by Matt Conner
Nearly a decade ago, Mallary Hope was a rising young country music artist with radio hits of her own before becoming an in-demand songwriter who penned more successes for Jo Dee Messina, Danielle Bradbery, Lauren Alaina and Jana Tucker and sang on hit albums by Darius Rucker and Miranda Lambert. For a girl who grew up idolizing Dolly Parton, the sustained success in the country music world was a dream come true—that is, until the spiritual tug on her heart gave way to a new musical direction.
These days, Hope is ready to set the contemporary Christian charts abuzz with a new musical direction after feeling at odds with a country-only delivery. “There were things I was programmed to believe about myself because I’d lived so long in this world of putting my value and identity into success,” says Hope.
After feeling a tug from God to sing songs that speak the truths of the gospel, Hope laughs as she retells her story, stating that it was obvious all along. “Matthew West is a good friend of mine and we wrote several songs on my country album together. My country single was written with Matthew. Even back then, God was trying to show me that I was in the wrong format.”
Unlike many new artists, Hope is already a seasoned Nashvillian with connections aplenty. While many songwriters and singers wrestle with the industry side, she’s already savvy to the role and demands of being a modern artist. For Hope, her primary wrestling is in the interior life, as she seeks to unlearn much of what she’s grown to value and believe about position and prestige.
“I really had to pray that God would change my idea of what success is,” says Hope. “I’m wired to think that I have to be the best or win awards or have people buy the CD at the end of my show. God’s really had to work on my heart to show me what He can do. It felt like God said, “Let me do my job and your job is just to get up and sing and tell people about me.”
Fortunately for her listeners, Hope is putting these lessons learned to music as others who struggle with the same themes can glean from Hope’s own perspective. Her new single “Me” is intended to be more than a song. Instead she calls it a movement.
Watch the video for “ME” here:
“I keep calling the song a movement because that’s my vision for it. The song is called “Me,” but the irony is that I’ve discovered my life is not about me,” she says. “It’s coming to that realization that, when you’re a believer, God is using you as a vessel. God made us all for a purpose.
“I think comparison is my biggest flaw because I’ll wonder why I can’t be like this or that. God sees us perfectly even if we compare ourselves and want to be like someone else. I really want the song to encourage so many people to just who they are and accept themselves for who Christ made them. I want them to be okay with whatever God’s plan is for them.”