Following the success of breakout single "Fearless," fans have been excitedly awaiting the full-length debut from pop vocalist Jasmine Murray. Murray recently delivered that release, and we caught up with her to talk about the new songs, how she's overcoming her battle with anxiety, and what the success of "Fearless" has meant to her.
How does it feel to finally have your debut album released to the world? What has the response been like so far?
It feels really awesome to have released my album and to have more music out to share with people! I definitely put a lot of my heart into these songs and so it just feels really incredible to be able to share them with everyone. I feel like the response has been pretty good. I've received a lot of comments through social media, at a lot of concerts I've done lately. People have seemed to have enjoyed the album. My hope is that they would just feel more connected to God and just get an idea of who I am and what I feel like the Lord has put on my heart to share with them. It feels awesome and I just can't wait to see what else is in store.
What's the overall message of this album and what do you hope that it accomplishes?
So the album is called Fearless, and "Fearless" is actually the first single I released last year. That song has a very special meaning to me because of my own struggles with anxiety and fear and something that I've had to experience myself. I feel like that was one of the first messages I was able to share with everyone and something that was very real for me. I feel like this album is just an overview of these past few years of my life, what my journey has been like going through that, and so many other things. There are so many topics we talk about with this album, from fear to what it's like when you first surrender your life to God, surrendering control to God, understanding what true love from the Lord is really like.
I hope that there's something for everyone because we definitely tackle different issues, but there are so many different sounds and vibes as well. We've got some upbeat songs, some worship songs, some ballads, some mid-tempo. My hope is that, at the end of the day, people will be able to enjoy this music. More than that, when I started the writing process, I really wanted to be involved in that and I wanted to make sure that every song had a meaning. I didn't want it to just feel good and sound good, but it needed to have a deep meaning to it and be something that people would be able to connect to and respond to. I feel like that's definitely been accomplished, in my opinion. I just hope that people feel that in every single song they listen to, that they feel connected to God and that if they don't know Him, that they get to know Him and to see who He really is and experience Him for the first time.
Did the huge success of "Fearless" impact the way the rest of the album turned out?
Honestly, we've been working on the album for the last two and half years. I signed with my label back in December of 2015 and then I moved out to Nashville at the beginning of 2016, so we immediately started working on the songs. "Fearless" actually came a little bit later, and then we released that one last year. A lot of the songs had already been written beforehand and there were a few that were written later on, so honestly, I don't think that any song was impacted by the other. I think that it was just about, throughout my journey, what the Lord laid on my heart or what the Lord laid on the hearts of who I was writing within the sessions, and they all came together in a really unique and organic way.
Have there been any stories about the impact "Fearless" has had on fans that have really blown you away?
Oh my gosh, it's been so incredible. Last year I went on tour for the first time on the Rise Out of the Dark Tour with Mandisa and Danny Gokey and Love and the Outcome. That was my first time really being on the road consistently since "Fearless" came out, so I got to open up the show every night and "Fearless" of course was in my set. Afterward, at a lot of the shows, so many people did come up to me and just tell me how that song had impacted them. Maybe they had a family member struggling with anxiety or their child was struggling with anxiety and that song had encouraged them. That has been so encouraging to me to hear that because I think, at the end of the day, my hope through this song is healing.
My hope is that people will be able to sing this as a declaration over their lives, that they can be fearless and that they are fearless, that they don't have anything to be afraid of in life. I believe that fear is not from God, fear is from the enemy. It's something he tries to use against us to steal our peace of mind, to distract us from God's purpose or to try to take us away from what the Lord has for us. I believe once we realize that, and once we understand that God wants us to live fearlessly and that He's already overcome the world, we can truly rest in that peace of knowing that we have nothing to fear and we can live our lives boldly and unafraid. So yeah, it's been really awesome to hear stories from other people.
What are some of the ways your experience with American Idol prepared you for this time in your career, and how has it shaped you into who you are now as an artist?
American Idol was an incredible experience. I was on the show about ten years ago, so I was sixteen at the time, and really discovering just how much I loved music. I always loved music, but I think with that experience I realized that this was ultimately what I wanted to do with my life and even more confirmation that this was where I felt like that Lord was leading me. I think that, in a lot of ways, it's prepared me because on shows like that you get first-hand experience of what it's like to be immersed in that world where you're getting to go into the studio all the time and get that type of practice and work with vocal coaches consistently. You're on a tight schedule all the time, so you're going from place to place. You're constantly singing, you're constantly on the road and doing different things, so I feel like it prepares you for the physical aspect, but also emotionally. There's a lot where you have to just be emotionally intact, and my faith has always played a huge role in that. The Lord has just kept me grounded and kept me centered through that experience, and of course even today because I get to sing about Him all the time. That's where my real joy is. It's prepared me in so many ways, and I think to just realize how much I really love this and wanted to go into this industry.
How can people be praying for you in this season of life?
I just feel like this journey has been so awesome thus far, and I don't know what else the Lord has in store, but I'm excited about it. Honestly, I would just love to have prayers that continue to help me to see where God is leading me. My hope is that I'll honor Him in everything, that every song I sing and every word I speak will bring Him glory and will bring Him honor and will shed a light on who He is and help others to feel more connected to Him and be drawn to Him. That's my real hope. I just want to serve, I just want to be a vessel to be used by Him. That's my prayer going forward and I would love it if you guys would pray with me about that as well, that I would just continue to walk with Him and walk in wisdom and truth and light, that every decision I make would be in line with His plan.
Caitlin Lassiter is a worship leader, songwriter, and journalist with a deep passion for Christian music. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee, where she attends Trevecca Nazarene University and can frequently be found loving life at a concert.
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