Lauren Deigle Talks About Her New Music/CD

One thing Lauren Daigle has learned about performing live is that it’s OK to relax a bit and go with the flow on stage.

“I was just talking to a friend about how in the very beginning you get caught up in trying to get it right,” Daigle said, looking back on when she first began performing. “There’s this feeling of I have to do it right. I don’t want to fall flat on my face. And you learn that actually mistakes and those kinds of moments are some of the purest and most beautiful moments on a stage…I think I’ve learned how to face those moments and run with those moments.”

The ability to embrace spontaneity and the occasional happy accident should work in Daigle’s favor as she tours to promote her newly released second album, “Look Up Child.” She’s bringing out a big band to help re-create the more organic sound of the new music, and the interplay she wants to see on stage is likely to generate one-of-a-kind moments that won’t necessarily be the product of planning or perfect execution, but of honest communication and expression — and perhaps that unintended mistake that somehow feels like it enhances that moment.

“My goal for this (show) in talking to my producers was I want to sweat at the end of the show and I want a band that talks to each other with instruments, plays with each other with instruments and doesn’t rely on tracks to be the thing that drives the sound,” Daigle said. “So we completely reorganized everything and now there’s going to be 10 people on stage, which is completely new, so new. But to get some of the fullness of the sound requires more people. I’m excited, I’m so excited.”

The more natural, less synthetic live sound Daigle is presenting is very much an extension of the direction she pursued on “Look Up Child.” This makes sense for this native of Louisiana, who relished the old-school approach she heard in the music of New Orleans and Louisiana.

“It’s such a rich culture of music, of jazz and zydeco and so much (more),” she said. “You can be on a street corner listening to a band that’s blowing your mind. They don’t have (prerecorded) tracks.”

Now 27, Daigle has sung her entire life and began to step toward music after overcoming a serious auto-immune condition as a teen-ager that kept her home bound for two years.

Hoping to break into the music business, she tried out for “American Idol,” first in 2010, where she just missed making the field of 24 finalists and then again in 2012, where she was cut in the first Las Vegas round.

Daigle didn’t have to wait that long for her break, though. After being asked to sing background vocals on an EP by a band called the Assemblie, both the group and Daigle were invited by Centricity Music, to attend a workshop held by that Christian record label. She ended up filling in for the singer of the Assemblie (who suffered an attack of appendicitis) at the main event of the workshop and in 2013, was signed by Centricity.

Her first release, a 2014 EP called “How Can It Be,” launched her career on a decidedly upward trajectory. The title song quickly caught on at radio, and by fall 2014 was moving into the upper reaches of the Christian singles charts.

Centricity then had Daigle return to the studio to record more songs to expand the EP into the full-length album also called “How Can It Be,” which was released in 2015. It debuted at No. 1 on “Billboard” magazine’s Christian Albums chart. The album produced two more No. 1 Christian singles in “First” and “Trust In You” and the album went platinum, cementing Daigle’s status as one of the fastest rising newcomers in Christian music history.

As her debut album was on its run, Daigle started racking up awards, including six Dove Awards – the Christian equivalent to the Grammys – including New Artist of the Year and Song of the Year for “How Can It Be” in 2015 and Artist of the Year in 2016.

Things culminated with a 2016 Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album, followed a year later with a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song for her single “Trust In You.”

The acclaim and her meteoric rise to stardom was a lot for Daigle to absorb, and she admits she felt pressure as she began working toward “Look Up Child.”

“It’s funny because you never really know going into something what the other side is going to look like,” she said. “Like having children for the first time, that parent can always hope for the best and they’ve never had a child before. So there’s a new normal on the other side. It’s kind of similar with music when you kind of start a career.

Seeing what’s on the other side is really, it’s a big question mark, the big (mystery), and it’s exhilarating, and it also comes with a lot of expectations. It can come with fear of the unknown. Those were some of the things I was battling as I saw things changing in my life.”

So she decided she needed a break to figure out who she was and what experiences and stories should inform her second album.

“I went home, back to Louisiana and just kind of stepped away from music,” Daigle said. “I took about six months off to kind of re-find myself, go back into kind of normal day-to-day life and see my old friends, see some family, kind of get rooted again. I needed a season of rest, because I was touring so much, I didn’t want to write a record from burnout. I didn’t want to write from a place of burnout. So I ended up going home, got refueled and then that’s when I knew OK, it’s time to do this again.”

A main step was to re-connect with her main collaborators from the first album, songwriter/producers Paul Mabury and Jason Ingram, and as they wrote and began recording the “Look Up Child” album took shape.

In recording the songs, she moved away from the synthetic elements employed on her first album, opting to use real instruments, incorporating real strings or horns into several songs to help create a more organic setting for her rich, soulful vocals and inspirational lyrics. Much of the “Look Up Child” album is weighted toward ballads, such as “Rescue,” “This Girl” and “Love Like This” that swell to lush string-laden crescendos, although there is also a punchy rocker in “Still Rolling Stones” and a sprightly “Your Wings,” which has a reggae-ish cadence.

The new sound seems to be connecting. “You Say,” the rich ballad that is the lead single from “Look Up Child” has so far spent six weeks atop all of “Billboard’s” Christian singles charts, and “Look Up Child” has debuted at No. 1 on the magazine’s Christian Albums chart and No. 3 on “Billboard’s” all-genre Top 200 album chart.

Now Daigle, who just won an American Music Award for Favorite Contemporary Inspirational Artist, is on the first leg of her headlining tour in support of “Look Up Child.” The show represents a whole new adventure for Daigle.

“The set list is going to be completely different, and with that, the band is also completely different. We’ve pretty much changed everything,” Daigle said. “The start is going to have some old, a couple of old songs and then a lot of new songs and some covers of songs that impacted the making of this record. So it’s hodge podge of a little bit of everything.”

What an amazing Christian Music Artist. We really enjoyed doing the interview with Lauren Daigle. You can purchase her latest music here.

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