Category Archives: Album

Stage 1 Complete!

So after three days of hard work in the recording studio I am delighted to say that stage one of the album is complete! The goal was to nail down the drums and bass parts and that is done!

Since my last album I have been working hard on my song-writing and developing my lyrics – in the past I have written in so many different styles it is only recently that I have discovered my own unique singer-songwriter style. I am inspired by artists such as Sarah Bareilles, Colbie Calliat and Nichole Nordeman and people mention I have a twang of Lilly Allen, Kate Nash and Lucy Spraggan when I sing.

It was good to get into the studio having a clear idea of the outcome. I had a lot of fun jamming through the songs with Paul Evans on drums, Mark Prentice on bass and Paul Burton in the studio. It was great playing around with different ideas and suggestions. I was asked if I minded hearing different ideas for various parts of the songs. Several years ago, I would have not have coped with others making suggestions for song developments, but thankfully I am now much more secure in my writing and music that I am always up for developing, growing and getting the very best out of my music.

There is something especially unique about hearing songs that you have crafted and lived with for so long come to life in front of you. It was physically exhausting singing each song six or seven times on the trot as we recorded – I can’t sing them half-heartedly. I felt the impact of my efforts by last day and know that I need some retreat and recovery time. I find it’s always important to build recovery time when you giving so much out.

The project is now at that phase where I start to get very impatient! I have witnessed the start of the process, can see where it’s going and now I just want the shiny packaged version immediately! Maybe I should start writing a track about patience.

As the songs have developed, I am excited about the message I am sharing.  Something I have heard many times since understanding about my own and my son’s autism is the fear that some people have of labels and what they might mean. I have had so many caring and loving people concerned that I might be defined by a negative label.

I can’t emphasise enough how this isn’t the case for me at all. Learning about the different challenges has simply been the beginning of understanding. It’s like sorting through the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that are all in a jumble.  When you start sorting the pieces you get to the point where you start being able to create the picture, and slowly and surely it starts taking shape and making sense.

I think also we have a choice of what defines us – it’s not about labels or conditions for me. I find my identity in God, as a woman who is loved and cherished. I have learnt to embrace this and live out what I feel I am made to be and who I choose to be. I am an encourager, a smiler and a joy bringer. I am someone who loves to give gifts and to dance around with joy.

My reality is living in a world that sometimes can feel so overwhelming and hard to navigate. Learning how and why I work in a particular way helps me to get stronger so that I’m no longer held back or limited.

My hope is that this album will reinforce the joy in embracing who we are and how we are made and being people who overcome the challenges we may face.

I look forward to sharing more about this in the coming weeks,

Kat

One week to go!

So it’s just one week today until my second album ‘Voice of truth’ is released!  I am rather excited, so a few bits to remind you – you can pre-order here – you can hear 30 seconds tasters of each song.  The launch gig is Saturday 11th June at Morden Baptist Church. It starts at 7.30pm, admission by programme is £5.  My new album will also be available on the night for the discounted price of £10 (normally £12) for one night only.

It would be amazing if you are able to join me for the launch. The evening will consist of two halves including 9 of my own songs, and some well known popular songs that I will be performing with my band for the night: Ali Mills, Kaleb Fox and Joel Phillips.  There will be tea, coffee and biscuits all included there will also be a cake stall with cakes available for a donation with all the money going towards Kat Mills Ministries.

So in the run up to the release I have been sharing the stories behind the songs on the album. Sometimes I write because something has affected me personally and I am sharing  my journey, sometimes I write to tell a story or to share a point, and sometimes I write to encourage a friend or a loved one. This is true of the next two songs.  ‘Little Girl’ is a song I wrote for someone I consider as a younger sister. I met her when she was a little girl and was in my group at a holiday club I was a leader on.  We have stayed in touch over the years and I have watched her grow up I have seen the struggles she had to face, especially going through teenage years, school, peer pressure, exams, etc. This song reflects the heart of the album about wanting God’s truth spoken where we have just listened to the lies and believed we are not beautiful or worthy of love.  How often are we told it’s all about our exterior appearance to be valued in today’s society. This song proclaims God’s truth from Psalm 139, ‘you are fearfully and wonderfully made’. I’m reminding her and everyone who listens to this song that they are beautiful, precious, made with a purpose and a hope.

