For Faith Elizabeth, better known as Azariah, creating music rooted in reminders of worth is a deeply personal mission. The truths of infinite purpose and value saved her life— and now she’s out to offer them as lifelines for others.
Azariah has released a string of singles over the past year, with “Am I Beautiful?”, “We Are Warriors” and “Pull You Through” earning her increasing momentum. As she’s poised to make more music in 2022, Azariah spent some time chatting with ROP’s Matt Sassano about where she’s been and where she’s headed.
Hey Faith! So I heard about you and your music through the Christian rock scene grapevine a while ago. From what I understand, “Azariah” is a fairly new solo project. For those music fans who are new to you and your music, tell us about where you are from, your musical history and what brought Azariah about as a solo effort.
Azariah is a new solo project, and I just released my first single in April of 2021! I am from Springfield Missouri, and Springfield is usually known for its gospel and worship music. Not many rock artists are based in Springfield. So with me being a rock artist based out of Springfield, it’s definitely something different and unique!
As far as my musical history, I have always loved singing, since I was little. I picked up the violin in 5th grade, and played it till I was about 18. I picked up the bass guitar my freshman year of highschool, and I played in the youth group worship team as a bassist.
My first band, Crossing Fire, started in 2015 and ended in 2017. I took some music theory and choir classes in college in 2018. I started thinking about the idea of starting a solo project in 2018, so I decided to start taking vocal lessons from Zahna.
As far as my musical influences, I am very heavily influenced by Lacey Sturm, Dawn Michelle and of course Zahna. What really brought about Azariah as a solo effort was the fact I had difficulty finding any band members that had the same vision, goals and commitment to music as I did. So after several bands breaking up before my eyes, I felt God calling me to go solo, and so that is exactly what I did.
What does the name “Azariah” mean?
The name “Azariah” is Hebrew for “Warrior of God.” I wanted to come up with a unique name that would resonate with my story, and I was doing some research online and I found the name “Azariah,” so I decided to go with that.
You were one of the featured artists on this year’s Reformation Festival. Tell us about your performance there, what other artists were in attendance and how you personally feel you made an impact on that event?
Reformation Festival was the first concert I had ever performed as Azariah. I played with many other amazing artists, such as Zahna, Drive Thru Society, Relent, Chaotic Resemblance and Brian “Head” Welch.
I personally felt like I made quite an impact. I had one guy come up to me after the show and tell me that when he heard my testimony of how God saved me from suicide, it changed his mind about ending his life that night. He told me he came in that night to that concert with a plan to end his life, and when he heard my story, he said it changed his mind and inspired him to keep living.
One of the first things that stuck out to me while listening to your songs is the depth in your lyrics. For example, “Am I Beautiful?”, which was the first Azariah track I listened to. Can you tell us the meaning behind the track? What kind of person do you believe that song is written for?
“Am I Beautiful?” was written at a time when I was in a toxic relationship, and the guy I was with told me every day that I was worthless. I would question every day if I was worth anything at all. I would sacrifice who I was and what God wanted me to be for someone who didn’t see my worth.
I wrote the song to remind everyone who is feeling like they are not good enough, or unworthy to be loved, that they are not alone in their struggles. There is a God out there who sees their worth. This song is written for anyone who believes they are not good enough or worthy of love and care, who struggles with their self-image or worth.
What words of encouragement would you give to an Azariah listener who may be struggling to find their self-worth like you talked about in your song?
They are not alone, and whatever people have told them to make them believe they are not worth anything are lies. There is a God out there who loves them and values them immensely.
Your song “We Are Warriors” is a powerful anthem with a lot of passion and heart. What have been some personal experiences that have made you stronger? What do you think a modern-day warrior is?
One personal experience that has made me stronger was definitely the experience of abuse I suffered with the toxic guy I was married to. Though it wasn’t fun going through all the pain and suffering I went through, it helped me learn how to speak up when I am not being treated well. It allowed me to break away from the people-pleasing habits I had and learn how to say no and walk away from toxic behaviors and situations.
Another situation that made me stronger was when I was homeless. It wasn’t fun going through the hardships of being homeless, but it did make me even more grateful for the little things I have in life, such as a warm bed to sleep in. It helped me better sympathize with other people who are facing homelessness.
I think a modern-day warrior is someone who lays aside their own wants and needs in order to help someone else out in need. For example, parents lay aside their own wants in order to tend to the well-being and needs of their children.
For “We Are Warriors” you teamed up with the very talented Lori Peters George. She supports the Breast Cancer Can Stick it Foundation, and is the former drummer of Skillet and current drummer of Emerald Escape. How did that collaboration come about?
Casey Price from Forsaken Hero actually connected me with Lori Peters. I sent her my song “Am I Beautiful?” to give her a feel of how my style of music is, and surprisingly, she loved it and agreed to be featured on “We Are Warriors!”
It was such an honor and an amazing experience working with Lori! She is such a down-to-earth person, and she’s a very talented musician. She was super easy to work with, and we both had so much fun doing the song together! All in all, it was such an amazing experience.
Your tracks are recorded and produced by Casey Price of the band Forsaken Hero. Describe your creative process and what you both uniquely bring to the table working together.
Casey Price is such a great guy to work with! He is so talented. When we come up with a song, it usually starts out with me sending him some lyrics and a vocal melody I came up with. I will usually send him a song that inspired both the lyrics and vocal melody. From there, he usually will put the musical aspect of the song together. So I will come up with the lyrics and melody, and he will take it from there and throw around different instrumental ideas and even some better lyric ideas until we both come up with something we like.
Your latest release is an emotional ballad called “Pull You Through.” What do you hope listeners take from this song? What lyric lines from the track mean the most to you?
The message I hope listeners take from “Pull You Through” is that no matter what struggle you are facing, don’t lose hope and don’t give up. God is always there holding out His hand! God may not answer in the exact way you think he will, but he will always give you what you need to help you through whatever you are going through.
A few lyrics that mean the most to me are “Pain will make you stronger,” “Don’t lose hope He’s not too far,” and “Just let Him in He’ll win the fight.” These lines mean a lot to me, because when I went through dark moments, I felt like God had forsaken me. I was reminded through reading His Word that He will never leave nor forsake us! Rhose lines encouraged me to continue to hold on, because in the end, it would make me stronger if I allowed God to step in and work through my situation.
What is one song from any artist you admire that kept you going through a dark time?
One song that really helped me through dark time was a song called “Not Dead Yet” by Jen Ledger. It was a song about how she had been beaten down by a lot of circumstances and people, but despite all being knocked down and beaten, she kept getting back up and pressing forward because she was beaten, but not dead. The song really encouraged me to keep going and to not give up, no matter how hard or dark things get, because in the end, you will be stronger.
What other releases or potential collaborations can Azariah listeners expect in the future?
I have one other single coming out sometime in 2022, and two more that I plan to release over the next year that listeners can expect to hear. I have a potential collaboration with an amazing artist that I am quite fond of, and a potential collaboration with Zahna as well!
How can listeners connect with you?
Do you have any closing remarks or words you would like to offer people who are reading this interview right now?
I will say to all who are reading this interview right now, don’t give up on your dreams and what God has called you to do. God’s calling for us is never going to be easy, but whom He calls He equips. So never lose sight of what God has called you to do and who he has made you to be. Also, you are never too young to start doing things for God!