The Grammy-nominated artist talks about the work of leading people to God.

She’s been busy. About a year ago, when Lauren Daigle released How Can It Be, she burst onto the worship scene, garnering a Grammy nomination for her debut album. Since then, Daigle has been a regular on Christian radio and at massive worship concerts. A couple of months ago, she released a Christmas album, Behold, infused with her New Orleans jazz roots. But don’t mistake her emergence in the worship space as less than intentional. We talked with Daigle about her breakout year and how she approaches her new role.

Obviously, you want to innovate and be creative. But as a worship artist, you’re also about something much deeper. How do you approach that tension?

A lot of times when we want to take on the role of “artist,” we want to project our sense of creativity for the world to enjoy and love. And in that, sometimes, God can use anything, God will use anything. But a lot of times it makes us become the focal point versus what we’re actually singing about.

Living in that tension is really difficult, and there’s moments when I step on stage and I’m like, “OK, I want these people to like me.”

It’s keeping your spirit open and existing in this relationship with Him that allows us to pour forth the creativity that He has designed for His audience to listen to. Keep yourself as an open conduit so that you can relay the message that He is wanting to tell His people.

It’d be “easier” just to be a different kind of artist. Why get into worship music?

When I was 16, I was diagnosed with an illness, and I ended up kind of going through this season of loneliness and depression. But in that process, I knew God had something on the other side.

Then at 17, I try out for American Idol. I make it to Hollywood, the whole bit. And I just remember breathing into the microphone at the time and thinking, “God, if you don’t meet me here the same way that you meet me at church when I’m leading worship, then all this is null and void.” I was cut the next round, and I think that was God’s way to show me that my heart was molded for worship.

When you approach worship, are you thinking about your personal relationship with God, or are you thinking about your listeners and their relationships with God?

A lot of times it goes to the listeners. When I’m on stage, I’m thinking about, “OK God, what’s going on in this person’s life? Can you just give me some insight so that I know where to pour in?” I want to be God’s advocate at all times. My desire is that He would just use me to let them have His presence in their lives. But there are moments where God is like, “Your best reflection of me is when you’re in communication with me.” So that’s the other tension I have to stay in.