Erisa Rei
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Erisa Rei


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""One power-packed little firecracker...""

Erisa Rei’s Backwards EP is one power-packed little firecracker. At only four songs in length, it is but a small taste of what this explosive singer can do. Yet it’s more than enough material to evaluate Rei’s earthshaking talent.

Some biographical material compares Rei to blues singer Susan Tedeschi and classic rockers Heart. No doubt these two acts were models for what Rei attempts to project. But I hear a few other significant (potential) influences, as well.

I don’t believe it’s any coincidence that Rei looks a little like Wynonna Judd. While Rei doesn’t growl like Wynonna, nor does she get many chances to harmonize like the younger Judd once did with her mom, this smoldering pop-rock singer oftentimes reminds me of an un-country Wynonna. Rei also shares Wynonna’s Christian faith.

Maria McKee is another vocalist Rei resembles. This is especially true during “Cover Me," which brings to mind Lone Justice’s “Shelter." Lone Justice was McKee’s breakthrough rock band, before she set out for solo ground, and McKee’s sound is also conjured whenever Rei sings in that conversational style of hers. She's is not just singing at you; she's also talking to you.

Tim Holt, who also provided digital programming, bass guitar, and keyboards, produced this effort. He brought along Mike Caro for some of the disc’s bass work, while Erik Ferguson contributes electric, acoustic, and bass guitars. It’s what Holt doesn’t do that counts most, however. He doesn’t let the instrumentation overpower Rei’s vocals. Then again, a full-on hurricane would have trouble drowning out Rei’s powerful pipes.

Rei wrote all four of these songs, and while her words could easily be applied to male/female relationships, one suspects all of these tunes are directed solely at God above. Both the title track and “Cover Me” speak of looking for the divine in an oftentimes dark and godless world. But with “I Still Need You,” Rei sings sincerely about her desperate need for God. On it she asks God to show her whenever self-reliance replaces God-dependency.

One factor that separates these songs from all the mostly forgettable sugarcane in cellophane that fills Christian radio play lists is Rei’s serious demeanor, put to minor key melodies. There are no useless everything-is-alright-forever tracks here. Instead, Rei is begging for God to not only save her in the afterlife, but to uphold her soul for as long as it takes for that day to arrive. When she begs God to break her spiritual chains during the closer “Set Me Free," you best believe she means it.
- Dan McIntosh for

"Christian Singer mixes career-motherhood"

Sep. 16--Once Erisa Kopp started writing her own songs, nothing could keep her from belting them out to any audiences she could find. When she appeared last year at Unity Fest, a Christian music festival in Pekin, she had a good reason to stay home and take it easy. "She was eight months pregnant," recalled Wes Watson, bass guitar player for StrangeLand, a metal band based in the Peoria area. "She sang her heart out. She's hitting some of those high notes that are mind-blowing. We couldn't believe the pipes this lady had. It was just wonderful."

Kopp, accompanied by guitarist Erik Ferguson, will sing her original songs Friday night at Steeple Gallery Coffee House in Monticello.

The Lincoln resident said she is motivated by God's call on her life. "His grace is there when I'm doing it because he's called me to it," she said. Two years ago Kopp produced her first CD, "This City Shall Live," containing 10 of her songs. She is searching for a producer to help her bring out a second CD. She believes her latest songs are deeper than those on her debut album and hopes an experienced producer will help her achieve a more polished sound.

"I think every time you take a new step you have to grow," she said. Kopp honed her skills singing in high school musicals as well as college and church choirs. She said her musical influences include Crystal Lewis and Cindy Morgan. She spent the summer performing in Wisconsin, Iowa and Ohio as well as the Cornerstone Festival in Bushnell. She has performed several times at Wake the Dead Cafe in Decatur. But she is also busy as a mother. In addition to her 1-year-old son, Kopp, 28, and her husband have three daughters, ages 3, 5 and 7. She homeschools the two older girls and plans to teach all her children until they reach adolescence. "My husband backs me 100 percent, so that helps. He stays home with all four kids." Kopp hopes her listeners will grow closer to Christ through her praise and worship songs. "I believe that music should be more than just words," she said. "It should relate to people's lives and help them to know God, through the anointing upon it. I don't want people to be touched by me, I want them to be touched by God." - Huey Freeman for Herald and Review- Decatur, IL


Backwards - July 2007



Having been compared to the broad spectrum of the artists Jewel, Susan Tedeschi and Heart, Erisa Rei has a voice that is both unique and intriguing. Her music is powerful and moving, while the lyrics are thought-provoking and real. She has performed in many types of venues from the intimate setting of coffeehouses to the broad audiences of festivals, such as Cornerstone and Faithfest.
Erisa Rei's style is what she likes to call "Rockin' Folky Blues", but to be more specific her music mostly falls into the blues/rock category. The Backwards EP really brings her strong voice to the forefront. Definitely unique in style, the EP is sure to please the listener.
Erisa Rei's mission is to put to song things that she thinks are relevant not only in her own life, but also in the world. She wants people to listen to her music and not only think that it sounds "nice", but also that they would be impacted and moved by what she has to say. That's where the message comes in- it is centered around that mission. She hopes that people will be moved to make a difference around them and rely on Jesus Christ to give them strength and vision without shoving the Gospel down their throat. She prefers to try to live it.