Known for a sound that crossed cultural, generational and musical barriers, Da'dra Crawford- Greathouse co-founded a group many around the world have come to love and know as, 'Anointed.' Having received multiple Grammy nominations, Dove and Stellar awards, Anointed made an indelible mark in the music industry garnering fans across gospel, CCM and mainstream platforms. And, while grateful for such honors, these achievements are not what motivated Da'dra. Her desire has always been to use her voice to lead people of every nation into God's presence.
Consequently, Dadra's first project, All Of Me releases March 3, 2017 with distribution through Dream Label Group. Da'dra is overjoyed and excited to see what God has in store for her in this season. She says, "No matter what it is, as long as I am using my voice and all of my gifts to bring hope, love and encouragement to others by lifting them into His presence, I am fulfilled."
Q: Da'dra, thanks for doing this interview with us. You were part of the highly successful Gospel group Anointed, what were some of the highlights for you in that season of life?
Yes, I co-founded the group Anointed when I was a teenager and God blew my mind with what he did with us! I have several highlights, but the first one that comes to mind is when we were on the A-Tour with Avalon. We had the chance to sing at this prison before the concert that night. And the prisoners heard that we were nominated for more Dove Awards that year. So, they presented us with handmade, wooden Dove Awards. The craftsmanship was impeccable and I cried because they took the time to make those for us. For years, all the other Dove Awards remained in a box and that one from those prisoners was the only one I displayed in my home.
Q: What later happened to Anointed? Why did you leave?
After 'The Call' record, Mary left the group and after the self-titled Anointed record with 'Revive Us' on it, Nissi left the group. They both went on to record solo records, got married and had children. So, my brother Steve and I continued until Lakewood Church called us.
Q: Currently you are leading worship Lakewood Church, which is essentially one of the US's biggest churches. What led you to lead worship there?
It's an interesting story about how I ended up leading worship at Lakewood Church. We had just finished our record deal with Columbia Records and I was expecting my youngest son. Every morning I'd get up and go pray in his nursery while I was carrying him. And during those prayer sessions, I suddenly got this desire to lead worship. Now, I always said I'd NEVER work at a church. Ha ha! But, God was birthing His desire in me. And one day I heard the Lord say I needed to read Joel Osteen's book, 'Your Best Life Now.' I read it in that nursery and got this sense that I could serve this in this author's ministry. That's NEVER happened after reading a book before.
Then, our spiritual advisor had prayer with us and said God showed her that the next thing for us was going to be at the same place instead of going to multiple places constantly. She saw us commuting then eventually shipping our things there. She said this place was in a warmer climate, there were TV cameras in this huge space, a man up front speaking, there were people from all types of nationalities in the audience and God said this move would be a win/win. Maybe a few weeks later we got a call from Lakewood asking us for any dates we had open to come fill in while Israel was on tour. Apparently, a man we didn't know named Craig Johnson, who is a pastor at the church, told Duncan Dodds, who was over the staff at the time, they needed to get Anointed to come help with leading worship. He'd seen us on tour. So, they went to the Lakewood Bookstore, looked on the back of our cd and called us. That's the story!
Q: What are your hopes and vision for "All of Me"? How do you wish this album will impact God's kingdom?
Already, I've been receiving messages about how people are weeping and shouting while listening to the record. Many are sensing a pull toward God like never before and that was my whole objective with this record. I wanted people of every nation to sense God's presence pulling them closer to Him as they listened to this record. Furthermore, I took a risk and did a record that was authentic to me. My childhood musical and ministry influences, which are diverse, can be heard on this record, which is why there is harmony and great musical arrangements...ahhhh....the things I LOVE in the worship experience.
God is so creative and I tried to be true to the creative process while making this record. I had to make sure that people from every nation and on various musical levels could find something to appreciate on this record. I didn't want anyone to be left behind. I sincerely hope that those who have felt marginalized in the current worship landscape would find that they are welcome here in this experience. And I must give a shout out to my hometown friend, the multiGrammy award winning producer, Aaron Lindsey, for achieving this balance and producing a masterpiece. We have sung his songs all over the world for years. He's amazing. And a great worshipper and pastor. He really intuitively understood the direction. Ultimately, all of this effort is to hopefully pull people into an authentic encounter with a living God.
Q: Talk about a couple of songs on the record that you are really excited about.
Ok, I must admit that I love my record. 'Hallelujah, All Around The World' is a song I wrote so that anyone could catch on and sing it. And, because Hallelujah is the same in every language, and the word says to let everything that has breath praise the Lord, I needed a song that would be simple enough for the nations to sing. I just want the whole world praising God.
"All Of Me" is close to my heart because I wrote the vamp first while on the floor of my prayer room. See, I did not want to do this solo project. I knew I'd have many obstacles and I was comfortable leading at Lakewood with all the worship leaders there. But, just like when I prayed in my son's nursery and God birthed the desire to lead worship, I kept praying in my Prayer room and He began to birth the plan for this record. But this time I wrestled. I didn't think I was good enough or capable enough. And, in my mind, I'd already done this and had moved on with my life. But when I said, "Yes," after God said He had a need, I walked into Smashburger and a complete stranger gave me $50,000.00 to do this record. And the rest is history in the making.
So, 'All Of Me' represents that place of total surrender. I always say that the heart of worship is the heart of surrender. I couldn't lift my hands in worship as a sign of surrender to God and be in defiance regarding this record at the same time. I had to yield. Yes, there is a price to pay, but when you give God all of your hopes, dreams, ideas, plans and submit them to His will, the miraculous happens.