BRANDON — As one of Christian music's top-selling female recording artists, Natalie Grant is no stranger to awards and gold records, but she says her greatest reward comes from inspiring women through music.
Grant, a wife and mother of three, tours the country encouraging fans to trust God in times of joy and struggle. With her latest single, Hurricane, she tells listeners, "It's never too late to reach out and take a hold of love."
Grant will reach out to the audience at Bell Shoals Baptist Church on Saturday along with the award-winning Sandi Patty. In a recent interview we asked about her new album, how the Christian music business has changed and what her fans should expect Saturday.
Is this your first time performing with Sandi Patty? What prompted the pairing?
I have performed with Sandi before. We both traveled with the Women of Faith conference for several years. This is our first time doing our own show together.
What can fans expect from your new album, Hurricane? What is different about it? What is your favorite song, and why?
It's different because I've written more on this record than any other one I've recorded in my career. These are my stories and so it's very personal. It's hard to pick a favorite quite yet, it changes constantly. But definitely one of my favorites is a song called Burn Bright. I wrote it as a letter to a family member who is struggling with drug addiction.
As a female Christian music artist you inspire many women. What does that mean to you? Why is it important for young women to have strong Christian female role models?
It's not something I take lightly. I am greatly humbled and privileged to stand on the platform and to have people who want to listen to me and hear what I have to say. We're living in a culture that puts so many pressures on young women to look a certain way, act a certain way and believe a certain way. So it is very important to me to constantly talk about what God thinks about us, what he believes about us.
How has the Christian music business changed since you first started out?
Well, for starters there was no iTunes when I started. So the way people get their music has definitely changed. I also think that there's a lot more opportunity for independent artists, people who maybe never would have gotten a big record deal before have so many more avenues to let their music be heard, which is fantastic.
Who are some of your favorite new Christian female artists?
Jamie Grace and Britt Nicole. Love those girls.
Who inspires you and why?
My parents inspire me. They've been married for over 50 years, raised five children who all serve God, and still look at life as an adventure.
What Bible verse has inspired you the most as a musical artist?
I don't know what has inspired me specifically as a musical artist, but the Scripture that has most inspired me in life, well it's hard to pick just one. A Scripture that I love is 1 Peter 5:10, The God of all grace, after you have suffered a while, will strengthen, perfect, establish and settle you.
What makes you laugh?
My children. They are hilarious
What can audiences expect from Saturday night's show?
A lot of music, some laughter, possibly tears. And two women who will be very real and transparent about their struggles and the God who holds their lives together.
Sarah Whitman can be reached at email@example.com.