ZOEGirl...Heart-Pounding Beats and Heart-Warming Lyrics

By Jasmine McNealy



In a world filled with images of what the perfect body is; what perfect hair looks like; how to make that guy notice you and so on, its easy for a young lady to be confused about who she is, and what she wants to be.  Its even easier for that girl to be depressed about how the world may look at her if she doesn’t fit the image provided by magazines like Cosmo, YM and Seventeen.  Perhaps the statistics state it best:

  • Twenty-seven percent of girls 12 to 18 suffer from eating disorders.
  • One in five teenagers have attempted suicide by age 15.
  • Depression affects nearly 20 percent of all teenagers.
  • By the time teenagers reach 16, only 5 percent feel good about themselves.

To anybody this would seem like a great plague of low self-esteem had descended upon the youth of the nation.  A nation where most of the young people get their culture and role models from what they watch on various music networks like MTV and BET.


But if the heroes and heroines of the youth of today are those who sing while scantily clad and grinding up against someone, then Zoegirl has decided to be the anti-heroes of the day.  These three women, from different parts of the country, have joined together to form a trio of songbirds that speak life to the youth of the nation, and the world.


Their name Zoegirl, is personified in their music.  Zoe, from the Greek meaning life, is also the name of their sophomore album, which contains songs that both inspire and uplift.  The first track on the disc, “With All of My Heart,” is a song of worship with a dance beat that was co-written by Chrissy Conway, one of the trio.  Another inspirational song, “Plain,” speaks right to the heart of teenage self-image.  The crux of the song is about knowing and believing you are beautiful, despite what the world thinks, because God said you are “fearfully and wonderfully made.


Prior to1998, the three knew nothing of each other. The story of how they came to meet each other demonstrates the divine calling for this group. First, the man who would become their manager introduced Alisa and Kristin, and then Chrissy was discovered and brought into the group. Chrissy had previously been in a mainstream group with Pink, which had broken up.  After returning to her hometown and becoming a Christian, she really began to seek God for what she should do with her music, and what kind of ministry she should be in.  Chrissy prayed  that prayer one night, and unbeknownst to her, someone had given Kristin her name and number.  Kristin called her the next day, and the rest is history.


 “It’s a long story,” she said. “But it is so special to us, because we just feel like He had such a plan for this ministry….We started working immediately.”


The heart for youth demonstrated in their song according to Kristin Swinford, one of the members, goes deep.  Both Alisa and Kristin had started writing songs at a young age, and had worked with youth before joining the group.


 “Basically, we have a heart for ministry,” she said. “We all knew that kids out there really need a positive influence. We just knew that there was a great need in the marketplace right now.”

As for doing a mainstream record, Kristin says the group declined because they wanted an opportunity to share their faith.


 “Anybody could go out there and go for the mainstream and make all the money, but that’s not what we’re in this for.”


But the pop/mainstream sound of their music is apart of their ministry also.


“The message of the music is important too,” she said.  “That’s what we want to convey in and through the relevance of the music, and create something they want to listen to.”


The feedback from their audience, which is largely comprised of females, also influenced them to make their music relevant to the lives of young people today


“You really get to know what they are going through,” Kristin said. “Eating disorders, depression, they are really hit hard now a days with all kinds of pressures.  But that’s why we’re here, and that’s why we really have a heart for that. And we want them to know that they are not alone.  We’ve been through some of these things, and there is hope for you.  God loves you so much.  You can stand up to the pressures, and you don’t have to go the way the crowd just because they’re doing it.”