"What I really want, above all else, is for the songs I write to communicate emotional honesty," Sarah Kelly explains. "A song is a way to speak, a voice beyond what you can normally say in life. This music gave me voice when I had none, and my prayer is to do the same for others."
Sarah Kelly began to hone her songwriting skills at the early age of seven, and eventually found her songs being incorporated into the worship services of her local church as she continued to develop as a writer and performer. You Overwhelm Me, an independent project Sarah recorded in 2000, was birthed during a time she served as worship leader for Master's Commission, an internationally-based discipleship training program for students aged 18 and up. Before she knew it, concert requests came in from around the world including England, Ireland, and Canada.
Since the release of her first album, Sarah Kelly has been touring and pouring into the lives of others without rest. She plans to continue touring heavily, though her heart for young people today extends far beyond just performing in front of audiences. Whenever she has free time, she teaches piano to as many as she can, hoping that the gift of music can have as much of an impact in youth culture as it has in her own life. At present she has nearly 900 piano students. She is truly an example of Biblical healing who will, no doubt, continue to lead others to the same experience.
"I want to see people of every class, age, and background to be able to have the opportunity to play music or have it be in their lives. I want to take any success I have and filter that into affecting change and transformation. My music career is just a means to an end to teach kids how to allow the Lord to speak to them through song. This is an all-consuming passion, and it's why I have been placed here in this position."
In 2005, Sarah Kelly was performing with her band at a city festival in the midwest for a mixed audience of college students and young adults, one year after the release of her debut album Take Me Away. It seemed to be a normal show as she sang her songs, but something was restless inside of her. Then, in the middle of her set she stopped the show. Gripped by heavy emotions, she began to share the story behind a new song (Out of Reach). As she spoke she reached down to her journal, which was lying next to her onstage, and ripped a page out of it. Sarah then began to read her most secret, haunting moments to the crowd. It was the first time she would ever acknowledge her abusive past to the public. Not one single person uttered a sound as she continued to tell her story. Moments passed. Her band just stood there in silence, not knowing what to do. When she had finished speaking, she asked the crowd one question: "Is there anyone out there who has experienced these things as well?"
Over twenty young ladies began walking forward to the stage independently of one another, and several men as well. She didn't give an altar call to prompt them, and she didn't even preach. They just came. The entire place was paralyzed, still. Instead of leading into a song, she went down to the crowd, praying with each and every one of them, asking God to heal their wounds. She ended her show at that point and did not play another song. It was the single most powerful ministry experience she has ever had before or since. She confesses in the song, I never knew how good life could be. So this is peace. I'm out of reach of yesterday. Far away. And I see life, yes I see life. Ahead not behind.
"I lived in place of quiet fear for so many years, keeping silent about the cycle of abusive relationships in my life. I found that my only outlet for honesty was in music. It was the only place where I felt true joy. When I started to experience that release in the songs I wrote, played, and performed, I woke up and realized that I didn't need to live that way. Once I started being honest with myself healing and peace followed."
Listen to Sarah Kelly here
|You Overwhelm Me||2000||Independent|
|Rebuild My Heart||2003||Independent|
|Sarah Kelly EP||2003||Independent|
|Take Me Away||2004||Gotee Records|
|Where the Past Meets Today||2006||Gotee Records|
|Born To Worship||2008||Gotee Records|
|Midnight Sun||2010||Gotee Records|