We asked Naomi Striemer about her singer/songwriter pursuits and the impact that music has had on her life.
inSpire – Naomi, I have only recently heard about you and am impressed with how God is using your music to touch so many lives. Before we hear about your current musical pursuits, please tell us a bit of your story. Where were you raised and what it was like growing up?
Striemer – I grew up on a farm in Nova Scotia, home-schooled and secluded from all media sources. The only music I knew were the traditional hymns from our small Church, the folk scripture songs my parents would compose, classical orchestration and choir music. It was definitely God planting a seed in my heart at a very young age that made me want to pursue a life and career of singing and music.
I didn’t know it [being a musical artist] was a real career until I was around 10 years-old. At which time I discovered the radio and TV. From that point on it was everything, all the time, about my career and dream. That sheer dedication landed me in the President’s office of Epic/Sony Records signing my first major, million dollar, record deal at 18 years-old. I literally went from the farm, milking goats, collecting eggs, weeding the garden, canning and making homemade bread to a few years later traveling the world, working in some of the biggest cities, with some of the most successful people of our time in pop culture. It was a complete 180 in lifestyle and experiences.
inSpire – That’s an incredible story. God has certainly blessed you with musical abilities, and it’s not surprising that the music industry was eager to market your talent. So, you were raised in a Christian home and were undoubtedly taught to believe that God wanted to use you to bless others. As you were drawn more into the business side of the industry was there ever a time when you were asked to compromise your personal beliefs or spiritual commitment?
Striemer – Through my early years my Mom was always with me as a chaperon. Which I believe shielded me from a lot of situations. Throughout my early life I had always maintained a strong mentality regarding drugs and alcohol. Refusing it as a teenager with peers, and continuing to refuse it as an adult in the Entertainment industry, although, there were numerous situations where it was readily available and everyone around me was doing it.
My spiritual beliefs were always made known to whomever I was working with, and I can honestly say it was an area that people always respected. I believe it had a lot to do with 90% of the music industry getting their start in the Church. Many of the people I worked with maintained respect for the Church, God and beliefs, even though they themselves had slipped away. It taught me that if you stand strong, people will respect you for it. They might even ask questions about your faith, that can lead to witnessing, which was the case in many situations for me. The only problem was, I was keeping it all ‘in-house’ and not boldly living out my love for Christ in ALL that I did. I had made my career about me–when life is too short for that. The only message we should be sending out is one of salvation. There really isn’t enough time in life to be focused on singing songs about being “dumped,” or, “I’m broken hearted because of you.” The message is, God loves you! And that He has given you a free gift! Let’s praise Him and rejoice!
inSpire – Naomi, what compels you to keep writing and publishing new music?
Striemer – Great question! Music has always been an integral part of my life, even from childhood. I’ve always been deeply moved by well written pieces and feel as though music can speak in a way that sometimes words cannot. Music still excites me, the passion has not left, and I think that’s important. I’m still thinking about concepts for songs in my everyday life, even when I can’t find the time to complete the thought and write the song, I’m taking notes! I’ve been making records since I was 11 years-old. I can’t imagine not making them. And yes, it is a tough career choice! Sometimes brutal! But usually it’s the business side that is irritating, frustrating and builds the ‘love/hate’ emotions. There have been many times in my career that I’ve thought of quitting, but when I really think of stopping, my heart breaks and I’m more depressed to stop than to continue. I believe God planted the seed in my heart and it’s what I’ve been called to do. I’m just so glad I can share God’s love with others through this form of expression. And that God is blessing my work.
inSpire – Thank you for giving us a positive example of how someone can be a respected musical artist while still being true to their commitment to God. Your life story is refreshing and encouraging! May God bless you as you look to what lies ahead!
Listen to “Earth & Sky” by Naomi Striemer
This interview was conducted by Rich DuBose, Director of Pacific Union Conference Church Support Services and the inSpire project.© 2017 - 2018 inSpire. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.