I wrote ‘I have a Hope’ after spending time with a friend who shared the difficult journey she was walking through. My heart broke for her, especially as I had walked a similar, painful path. What really struck me about this encounter was the difference in our reactions – my friend didn’t have a faith and was full of despair. My reaction was that even in my darkest nights having a faith in God meant I had a hope, even if it felt like just a glimmer.  This song was my compassionate response that this hope is available for anyone willing to accept it – a hope in Jesus Christ.

Something I have found over the years is that my writing style is constantly developing, and the penultimate song on the album is  testimony to this.  This is a pop track called ‘Without you’.  I remember feeling so stressed one day and this led me to feeling really down and frustrated. I soon realised that I had become fixated on my problems rather than on the God who is far bigger than any problem. It was only once I had put my eyes back on Him that I realised that with God, I had the strength to get through all that came my way, and was surrounded by his love and Grace.  It’s learning to lay down my burdens and leave them at His feet.

I pray that you would know God’s strength and leading in your life today, and that in all you do you would know you can be completely surrounded by His love and grace.

God bless you,
Kat

Grace of God

Grace of God

So today I want to start by saying thank you to Christ Church Baptist (Dorset) for having us last week and especially to Sandra Prudom for your amazing hospitality.  It’s great to visit different churches, share my music and testimony and get to meet lots of different congregations.  Thank you also to Sheena Dayman for doing an interview for Hope FM, it is a real privilege for me getting to share my story, my faith and my songs.

So it’s just fourteen days until ‘Voice of truth’ is released! I can’t believe that it’s nearly here. A quick reminder that the launch gig is on the 11th June. All are welcome!

It’s time to introduce another two songs from the album.  It’s been a subject in several of my blogs that sometimes life can get so busy and it can become overwhelming and a struggle when our focus is not God, and so we fix our eyes on the problems of life. The second song on the album is called ‘Breathing’.  This song was recorded live and it’s a simple song where I am saying that when I lay my burdens down and put my gaze on God I feel like I can breathe again, – that I can cope with the situations of life and carry on because I am no longer trying to do it by myself, but allowing Him to strengthen and guide me.

Sometimes in life we are faced with really difficult and painful situations and it can be really hard to know how to respond.  As a Christian I can find it really tough to know how best to go forward in these sort of situations.  I know it’s important to walk in grace and love, but that we also have to speak truth.  Sometimes by not a challenging a friend or a loved one we are not helping them.  Sometimes we have to have the tough conversations to help someone see something that they are unable to see on their own. This is something I am learning to do, although it is hard and takes a lot of courage.  When I was working through a whole mess of emotions in my head, a close friend reminded me to always start with grace and then speak truth.  As she is learning, if anyone says something to me that strikes a chord, it will end up as lyrics in a song! I was really inspired, and wrote this next song ‘Grace of God’. I pray it encourages you.  This is one of the livelier tracks on the album with a London Reggae feel.

I pray you have a good Bank Holiday weekend and know God’s strength, joy and love in your life.

God bless you,

Kat

In Your arms

So I want to start introducing the songs on the album ‘Voice of Truth’, every song I write has a story behind it and I want to share these with you.  Today I am focusing on one song called ‘In Your Arms‘.

I have been trying to work up the courage to write this blog for a while, as this song is incredibly personal.  So please do bear with me as this is a longer one.

In 2012, after about five years of having lived with M.E., my husband and I decided we wanted to try for a baby.  We had been praying that God would heal me but we were longing to start a family.  We were delighted and excited to find out after a little while that I was pregnant.  Although I struggled with bad morning sickness and tiredness, we were looking forward to the future and thanked God for this life I was carrying.  At around eleven weeks into the pregnancy things started going wrong.  I started having some symptoms that suggested that something wasn’t right.  We went to the hospital to have an emergency scan and the sonographer took her time without saying much, and then left the room to get the consultant, who then did another scan.

