by Matt Conner
It’s one thing to say Rachael Lampa was a young artist. It’s another to realize she released a greatest hits compilation by the time she was 21.
Shortly after the dawn of the new millennium, Lampa was one of Christian music’s most popular young artists with numerous number one singles to her name while her peers were worrying about prom and homeroom. During her reign on the charts, Lampa sang on The Tonight Show; toured with Destiny’s Child, Boyz II Men and Amy Grant, and won a Dove Award. And then, just as quickly as she exploded onto the scene, it seemed like Lampa simply disappeared.
These days, Lampa, now 33, is married with a two-year-old son and making music once again—this time on her terms. Instead of growing up both personally and professionally, Lampa is an assured artist these days, a young woman who has found a faith all her own and stories she excited to tell. The best part is the freedom she feels from any preconceived notions of what her sound should be.
“I still totally wasn’t ready to go all-in, I guess, mostly because of burnout,” says Lampa about the personal space and time taken after completing the tour cycle for her self-titled album.
“I needed to spend some time figuring out the adult me,” she says. “When I started, I was 15 and it all just sort of happened versus me making it happen. In that time, I started to figure what it meant to make my faith my own. It was a time to figure out me and God instead of me and God and everyone else. I needed some real work and depth in that way.”
During that time, Lampa was still very involved in music even as she also found time to get married and start a family. A tour with Jordin Sparks of American Idol fame brought her on tour with Britney Spears and the Jonas Brothers. Three years ago, she also toured the country with Hozier. Together they made the late night television circuit including Saturday Night Live.
“All these pieces were really big, big pieces of the puzzle for me. I’d come from such a life of doing the best I could with what I had as a teenager. The one thing I wanted to share was my faith. It was my whole life—that and homework were my life—so I chose to sing about God,” she says with a laugh.
“Then to get to tour with Jordin and Hozier, I was really blessed to tour with great artists who are also such great people. They wanted to share their own message and their own voice toward that message. That taught me that it doesn’t have to look any certain way, despite feeling like there was a way it had to look. Watching those people empowered me to not feel like I needed to make it sound or look a certain way.”
Fans will be excited to hear that Lampa is back in the studio with plans for a new project to be announced shortly. She even says a brand new song should be released before the end of 2018. It’s taken some time but she’s found her footing, creatively and personally, and it’s time to return to what she does so well.
“There are some songs about faith and songs about love,” says Lampa. “There are also songs about justice. I’ve been doing a lot of work with the homeless of Nashville and a lot of their stories are working their way into the songs. I have no idea what to call all of that. Once the project is a project, I’ll be able to describe it better. But right now it’s a lot like my life where there are all these different themes all running together.”