Nicole C. Mullen in her typical fun fashion, highly favored CCM singer/songwriter Nicole C. Mullen catches us up on life and explains her foray into worship music with her latest recording, Captivated (EMi, May 3). CCM: It’s been three years since your last studio record. You’re not one to sit around. What’s been going on? nicole: i’ve been traveling with Women of faith and franklin Graham. i have been to uganda, kenya, Zimbabwe, Australia, Sweden and South Africa. [My husband and i] went from helping out with five kids to just the three of ours. My mom and dad moved from Cincinnati to our Tennessee farm. My in-laws moved from florida to across the street. And we have the Baby Girls Club and Team NCM. Are you tired? [Laughs] CCM: Whew! Let’s talk about the new music. When I think of Nicole C., I usually think of funky folk. Why a worship record? nicole: i started writing “funkabilly” songs—the genre i normally classify my music as—but i kept coming up with worship choruses…a lot directed from the scriptures. i started asking the Lord, “Do you want me to give these to our worship pastor? Do you want me to put them on YouTube?” [Laughs] Ed Cash (Producer—Chris Tomlin, kari Jobe) and i started talking [about recording a worship record]. His family prayed about it. Our family prayed about it. And it was a natural fit. CCM: Did you ever feel like you were simply jumping on the worship bandwagon? nicole: The irony was for years people always said, “You ‘oughta do a [worship record],” because of “Redeemer” and “Call on Jesus.” However, if you’ve been to one of my concerts we normally come out with dancers and loud music screaming, “Are you ready for this?” So at the time it wasn’t something that was in me to do. But for this season, it didn’t feel contrived or something i was striving to make happen. it was what God was giving me. Every day in the studio we bathed it in prayer because in our hearts, and in our art, we want to make sure it is not about building the kingdom of Ed Cash or Nicole C. Mullen. it’s about the kingdom of Jesus Christ. This record is about being captivated by His majesty, by His glory. These songs are my loaves and my fish. They are my way of saying, “You are worthy.” Hopefully the melody and lyric are so contagious that other people will want to join me in the chorus. CCM: Was there ever a struggle with your creative pride when you realized you would have to set aside your usual genre-bending to make this record what it should be? nicole: Absolutely. if worship costs us nothing it may not be valuable. Did it cost me pride? Yeah! i like to dance! It cost me to say, “It’s so not about me.” But on the flipside, I am thrilled by what He gave me. i don’t feel like it’s inferior to anything i’ve ever done. if anything, i feel like it’s superior. CCM: captivated includes the first song you ever wrote. What’s the story behind the special track? nicole: When my mom and dad moved to Tennessee my mom brought a box of little treasures. one was a handwritten song i wrote at age 12. i presented it to Ed with the batch of other songs expecting him to go, “Maybe not.” [Laughs] But he said, “You gotta’ put this on the album.” The Bible says, “Don’t despise the day of small beginnings” [Zechariah 4:10]. it’s a reminder that before i had a share in “on My knees” or “Redeemer,” God spoke to me through a song at the age of 12. i’m still the same person today, though my age has changed a little bit. [Laughs] By the way, do not look at Wikipedia. They have [my age] wrong! They lie! They won’t hear me! CCM: how old are you then Mrs. Mullen? nicole: i’m older than Brittney, but younger than Janet. [Laughs] —Andrew Greer urban highlights here’s info and links from nicole about her kids ministries: Baby Girls Club ( “The Baby Girls Club is a non-profit organization we have for young girls between the ages of 6 and 18. We dance, sew, talk, do crafts, work on homework and memorize scripture. It’s our way of pouring Jesus Christ into young girls who need extra auntie and mother figures.” team ncm ( nicolecmullenandteamncm): “Team NCM is a discipleship group for kids between 8 and 18. They have to have a gifting in the arts, whether it’s in dance, singing or drama. And they have to have a passion for Jesus Christ and a desire to display their gifts for Him in the world. They have traveled with me through the States, Australia and Jamaica.” CCM 45