My heart was in my mouth by this point and I was physically shaking, desperate for them to say everything was okay, that the baby was healthy and it was nothing to worry about.  And then the consultant spoke the words that confirmed our worst fears.  There was no longer a heartbeat, and tour baby had died.  With every fibre of my being I wished I had heard wrong.  That this was some horrific dream, but no this was real and we felt like the ground had fallen away beneath us.  That same day we were due to be going away with the extended family (over 30 of us).  Although we did not feel up to family festivities, we knew that at this time we needed to be embraced and loved by our family. We’re so grateful for all the love, support and tears that we shed together.  They allowed us to just grieve and helped us in any way they could – this was a real Godsend.

I remember the next few days I was on my knees, heartbroken, sobbing, crying out to God, “Why us?”. Why had this happened? I was crying in desperation, being honest with God.  I felt like a failure, that there must be something wrong with me because I hadn’t been able to carry our baby to full term.  But even in this dark hour, in my brokenness and agony I still knew that God was there, that he loved me, and that he would bring hope.  I remember clinging to that with my fingertips, and trusting that He was still good – that’s all I had strength for right then.  I prayed that he would somehow bring us through this time.  Over the next few days the pains got worse and worse until I was admitted into the hospital overnight to have a procedure the next day.  Ali was encouraged to go home to get some rest.  I remember lying in the hospital bed unable to sleep, paralysed with a numbness of emotion and struggling to understand it all.

One amazing thing through this horrific time was that God completely healed me of ME (Chronic Fatigue) and a wheat/gluten intolerance.  This meant that I was well enough to start working, so I started supply teaching.  But I was really struggling how to go forward, and was finding it really lonely and tough going to new schools.  My sister gave us some great advice, which was to have something to positive for us to look forward to, something that would be harder to do when we had a family.  We had been looking forward to and praying for all the things we could do with our baby and this had been ripped away, leaving emptiness and a raw pain.  So we decided to plan a big holiday to the States, as I had always wanted to go.

Each day when I was struggling to go into school and struggling not to sink into a depression it really helped knowing that that day I was earning money for a helicopter ride over the Grand canyon, or a visit to Disneyland.  As we went away I felt God slowly starting to restore my brokenness, and I remember walking part way down into the Grand Canyon, being surrounded by God’s beauty and felt God had brought me into a better place, a place of healing, and that I was ready to think about trying again.

Today we rejoice that we have our happy and healthy almost three year old son. I can honestly say that I am so grateful, for even though we walked such a dark and painful time we truly knew God was with us.  We have been told we will have troubles in this life, but in Jesus we have a hope and a salvation, and that definitely helped us through.  God has helped us move forward, but it doesn’t mean we forget.  We know one day that we will meet our baby in Heaven.

I believe we have to be honest and open with God, to share when our hearts are broken.  This song I wrote after several years of flashbacks and nightmares to the time when I was lying in hospital waiting.  Writing this song gave voice to my brokenness, it spoke what I would have said had I found the words that night.  I simply asked that God would hold me in his arms, take the fear away and help me through. I encourage you no matter what you go through to be honest and open with God, to know that he will be with you through every high and low. Just look at the Psalms in the Bible.

Today marks four years to the day that we found out our precious baby had died.  This has been an incredibly hard date for us, especially as that date already held a sadness and previous loss in our family.  A wise friend suggested that I did something positive on this date, so that it didn’t hold a fear over me.  So today I’m sharing a track ‘In your arms’ from my forthcoming album ‘Voice of truth’.

And I pray that it would encourage you.

Many blessings,

Kat

‘Voice of truth’  – Live recording

So the last few weeks have been so busy that it has taken me a while to get around to writing this blog.  I am very much looking forward to a few quieter days as I need to switch off and unwind a bit.

I’ve nearly finished recording for the album – just a few small parts to go before it gets edited, mixed and mastered. I will be announcing the release date soon. In my next few blogs I will be talking about what’s been going on and how it’s all progressing.

