ARTIST NAME: Summer
SONG TITLE: You Are Good
ALBUM TITLE: Love Letters
GENRE: Christian & Gospel
Summer Pearson is an award-winning independent recording artist from Maryland.
Summer’s album “Love Letters” debuted in the Top 50 of the Billboard Gospel Charts, and the lead single “Promised (Never Alone)” penetrated radio across the U.S., Canada, and England.
Summer has won several awards as a singer-songwriter, including the 2018 ACHI Magazine Songstress of the Year, 2018 Winner of the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s Sing Into Spring Competition, and 2018 S&M Gospel Indie Music Female Contemporary Vocalist of the Year.
Summer has been blessed to perform for many prestigious events, including the annual Caring Awards, “Thanks Obama” event at Arena Stage on President Obama’s last night in the office, the H Street Festival, and the National Cherry Blossom Parade.
Summer has also released several recording projects with other artists, including a Christmas single in 2018 by “Tanya Summer Alache,” and projects with Stellar Award-nominated gospel group – Charles Butler and Trinity, Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) Exalting Him Finalists (with the trio “Power”), and Emory University’s Gospel Choir, to name a few.
She has sung background vocals, and/or opened up for numerous accomplished artists, including Pastor Hezekiah Walker, Tamela Mann, and finalists from America’s Got Talent – Sons of Serendip.
Summer uses her talents as a worship leader, special educator, actress, and host of the TV show “Gospel Music Magazine” (which airs online and on cable networks across the US).
She also practiced law for several years with the federal government.
Summer considers her role as mom to her two amazing sons to be her most important work.
Tell us how you develop your sound and style to make it different from other musicians.
I listen to a variety of music – recorded and live, and allow elements of the music I like to come through in my own style. I believe it’s important to not put myself in a box and to always aim to experiment and grow.
Tell us your opinion on the way new artists are coming up and the frequent release of songs.
It is exciting to see so many people emerge as artists who feel free to explore their own creativity and share their experiences/beliefs/art through music.
The frequent release of songs and the ever-increasing number of new artists make it harder to become noticed and make real traction when pursuing a music career.
It also means that some amazing music will be buried, and potentially will not be heard by many, because the market is so saturated.
Still, I think competition challenges us to be more creative and persistent in making quality music and getting it to our audiences.
State your experience as a musician.
I started singing as a soloist in the church at a very young age and never stopped.
Music is an incredible gift to me because it enables me to communicate deep feelings and questions that I have not always been comfortable expressing in everyday conversation.
Over the years I have played in large and small venues for diverse audiences, and the greatest takeaway for me is always the person who felt so connected to me through my music (and my story) that they found a breakthrough they had been hoping for.
Good music has the power to heal and deliver, and I take that very seriously.
Tell us your opinion on streaming and digital download of songs.
Streaming and digital downloads are so convenient and instantly gratifying, so musicians have to get used to it as a way of life.
From a financial perspective, it makes it harder to earn a living from making music, but from the perspective of making our music widely available, it is a tremendous asset that I believe artists should exploit as much as possible.
Tell us your goals and plans.
I plan to keep performing and making music that feeds my soul. I am working on a new body of music and developing tour plans. My goal is to expand my audience and share hope through music.
Tell us five current artists that are your favorite.
Tell us your best song up to date and share the link.
I believe my best song up to date is “Promised (Never Alone)”; the song takes us on a journey through despair and doubts to the truth that God keeps his promise to never leave nor forsake us. The freedom and peace in that promise are life-changing.
Tell us your dream and hope for the future.
My dream and hope for the future are to continue to be a woman of integrity, faith, and laughter and make music that inspires others to do the same.
I’m also a mom to two amazing sons, and my dreams and hopes are so wrapped up in giving them the best life possible, and the tools to become amazing men of God!
Tell us what has changed in the music industry.
So much has changed – music does not sell the way it once did, and record label budgets for artists have diminished. Music is available for streaming and/or download in so many places that we have a ton of music at our fingertips. There is truly something for everyone available now, and much of it is available for free on the Internet.
