Exclusive Interview with Sarah Lavigne
Wisdom Moon, founder of All About Worship, recently had the opportunity to interview up-and-coming worship leader/songwriter, Sarah Lavigne, about her life and music ministry.
Tell us about your personal journey of becoming a worship leader/songwriter.
Most people do not know this but I have only been leading worship for less than a year. My journey of becoming a worship leader and songwriter started about 15 years ago. A believer since childhood, I went to a large christian high school where I started leading worship in our morning chapel services. It was here I started to see the calling God had on my life. I found myself writing songs and learning every worship song out there.
At 19 years old, after a missions trip to Kenya, which had me fighting for my life from malaria and typhoid fever confining me to a "hospital" in a refugee camp, I walked away from God. I was left wounded from the experience and confused about God's involvement in my life and it settled into a gaping hole in my heart.
There followed years of absolute terrible behavior and bad decisions resulting in me being in a place I loathed...where I was physically, mentally and spiritually. I found myself laying on my Toronto loft floor, suicidal and desperate. It was then that I encountered God. He audibly spoke, softly saying, "I would have come if only for you." It was there the song, "No Sweeter Name" was birthed. My Father reached down and loved me back to Him and saved my life. It wasn't fast or quick, but, slow. He took His time as He walked me through all the twisted paths to forgiveness, restoration and healing.
Through that time I wrote many songs that brought healing to me and now hopefully will do the same for others. For it was truly my heart to God. I don't want to ever forget that intimate time with my Heavenly Father as He gently took care of me. Without going into every detail about the years I spent away from the Lord, I realize now that those years held so much meaning and reasoning to where I am today.
Thank goodness the Lord factors in all my mistakes when He called my destiny. About six months later an opportunity to go to the Bethel School of Worship out in Redding, California became available to me. There I had more encounters with the Lord. In truth we all have encounters when we are His children, but I had now learned to recognize them and listen as Jesus spoke into my life.
I dove back in and passionately sought after God with everything I had. My past showed me truly that He was the only true and best thing ever to be found in this life for me. He saved me. It has now been a year and half that I responded to the Lord who was desperately working on loving me back to Him.
Who are some of your musical influences?
It is really hard to answer this as my influences are so wide. I really love everything from jazz to country to hip hop - though none are my personal style of music!
I would say though that Amanda Falk, A Canadian Artist who I've loved for years and had the opportunity to become friends with at the Bethel School of worship, would definitely be a big influence. She is an incredible singer/songwriter who inspires me. I absolutely adore this woman inside and out.
Daniel Bashta - He has something new and fresh which I truly believe is something our generation is looking for. His music stirs up something in my heart. His music is deep and not fluff! If that makes sense. I also love John Mayer, Anberlin and Coldplay to name a few. What can I say? These last 3 artists are simply a talented bunch I appreciate.
You're good friends with Dave Fitzgerald. How did that friendship come about?
Dave and his wonderful wife Christy are two of the closest friends that my husband Seth and I have. Dave and I obviously connected first through music. It was at Bethel actually, where he recorded his record Hope of Heaven. Get his record if you don't have it!
Dave and I have connected quite a bit this past year doing some worship and co-writing together. He may not know this or even realize it, but it is because of him that a lot has happened for me. He really invested in me and he is absolutely an inspiration and brings some great guidance to me.
You currently have a Kickstarter campaign going to raise money for a full-length album. What led you to pursue recording an album?
I recorded my first self-titled EP last year and did not have a whole lot of intention of recording a full record. It was just a thought sitting quietly in the back of my mind. I was working on getting married and immigrating to the U.S. as my husband is American. In our first few months of marriage I found myself holed up in Cato, NY.
Newly married and living on 20 acres in the middle of the forest far from anything. Due to not having a working visa yet, I had nothing to do but spend time in The Word and .....write, write and write some more. This was an interesting season that birthed new songs. Through all this writing I had done, it surprisingly began to open doors of opportunity to lead worship in different places.
Then, Dave Fitzgerald put me in touch with Conrad Johnson of Inertia Sound Studio in Lakeland. One thing led to another and it was very clear it was time to release these songs on a full length record.
What can we expect from the album?
What I want to happen on this record is for God encounters to take place in peoples lives. One thing I do NOT want is for this to be just another album on people's iTunes playlist that does not change people's lives.
I believe you can expect true and honest songs that have come from a place of desperation and hope and then healing. A real revelation of God's pursuit to invade your soul and bring you into your destiny. Yup, it's a pretty high expectation I have for this record. I am super stoked to have Conrad Johnson and Dave Fitzgerald along with some other amazing musicians and songwriters involved in this project.
How can our readers pray for you and get in touch with you?
Well, first pray that my Kickstarter campaign is successful! Also, pray that we put together production and continue to write and finish up songs for the album that will hold a clear direction and a road map that will reveal what the Lord wants to do with this record.
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