On Friday 11th March I became the first artist to do a live recording at Crown Lane studio!  The idea behind this was to record the 5 acoustic tracks for the album in front of an audience in the studio. I write at the piano and producer John really wanted to keep the intimacy and simplicity of these tracks so I was let loose on the keys.  We felt doing simple acoustic versions would work well and weave together nicely with the more built up and produced tracks. I love singing to an audience and sharing the stories behind the songs so this was a great experience for me.   I had been struggling all week with a stinking cold and bad throat and was so grateful for God’s provision giving me a full voice and strength to sing on the night.

John and Bill did a wonderful job setting up the studio beautifully for an audience to be able to see firsthand how the recording worked, and see it all in progress. There were several sets of headphones so that the audience could hear what was going on in my headphones, and hear it all coming together in the mix. They also took it in turn to go and sit in the control room and see the mixing desk, whilst watching through the glass. (Image)

My friend Becky did a wonderful job on backing vocals for two of the songs.  Whilst I was in the studio with Bill (on guitar) with the audience, she was behind us in the control room recording her bvs at the same time.  It helps me perform well when surrounded by such talented musicians.  I have found that as I have spent more time in the studio I have grown in confidence. It was very special for family and friends to be a part of this process, and really helped me connect with the songs.   There was a lot of laughter for anytime I made a mistake these were punctuated by comical facial expressions or me blowing raspberries! Three of the live tracks worked beautifully just as they were, but with the other two songs we decided a little bit of extra guitar and bvs etc to build it up enough to fit on the album between the other songs.

The whole evening was such an enjoyable experience, and I am truly grateful to John and Bill for the hard work, and for all the running around, setting up and provision of food and refreshments that my lovely hubby Ali did!  We even had a sneaky curry, although I had to wait till I had finished all my songs which was especially hard as I had to watch everyone else tucking in!

I also decided to redo my vocals on “Little Girl”.  I found when I was recording this song the complications of playing piano, being in time with the guitar, and listening to a click track made it harder to have the right focus for singing.  When listening back I decided I needed a cleaner vocal to keep the simplicity of the song. I have so enjoyed seeing how things have grown, and have grown in my own confidence of knowing what I like, and when something works or doesn’t.

Have a brilliant week!

God bless,

Kat

Voice of truth

Hello! I hope you are doing well this week! I am excited to say that in early February I will be getting back into studios at Crown Lane with John Merriman and Bill Sherrington to start recording my new project titled ‘Voice of truth’.  I can’t wait!

Song writing is one of my passions and something that I feel God has blessed me with and is leading me in.  I have used song writing to help me work through the ups and downs, and to process the different emotions life entails.  When I started writing about fifteen years ago, I was being bullied, and was struggling with anxiety and depression.  I was also in the middle of teenage angst and couldn’t make sense of who I was, how I was feeling and what I should be doing.  As I started to have counselling to help me get back on track they encouraged me to find a positive outlet for my feelings, so I started writing.  I would sit at the piano at home, turn the lights off and just play and sing what came to my heart.  I felt safe hiding in the dark and I would shut my eyes place my hands on the keys and from that chord I would then start writing.

When I look back my songs were incredibly basic and repetitive, and some pretty depressing – but  you have to start somewhere!  The biggest thing for me even through this difficult time was the desperation to be loved and chosen. In this place, I started to see glimmers of hope as I realised that God gave me strength. As I grew in my faith, in my confidence and my identity in him, this grew from a glimmer to a passion for God to be central to all my songs.

Some people ask if I write non-religious material but to be honest I write what I feel, I write what I know, what I love, and what overflows from my heart. God has become intrinsically part of my life and all my songs have to point to Him.  No matter what heartbreak and pain I am working through and highlighting in the song, I have to have that hope. The hope that says no matter how dark, hard, or painful a situation is, when we believe in God, accepting His love, mercy and grace He instils in us incredible hope, joy and peace.  I can trust that no matter how hard things are, He has good things for me.

