Local artist shares nuances of religious devotion through music

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A BYU film student and a local musician come together to record a new song. Emily Williams hopes to connect others to Christ through her music. (Annika Ohran, Steven Bartholomew, Studio Y, Chance Anderson)

One new local musician hopes to share the nuances of religious devotion through her music. 

Emily Williams has been singing all her life, and singing in her parent’s bathroom for hours as a child has turned into recording and creating a music video for her own song.

Williams said she took voice lessons when she was younger, but was afraid to perform live. 

“I feel like I could have done so much more if I just was able to sing in front of people at that age,” Williams said.

A friend gave her the push to record her music. Steven Bartholomew is best friends with Williams’ husband, and after hearing Williams play the guitar one night, he said they needed to make a music video. 

“We’re just really excited to hopefully connect with people, because it’s a little more dark and raw, I think, than a lot of songs that I’m familiar with, like Latter-day Saint songs,” Bartholomew said.

Williams says her song “Oh, My Lord” is inspired by personal trials and mental health struggles, including the loss of a dear friend and attempts to end her own life. 

After one particularly hard day, Williams went home and her mother in law asked if she needed her guitar. She began singing what would later become “Oh, My Lord.”

Bartholomew is a film student at BYU, and through a few miracles, he was able to find people to help with the production and creation of the song and video. This included a connection with Rask Guitars, who gave Williams one of their custom-made guitars for the song, and the opportunity to film at a Presbyterian church in Springville.

“The lighting is so split. It’s like bright on one side, dark on the other,” Bartholomew said. “I just want to see both of those things because … humans are paradoxical, where we have both light and darkness in us.”

Another unique opportunity was a connection with Chance Anderson, a BYU student studying commercial music, who helped Williams and Bartholomew access BYU’s Studio Y to record the song.

Other BYU students helped with the recording and filming process.

“I know that God is out there. I know that Jesus Christ is real. And I just, I know that He’s meant well things for all of us, as long as we choose to listen to Him,” Williams said.

Williams and Bartholomew hope to continue making music and to create another music video in the future. 

“I need to make more songs that talk about the Lord, but also talk about the struggles,” Williams said.

The song is available for streaming and the music video is on YouTube. 

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