Today, I am so excited to share this interview with you. Words. Cannot. Express. I am extremely grateful to Rachael Lampa and her team for making this interview possible, and I hope it is a blessing to each and every one of you.
Rachael Lampa means a lot to me, personally. I had devotionals with her in them. She was in my copies of CCM Magazine. She was a role model. I would belt out her songs in an old church academy gym, while doing cartwheels and tumbling around. (Prep for a youth talent show, of course). Maybe you did, too. She was always at the top of the list, when it was time to make the road trip playlist to go to camp. We stayed in the car a little longer when her song was on the radio. Her voice gave us chills on the soundtrack to A Walk to Remember; those of us who sang to music tracks in church dug around to see if we could find one of her songs on the shelf; and who can forget her iconic green and white Kaleidoscope CD cover?
If you don’t know her music or you are in the younger crowd– it’s time to get acquainted. For those of you who have missed her and are walking down memory lane with me– she’s back. She is here to share with us what she has been up to, what her new music is about (new single drops 8/9/19!), and the woman she has become along the way.
Thank you, Rachael.
MW: Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood:
RL: I grew up in Boulder, CO, in a family of six. Two brothers, one sister. We were all very different from each other, different interests and hobbies, but over time, we realized how to grow together and have been pretty inseparable ever since!
MW: When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him?
RL: I grew up going to church regularly, my family prayed together a lot. I always had a strong sense that God was real. It wasn’t until my dad battled cancer, when I was about 12 (he beat it, by the way!), that I really started to lean in and invite God to speak into other parts of my life, to be my comforter, and the One I trusted.
MW: I was personally such a fan and follower of your music in my adolescent years. (Still fangirling!) I had this devotional called Walk, where you were featured, and you spoke about how you get to meet so many people who are hurting through your music and shows. You wrote, “Sometimes just a few words can go a long way.” In your own experience, what were some words that impacted your own life, when you were hurting?
RL: When my parents were going through a divorce, my mom was on the road with me, and I remember crying in a hotel room, and she told me that “God doesn’t waste pain”. That has always stuck with me. I actually wrote a song with that lyric called “The Art”.
“God doesn’t waste pain”
MW: You were among the top favorite musicians for so many of us growing up in the early 2000s. You were featured in books, magazines, and your song “If You Believe” made it on the soundtrack of A Walk to Remember. What is one of your favorite professional moments?
RL: Wow, I haven’t thought about this in a while! One stand-out moment was when I sang for the pope, in Rome, on World Youth Day. There were 3.5 million people in the audience, and it was the first time I had seen the “world”, in a sense. I have a love and a passion for culture and diversity, and to be in a sea of worshippers of all different backgrounds was really special.
“I have a love and a passion for culture and diversity, and to be in a sea of worshippers of all different backgrounds was really special.”
MW: Many of us have missed your music and presence. What have you been up to in these past few years?
RL: Where do I even start?! I did everything from touring as a background singer with Jordin Sparks on tour with The Jonas Brothers and Britney Spears, to joining an acapella group and competing on the Sing Off, to being a nanny, to touring for 2 years with Hozier, to having a BABY!
MW: You have hinted that there is new music on the way, on your social media platform(s). What can we expect in this new music?
RL: Yes! The first single comes out on August 9! I am very excited, and honestly, relieved. I have been writing songs over the past 10 years, and it felt so good to move these songs out of my heart! There are honestly a lot of different places in my life that these songs represent. Everything from a declaration of my “more mature and tested” faith, to a song about longing to hold on to my inner child, to a song about a broken relationship. It’s a bit all over the map, so I’m excited to see how people will connect with it!
“I have been writing songs over the past 10 years, and it felt so good to move these songs out of my heart!”
MW: Tell us about your single “Side of My Heart”, which drops on August 9:
RL: “Side of My Heart” is a song about growing up and losing your inner child along the way, and then the longing and fighting to gain it back. I feel like this is a running theme in me and my friends’ lives. Longing for the simple days when it was all heart and trying to figure out how to access that and carry that even though we’ve grown up. I use the word ‘home’ as this inner-child, so to say that that’s where I’m safe and loved, and I long to take that with me in my life. It’s a tug of war that I’ve felt in wanting to live my dreams but also just go play in the sunshine. There’s a healthy and beautiful tension there.
