Interview: Bay Turner

May 16 2024

Singer/songwriter Bay Turner may be a name you're already familiar with. He performed in front of millions on Season 17 of America’s Got Talent, sharing his story of how a doctor told him his vocal cord was damaged beyond repair and he’d never sing again. But a miracle happened and he was healed, and now he releases his debut Centricity Music single, 'Brand New'. Louder Than The Music had the opportunity to speak with Bay to find out more about this incredible story of coming back from adversity.

Hi Bay, you have one of the most inspiring background stories - but going back to that time when doctors told you that you'd never sing again - what was that moment like, and how did you pull yourself out of that darkness?

I didn’t pull myself out of the darkness. It was only by the grace of God that I was able to come out of this difficult time. I remember feeling totally shocked and confused, and then someone told me my story is like that of an athlete losing a limb. I remember thinking that if I lose my voice, I won’t know who I am or what my identity would be anymore. But, after wrestling with the Lord and getting really honest with him about my fears, he taught me how to separate myself as a man of God from what I do really well, my gifting, and that identity shift was paramount to my healing.

Many will remember your incredible audition on America's Got Talent - what was that whole experience like, appearing in front of the judges and the live audience?

The experience was like a total out of body experience. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before. I had this moment right before I walked on stage where I thought, “Either I'm going to fall flat on my face in front of all of America or I'm going to crush it,” so I chose the latter option and had the best time!

Clearly it gave you amazing exposure as an artist, but what lessons did you learn from appearing on that TV show?

That no audience is the same, and every audience gives you a chance to prove yourself. There's a window of opportunity for every person that's on a national stage that comes and goes. What you do with that window of opportunity is what equates to the most success and I feel like God opened the right doors. I think some people get on the on these shows and expect their whole lives to change. All it did for me was just give me permission to set up my artistry in an authentic way.

Do you have any words of wisdom or advice for anyone who is currently going through a similar experience, where they've received medical news that threatens everything they've ever known?

Keeping God at the center is the only way to get through something like that. There will be people who give you tons of advice about the doctors you can go to, or treatments you can try, but the only thing that will truly suffice in this season is King Jesus. There's nothing else that you can put your hope in. There's no substitute for His healing grace.

You've released a single called 'Brand New', clearly inspired by your experience, do you see this as God turning your "mourning into dancing"?

100%! We wrote this song from the place of absolute joy of being made new in Christ. I had that experience as a new believer coming to Christ, but I also had that when he shifted my world around with this crazy diagnosis. I'm singing this song from the place of the freedom that comes from knowing Jesus and all that He can do, and the freedom that comes from Him performing an absolute miracle my life, knowing that miracles still happen and are still present, and that He is still a wonder working God!

Going back to how it all started for you, can you tell us a bit about how you first got involved in making music?

My parents are divorced and when my dad would pick me up from my mom's house, we would drive to his house in the middle of nowhere for like an hour and a half long journey and, every time, he would bring a different mix tape. Each time, it would be different singers: Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, country artists, opera singers, and everything in between. That's where I started my journey with discovering the power of music and how different genres and different people's stories can really affect people.

Do you have any plans to release more music in the near future?

I have a lot of plans to release new music in the future! Lord willing, we will have a full EP before the year is up!

If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?

Hands down, Dolly Parton. The way that she crafts melodies and lyrics, and then wraps them all together in a bow is something that has greatly inspired the way I write and approach music. I would be honored to work with her.

How would you define success in your career as an artist?

Authentically living out your Christ calling. I think that there's a lot of worldly pressure to get an award or some sort of accolade, but if you're walking out your calling, the calling that God's got in store for you, then that's success in my book.

What does the next year hold for you?

Next year we will release a full length album and I will be married!

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