I didn’t really set out to write an album, or plan it around a theme. I got to the point where I had a group of songs that I felt needed to be heard to encourage people and point them to God, songs that will remind people that they are not on their own in their struggles.  As I was looking through some of my material and thinking what went together a clear theme emerged – ‘Voice of truth’.  So often we hear and see so many lies that try to make us think that we are not worthy of love, joy, peace, that we will only be accepted if we buy or wear the right things. My songs proclaim God’s truth in different circumstances, and that we need to listen to that still small voice of truth and to allow truth and love to penetrate every area of life.

As I prayed and asked God to lead me clearly, he answered incredibly, in financial provision for the next recording.  I have found God has led me and provided for my every need when I simply ask and trust in Him. I am truly excited, and continue to pray that God would guide me and lead me, and that in all you do you would always hear His loving and affirming voice of truth.

God bless,

Kat

Encouragement to encourage

So, ‘Out of the Ashes’ is out! Thank you to all the lovely people who came to the album release event at TazZa in Sutton on Friday night – it was a really enjoyable evening, although slightly surreal being asked to sign CDs!  I am have been overwhelmed by the feedback and people’s positive comments on the album.  Thank you so much to everyone who has ordered an album.  Some people have been asking how they can get an album – you can either check out my shop on my website or my next event is on Sat 23rd May at Purley Baptist Church and albums will be available there.  We have now uploaded tasters for all of the tracks – do have a listen!

I want to say a big thank you to Cross Rhythms Radio Station who created an artist profile for me and mentioned my album release on their website. They will be doing a review of the album and a radio interview with me! (I’ll let you know when these are going live).   For those of you who have not heard of Cross Rhythms, they are Christian radio station who are fantastic at encouraging new artists.  They have some great stuff on their website – artist reviews, resources, and great music.

So something that has been on my mind recently is that it can be so easy to focus on negative comments, discouragements and lies.  Yet when we focus on these things we lose our joy, and peace and hope.  I have had plenty of discouragements and things to contend with over the years – but I have made the decision not to focus on the negative but remember all the encouragements that God has given me.  I have found this an amazing exercise.  Recently I have been going back over my life and thinking about people who have mentored me, encouraged me in some way small or big.  I have then been thanking God for these people and writing to these people to say thanks and sharing how their input into my life has helped me and been a real blessing.  I feel sometimes people have no idea how a small word, a gift, or a word of encouragement has impacted someone.  When you then hear (maybe) years later, it can be such a huge encouragement to keep going and to keep being an encourager.  I urge you to have a think about the people over your life who have encouraged you, or who have blessed you with kindness.  Focus on these things, and the areas that God has blessed you through others.  Maybe you might feel encouraged to let some of those people know how they have encouraged you!

I pray you have a great week!

God bless,
Kat

Only 2 days till the album launch!

So today I am having the fun task of getting all the envelopes ready to send out with the CDs that have been pre-ordered. If you want to order a copy, you can shop here and I will send it out first thing on Friday. The heart of this album is to bless and encourage and to point towards our awesome God!

I am so excited about the launch on Friday, and if you are local would be great to see you at TazZa Coffee Shop at 7.30pm. It will a very evening of music, chat, coffee and, of course, an opportunity to buy the album on release day.

Over the last few weeks I have been talking about the songs and the stories behind each song.  The last song on the album is called ‘Journey on’.  One of the biggest things I love doing is encouraging people to keep going and to know Jesus’ love and leading in their lives.  In this song I look at the reality that in this life we will have both times of great happiness and joy, and times of sorrow and pain.  Yet in this life we are on a journey and the heart of the song is to keep going, keep journeying on till the day when God calls us home to be with him.  There have been times in my life where everything seems great, and joyful and I am so happy and full of life.  And there have been other times when it takes a huge effort just to get through the day and I feel like I am clinging on by the fingertips.  I believe that God is with us through the highs and lows of life and I wanted to end the album with this encouragement, knowing that life is a journey with different seasons – but in the full knowledge that ultimately, we will be with him forever. This definitely gives me strength to keep going!

So in my last blog I talked about not knowing where God was leading but stepping out in faith.  I can already say God is starting to open doors which is really exciting – just to be cryptic, I will say more about this soon!  I am excited about what God has in store and I pray that you would know God’s peace, joy and strength in your life no matter what season you are walking through.

God bless,
Kat