Stories Behind the Songs

This page is for the Curious George’s like myself. Whenever I listen to a song, my first thought is, “I wonder what/who the artist was writing about. What was the experience that led to this song?” These are the stories behind the songs you’ll find on my first full-length album: "This Is Who I Am."
~ Tiffany

Shortly before I turned 19 I broke up with my first boyfriend. When life hurts me like that, I can’t cry. I stuff all the emotions inside and summon a smile. All the pain from that relationship melted into my heart and become a part of me, until one brave day, eight months later, when I had the courage to face and relive it all. Not the smartest idea I know, but isn’t that something many of us do? We bury something, whether ourselves or our fears, behind a perfect mask, only “[showing] the world a brave face” of the person we think is wanted. Sooner or later we come to find that we can’t hide forever, and we need someone to come and rescue us.

This song is for every girl who has felt like she didn’t give someone a reason to stay. As someone who has felt unlovable and perpetually single, I have learned to trust that as we walk the path God has prepared for us, we will discover that His perfect will satisfies our souls. Funny story: I actually wrote this song as a response to Taylor Swift's "White Horse." I got halfway through listening to "White Horse" and thought, "This is how so many girls feel - like they're not a princess! And this is how I feel so many times - like I give no one a reason to stay." So I pulled out my guitar and wrote this song for myself (and all the other girls) who feel like their life can never be a fairytale. Then I heard the rest of Taylor's song and realized - Oh! That's actually a great ending!

Get Out of My Head
Three years after breaking up with a boyfriend, my mind was still on “repeat,” playing and replaying the hurtful things he had said. One night I came home furiously determined to get that mental tape player out of my head once and for all.

This Is Beauty
This is my story in song form, and the main song for “The Insatiable Quest for Beauty”™ Seminar. It compares and contrasts my pursuit of beauty and romance in this world with the love and glory I found in Christ. Another funny story as to its origin: I had planned on competing in a pageant, and I wrote this song to be performed as my talent. Only thing is, I ended up withdrawing from the pageant so I could study abroad in Australia that year. Go figure that God can use even something as trivial as just planning for a pageant that I never attended, to give me the inspiration for a song that has become the backbone of my seminar.

Giving In
I wrote this for my best friend.  I don't know what more to say, so I'll just let the song speak for itself.

Who Will Go
If life had gone the way I wanted it to at 18, I would be one of the walking dead. But God had a different plan for me. As I walked on stage to play at a youth conference in 2009, my heart was overwhelmed with the realization that if I had gone my own way, I would not be walking into all the dreams God had put in my heart. I looked into the “sea of a thousand faces” and was overwhelmed with a desire to pour out my life in such a way that would make God’s love known to young people. I was willing to “face the fear of failure,” willing to go wherever God led, and willing to “stay awhile” anywhere He positioned me. My eyes filled with tears, my voice trembled, and I nearly lost it every time I opened my eyes and saw the faces for whom I wanted to pour out my life.

I started writing this song at age 17, about the insatiable quest for beauty™ on which I had just embarked. Over the first few months of my quest, tug of war was played over my soul, as part of my heart struggled to run back to Jesus, and part of my heart was striving to grab hold of surface appearances and lust. Four years later I was able to finish this song: On a boat ride around the coast of New Zealand the lyrics appeared in my mind along with my own personal conclusion that “what this world offers is dust, and you can’t build a life on dust.”

Empty Hands
When I was 17, I wrote this song, surrendering a potential relationship to the Lord, and saying, “God, I don’t want to hold anything closer to my heart than You. I’ve tried to make things happen my way, but I always mess them up. You are the only One who truly satisfies my heart.” This song has become the theme song of my life. I want to walk before God with empty hands, so I can reach out and grab hold of Him.

I LOVE this song - possibly my fav on the CD - because I think this short interlude sounds like Imogen Heap!  But it has come to mean more to me than just sounding cool; this song holds special significance for my CD.  My name means appearance or awakening (Dawn) of the presence of God (Tiffany), and that is exactly what I pray this album will do in your life: Awaken a hunger to pursue the Lord and find out whose you are.  This song is the title or summary page of my CD; all the other songs detail the journey of my awakening, and I hope they inspire you as well.

