that. So I said to myself “I have to do this.” But at the same time, I wanted to be obedient to God because I have felt led through the Lord to work on faith-based music to begin with. This wasn’t the direction I was going in before artistically, so this EP is an act of obedience and a leap of faith for me.
Peter: Since your EP is called “Trust in You” and since all of us wrestle with trusting God sometimes, I’m curious what encourages you to press through in those moments when you have a hard time trusting God? Especially during this challenging season you’ve been going through?
Jen: The biggest thing that has kept me afloat this season is learning to receive God’s love. It’s hard to trust anyone when you don’t truly believe they love you. When I struggle with that trust, I do my best to sit and receive God’s love, to remember He’s a good father that loves me. He’s not a God waiting with crossed arms for me to make the “right decision,” He’s a God waiting for me to run into His arms, and that brings me more peace than anything.
Peter: Such a powerful and important perspective. So what can people expect to see in this EP now that it’s released?
Jen: People will hear familiar songs I’ve written and released already like “Trust In You” and “Heaven Rejoices,” but also some new songs like “Come Away With Me / Come Away” and “How Good You Are.” The “Come Away With Me / Come Away” song I’m especially excited for people to see because it’s a cover medley between the pop song “Come away with me” by Nora Jones, and a worship song called “Come Away” by Jesus Culture. Even though the two songs are different genres, the medley between them in the Trust In You EP is almost like this love song of God just loving His children and His people. For example one of the Nora Jones verses is “Come away with me on a Bus. Come away with me, I’ll never stop loving you;” and in the Jesus Culture song it says, “Come away with me. It’s not too late for you. I have a plan for you.” So the statement I wanted to make in putting the two songs in a medley together was that God really is in everything, we’re just not always looking for Him. We can find God in a bus. We can find God both in secular pop music and in worship music. We can find God all throughout His creation. So people listening can see that we honor God so much more when we can identify him in the mundane, not just when we’re sitting in the pews of the church or listening to a sermon.
Peter: Why should people listen to the EP, and how can they support you in this EP release?
Jen: I really just want folks to feel God’s love & peace as they listen, and the EP can be listened to in all kinds of situations. It’s great for background music while praying, a workout playlist, a commute playlist (or while you’re doing work at home!), and really great for any time you want to get in the presence of God. I’ve even had a pregnant mother reach out once that she’s adding it to their birthing playlist, I’ve seen videos of folks listening while working out, and many stories of folks feeling encouraged by the honest lyrics. I’m also just excited for people hearing the EP’s music as a project, a journey and a story being told all the way up until the last note. Heaven Rejoices are the first words of the EP, and I want people to really feel that tug on their heart and come closer to the Lord. In terms of support, any listen, re-share, Spotify follow, and email subscription is super helpful!
Peter: Do you have any encouraging words for Christians in Greater Boston at this time?
Jen: I do! My word of encouragement is something powerful my pastor shared: The key to this season isn’t always doing something new, it’s consistency. In a time where it’s so easy to get discouraged in our faith, our ambitions, and relationships, it’s taking one consistent step in front of the other that will help keep us afloat. You’re doing better than you think.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33