It's almost a decade since singer and songwriter Michelle Tumes has last graced us with new record. Her last nonseasonal studio effort of all new material was in 2006 with her self titled album. So, where is Michelle Tumes now?
Tumes, evidenced by her tweets, is still working on new music. She writes: "Just read some really encouraging tweets:). I will definitely move forward on the music and try not to let you down!" As to the direction of her forthcoming project, Tumes hints: "Went through some classical music today. Want to do some adaptations for a baby project. Thanks for following my sporadic tweets!"
Michelle Louise Tumes was born in 1971 and grew up in Adelaide, Australia. She has a younger sister and younger brother. Tumes learned piano from the age of four years old, and as a teenager was enrolled into a classical piano course. She first signed with an Australian publisher, but by 1993 had moved to the United States. She wrote songs for Christian contemporary musicians such as Jaci Velasquez.
In 1997 she signed with Sparrow Records, her debut album, Listen, was released in 1998. Her dedication to her own style and the content of her lyrics paid off with three number-one Christian adult contemporary singles: "Healing Waters," "Christ of Hope," and "Please Come Back." In reviewing Listen, John Blake of the Atlanta Constitution wrote, "Her music sounds like a dream, filled with acoustic piano, classical string arrangements, and haunting vocal melodies."
In 1999 her recording of the song "Hold On," part of a compilation entitled Streams, made it to number one. She followed Listen with the equally successful album Center of My Universe. Released in 2000, it stayed in the top 20 Christian records for that year.
In the midst of all her popularity Tumes continued to battle the same shyness that haunted her in music school. Over time she came to deal with it, she told Herman: "I was especially afraid of performing. Jaci Velasquez has helped me a lot in that area. I believe God put her in my life. She's not afraid of performing, and she's taught me how to be myself on stage. Now I can go out on stage with confidence and can share with the audience."While Tumes may be shy about performing, she doesn't keep her talents to herself. She does background vocals for several performers and writes lyrics, including hits for such Christian artists as Point of Grace and Sixpence None the Richer.
She has contributed to numerous compilations, including the Mercy Project, a fund-raiser for Mercy Ministries of America, an organization dedicated to helping troubled girls and women. She also works with Food for the Hungry, an organization for which she and her husband traveled to Peru in 2001, visiting villages supported by funds from the charity.In the same year Tumes and her husband moved from Nashville to California, a climate much more like that of her native Australia.
She released her third album, Dream, to critical acclaim, and won the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) Songwriter of the Year Award in the Christian music category. The award ceremony also honored the 25 songs of 2000 that were performed the most, which included Tumes' "Deep Love," "Breathe," and "Heaven's Heart."Tumes' exceptional piano skills and lyric abilities have earned her attention, awards, and acclaim. Well-known in the Contemporary Christian lineup, Tumes' light touch and subtle sound may eventually lead to crossover success in the pop realm. For someone who almost chose a completely different path, Tumes has found a fulfilling place for herself in the music industry.
In 2005 Tumes joined Susan Ashton and Christine Dente in record the worship project Lost in Wonder. This is a somewhat unique compilation album, by three respected Christian ladies. Some of the songs are obscure, some are classics ("Here I Am To Worship", "In Christ Alone", "Beautiful One", "Once Again", but even on those classics the arrangements bring a new freshness).