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ZOEgirl puts morals before popularity

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (BP)–The members of ZOEgirl might not dress as provocatively as some of today’s popular female artists and they don’t plan to change their style to gain more popularity.

Kristin Swinford, Chrissy Conway and Alisa Girard don’t want to compromise their message about Christianity by clouding it with worldly stereotypes. “We realize what kids are seeing on MTV,” said Swinford.

“We present music that is relevant to them but we don’t want to compromise the message. These aren’t love songs. We sing about faith and life situations and issues. It’s relevant music that has moral values and principles. We won’t compromise our morals for presentation.”

Without the glamour of flashy clothes and fast dance moves, the members of ZOEgirl can focus more on their musical style. Each of the women has a different musical background that complements the work of the group. Swinford, a 1996 graduate of Jackson High School in Cape Girardeau, Mo., studied classical vocal music at Depauw University in Indiana and Missouri Baptist College in St. Louis before heading to Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.

“We realized this was something special and that though we all have very different backgrounds, we have our faith in common and our ministry and music,” Swinford said.

ZOEgirl, whose name means “everlasting life in God,” formed about two years ago when manager Norman Miller suggested putting together a female Christian group. Girard was the first member to sign on and then later Swinford joined. A mutual friend of Swinford’s and Conway’s led the women to each other. The group began working together immediately to write music and record a CD. Their self-titled debut will soon be followed by a second CD, “Life,” to be released Nov. 20.

The group’s music encompasses upbeat dance tunes and some elements of R&B. Their shows include selections from the debut album and some new recordings. “We have more intensity musically and a good progression” from the first album to the second, Swinford said.

The group has been performing at churches and smaller venues on their current tour with Avalon and Joy Williams. They plan to stay together as long as the opportunities exist.

“None of us knew we’d be doing this kind of group,” Swinford said. “We just want to take one day at a time. We want to be led by God and see what happens.
This story first appeared in The Southeast Missourian and is used here with permission.

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  • Laura Johnston