To say 2015 was a breakout year for CCM pop/rock sensation Lauren Daigle would be an understatement. Daigle’s debut full-length album, ‘How Can It Be,’ shot to #1 on the Christian album charts and #16 on Billboard’s top albums chart for all genres. Featuring the lead single by the same name, ‘How Can It Be,’ earned Daigle “Song of the Year” at the 2015 GMA Dove Awards, and Daigle was awarded “New Artist of the Year” that same night.
Daigle graciously took time out of her whirlwind schedule and musical appearances to answer a few of Musicnotes’ most pressing questions, including what inspires her as a writer, how she feels about others playing her songs and her performance tips. Take a read below!
Musicnotes: You’ve said your dream is to write music that helps and inspires people. Where do you pull that inspiration from?
Lauren Daigle: The inspiration behind this album came from new seasons of life, new norms, new everything. I moved from Louisiana, where I was born and raised, to Nashville, TN by myself to pursue the adventure of writing and becoming an artist. Shortly after arriving to Nashville, my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer and passed within 5 months. He was my best friend. We were very close. In the midst of him becoming sick, I halted the recording process by about 3 months and went home to be with him. The songs began to flow. I’d say the majority of the songs on the record were written within the one month period post his death. I wanted to carry on his legacy of love and give hope to any others going through similar situations.
Would you be able to give us a little glimpse into your songwriting process?
Being still. It is priority for me. I love working from a place of overflow and from a place of relaxation. It doesn’t have to be so calculated. I’m more on the pursuit of a response from the soul. That looks different in many ways, but you can’t be fearful of where the creative process may take you. Majority of the time, lyrics and melodies will come in my brain as I’m doing everyday activities so I grab my phone and record. Other times, I will have watched a show, festival, movie and find inspiration is birthed. Food inspires me to be creative as well. You have to commit to being a creative sponge at all times. I love the co-writing process. It allows writer’s to sharpen each other with new ideas and concepts. It challenges us to come to a place of creative unity. One writer might be a strong lyricist. Another might be prolific with melodies. Another might walk in with a great story. We are all able to build with each other.
Being still. It is priority for me. I love working from a place of overflow and from a place of relaxation.Lauren Daigle
Your first full-length album, ‘How Can It Be,’ debuted at no. 1 on the Billboard and iTunes Christian album charts. What was that experience like?
At the time, it was very surreal. I didn’t have context for how profound that honor is especially for being my first album. I was still so grateful and inspired to keep growing. Now looking back, I am in complete awe. I see what it takes. I’m astounded that people have connected with the message carried in each song enough to support my art. It’s a recognition I don’t take for granted.
Speaking to your sheet music, in particular, what does it mean to you to know that people all around the world are learning to play your songs?
It takes my breath away when I step into new cities or another country and hear people singing my songs. I love seeing videos of teenagers singing them in their local church or cover videos of people who took the time to learn a song. It shows me a glimpse of what the Body of Christ looks like when we join together. Those moments champion me on because I feel a sense of the Kingdom invading earth. It’s truly an honor to be a part of leading people into the presence of God.
In addition to your songwriting and vocal talents, your live performances and concerts allow fans to experience your music in a whole new way. Have you always enjoyed performing, and do you have any performance tips?
When I was a little girl about 3 years old, I played a camel in our Christmas production at church. I remember that “thing” coming alive in me at that very moment. I loved rehearsing. I loved an audience. I loved connecting with my heart and being able to communicate through expression. Oddly enough, I didn’t start singing in public until I was 16 years old, so I had a new set of challenges to overcome – insecurity, fear of rejection, failure. I had to learn my identity.
My advice would be to begin a journey of defining who you are. Not “who you are” for an industry/branding perspective, but actually ask yourself what you stand for, what makes you who you are. In that place, you have to be okay with taking criticism and rejection to further build who you are. It is difficult not to blend rejection and criticism with bitterness or self-doubt. If you can cast those aside and keep your eyes set on building your identity, rather than building a platform to please people, you will find that the stage is a lot more loving and forgiving than what fear tells you.
My advice would be to begin a journey of defining who you are.Lauren Daigle
You’ve had the opportunity to tour with other amazing Christian artists, from Hillsong to Casting Crowns. Do you have any dream collaborations, or are there any artists that you especially look up to musically?
I definitely look up to the Hillsong United team. They know what they are called to do and carry out that purpose each night on stage. The Empires record inspired me beyond words. It allowed me to connect to a place of writing that I had longed for ever since moving to Nashville. I also love Amanda Cook and her album Brave New World. I had the privilege of writing with her this year. It was amongst my favorite cowrites I’ve been a part of thus far. I’ve been captured by the artistry of both of these records and the people behind them.
Musicnotes is proud to offer a wide variety of Daigle’s sheet music, including exclusive choral arrangements for “How Can It Be,” “Trust in You” and more. W’re so thankful to Daigle for taking the time to share with us, and we wish her continued success throughout her career.
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