Auge’s (pronounced oh-jhay) journey was one of selfishness and a need for approval that led him to his ultimate destination, which he calls a “romance” with God.
“I moved to the East Coast,” Auge said. “And because I didn’t have accountability or family members around, I started doing things that were uncharacteristic for me growing up. I always exaggerated the truth.”
The 26-year-old Canadian’s big family had a big impact on him. He has six brothers and four sisters, all of whom have an affinity for music and were brought up in the small town of Espanola in a forest just north of the Great Lakes. Survival of the fittest was more than a cliché for the siblings.
“Immediately, you have to make sure you get your own food,” Auge said. “The first one to the table gets the best portions.”
But it also meant he was never lacking a companion to play sports with or make music. Now, though, it’s hard just to remember each other’s birthdays with phone calls and small budgets, he said with a laugh.
Like many young people, Auge moved away and began making choices that made his life spiral downward.
“I was a very needy individual in that I wanted other people’s approval,” he said. “I wanted them to say, like, whatever to get esteem and respect. Out on the East Coast, I got a job there lying on my resume and making up references.”
He said he even told a girl he met that he was a Christian just to date her. To further try to get attention, he told a “huge lie” that one of his siblings had passed away and she quickly found out that wasn’t true.
“In the end, this girl was strong enough in her faith to really be an example of Christ for me ... and she forgave me,” Auge said. “Immediately I knew that was not a human characteristic. She seemed other-worldly and greater than myself. We’re obviously very selfish.”
Auge said the “life-altering” series of events led him to become a Christian in spite of all his struggles to please people.
In pursuit of a music career, Auge started up an independent band called Capstone, which did well in Canada but eventually broke up because the band members wanted to focus on their families. Auge also was married at that time, and it was his wife who encouraged him to turn his music-writing talents toward Christian worship. His project caught the attention of a popular Christian label.
“Integrity Music, who I had relations with through Capstone in my early years, heard I was doing an independent project and asked if I’d be interested in getting signed,” he said. “It was an ideal opportunity. I was starting to audition for ‘Canadian Idol Top 100,’ and the label asked if I was signing with Integrity, would I be going to ministry or mainstream music? I really felt the people around me and God himself was trying to get me to consider ministry.”
Auge said focusing on his spiritual health and using his gift was quite a turn away from his former life.
“The songs would be a natural welling up of whatever’s inside me,” Auge said. “I’m not writing with the intent of trying to get into a market. That’s not my goal. My life is so being impacted by this presence of God in my life, I’m compelled to write these things.”
Since then, Auge’s music has reflected a “romance,” the music of which is featured on his new solo debut album, “On the Blue,” which was released in July. The album features tracks such as “So Deep In Love,” a ballad reminiscent of British bands like Coldplay and Keane, “Glory, Glory,” a “happy, ‘up’ song,” as Auge calls it, and the title track, which explores life through the apostle Peter’s eyes.
“He’s probably the most gregarious of (biblical) characters,” Auge said. “Of the apostles, he’s the most outspoken and defensive. I could see myself in his shoes, or in his sandals, I guess. I could put myself in his situation, being blown away by this notion that Jesus is creating miracles, asking him to step out of the boat in faith that he would hold him up in the water ... wondering whether or not I’ll actually be able to do these things he’s called us to do.”
Auge said touring with Lincoln Brewster — best known for his worship songs “Everlasting God,” which was No. 1 on the Christian music chart for four weeks, “Love the Lord” and “Let the Praises Ring” — was a great opportunity. Brewster is promoting his latest album, “Today is the Day,” released on Sept. 23.
“I think the fact that it’s called ‘Today is the Day’ is really interesting,’” Auge said. “What a tremendous thing to communicate to our Western culture that we need not worry about tomorrow, that if we live every day as it comes and give thanks for that day and appreciate that God is the one who takes care of tomorrow for us, and if he clothes the flowers of the field and feeds them, how much more will He care for us?”
The concert is at 7 p.m. at the Rock Church on 4950 Vista Blvd. For more information, visit www.therockchurchonline.net.