Tell us your opinion on television/radio stations playing the same songs from established artists and giving little chances to independent artists.
I think this is an area where we need to see more diversity in what is played and who gets opportunities. I was shocked to learn how limited the radio and TV opportunities are for talented independent artists.
It can be discouraging as you wonder if you will ever be able to break through a system that works against you.
However, I believe audiences want more variety; local audiences want to hear their local artists on the radio, and so many indie artists are making music worthy of worldwide distribution. Something has to change.
Tell us the challenges independent artists are facing and how to tackle them.
One of the challenges for independent artists was just mentioned – breaking through to TV and radio. Indie artists have to continue to try to push through the barriers and utilize other means to let our music be heard, e.g., internet radio, local shows, social media.
Another challenge that independent artists often face is a lack of resources (financial and manpower). We cannot keep up with signed artists who have a machine behind them, and will often exhaust ourselves and our limited resources trying to keep up.
I think it’s important for independent artists to be strategic in how we spend our limited funds, and to recruit a team of people that may not have deep experience in the music business, but who will work hard and smart to learn the business and propel the artist forward.
Tell us your opinion on using social media to promote music online.
It is necessary to promote music on social media, and because it’s free, we should never neglect to do so.
Tell us about your music career.
Most of my time is spent performing for various public and private events – corporate events, parades, worship services, weddings, etc. I also am available for studio session work and vocal coaching. No matter the size of the venue or the paycheck attached to a performance, I believe in giving each audience my all.
Tell us what still motivates you to go on with your music career.
I continue to pursue a music career because I am called to do so. I am living my divine purpose.
Tell us about you as a person.
People describe me as the “sunshine.” I believe that life is too short to be miserable, so I choose joy every day. I can be incredibly focused, but am also as silly as they come. I love to laugh! And I LOVE people! Performing for me is all about connecting with people, and leaving them better off than they were before I hit the stage.
Elaborate on the story behind the song.
I wrote “You Are Good” when I needed to believe that God is good because at that time my life did not feel good. I was facing divorce and losing our family home/community after just having made the decision to pursue music ministry full-time (which meant a significant loss of income from my prior work as an attorney).
It was a very tough time, but I had a faith that was immovable. I needed to remember that this was NOT the first time in my life when life was hard, and despite the pain I’d experienced before, God had been there for me, and brought me through it whole and with a testimony.
Thus the lyrics: “You are good, you always have been. No matter what comes or goes, you are good.” I needed the strength to refuse to be defeated, so I remembered that God had called me to sing for Him, and I couldn’t let the pain swallow the passion or the calling.
Tell us the process involved in making this song.
I sat down at the piano and began to sing. I can barely play the piano but found the chords to support the very simple, profound lyrics that my spirit was singing.
God did the rest when I sang “You Are Good” for a very talented producer “Vincent V.Rich Richardson.”
I feared the song might be too simple to record, but I remember him saying “sometimes, simple is better.”
Vincent helped me bring the song to life, and eventually, Cordaro Rodriguez of the Sons of Serendip from America’s Got Talent added the string arrangement that elevated the song from beautiful to a masterpiece.
State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.
SUMMER – it’s the name my parents chose for me, and I believe my name embodies the essence of who I am, so I decided to only use my first name as an artist. I am bright, colorful, joyful, passionate, and warm like the Summer. 🙂
State the title of the song and the meaning.
You Are Good – Meaning – God is good. He never changes, therefore His goodness never changes. He was good, is good, and always will be good.
Difficult circumstances do not mean God’s goodness is waning; we just have to believe His promise in Romans 8:28 that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. Keep fighting. Keep lifting your voice. Keep going. Don’t give up. God’s goodness is forever.
State the title of the album and the reason for choosing the title.
Love Letters – I chose this title for the album because the songs were expressions of my heart to God during a difficult personal season involving divorce, loss, and frustration.
I wrote these songs to God, not knowing that they would become an album to help others connect with the depths of God in the context of our imperfect lives. These songs are my love letters to God who has loved me perfectly all of my life.