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Lauren Daigle Talks to Hallels About Her American Idol Experience, Her New EP, Human Trafficking, and More

lauren daigle

Centricity Music's newest artist, Lauren Daigle, is living up to the high expectations for her new single, "How Can It Be." The song is currently No. 2 New and Active on both of Billboard's AC charts and No. 42 on the NCA chart.   "How Can It Be" is the first single  and title track from Daigle's upcoming five-song EP How Can It Be that releases September 16th. Daigle will be performing her new music this fall with Aaron Shust's Morning Rises Fall Tour, which also features Mikeschair and Nathan Tasker. 

We are honored to be able to catch up with Lauren for this exclusive Hallels' interview:

Hallels:  Congratulations on the release of your new single "How Can It Be."  For our readers who may not have heard the song yet, what is this song about?

Imagine yourself at the scene described in John. Jesus is writing in the sand, and the Pharisees approach Him with the woman caught in adultery. According to the law, she should have been stoned for her sin but Jesus stands up, and He does the most miraculous thing of all, He offers her grace. This transforms everything humanity has ever known. That same grace was offered to us when Jesus died on the cross. It is the grace that covers all of our sin and all of our shame. In moments when we feel guilty, we often don't feel worthy enough to approach God. He comes and changes our perspective by offering us an enormous amount of grace. 'How Can It Be' is all about that grace colliding with the perfection of His love and mercy for us, which He so humbly displayed when He paid the greatest cost. This realization leaves us in awe. 'How Can It Be' is the response. 

Hallels: How would you describe your style of music? 

My style of music leans towards a soulful side. I love a good groove on the drums, paired up with lower bass notes. We got a bit funky on the EP by offering epic instrumentation and vocals, while adding lots of quirky harmonies.  Growing up in Louisiana with lots of soul and jazz in New Orleans, it's kind of second nature. I'm all about soul! 

Hallels:  Tell us a little about yourself and how you became a recording artist. 

I'm from the Deep South in the heart of Baton Rouge and Lafayette, Louisiana. I have two siblings, an older brother who is married and a younger sister, as well as my mom and dad whom I love very much. Our house was not the typical musical household. My mom and dad didn't play any instruments or sing, but when I was a little child, I would wake up singing Celine Dion all the time. My mom called our house the music boxbecause the second my feet hit the floor I would start singing. Around the age of 16, I joined the choir at our church and I was leading worship by 18 years old. Shortly afterwards, I attended LSU and met a band called, The Assemblie. They asked me to sing background vocals on an EP they were releasing. The EP climbed the charts on iTunes placing them at #1 in a very short time. Centricity Music contacted The Assemblie to invite them to an indie artist retreat. The label asked me to attend as a solo artist, and during the retreat, Centricity hosted a showcase for the attendingartists to share their music. At the time, I was leading worship at my church and singing in a cover band so I didn't have anything prepared for the event. On the day of the showcase, the lead singer of The Assemblie had an emergency appendectomy and I was asked to be the temporary lead vocalist. That moment gave me an opportunity to sing in front of the Centricity executives. Shortly after the showcase, Centricity Music asked me to come to Nashville for a week of co-writing sessions with some writers in the business. That week I decided to move to Nashville and dive in completely. The rest is history! 

Hallels:  You did try out for American Idol, can you tell us about your experence?

I tried out for American Idol for the first time when I was 17 years old. I made it to the end of Hollywood Week and got the big 'NO' on the green mile, the round where you are one on one with the judges to find out if you have made it to the Top 24. I tried out again the next season and did not even make it to Hollywood. The following year, I tried out one more time and made it from the Hollywood rounds to the Las Vegas level, but I was cut after the first round in Las Vegas. During this time, I asked the Lord to come meet me in the middle of the performances. It didn't matter that I was potentially singing in front of millions of viewers because it felt empty. Without His presence there was no joy in the process. This is when the Lord taught me about the importance of worship and how fulfilling it is to lift up His name. I left American Idol with a great experience under my belt, but joyfully returned to Louisiana to lead worship for my sweet church. 

Hallels:  I believe you are currently working on your new EP with Paul Mabury (Brooke Fraser, Hillsong & Darlene Zschech).  When will it be released?  Who are some of the songwriters and guests on the record? 

The EP, 'How Can It Be.' releases September 16, 2014. Some of the talented writers I had the privilege of co-writing with for this project are; James Tealy, Paul Duncan, Michael Farren, Paul Mabury, Justin Ebach, and Leslie Jordan. The title track was written by Paul Mabury, Jason Ingram, and Jeff Johnson, while 'O'Lord' was also written by Paul Mabury, along with Joe Williams. 

Hallels:  Also, I have read on your bio that you have a passion for social justice particularly in the area of human trafficking, would you mind sharing about this ministry? 

I first learned about human trafficking when I was in high school. A classmate came to speak to the class about this horrible injustice and my heart was wrecked from that moment on. The Lord stirred me to a call for action, so I have partnered with the Restore Her program of Still Creek Ranch. Restore Her rescues girls in the United States and provides a safe haven for these innocent children to grow and flourish. These children range in ages from as young as 5 years old and upwards to 18 years old. Once they enter the Restore Her, they attend a Christian school at the ranch with other children from the community. The school gives these children the opportunity to raise horses and compete in English and Western horse shows around the country. Upon graduation from high school the girls are provided with a college scholarship. Restore Her brings children from crisis to freedom, giving them an equal opportunity to fulfill the dreams and callings the Lord has placed on their hearts. I had the wonderful privilege to meet the children and stay with the girls. I was blown away by how seamless the program ran and how much love surrounded that place. These children were given hope in a way they had never experienced so I want to do all I can to promote the vision of such an incredible place. 

Hallels:  For our readers who may like to purchase your single and upcoming EP or if they would like to read more about you, where can they go?

Check out www.laurendaigle.com for info about my tour dates and my latest videos. I can also be found on Instagram and Twitter at @lauren_daigle. 

 

 

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