Sisters Lauren and Brooke DeLeary, together known as the faith pop duo LoveCollide, want Christians to be bold in their faith. The duo's music has impacted the Christian music industry in a big way. LoveCollide's popularity has risen significantly in the past year--especially in Canada.
So far, LoveCollide has released two singles from their 2018 album, Tired Of Basic. "I Don't Want It," the duo's first single, spent nearly eight months on the Canadian Christian Radio Chart (CCRC) Top 30. Their second single, "Undeniable," was in the Top 10 for more than 12 weeks. I recently talked with LoveCollide's Lauren Budnick about their music, as well as the duo's popularity and heritage in Canada.
Why do you call yourselves LoveCollide?
We want LoveCollide to be an experience. We see our band name more as verb: the act of humanity encountering God's love. When people come to our shows, listen to our music in their car, or meet us on the street, we want them to walk away with more than just a good feeling. But with radical life change, knowing they are loved by God almighty.
Congrats for winning Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year at this year's JUNO Awards. Talk about that experience.
We were completely shocked when we were even nominated. So imagine our surprise when we won. Not to say we haven't worked hard for this honor, because we certainly have. But it's always a humbling feeling to have a physical representation of others who believe in you, and respect the art you put out. We went with our parents and my husband, Adam (He's also our drummer). And, we could not have been more thankful that they were all there to experience the celebration of it all.
What are some of your favorite artists and music that you listen to and why?
We both are pretty adamant about listening to whatever is current, trending or up and coming. So the genre can tend to vary. We both love pop, but that can mean so many things. We are into everything from Arianna Grande, to John Mayer, to the 1975 and the classics.
What common themes do you write about in your music?
It changes with the seasons. For a long time, it was about being bold, brave, living a joyous and loud life for Jesus. Not living lukewarm. Most of our album, Tired of Basic, says exactly that. We wrote, from our perspective, about wanting to be on fire for Jesus--no matter the cost. Don't sit on the sidelines.
But, we wrote and write other songs that are not so happy, and positive, as well. After all, we are human. Quite honestly, I think the easiest thing to write about is pain. It's often hard to write from "just" a happy place. Not that we aspire to be "tortured artists" (There is quite a stigma for those in the arts to be generally unhappy people). But there is truth that out of darkness comes the desire to find a way out through song.
Of course, there are so many beautiful things we can and do write about. However, sometimes we write about heartbreak. Sometimes, the heartbreak is a season of life. Sometimes, it's by a literal person. And sometimes, we feel broken and abandoned by God (even though we know in our hearts that is not true). We pretty much just write whatever it is we are going through in that season.
Why Christian music? What pulls you to this genre? How would you describe your music to others?
We began our career together nine years ago. We were 13 and 16 years old. At first, we sang mainstream music, but on stage would speak about our faith. The natural choice for a 13- and 16-year-old basically preaching on stage was the Christian industry. The crazy thing is times have changed and there is so much crossover. People are so much more open to hear about what we believe in more than ever before. Our music is pop. Brooke and I really don't have any desire to remain in a box. So, the way we describe our music in the future may look something different than it does today. We're all on a journey, our fans included. But if we were to describe our current album, we would say it sounds like top '40s pop with Christian lyrics.
At the JUNO Awards, you talked about your Canadian First Nations ancestry. Can you tell us more about this and how it's impacted your music?
Well, first of all, both our musical abilities and Canadian First Nations heritage are through our father. Our father is Mexican and Native American. Our tribe is Chippewa of the Thames First Nation in Muncey, Ontario. We're registered with the band office on the Reservation and have close ties with our family who still live there and around the area.
We're very proud of our heritage. Our clan is the "loon clan," which, historically, were the "singers" of the tribe. So, it's very fitting. Also, we were often lulled to sleep with the beat of drums at pow wows [social gatherings held by many different Native communities] and have an affinity towards percussion.
Our dad loved music growing up. But, because of the circumstances of his childhood and how he grew up, a music career was not something he could aspire to. When his children had the same passion and dream, he believed in us and pushed us to go after it. There is a lot of brokenness in the world. But, we see it very clearly in the history and present lives of our people. We want to point to where hope and healing can be found.
As a Canadian myself, I have to ask. How do you feel being a Canadian band in the Christian music industry? Does this show in your music?
We feel ecstatic. To be totally honest, we had no idea the incredible support that Canada had for its music and artists until recently. We have always been proud to be Canadian and always love telling people we are Canadian. But because we never actually lived in Canada, we were not sure how much Canada loved to claim us. I guess we learned. We have received not only one of the greatest honors (a JUNO award), but our music is doing incredibly well in Canada (single after single staying in the top 30 for the past year). It's such an honor. Moving forward, you can expect a lot more Canadian tours and inspiration in our music and lives.
What are you working on right now? What's next?
We're going to be creating more content for the upcoming singles going to radio soon. And then after that, we're back in the studio. The creating never stops.
How can we be praying for you?
We need prayer for wisdom in direction, for clarity and unity. The past year has been the most roller coaster year in our entire career. It's also been the darkest and the happiest. If you could pray for creativity and guidance over the next steps that would be amazing. Thank you.
Paul Phillips is a Canadian journalist with over 10 years of experience writing and editing digital and print content. He specializes in health, fitness, nutrition, and travel. He loves music, movies, and, of course, living for Jesus.
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