Tony Cummings quizzed the thought-provoking singer/songwriter TINA BOONSTRA
London-based Tina Boonstra has had a couple of Cross Rhythms radio hits recently. We spoke to the 7Core Music recording artist.
Tony: The last time Cross Rhythms spoke to you was pre-covid. How has the pandemic and everything since affected your career and your spiritual focus?
Tina: The pandemic was a really tough time, wasn't it? Sometimes I look back now and think, did that really happen? Did we all have to sit at home alone and not see anyone? It was brutal. For a while, those times in lockdown just became about surviving, getting through it. But after that, I think there was space and time to dream and imagine what life could be, what was important to me. And I think as an artist it gave me time to be more playful, try out new ideas, change my creative process and explore new kinds of sounds and stories.
Tony: Congratulations on getting "Call Me Thomas" onto the Cross Rhythms Top 10.
Tina: Thank you! I really appreciate all the support you've given me and that song. "Call Me Thomas" is one of my favourites on the album. It's inspired by the disciple of Jesus who gets the nickname "doubting Thomas" - which I think is kind of harsh considering everything he went through. If I was in his position, I'd find it pretty hard to believe that my best friend, who I saw being brutally murdered, was around for dinner the other night. Sometimes we give ourselves and other people a really hard time for having doubts, when really, it's the most natural and logical thing. And yet, having doubts about a person doesn't mean it's the end of a relationship. I think that's the story of Thomas, and it's my story too.
Tony: Tell me a bit about the 'Circle Back, Start Again' album.
Tina: The album is a collection of stories about ordinary people trying to find new ways to start again. For a while I didn't understand why I was writing these songs about nurses and teachers and mothers, I thought perhaps they needed me to tell their story. But then I realised they were showing me how to live, when life had been really hard. When things get difficult, sometimes getting lost inside a story can bring comfort and encouragement that good advice never could. And that's what I hope for with these songs. I hope they're a comfort to tired people and a companion for when we're feeling all alone.
Tony: Many Christians seem to be caught up with definitions... "this is Christian music", "this is worship music". Is this fair comment?
Tina: I don't know.
Tony: What caused you to write "If I Could"?
Tina: I wrote this song after my friends' baby died in the womb. It was such a shock, we didn't know what to say or what to do. So I did the only thing I know how to do, I told their story. Saying the hard things that happened out loud doesn't fix anything, but I think it matters anyway. The stories we tell shape our lives, and this is a hard one, we all felt it.The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.