A lot has changed for Francesca Battistelli since she released her 2008 hit debut album, My Paper Heart. She married percussionist Matthew Goodwin, gave birth to a son, moved to a new city, and garnered six Dove Award nominations in 2010, among other changes.
All of that change has been woven into Battistelli's latest album, Hundred More Years.
"There are some very personal songs on this record," she said, "because what I tend to write naturally is songs from my life, what I'm struggling with and what I'm excited about. But this time I’m definitely focused more on thinking outside my own experience, looking at what other people are going through. I like that about this record."
NRT's Bill Lurwick talked with Francesca about all the changes in her life, the inspiration behind her newest songs and the “little stuff” in life.
The new project is called Hundred More Years--not “a hundred more years” or “one hundred more years,” but just Hundred More Years. Explain the concept behind the title.
Well, the title comes from a song on the record with the same name and when we wrote the song it was really about the special moments in life that we can take for granted, but shouldn’t, because they don’t last forever. Getting married or falling in love or having your first child... these are the things that when you’re experiencing them you just think, “I could feel like this forever.” I love the song. When we were trying to title the record, it just seemed fitting, for where my life was at the time and still is.
You know, I don’t know how many times I’ve had a baseball hat or my sunglasses on while I’ve been walking around looking for them. That kind of thing is what your big hit song, “This is the Stuff,” is about, isn’t it?
Absolutely. It’s all true. All those things that happen to me happen to me a lot. I’m always getting someone to call my phone because I can’t find it in my purse. These things happen to all of us and I think that’s why the song is so relatable. But at the same time it goes beyond just the funny part. My goal is to try to remind people that God uses those things to shape us and make us more like Him and kind of remind us that it’s not so bad--that there are people dealing with a lot worse. So it's sort of a perspective song.
You've been out on the Winter Jam tour. Now, I thought you and your husband met on Winter Jam 2009, but did you actually meet before that?
We did. I toured with Newsong--which is the band he used to play with right before Winter Jam in the fall of 2008 and we met--but we just kind of were friends and spent time together. But then it was on Winter Jam that we really fell in love and all of that. So, Winter Jam was the important tour.
There's kind of a running theme throughout the record about life and what it’s about. There’s a song called “Don’t Miss It.” Talk about that song.
I wrote it a while back with Ben Glover, and I just wanted to write a song again. I feel like I write songs a lot about making moments count and really not letting life just pass you by. That’s really what the song is about--not missing those little moments, those things that you can tend to just overlook. But at the end of your life, I think they are the things you really remember.
I see you've teamed up with Dave Barnes on this project. Talk about that.
Yeah, that was amazing. We got to write together last year and I was so excited about it because I’ve just been a fan of his music for a long time. When we were going to record the song, I said to my manager, “Can we see if Dave wants to sing on it because we wrote it together?” and I was so glad he agreed to. I really think the song turned out great and it was a real fun experience.
The song is called “Emily.” What’s behind the title?
We wanted to write a song to girls reminding them that they’re so amazing and so special and God loves them. No matter what, we want them to remember how He loves them.
Bill Lurwick, the voice of NewReleaseTuesday.com's weekly New Christian Music Podcast, has been in radio since 1989 and is currently heard on KJIL in Dodge City, KS.