Can you share a little bit of background info on Cody?
In her 30 short years, Cody Summer has been a cowboy, a dude wrangler, camp cook, elephant trainer, worked on an alpaca ranch, been a competitive cyclist, bicycle mechanic, EMT Firefighter, and has played and performed in California, Wyoming, Utah, Oregon, Nevada, Montana, Tennessee, and Arizona. With years of being a buckaroo under her belt, she would much more prefer singing than being bucked off of a hot-blooded horse.
Through her many years of riding, roping and branding in the rain, freezing in 60 below temperatures Night Calving, and gathering cows while choking on bug dust in Oregon, solitude became her place of solace. “Music was always a part of who I was since an early age, and it was always bubbling beneath the surface no matter what I was doing in life.” Cody shares. So with a cattle book in hand, many times she would find herself jotting down lyric ideas, melodies, and musings about what life and music meant.
While taking in the natural beauty and grandeur she saw all around her, she discovered the mystery and the majesty of the presence of God breathing through the canyons and cathedrals in a way she never pictured. “Since God created music, it should be the most beautiful, intense, and incredible music out there” states Summer. “My passion is to bring the grandeur and creative expanse of who He is into worship. It should be a reflection of the depth and character of what God can offer to every individual. I want to focus people on God and who He is, and I want my music to be a reflection of the nature of God, and the awesome power of his creation.”
Who are your top 3-5 influences?
- Alison Krauss
- Amy Lee
- The Civil Wars
- Third Day
What helped you get into music?
My parents were my major encouragement for pursuing music. They put me in church choir at a very young age, let me play the clarinet in my elementary school band, and had me take voice lessons all through my high-school years. My mom wanted me to start piano when I was in elementary school, but one of the girls at school said it was boring and I didn’t want to take lessons! My mom didn’t push it, but later when I DID want to learn to play she taught me the basics. Then I ambitiously sat down with Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” score and a recording of the piece, and taught it to myself. After that, I was able to learn any piece of music I sat down to play and by the time I started college, I was right on track at as a college level pianist.
However, in college my intent wasn’t to study music. I tried to get away from it because I thought it wouldn’t be practical. Vocal scholarships were the only way I could pay for school though, so I just couldn’t get away from it . . .Thankfully! 🙂
How long have you been writing your own music?
I have been dabbling in writing since I was 14. I was hiking in the hills and spending some time in prayer, when I felt like the Lord said to me, “write me a song.” I scoffed at the idea at first because I thought there was no way I could write a song! But when I gave in, I asked the Lord to help me in my inadequacy, and He did. Not only that, but it sparked a deep passion in my heart for creating worship music that has only grown over the years.
I quit writing for several years after college while I was cowboying on ranches. I got bucked off one day, which let to hip surgery several years later. All the while I was pretty crippled up and found I couldn’t sing anymore – my voice just physically wouldn’t work. That’s when I had to offer everything I had and everything I was up to the Lord. I found that my identity as a daughter of the King ALONE satisfies my soul so much more than identifying myself as a singer or cowboy, or anything else I’ve done in life. I was created to worship and have found my greatest joy in writing worship music. Once I came to that place of surrender and started recovering from surgery, my voice came back and I was able to write and record my debut album, by God’s grace!
What is one thing you would tell your fans?
If you feel the Lord calling you to something bigger than anything you could ever dream of becoming a reality – don’t give up, but let God be God! He is so much greater than we can possibly imagine. He truly desires us because He delights in us. When we give him our desires and dreams and offer ourselves as living sacrifices, anything is possible because with God all things are possible in order to glorify Him.
What are your biggest goals for 2017?
My goals for this year are to continue writing for my next album (in the very few quiet moments I have as a mother of a two year old and four year old!!!), and to continue co-writing with my producer, Billy Smiley (Whiteheart) in Nashville.
I am hoping to build a tour both stateside and in Romania by this fall.
Also, I am building a new partnership with an orphanage in India in order to send a percentage of what I make as an artist to feed and provide for their needs. I was able to play my music for these kids last fall and just fell in love with them! The problem is funding is sparse, so I’m hoping we can help with that.
What is the best way for people to follow your music?