Just before 2017 came to an end, we had the chance to meet up with London based songwriter and worship leader Lucy Grimble. Her heart for worship is to create a space for people to encounter the love of God. Her sounds unite people and ignite hearts to love God, love themselves and love one another.
Which people in the creative industry have influenced you and how so?
Iâ€™m definitely inspired by fearless female creatives, especially in music and film – Bjork, Laura Mvula, Joni Mitchell, Sofia Coppola, Katherine Biglow, Jane Campion â€“ I see these ladies as real pioneers in creativity and storytelling and it makes me want to keep on creating. It takes courage to be vulnerable through art so Iâ€™m also inspired by musicians and artists that I know personally. Thereâ€™s something special about knowing the story and the journey that someone has lived through and then seeing them express it through their creativity that adds such richness to your appreciation for what they do. (A shameless shout out here to some of my dear friends – Bianca Rose, Hannah Barnett, Tania Ilyashova – all doing incredible work)
In my own music and writing, Iâ€™m inspired by artists who champion diverse and unique sounds. Snarky Puppy is an all-time favourite for me. Those guys push limits and make the most incredible music from an eclectic of musicians. They remind me that there are no rules.
Which one of your songs do you feel most connected to?
I wrote a song called Donâ€™t Hide for a little project I worked on with some friends one Christmas. Itâ€™s a song that started as a melody line only and then over time the lyrics came. I was going through a particular situation at the time that was really making me want to hide away and just pretend I was cool about what was going on, that I could just tough it out and put on a brave face to avoid vulnerability which felt like a scary option for me at that point. This song became medicine for me.
A way to sing over myself and remind myself that itâ€™s ok to be known, itâ€™s good to be seen for who you are, even if that might mean showing your less than perfect sides. It was a song for a season in a way, a season where I was making a commitment to myself to â€˜not hideâ€™, to be brave with my emotions and truthful with the people around me. I love singing this song now because years later I can see how Iâ€™ve grown in this area (still growing!). Itâ€™s a song I will always need to sing.
Whatâ€™s your journey with God been so far?
I encountered the Holy Spirit at a young age in the family church I grew up in and I feel like that marked me for life. I remember sitting in church and crying under the presence of God as I felt this enormous and unexplainable love and acceptance. It wasnâ€™t until years later that I accepted Jesus and became a Christian â€“ another defining moment in my walk with God because it was at that point that I understood that faith was real, not inherited from my parents. That I actually had to make a choice on where I stood with God. Not just â€˜play churchâ€™ and conform to the image of a Christian, but actually honestly hand on heart be able to say this is what I believe, this is who I believe in. So for me, faith has always been a part of my life, but something Iâ€™ve only really â€˜ownedâ€™ for myself as Iâ€™ve grown older.
It takes courage to be vulnerable through art
Feeling the goodness and kindness of God at a young age was an experience that I couldnâ€™t forget or discount.
For me success is about building your character and character is determined by how much you love.
How does your faith inspire or change your music?
Itâ€™s difficult to say how my faith inspires my music because my faith is so much a part of me. So I guess I would say that my faith has shaped my identity, my beliefs about the world around me, my beliefs about who God is, what love is, who I am. And as my faith has continued to shape my identity that has naturally flowed into my writing because my songs come from who I am.
What has been one of your best experiences in music so far?
Recording my live album has to be up there as number one. It was the most nail biting, hair raising experience from the point of view of pulling it all together. There were points when I did not think weâ€™d be able to pull it off. But because it was recorded with my band who are like family to me, I had this incredible sense throughout that it was going to be ok. The nights we recorded the album were so special. I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ll ever be able to recreate those moments. Everyone fully gave of themselves, were fully invested and we had to just rely on God so much because we had nothing else to fall back on! The whole process grew my faith and bonded us as a band in a really special way.
This is such a hard question!! I think itâ€™s less about a thing that I dream of, more a way of being that I dream of – and that is to live with radical faith in God and really deep love for people.
Without getting into the real depths of my soul. I think one fear Iâ€™ve had is about making mistakes and â€˜messing things upâ€™. I know I can be a perfectionist and that is totally rooted in that fear. Somehow, I feel that if I can make things perfect and avoid making mistakes Iâ€™ll be ok.
What helps you overcome that fear?
As Iâ€™ve grown in my faith and received more and more love from God, Iâ€™m growing in my understanding that my life truly is in His hands. That even my biggest mistakes will always pale into insignificance compared to Godâ€™s acceptance of me and His grace for me. That Heâ€™s not a punishing God, Heâ€™s not going to turn His love off if I make a mistake. So letting go of control, letting go of the concept of perfect (which really doesnâ€™t even exist) and putting my trust in God â€“ thatâ€™s been the biggest antidote to getting over this fear. On a practical note, thatâ€™s looked like taking scriptures from the bible and meditating on them, speaking them out loud to myself, praying over them until I truly believe them. Itâ€™s a daily practice, thereâ€™s no magic wand, but as I continue to do that I believe I grow in my confidence in Godâ€™s love for me and therefore, fear has to leave!
On a lighter note
Tell us one thing youâ€™re excited for this year?
I have a new single coming out called Great Redeemer which I am so excited for. It took me the longest time to write and itâ€™s all about the redeeming work of the cross â€“ Iâ€™m so excited to finally share it!
Who are you listening to right now? (music/podcast etc)
Iâ€™m a total music magpie so I tend to cherry pick from a lot of different artists but Iâ€™ve been digging into a lot of jazz lately â€“ both contemporary and old school. My latest favourite discovery is an 80â€™s jazz ensemble called Yellow Jacket. Their song Tortoise and the Hareâ€¦literally gets me every time. Itâ€™s so good!
Favourite place in London to spend a sunny winter day.
Definitely in a wood or forest. I love being surrounded by trees especially in Autumn when the colours are just insane. Crunchy leaves underfoot, warm light, wrapped up warm in a coat and scarf with the breeze blowing through the treesâ€¦perfect!