This Is Who I Am
During my junior year of college God asked me, “Tiffany, if I called you to be a stay-at-home mom in the middle of nowhere and never touch anyone’s life but your own children’s, would you be okay with that?” While that is a beautiful ambition, it is very different than the dreams I have, and so my instant response was, “No way, God.” He said, “But you need to be, because I need to be enough for you. You see, your calling is not to be a mother or to be a missionary or to be a speaker. Your calling is to love me. There will be times in life when I ask you to do each of those things, but those things are never your calling. Your calling is always to love me.” Today the greatest desire I have, the one thing I strive for above all else, is to be His.  Fully His.

Song in My Heart
One of my friends wrote me an encouraging email in 2008, reminding me that God was the One who put a song in my heart, and God was the One who knew how to bring that song out of my heart. I forgot about the email until I was in the process of recording a full-length CD a year later. Then I found the email and wrote this song, dedicating my music to God.

"Meet" the Talented Musicians on the Album

These are the AMAZING guys who put SO much effort, talent, and hours (upon hours upon hours) of their time into transforming my songs into a work of art. I can never thank them enough!! 

~ Tiffany 

Nathan Cronk: My wonderful and ridiculously talented friend Nate Cronk 
This guy is like a brother to me. We met during my time at Roberts Wesleyan College, and since then have become fast friends. Nate was the first person I went to when I decided to record a CD. His mind takes music places no one else would think to go. He was my translator in the studio (from English into Music language), wrote several of the guy harmonies, sang male vocals on "Someday" and "Giving In," played guitar, composed the string trio and quartet parts, created the guitar hook for Someday, was the main arranger for the songs, took hours and hours of time to work with me individually and with the band and in the studio, flipped some of my minor chords out for major chords, encouraged and coached me, and teased me incessantly about my depressingly minor songs. Basically, he transformed the songs I wrote into the music they are today. This guy is genius in a body and has written some of my favorite worship songs in the whole world! Check out one of his amazing songs here! (You'll see me singing in the choir in the background...)

Brian Moore: My crazy awesome producer Brian 
You wouldn't guess that my INCREDIBLE producer has an obsession with Star Wars figurines. In fact, he has a whole room in the studio strictly designated for his collection. And it's full. Brian Moore from Red Booth Studios is the power and brains behind this operation. From pushing me to sing and play my best to arranging parts for songs; from mixing and comping until he got it just right to hearing what a simple song could be and taking it to the next level, I LOVED working with Brian. He played bass, some of the guitar, sang male vocals on "Mask", and threatened to turn my music into rap songs. If you are looking for a producer, I would highly, Highly, HIGHLY recommend Brian with Red Booth Studios. Check him out by clicking here! (And when you meet him, make sure you ask to see the Star Wars collection...) 

Mike Zale: The fabulous Zale, man of all instruments 
I went to church with this guy for a few years before I found out that while he was in college, he had toured the country with his band and recorded several CDs. WHAT? Seriously, the things you don't know about the people who sit in the row in front of you... Mike heard me sing at a variety show at church and afterward gave me his card, in case I was interested in recording. I actually hadn’t planned on recording yet, but was keeping an eye out for good studios, so Mike put me in touch with Brian Moore. The rest is history. Mike was the one who had the idea that Nate should write a guitar hook for Someday (the hook which completely and totally made the song), played cello on the CD, played bass and drums during band practices (as needed), gave incredible arrangement ideas, first called "Someday" my single, tried to figure out guys to set me up with, and helped make these songs what they are today. He's been an invaluable resource to me for learning about this whole licensing and copyright process, as well. Talk about talent. 

Greg Best: My bind-blowingly phenomenal drummer!! 
WOW. That's all. Just, WOW. When Nate told me about this guy, he said he was a great drummer, but I had no idea. A 20-year-old percussion major at Nazareth College, Greg tears the drums apart, playing take after perfect take. My producer agreed: He's nasty. Greg walked into the studio on day one, played for just a few hours, and had all the rock songs done. He said, "I asked God to show me how to really nail these songs." That was one answered prayer! The next day he came in the studio and finished the rest of the songs. Two half days and all the drums done!! What the heck?? Keep your eye out for this guy...or check him out by clicking here! 

These are the guys who really went out of their way to spend hours and hours working with me. However, I have a few more people to thank. 
To musicians/singers Krysta Cagwin, Ronnie Lewis, Dan Lopata, Kim Miller, Kyle Sortore, and David Stacy; my photographer and CD cover designer Amanda Robinson: Thank you all SO MUCH for your help playing on and/or being a part of creating this album! I am so, so thankful for each of you!