Nine-time Grammy-nominated songstress Natalie Grant says she refuses to be put in a box with her music as she releases a star-studded new album compiled of Christian classics.
Grant’s new album, Seasons, pays homage to many of her favorite songs and hymns and features duets with Dolly Parton, CeCe Winans, Mary Mary and Tauren Wells, among other famous singers.
The 10-track LP is Grant’s twist on songs that have impacted her walk with Jesus. Some of the cover songs listed on the album include Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love” and Andrea Crouch’s “My Tribute (To God Be The Glory.)”
Grant said the music comes from a place of true “vulnerability” with God, not from a pursuit of trying to get played on the radio.
“I think about Andre Crouch, who wrote the song ‘To God be the Glory, My Tribute,’ he struggled with addiction, and he struggled with so many things in his life that God helped him overcome. Then, all of a sudden, you hear a song, you realize what he’s come through, and he allowed God to transform his life. You see that it’s such a different thing because he’s singing out of his own life experience,” the singer told The Christian Post.
“He’s not going, ‘How do I get a hit on the radio?'” she added. “I have to be honest, it can be really hard because there is a formula, and it’s frustrating as a female artist, especially because females have a harder time at Christian radio than male artists do.”
The popular Christian artist noted that radio wants a specific formula.
“There’s a box, and then you fit in the box. If you don’t fit in the box, I [was] just talking to another female artist that had one really big song, she’s a newer artist, and now she just can’t get played. Like they’re just refusing to play any other music,” Grant revealed. “It’s so frustrating.”
For the first time in over 20 years, Grant’s first single from Seasons titled, “You Will Be Found” with Cory Asbury, has been well received on radio, making it her highest charted Billboard Airplay.
“‘You Will Be Found,’ off of this record after 24 years, it’s now taken over from ‘Held’ and ‘King of the World.’ It’s the best-performing single I’ve ever had,” Grant said. “But on my last record, ‘My Weapon,’ the [radio] wouldn’t touch it. They wouldn’t play it. And you’re like, ‘How do you not let people hear the song: Your presence is my greatest weapon?'”
“You realize that there’s some things you can control and some things that you can’t, and you can sit in the frustration of it, and I just made a decision; everybody has to answer to God for their own decisions, but I can only speak to you from my experience, that a lot of people that make the decision that they’re going to try to follow the formula because that’s really important to them. And maybe that’s what God’s breathing on and letting them do,” she explained.
“I made a decision. I’m just going to be me, and I’m going to do what I feel like God’s asking me to do, and if a radio station plays it, they play it. And if they don’t, God is going to help it get into the hands of the people that need to hear it.”
The mother of three emphasized that she has no control over what industry people do, but she will purpose herself to listen to what God is instructing her to do with her music.
“I can only control my heart before the Lord. I can control what I believe God is speaking to me,” Grant told CP.
“When you’re obedient to what God is speaking to you to do, blessing always follows obedience. Obedience brings blessing. And it doesn’t mean it’s going to bring it in the form that we want it to be, and it doesn’t mean it’s going to bring it in the way that we think it should be. But it will bring blessing,” the Seattle, Washington, native maintained. “It’s the theorem of God. He can’t help it because it’s who He is when you are obedient. God will bless it.”
Grant encouraged people not to look at what appears to be thriving and think that God blesses it.
“At the end of it all,” she wants her whole life — Music, family and ministry — to reflect “Kingdom” and for people to know her as “a Jesus Girl” because “It was all about Christ.”
Grant hopes that Seasons will be another reflection of her dedication to God, and in turn, it can help others grow closer to Jesus as well.
“I believe a lot of these songs will take you back to ‘Oh man, I remember my grandma sang that. I remember when I sang that in church.’ For other people who didn’t grow up on Christian music, you’re going to feel a nostalgia in these songs. Even if you didn’t know them, it’s going to actually take you back to something you didn’t even know was missing from your life because they just carry the truth of the Word of God in them in a very powerful way,” Grant concluded.
In addition to the album’s release, Grant and her husband will head on the road this fall for the “An Evening with Natalie Grant featuring Bernie Herms” tour.
Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org She’s also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic
Free Religious Freedom Updates
Join thousands of others to get the FREEDOM POST newsletter for free, sent twice a week from The Christian Post.