Brooke Fraser source of daylight
Though she has been performing in the Christian music scene for years, Wellington singer-songwriter Brooke Fraser has come to wider public notice this year with the release of her album ‘What To Do With Daylight’. Brooke was nominated for six different categories at the New Zealand music Awards this year including that of the nation’s break-through artist for 2004.
Brooke has become a high profile supporter of World Vision. She has travelled to Cambodia with World Vision, her song ‘Better’ is used as a backing track to the organisation’s television advertisements, and she has acted as a World Vision spokesperson.
Last month Brooke took time out to answer some questions from Touchstone writer Tracey Anderson.
T: How did you get started playing music?
BF: My mum tells the story of how, when I was two, she walked into a room to find me playing "Doe a Deer" on the piano. So from when I was a small child, music was the way that I was naturally inclined to express myself. When I was seven I began learning piano and I continued lessons for ten years. I started writing songs at twelve, and picked up clarinet and guitar in the following years.
T: Were you involved in church music related activities when you were young as well as now? Did you play in a band at church?
BF: I became a Christian at 15, and played my first Parachute Music Festival six months later. It was around this time that I also began singing in the church worship team and playing at various Christian events.
T: Did your connections at church help you to get to know other musicians that supported your career?
BF: Definitely. My biggest support early on was Soul Purpose, a youth and music ministry in Wellington that signed me up as one of their artists, put together a band for me, and became great friends and mentors. The value they placed on the role of the creative arts in the church was invaluable in helping me "find my place" of service and contribution to the body of Christ.
T: When did you first attend or play at Parachute Festival? What do you think about Parachute?
BF: Parachute got behind me when my music was still in a very embryonic stage and have supported and championed me ever since. I love Parachute and think it's by far the most impacting event in our nation in terms of encouraging youth to embrace and live their faith.
T: Are your songs written as praise songs? Is your faith important when you are writing or performing a song?
BF: Creativity is a gift to us from a creative God. Thus, I believe every song I write will have something of my Maker in there, whether obvious to others or even to myself.
T: Were you actively seeking ways to be part of World Vision? What was you role in Cambodia?
BF: No. I had sponsored a child from the age of 17 and was already friends with the director of the WV Artists Associate Programme. A year or so after I began sponsoring a child I was invited into the programme and said YES! We were given a tour of the incredible work of World Vision in and around the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh and also, on our final day, were driven out to the villages to meet our sponsored children.
T: What role does charity work play in connection to your faith?
BF: Jesus said, ‘Whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me’.
T: Do you see yourself as having a long-term active involvement in organisations that are aiming to break cycles of poverty and dependency?
BF: Yes. I believe once you are informed and aware of the state of our world, you are responsible.