From Austin Adamec

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A lot of unforgettable stories begin with being pulled over by the police for questioning. Add to them the one about bright new artist Austin Adamec whose debut album, My Only Answer , might not have been on your radar today had the law —and the Lord—not intervened. Despite what it may sound like, this young man with a stead y heart for worship and knack for writing great pop songs was never exactly on the wrong road , so to speak. He just needed some clear direction, a well-timed reminder of what God had be en showing him ever since he was a boy. Austin was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida , a surfer kid whose parents still own a third generation Harley-Davidson motorcycle dealership th at dates back to the 1930s. Despite all the fun of riding both waves and choppers, Adamec has a distinct childhood memory of how an especially tough time involving the family business defined the early development of his faith. “I was five. My grandfather had died of a heart att ack, and my dad was struggling to deal with that and take over the company. I remember waking o ne morning—it was still dark out—and seeing him with his face buried in the couch prayin g, God I need You. You are my only answer . That stayed with me. The world offers different rem edies, but Jesus really is the only answer.” From then on, his parents’ spiritual surrender duly set the tone for Austin’s upbringing. Worship music filled their home, dad played drums at church , and by age twelve Adamec was a budding drummer and guitarist as well with an ear for Top 4 0 and R&B hits. In his teens he became part of YouthQuake Live, a popular local ministry that t akes a Saturday Night Live approach—skits, music, news—to sharing the gospel with other young people in the Jacksonville region. “There were as many as 200 people coming to the Lor d at each event, and I felt changed as well,” Adamec says. “I started to think I could fin d myself feeling led to do more of this.” Sure enough, Austin got that opportunity a few year s later attending the University of Florida in Gainesville. There at one of the nation’s perennial ly top-ranked “party schools,” Adamec was focused like flint on his faith. He joined Campus C rusade for Christ alongside classmate and football star Tim Tebow and was soon leading worshi p—even sharing some of his own songs— at a weekly meeting that regularly attracted 2,500 students. “We all had a heart for unity among the body of Chr ist and called the gatherings UniteNOW,” Austin explains. “These were outdoor worship events held in various places around the city, and there was an intentional effort to put aside de nominational differences and simply worship ‘in Christ alone.’ And it was amazing. People would wander over from a fast food restaurant next door. Someone would get baptized in a nearby a partment swimming pool. It was exciting!” But suddenly this major wave of college ministry wi ped out on an education endgame; Adamec graduated, moved back home, and put his marketing d egree to work selling ads at a TV station. Trading his passion for a job he was grateful to ha ve but didn’t like lasted a year until Austin cried out one night driving down Beach Blvd.: God, I can’t do this anymore. I want to do music; that’s my heart. I’m so tired of being double-minde d. Have your way with me. Show me a sign! Now, Austin Adamec is the first to admit what happe ned next is hard to believe, but this is God we’re talking about. The prayer ended, and a police car’s unmistakable pull-over siren sounded; a sobbing, soul-searching young man doesn’t always pay close attention to the speed limit. The officer learned that Austin was wrapping up a long day that began with twelve hours of ad sales followed by a late night worship service. It was th at last part that piqued the lawman’s interest. “He heard my story and said, ‘So if I let you out o f this ticket, will you come lead worship at my church?’ I went there that Sunday, and the whole co ngregation prayed for me. The officer said he felt like we’d had a divine appointment and that God was going to use me for His purpose through music. I just had to take Isaiah 40:31 to h eart and learn to wait on His timing.” It didn’t take long for Austin’s strength to be ren ewed. Two months later a friend connected Adamec with Nashville producer Barry Weeks (Frances ca Battistelli) to create a demo. That led to more worship leading invites around the southeas t that would eventually replace the day job back in Jacksonville. In time, he signed a contract with Reunion Records (Casting Crowns) and was introduced to award-winning producer Jason Ingr am (Chris Tomlin) who has helped shape My Only Answer into a ten-for-ten set of worship friendly, radio ready standout songs. What sets Austin Adamec and My Only Answer apart in 2014 is the seamless combining of two major genres that people deeply love but don’t alwa ys fuse: pop and praise. Austin’s enthusiastic writing thrives on the type of giant h ooks found in modern acts like OneRepublic and Maroon5, the vocal agility of diverse singers f rom Usher to Gavin DeGraw, and above all the pure spirit of worship coming from the Hillsong and Gateway churches. “I didn’t really grow up with this plan to be an ar tist, so whatever my music sounds like isn’t preconceived,” says Adamec. “I’m more concerned wit h getting the lyric to talk so that people will hear about and come to Jesus; come into the pl ans God has for them. My Only Answer is more than a song or an album title. It’s what I bel ieve. He really is God. If you give Him your life He can mend the pieces of your broken heart. He rea lly does hold everything together.” Indeed, it’s this recurring theme of grace, freedom , and provision across every track that holds My Only Answer together so well. “Chains Break” is pop with aband on, a contagious spirit of overcoming. “Gravity” plays with words and encircli ng rhythms to express God’s merciful magnetic pull on the human heart. With a Coldplay t wist, “I Wouldn’t Trade” dances into the listener’s memory bank with poetic precision: I’m alive with your life. You sustain my breath. Austin counts the slow-burning “All the Brighter” a s his favorite to perform live, a compelling examination of how God’s sustaining light is easier to see in dark times. Similarly, “Christ in Me”—with a praise chorus churches could easily embr ace—victoriously turns from night to day. The waltzing “How You Love Me” showcases Adamec’s p leasing voice with words that mark the album’s enthusiastic emotional core transcending th ose dark nights: Jesus, You are for me! Finally, My Only Answer is best summarized by its first single and title t rack, a booming pop song with a bold payoff and proclamation: I’m not the one I used to be. Jesus, You are all I need . “If I have Him, I have everything. That’s really my only answer,” says Austin. “The message is bigger than the music. My mission is what defines m e, to make famous the name of Jesus. He is desperately trying to capture our hearts and show o thers how much He loves them. I just want to put myself in His plan so He can use me to reach those people.” ###