Life experience often serves to sharpen a songwriter’s edge and provide them with a more colorful palette to draw from when creating images with their music. Though she’s young, Lauren Daigle has lived a lot of life and those experiences—some challenging and others exhilarating—enrich her perspective and create her heartfelt worship music.
Blessed with a voice that is both smoky and sweet, Daigle has forged a unique sound that combines the soulful, heart-in-throat vulnerability of Adele, with the passionate fire to serve God that Daigle admires in Brooke Fraser. Her Centricity Music debut, How Can It Be, is ripe with the kind of compelling lyrics and engaging melodies that invite listeners to draw closer to their creator, and that’s just what Daigle had in mind.
“There’s a continuing theme on this record—trust,” says Daigle. “My heart’s cry is that people feel empowered as a body of Christ. It’s just heavy on my heart for all of us to rise up in unity and recognize the goodness of God. My hope is that people are empowered by knowing who they belong to, knowing that they are the son or daughter of God, and in response to that being able to worship fully, worship with complete abandon.”
Faith and music have been intertwined in the Louisiana native’s life since birth. Growing up in a region steeped in blues, country, zydeco and Cajun music has inspired her to frame her worship music in a unique light. But Daigle admits she almost pushed music to the backburner, unsure if it was her true calling, until a devastating illness brought her young life into sharper focus. “It honestly was one of the best things that had happened to me,” Daigle says of contracting a debilitating virus when she was 15 that kept her out of school for nearly two years. “I was a sophomore living life and having a blast. Then there was a big halt. Because my illness was an immune deficiency, anything that was airborne I’d catch it. If any friends were sick I couldn’t be around them, so going to school became off limits.”
In the quiet solitude forced upon her by this condition, God spoke. “The Lord began to just pour in passion for music, singing and writing songs,” says Daigle. “When I was six-years-old people would say, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ And I’d say, ‘I want to be a singer.’ My mom called the house, ‘The Music Box,’ because I’d walk around the house singing all the time. But when I got older I went to this college prep school and felt I needed to get serious, so I thought I’d go into the medical field and do mission work. Then when the Lord brought me into that solitude I was like, ‘How did I get distracted from what my true passion is? I NEED to be singing.’ He really brought me through all of that season to pour in a passion for ministry and a passion for music.”
Once she was well, Daigle attended a charter school and completed a year and a half of class work in six months and actually graduated early. She took a year off from school, traveling to Brazil to do mission work, before enrolling at Louisiana State University to pursue a degree in Child and Family Studies, but music was always on her agenda. She led worship at her church, became an American Idol contender and sang on an EP a local band was recording. It was that gig that led to an invitation from Centricity Music to attend a retreat in Washington State. When the lead singer of the band had an emergency appendectomy, Daigle stepped in and immediately impressed label execs that encouraged her to come to Nashville.
“After the first week of being in Music City I thought, ‘Ok, I’m moving to Nashville!’” Daigle says of her current home. She began collaborating with local songwriters, sang background vocals on Jason Gray’s hit “Nothing Is Wasted” and landed her own deal with Centricity Music. She made her debut with the beautiful Christmas anthem “Light of the World,” which served as an appetizer that left fans anxiously awaiting her first project.
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