Although Lauren Bea is a new name in the Christian music world, she's been preparing for this moment for a long time. Equipped with the lessons that come with being a lifelong worship leader, a mother, and the wife of an NFL player, Bea (pronounced "bay-uh") makes her musical introduction with her first single, "Wildflower."
With "Wildflower," Bea is looking to share a powerful message to women and young girls. With more singles on the horizon and a growing partnership with dcTalk bassist and producer Otto "Sugarbear" Price, it was time to get to know Lauren Bea.
Tell us how you got started in music! At what point did you know you wanted to do this more seriously?
I've been leading worship in church since I was in middle school youth group! I always had the notion that this is what I was supposed to do, but it wasn't until after college God started placing it on my heart to pursue this as a career.
You've been involved with the local church for a long time. What have been your roles in churches throughout the years (and now?), and how have those shaped you as an artist?
I was on the worship team from middle school to high school in the town I grew up in. When I went to college at the University of Texas, I joined the worship team at a church there and then after college when I was married we started at a new church and I was on the team there as well. So basically, I serve on the worship team!
This has helped me as an artist because it has called me to be so vulnerable from a young age. Pouring your heart out in worship opens the doors to a freedom you didn't know existed. Outside of church, I really enjoy sowing into the lives of girls. Mentoring is something I have always had a passion for and knowing you have done something to help someone else is such a beautiful thing.
How did you meet your husband, linebacker Keenan Robinson?
I met him at an event in college! I went with some friends and he was there with some of his. There were a lot of people at the event and I got separated from my friends so I went to the back of the room to look for them. While standing there by myself, I looked over and see this very tall and very muscular guy--at the time my husband was a linebacker at the University of Texas--walking my way and I instantly had the thought, "Please don't come talk to me; now is not the time!" Ha!
He came over and introduced himself and about three sentences in this girl jumped right in the middle of us and yelled, "Oh my gosh, Keenan, you're here!" And I was like, "Yes. This is my time to escape," so I took advantage of the opportunity and slowly walked away into the crowd. I didn't see him again for another year! Ha! Not the most romantic meeting but we laugh about it all the time now!
How did you get connected with famed dcTalk bassist Otto "Sugarbear" Price as your producer? What has he meant to this project?
Oh, Otto. This guy has completely taken me under his wing and has committed to helping me in my music career. We have a mutual friend name Brett Fuller, pastor of Grace Covenant Church in Virginia. Pastor Brett and his wife are really amazing people and have helped my husband and I out tremendously. He put me in contact with Otto once he heard one of the songs that I wrote. On my current project, Otto has produced all of my songs. We work well together and he knows my style so it's been a great experience. He is also very much a father figure and I consider all his kids my siblings!
How have your experiences as a wife and mother come into play with your songwriting?
It's everything. I write a lot of songs about individual worth and finding your identity in Christ. As an NFL wife, some would say there's an expectation to look a certain way, dress a certain way, have it all together, etc. I feel this is a common issue in most women today. We are constantly told we are not enough, through the many beauty commercials on TV advertising how to make yourself look better to the many tasks on our to do list that hardly ever get done. We always feel a need to do more and to look more beautiful; we never really look at ourselves and know we are enough and we are beautiful because Christ says we are. I have a two year old baby girl name Kaidence. She is the light of my life and I pray she grows up listening to the voice of Jesus telling her she is enough, and not the thousands of voices around her telling her she isn't.
In that vein, talk about the inspiration behind "Wildflower."
I wanted to write a song that empowered women. I wanted them to know they are beautiful exactly how they are and they don't have to try to be anything or anyone that they're not. Wildflowers came to mind. These flowers don't have to DO anything for their beauty; they just are. Each a different shade of color, size, and texture. Every single one of them, perfect in their own way.
Writing these elements down on paper, I looked out my window and saw flowers. These flowers were wild and beautiful. Some were in a field, some had sprouted through cracks in concrete, and some were scattered amongst weeds.
Every one of them stood tall in their beauty. These flowers didn't have to DO anything for their beauty, they just were. Every flower made up of a rainbow of colors, textures and sizes. Each one effortlessly living in whatever soil they sprouted from. It dawned on me that WE too can be like wildflowers. Whatever aspect of life we are living in, whatever color skin we were given, whatever size our body type is, we can stand tall and know we are beautiful and perfect just the way we are.
Luke 12:27-28 says, "Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you--you of little faith!"
What are some of the things you've heard since releasing the song?
I've heard a lot of positive things so far! People really love the song. Both men and women have reached out to me saying they really like the beat, the lyrics are very influential and they had it on replay since they first listened!
Who are some of your influences?
Joyce Meyer, she is a powerhouse. If you haven't heard any of her teachings I would say you are missing out. Her testimony is absolutely incredible and I admire her strength. It's so incredibly pure yet commanding.
Priscilla Shirer: She is one incredible woman of God. Her book, Fervent changed my perspective on all my problems. She helped take me out of a weak point in my life and redirected my eyes on God and the power of prayer.
And I have been a fan of Hillsong since their "Shout to the Lord" days. I always sang their worship music in church and to see where they have grown today in their artistry is absolutely amazing.
What's your calling as best you can tell?
To be a disciple of God, wherever I am in the moment. I could be singing on a stage or in the grocery store.
What's next, and how can people be praying for you?
I will be releasing my second single very soon! Exciting things are happening and I couldn't be more honored God is allowing me on this journey. I would like people to pray that I stay focused on my relationship with God. If my heart is right, everything will fall into place.
Marcus Hathcock is the Executive Editor of NewReleaseToday.com, a husband to Savannah, father of three and a worship leader living in Boise. He has released an EP, Songs For Tomorrow, and occasionally blogs at mheternal.com.
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