“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be." - Abraham Maslow
This statement so perfectly describes the heart and desire of Contemporary Christian songwriter and singing prowess, Barb Elyett.
Passionate would be an understatement when it comes to Barb's love for music. Her voice is nothing less than dynamic and drips with compassion as she delivers songs that grab the attention of listeners. To see Barb perform live is to experience her grassroots, child-like love for music that effortlessly exemplifies Maslow's statement " a musician must make music...if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself."
Following the lead of artists like Loreena McKennitt, Barb established her own record label, Aleta Records, on which she recently released her debut CD, The Simple Side. Working with award-winning producer and engineer, Bill Buckingham (Carolyn Arends, Rita McNeil), at The Palace Studios in Vancouver, BC, Barb has truly taken her talent to another level.
10 out of the 11 songs on the album were written by Barb and the11th song is a self-arranged version of The Lord's Prayer that can truly blow your socks off! Combining Barb's incredible ability for introspective, thought provoking lyrics, transcendent piano-based melodies, accented by a voice that contains the conviction of a preacher, Barb's album The Simple Side is sure to be timeless and undoubtedly a mainstay in CD players for years to come.
The title The Simple Side arose out of Barb's own desire to get back to the simplicity of knowing who she truly was at her core and expressing that. The more she searched, the more Barb started recognizing a oneness in her quest that pointed to God as the ultimate source of simplicity. Each song on the album therefore, contains a scriptural "key" that opens a door to the "simple" or God-side of life. To know where she was and where she is now with her music is to understand why Barb is often quoted as saying "no music...no life."
Yes, music was Barb's passion as far back as when she would play ukulele and sing at the top of her lungs during her elementary school Christmas concerts. But as Barb grew, her love for music heavily fell prey to the negatives and insistent practicality that was forced upon her. Eventually, this led to Barb being diverted from her true identity and dream, which led to many confusing, frustrating, and painful years. "It was almost as if wrong had become right, and right had become wrong for me."
Luckily though, Barb, in secret much of the time, continued to pursue her musical interests and eventually broke through many embedded negative beliefs to establish the kind of life she had always wanted in music.
Throughout her journey, Barb performed on numerous occasions by invitation at Christian conferences and events and was a soloist for the Vancouver Outreach Community Soul Gospel Choir in which she performed at the historic Orpheum Theatre and St. Peter's Cathedral in Vancouver, BC as well as many churches in and around the Vancouver area.
After serving as musical director at her church for four years, she was invited to be a lead vocalist for the Ninth Hour Band. She continued to make regular appearances with them for two years. Barb also had the privilege of sharing the stage with Celine Dion at GM Place on her North American tour as well as gracing the independent movie scene with a riveting performance of Sweet Heart of Jesus in the movie Bad Money. She has also shared the stage with Michael Bublé and her vocal talent has been extensively used by the Nashville Songwriters Association and the Vancouver Jingle Industry. Recently, Barb also received Honorable Mention for her song "Come To Me" in the Billboard World Song Contest.
"In every adversity there is a seed of equal or greater benefit. For me, the benefit of going through my own personal set of challenges was that it has put a desire in me to communicate hope and a better way to live to others that may have had a rough start in life. It is a joy to see how what I have learned from my experience is impacting others in a positive way."