Ever since she knew she wanted to be a singer at 9 years old, Mallary Hope dreamed of becoming the next Dolly Parton. It wasn’t until she encountered some closed doors, heartbreak and rejection that she finally realized she was never meant to be Dolly. She was only meant to be Mallary.
Now, finding her voice in Christian music, the singer/songwriter introduces the rawest form of her artistic self on her debut LP, Out of My Hands (Curb | Word Entertainment), a declaration of releasing her plans to a God who writes far better stories with our lives than we could ever imagine.
Growing up in a home founded on faith, Christian music was the soundtrack to Mallary’s life, but Country music was the genre her heart was set on. Her dream seemed within reach when her family moved from their small hometown in Georgia to Nashville when the singer was only 17 so she could pursue a career in music.
When artists like Faith Hill, Sara Evans, Lauren Alaina and Jana Kramer, among others, began cutting songs she’d written, Mallary thought she was well on her way to achieving Dolly status. A record deal followed; yet despite the modest success, Mallary consistently compared herself to her female counterparts, always feeling like she never quite measured up.
“All I had ever wanted was to make a Country record and to be on Country radio,” says the pastor’s daughter. “It was my worth. It was my identity. It was everything. I was really consumed by it, and I thought if I didn’t succeed, then I wasn’t worth anything.”
It wasn’t until she found herself pregnant with her first child that she realized God had something different in store for her next musical chapter.
“When we found out we were pregnant, I thought, What am I going to teach this child?” she remembers. “The most important thing I could teach her or him—it turned out to be a girl—was the love of God and that we’re all here for a purpose.”
“Sometimes we have to struggle so that we can encourage other people who are going through things,” she admits. “I want to be able to tell people how good God is, and that no matter what they’re going through, God has a plan for them.”