MW: You have such a beautiful family. So many in our community are mothers or mothers-to-be. What has motherhood taught you?
RL: Besides operating on no sleep and picking things up with my toes… I would say one of my FAVORITE things about motherhood is that I get to be part of shaping a sweet little boy and eventually a GOOD man for this world. My husband is a therapist, so it’s ALL feelings around here. We are aaaaalways talking about feelings, and it has been so cool to all connect, as a family, in an honest and safe way. One of my favorite pieces of parenting advice was to not be afraid to let my kid see when I am upset or sad or frustrated, as much as he sees me happy and silly. We need to show kids that all feelings are safe and allowed in this house.
“One of my favorite pieces of parenting advice was to not be afraid to let my kid see when I am upset or sad or frustrated, as much as he sees me happy and silly.”
MW: What is your spiritual growth focus, at the moment?
RL: I guess I would say that what I am focusing on at the moment is on having more questions than I have answers. I’ve found that Jesus keeps asking us to be WITH Him and be WITH each other. I feel like I can only have community and companionship with others and even with God when I am coming with open hands and an open heart. No preconceived ideas or outcomes. Just true vulnerability and unconditional love.
MW: You had a recent trip to Israel. Was there something that stood out to you on that trip?
RL: One of the biggest moments from this trip was when I was on a boat on the Sea of Galilee. I was looking out over the water onto a place where I know beyond the shadow of a doubt, that Jesus walked. My head kept saying, “Don’t miss anything Rachael, keep an eye out, don’t blink, or you will miss the BIG God moment!!” I decided to close my eyes and in that moment, I felt the most overwhelming sense of fullness in my body, and I heard God say, “I am already FULLY in you, you have me and I have you. You don’t have to worry about missing anything, just enjoy this. You’ve got all you need.”
MW: If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be?
RL: Jesus and People and Snacks. *laughs*
MW: What is a book that you would recommend and why?
RL: I really love Man’s Search For Meaning. It’s a bit heavy, and maybe it [has] resurfaced for me because of my recent trip to Israel, but it’s been such an important book for me to come back to. My family and I run a non-profit, here in Nashville, that helps those who are experiencing homelessness, incarceration, extreme cultural vulnerability. The book is a great reminder when helping others that we all need to know we have a purpose beyond ourselves and that it is important to remind the people in our lives that they have a higher purpose than just breathing, eating, sleeping. It can get lost along the way, especially in trauma and my heart is to share that.
MW: What are your top three essentials?
RL: Jesus, people, snacks. Hahahaha
MW: Who is your favorite person in scripture and why?
RL: Mary Magdalene is one of my favorites. Her story is powerful and dynamic, and the way that she receives Jesus’ love is courageous and inspiring.
MW: What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you?
RL: That there is no limit to His love.
MW: A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep:
RL: Something that we love to do together is go to the beach. We all have a special relationship with the ocean, even my two year old. He has been drawn to it since we first brought him at three weeks old. It’s the one thing that gets us all quiet and still and connected at the same time.
MW: What question will you ask when you get to heaven?
RL: Where’s the choir?
MW: Thing you want to raise awareness about:
MW: What does your morning routine consist of?
RL: Being dragged out of bed way too early by my two year old, get him breakfast, drink allll the lemon water, play cars with said 2 year old, his name is Jackson by the way, attempt to brush my teeth and wash my face, and remember that I need breakfast, too.
MW: What is on your nightstand?
RL: About 10 glasses of water that I keep forgetting to bring up to the kitchen.
MW: Define Christianity in a sentence:
RL: Unconditional, unconventional, counter-cultural love from a God who knows and cares about you.
FOR MORE RACHAEL:
NEW SINGLE “SIDE OF MY HEART” OUT AUGUST 9.
And as always, until next time, keep witnessing!