10 Questions with ... Lara Landon
May 14, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- Wise Sam
- Overcome (2012)
- Beloved (2009)
1) Tell us a little bit about your musical journey.
I remember being drawn to music at a very young age. When I was 9, I auditioned for a musical and got the leading role, so although I was very shy, I knew I'd found my calling. In my teens I wrote to express my questions and feelings. I emulated the styles of the artists I loved, ranging from Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan to Crystal Lewis and Amy Grant. Music has always had such a powerful effect on my mood and emotions, so now that others hear my music, I want to make sure it draws them closer to God. I hope they come away from it having had a cathartic experience where some of their fears, questions, faith and hopes have been expressed and released.
2) Is there a singular theme or message to your new album Overcome?
Yes, the album does have an overall theme, but it's presented in different lights throughout 12 songs. The first few songs deal with weakness, disappointment, and brokenness. Then the songs move into encouragement and healing, and the last third of the album is really about empowering believers with truth and knowledge straight from the Bible. Songs like the title track "Overcome" declare that all believers are not at the whim and mercy of this world but can stand in the authority and promises Christ gave us. It's based on a verse that I clung to during my own personal disappointments, Revelation 12:11" "And they overcame him (the evil one) by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony and loved not their lives until death." I wanted to really realize my position as an "overcomer in Christ" and present that message in an honest way on this album.
3) Tell us about the story behind your single "I See God in You"?
It's about recognizing that we can interact with Jesus on a daily basis if we will be mindful of the fact that God's spirit is in all believers and his divine thumbprint is on every human being. Jesus said in Matthew 25:40, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." We have that unique privilege to serve and honor the people we come into contact with as if we were serving Jesus. That's a message I wish I had learned sooner in life and something I hope listeners walk away with.
4) Do you have a favorite song on the album?
I love the song "Look East." It's based on the promise from God that I can see every morning: the sun rising in the east. I never worry that God won't cause the sun to rise, the earth to spin, and the planets to align every day. All these things are a given that I completely trust in. God makes it so obvious through these natural wonders that he is present and in control, and that's very comforting. It's also a play on words because the Bible tells us Jesus will return through the East Gate of Jerusalem, so he is literally the Son rising in the east. I love how the lyrics paint a picture of Jerusalem, and the music matches it by incorporating a very middle eastern feel.
5) Can you tell us a little about the non-profit that you helped to start, New Reality International? What led you to co-found the organization and how are things progressing? How can others get involved?
The start and development of New Reality International is one of those things that happened in such a way that God gets all the glory. My sister and I had a desire to see God's will be done and his kingdom advance on Earth but had no idea how or what we would do to aid in that. We started very small, but within a few years we were going on medical missions to Haiti and Guatemala. After the earthquake hit Haiti, thousands of medical professionals wanted to help, and we were able to facilitate that through the experience and connections we had. It was God's divine timing.
Since then we've been able to help more than 13,000 people in Haiti, South America, and Nigeria. But in addition to serving the people in these countries, I believe God's really touched the non-believing volunteers in a powerful way. As volunteers see the physical poverty in these countries, they realize their own spiritual poverty and their need for God. It's been a beautiful work of God for everyone involved.
We can use anybody who is willing to contribute what they have whether that is photography, graphic design, paper work, social networking, prayer or giving. They can reach us by visiting www.newrealityinternational.org.
6) I also read that you are involved with KINDLE. Can you tell us about your involvement there?
KINDLE is an up-and-coming, all-day young women's conference and musical experience. The founder, Morgan McClanahan, and I want to reach out to girls our age whose needs may not be completely addressed by traditional women's ministry and who've outgrown the youth group. It's for 20-somethings trying to find out what their calling and strengths are and how to practically live them out. We help them analyze their passions and talents and how to kindle those embers into a flame that can really impact this world.
7) Who inspires you personally, spiritually and/or professionally?
My parents inspire me to always do much more than I ever think I'm capable of. My mom is an imaginative thinker who challenges my way of thinking and encourages me to be open to new possibilities. I love her humility and sensitivity to the Spirit.
8) Fill in the blank: I can't start my day without:
9) What song do you wish you had written?
"Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen is pretty great, but "Revelation Song" by Jenny Lee Riddle is such a powerful song that I'm sure has ushered countless people into a true encounter with God's presence, so that's probably the one I wish I'd have written.
10) Do you have much time to check out other artists' music? What are you listening to right now?
I do love to support and listen to other artists' music, especially my singer/songwriter friends. The music that is coming out of the House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO is very powerful. I am drawn to worship in minors: anything straight from Scripture, dark and ambient will win me over.