Daily Press (Sunday)

Daigle says hit has lasting resonance

- By Rodney Ho

Every so often, a Christian pop song crosses over into the mainstream and becomes a smash. In 2018, singersong­writer Lauren Daigle hit that magic mark with her ballad “You Say,” which landed at No. 1 on both the secular adult contempora­ry chart and the Christian pop chart.

It is one of those songs that Daigle will likely sing in concert the rest of her career. The song’s message, she said recently, has lasting resonance.

“People want to feel like they matter,” said Daigle. “They want to feel love. When people have doubts and question their purpose, the song helps answer some of that. People often think of God as some mean guy sitting upstairs condemning them for being human. The song reminds them that they’re valuable and have worth.”

While singles now dominate the world courtesy of streaming, Daigle is old school when it comes to albums. She recently was obsessed with Jon

Batiste’s Grammy-winning album “We Are.” “He’s from Louisiana like me, and I just loved how he told his musical journey with such brilliant pop swagger,” she said.

She recorded so many songs over the past couple of years, she decided to release her new 23-song album in two increments. It’s her first release in five years. “Asking people to sit down to music for two hours straight is a tough ask in this day and age of the eight second attention span,” she said.

The first 10 songs of the eponymous album came out in May and the second 13 songs were released in a second volume recently. “I wrote some songs from the soul and some from the spirit, about God,” Daigle said. “There were so many themes tucked in and woven. The soul is how we experience love, how we go through life and how our external experience shapes our internal.

The spirit is something transcende­nt. It’s how

God interacts with us.”

She worked with Grammy-winning producer Mike Elizondo, who has worked with a wide range of artists, such as 50 Cent, Carrie Underwood, Fiona Apple, Twenty One Pilots and Lin-Manuel Miranda. He co-wrote songs such as Mary J. Blige’s “Family Affair,” Eminem’s “The Real Slim Shady” and Underwood’s “Cowboy Casanova.”

“I didn’t know much about him,” Daigle said. “People would recommend I work with him. When I finally did, my mind was officially blown. I remember telling him, ‘What do you want this record to sound like?’ I was going for authentici­ty. I didn’t want to be somebody I’m not. I didn’t want a song to be like rock. I wanted it rock strong. I didn’t want a song to be like soul. It had to be soul strong. He totally understood and dove in.”

And she made sure the recordings sounded more like her live band concert performanc­es. “We recorded almost everything at the same time instead of piecing it together,” she said. “It was more that Muscle Shoals vibe. The sonic clarity and intensity was beyond real.”

 ?? MICHAEL TRAN/GETTY-AFP ?? Singer Lauren Daigle, seen Feb. 4, released her latest 23-song album in two installmen­ts.
MICHAEL TRAN/GETTY-AFP Singer Lauren Daigle, seen Feb. 4, released her latest 23-song album in two installmen­ts.

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