“Music is such a huge part of our world, and it is one of the most effective mediums for communicating a message. I’ve always felt that songs that speak to the human condition, and offer hope, purpose, and beauty, should not be limited to the church. I want my music to communicate God’s love to a broken world… and an amazingly diverse world it is! It’s awesome to see how music can bridge generational and cultural barriers, and touch the heart of a person. That is what excites me the most, and keeps me singing every day.”
No one can deny that the voice of Laura Kaczor is that of an angel and the beauty of it will take you to another place during worship, transcending time and space to enter God’s presence. Clearly a wordsmith, her songwriting has the strength of lyrics that reflect her own walk with the Lord and the deep revelation from the Word of God.
Laura Kaczor (pronounced, kuh ZOR), a Nashville recording artist, songwriter, worship leader and speaker, released her new album Love Enough to stores nationwide in Fall of 2010 through Universal Music Christian Group/Fontana distribution on LifeThirst Records/IE. Lindsey Kirkendall of CCM Indie sat down for an interview with Laura Kaczor to dig a bit further into Laura’s life, career, and purpose.
Lindsey: Describe your relationship to music: When did you discover songwriting? How did you decide to pursue this gift? How long have you been at it?
Laura: I started singing when I was really young, 7 or 8 years olds, and I sang in the church choir, performed solos, etc. I ALWAYS loved music, as it was a huge part of my childhood! I started writing songs when I 10-years-old, and wrote my first complete song (that I recorded on my cassette player) for a close friend of our family, Rose. The friend had been recently diagnosed with breast cancer at that time and I wrote the song for Rose and miraculously to both of us, it was similar to the prayer she had been praying to God. She listened to it over and over and over, and I saw how much the song encouraged her. That’s when I knew songs have the power to affect people’s lives in a positive way, and provide a source of hope and encouragement.
Lindsey: What is your songwriting process like? Where do you find your inspiration? Do you co-write often?
Laura: The process has changed over the years, as when I first started I would sit down at the piano, or with my guitar, and just let the inspiration come, so to speak. I was a blank slate and I would experiment with different melodies and verses. Lately, my process is a little more structured. There’s usually an idea that strikes me, or a certain hook, and I’ll write the whole song around that. It helps me stay focused, and I’m constantly going back to “what do I want this song to SAY? What’s the take away?” I co-wrote every song on my last album, Love Enough and that was my first intensive experience co-writing. I learned so much about songwriting through that process, and it’s really improved my craft. I’ve been writing a lot lately and I’m loving the new songs. so you’ll get to hear them on the next album, God willing!
Lindsey: Tell me the story behind “ Alive in You ”: How many versions did it go through before it was finalized? What initially inspired you to write this song?
Laura: The real inspiration from this song came from the first line; it seems a contradiction that you would call me to die, to find life. That line set up the struggle, so to speak, between being called to die to ourselves but being made alive in Christ. There weren’t any additional versions initially, but it came together beautifully throughout the writing session.
Lindsey: What tips would you give other aspiring (or struggling) songwriters? How do you stay focused and find the time to write amongst a busy schedule of husband, job, worship leader, etc?
Laura: Great question! You HAVE to set aside writing time and you also have to commit to writing a song and finishing it during this time….even if it’s not perfect, finish it. You can come back and tweak it as often as you like, but it takes a lot of discipline to set aside the time to write particularly if you have a job, family, or any other time consuming obligations. Just make sure when you set aside the time make it count.
Lindsey: On a personal note, where are you from originally? How long have you been in Nashville? Why did you decide to move here (if you’re not from here originally)? Do you suggest writers move to Nashville? Pros and Cons of coming here to pursue a writing career?
Laura: I’m originally from Collegeville, PA, which is a small town about 25 miles from Philadelphia. I moved to Nashville in 2006 and was thinking that I would stay a few months and just “check out the scene.” Well, five years later I’m still here! Nashville is a great town for writers and musicians, primarily for the relationships that you can build here, but don’t expect success or even network development overnight! Things like this take time….time and commitment. If you are really serious about songwriting professionally, I suggest visiting Nashville first, seeing how you like it and go from there.
Lindsey: What church do you currently lead worship at?
Laura: I don’t currently lead worship at a church, but I lead worship for my Lifethirst Conferences that take place regularly around the country. I also incorporate a worship time in each one of my concerts. I’m on the road A LOT, almost always over the weekends, so I can’t really commit to a staff position as a worship leader when I’m not in town that much. This is one of my plans for this year, but only if things start to slow down somewhat.