1 Girl Nation, a Christian CCM/pop quartet signed to Reunion Records, released their debut self-titled album last year to rave reviews and positive feedback. Releasing their Christmas EP A Very 1 Girl Nation Christmas tomorrow, the collection of holiday songs features original Christmas songs, traditional carols, and a cover of the popular Frozen song “Let It Go”! I recently had the privilege of interviewing all four vocalists (Carmen, Kayli, Lindsey and Lauryn Taylor) via email, as we discussed the upcoming EP, what they hope listeners will experience when hearing these 5 Christmas and holiday themed songs, and their goals and plans for the rest of 2014 and 2015, inclusive of a brand new studio album of all original songs! Check out the interview below.
1. Since you girls signed to Reunion Records, it’s been a crazy ride. From releasing your first album, as well as this Christmas EP, to changing from a quintet to a quartet, to touring nationally on many different tours and festivals! What has been the highlight of being in a band from its inception til now?
The best part about making all these memories is doing it together! We are sisters.
2. For me when I listened to your album, the acapella mashup, the Frozen song “Let It Go” and the original song “Joy” caught my eye, what was your favourite song to record? Can you tell us how these 5 songs came to be recorded?
We love all of them for different reasons! We chose “Let it Go” because it’s one of our favorite songs we sing live! We took our favorite parts of all the different versions and mashed them into one! “Angels We Have Heard on High” and “Go Tell It On The Mountain” are two of our favorite classic Christmas songs. Most of our other favorite classics we put into the mash up! Last but not least “Joy” was written to talk about all the fun things about Christmas time, but how there is no greater joy than God’s gift of his Son.
3. What is the one thing that you hope listeners can gain when they hear A Very 1 Girl Nation Christmas EP? Which song out of the five should listeners check out first?
We hope they gain joy!! Hmm… That a tough one!
4. What did each of the 5 songs mean to you as you were recording it? Has there been a recent song (either on your debut album or on your forthcoming brand new studio album) that has been ministering to people on the road, and what are some of the encouraging stories you have heard from the impact of your songs?
Sadly we aren’t performing any new songs yet, but we can’t wait! We still love performing songs from our debut album. We hear all the time how our songs have impacted people and made them feel beautiful. Moms come up to us and tell us ‘thank you for being a great role model for my daughters’!
5. For those who may not have listened to your style of music before, who would you say you sound similar to at the moment, in the CCM industry, so that listeners can be better prepared to know how your music sounds like? Personally, I think you sound similar to Anthem Lights, Zoegirl, Royal Tailor, Britt Nicole and Jump5!
You pretty much nailed it! Our music is kind of like Toby Mac meets Jump 5!
6. Going back to your debut album, my few of my favourite songs are “In The Eyes”, “While We’re Young”, “Count Your Rainbows” and “Turn Around”. What are the songs from your debut album that mean the most to you?
Carmen- I feel like Turn Around means the most to me because I wrote it for a close friend who was going through a lot and little did I know that God was really going to use that song to minister to me.
Lauryn Taylor- my favorite is Count Your Rainbows because it always reminds me to choose to think on the things that good, pure, and lovely no matter the situation.
7. Also relating to your debut album (but maybe extending to this EP too!), were there any difficult songs to write, sing or even record, either because they were based on personal experiences of yourself or others? What has God used to speak to you more- the songs that were easiest to write or the hardest?
We all feel like “In the Eyes” is sometimes the most emotional song to sing at our live shows. As women, it’s not the easiest to wake up every day feeling beautiful, but we always have to remember that we are beautiful and treasured to God and that’s all that matters. We believe the message of that song isn’t said enough to the younger generation!
8. Both musically and lyrically, how does A Very 1 Girl Nation Christmas EP capture the holiday spirit and the essence of celebrating Jesus’ birth?
We tried to make it as fun and joyful as possible!
9. Are there any artists/writers/producers you would like to collaborate with (maybe for a full length Christmas album, worship album, remix album or hymns project)? Who were your favourite artists you admired and looked up to musically in your earlier years, and is there any artist or band that you admire within the music industry currently- as a fellow artist, a spiritual mentor, or someone you seek advice from?
We love Toby Mac, Brit Nicole, Family Force 5, and Lecrae! We’d love to collaborate with any of them!
All of us grew up listening to Christian music so we loved any artist from Point of Grace to DC Talk! Right now Mandisa is another artist in the Christian industry who we really look up to!!!
10. If anyone reading this interview wants to move into the music industry, what would you say to them as advice- how would you succeed in the industry with your values intact?
Pray for God’s will above all else! He will open and shut the right doors.
11. Are there any artists you have toured with in the last few years that have impacted your life the most? Any new tours you are excited for in 2014 and beyond? Generally speaking, what’s next for 1 Girl Nation in 2014 and 2015? Can you give us a teaser of what to expect- tour, music, video, collaborations etc?
We absolutely love Toby Mac’s whole team! We are on the While We’re Young Tour this fall with our friends OBB & Tori Harris! We are also doing a Christmas tour in December, which will be a blast!
12. What’s your take on Christmas albums releasing early- do you think Christmas should be marketed by films, TV and shopping centres in September/October or as close to December as possible?
We are always in the Christmas spirit!
13. How do each of you celebrate Christmas? Are there any traditions you follow, movies you must watch, or food you love to eat as you celebrate the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ?
We love to spend Christmas with our families. We each have different traditions which all include tasty food 🙂
14. Is there anything in your life that keeps you grounded and places things in perspective as you travel and create music? Is there any song, or Bible verse, or even famous quote that reminds you about why you do what you do and why you chose music as a career and ministry?
We all have family and friends and mentors who keep us grounded. We love the verse from Jeremiah 29:11 because it reminds us that God has a plan for us and our ministry!
15. Is there anything else that you would like to add that hasn’t been covered in this interview yet, such as what you do in your free time, and whether you watch TV, or sports? Any parting words, and encouragements that will impact the readers of this interview? How can fans stay connected with you via social media?
We all are just normal girls who love shopping, coffee, and good food! Ha! We encourage anyone reading this to find your worth is Christ and be bold in your faith! God made us all unique and gave each of us strengths and talents to use for His glory! Thanks for believing in the heart of 1 Girl Nation!! To keep up with what we are doing, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! @1girlnation
Be sure to check out 1 Girl Nation’s self-titled album in stores right now, and the Christmas EP A Very 1 Girl Nation Christmas releasing October 7th. Til then, check out the music video of “While We’re Young” below, as well as the “Try” cover video (originally by Colbie Caillat)! There are also much more videos that can be viewed on their youtube page and their vevo youtube page!