The songs of Solveig Leithaug (pronounced Sol-vey Light-houg) have traveled the world over, literally. Having lived half of her life in Norway, the other half in the United States, the Dove Award-winning singer-songwriter has spent a lifetime heartening audiences across the globe with strains of faith surrendered through chords of hope. And on her most recent studio recording, Time (buy)—masterfully produced by Steve Hindalong (Sara Groves, Andrew Peterson)—the multi-faceted, multi-cultural folk-songstress enlists music to wrestle with one of humanity’s greatest fears … the passage of time.
Harnessing her gift for words to reflect upon messages appropriate for all-times—but, oh-so-needed now—perpetuated throughout the breadth of her musical career, Solveig sits down with Andrew Greer for this poignant conversation with one of gospel music’s most unique voices.
CCM Magazine: Time is your fifteenth solo studio recording. This many years into songwriting and recording, do you ever fear you will run out of things to say through singing?
Solveig Leithaug: I haven’t been afraid of running out of topics nearly as much as I have battled fear of writing poorly. Fear is my worst enemy when it comes to creating. It makes my thinking narrow. I’m familiar with the fear of sounding cliché and of wasting someone’s time, and will rewrite, and rewrite again, in the earnest search for a fresh angle that resonates with others.
The human experience offers vast angles for poetry. I was eager to fill the new record with words I need to hear myself. It mirrors my own longing for peace, for true connection, my aim to not take my loved ones for granted, appreciate the simple things, remind myself of the need for a higher call to empathy, compassion and to listen better to others—songs that help me lift my eyes to God, where I invite Him into my situations. I have a great respect for my non-believing friends and family, and also how hard it can be for some to hear a song about God. This pushes me to work even harder to find ways that don’t turn people off unnecessarily to what I may want to try to convey.
CCM: Your history in music is astounding. Parliament dinners. Major airtime on international radio and television. Performances around the world in venues ranging from churches to prisons. In your opinion, what about your music has spawned these diverse invitations?
SL: I’m not sure. I’ve stayed flexible. I’ve been willing to try new things, to do things while being scared, and to love the people who come and hear me. I’ve seen that heartbreak is no discriminator of titles, status, religion, paycheck or position. In my view, we’ve all got stuff to overcome. We all need a little kindness—a little grace. I bring that with me to the work and stages I’m given.
CLICK “2” TO ADVANCE