It takes some people nearly a lifetime to realize their gifts and discover how to use them. Then there are those rare individuals who know very early in life where God is leading. As a young artist who fast tracked her high school diploma and graduated a year early to devote full-time to her music, its obvious Joy Lippard knows her calling and is embracing it with fearless abandon.
I think that God has a gift for each of us and we should use it, says Lippard. I know that my songwriting ability and musical talents are from the Lord. I have a really determined personality, and whatever Im doing, I want to do it to the best of my ability.
Lippard has not only been gifted with an incredibly distinctive voice and intuitive songwriting skills that suggest a much older writer, she also possesses an inner drive and boundless energy that is making her one of the most-talked about new artists in Christian music. She gained notice at the 2006 GMA Music in the Rockies, winning first place in the pop/rock songwriting competition with the compelling Beautiful Outside and In, the title track of her critically acclaimed indie record. A year earlier, Lippard impressed a nationwide television audience with her performance on Americas Most Talented Kids.
There was an audition going on in Arlington so I just took my guitar and played them one of my songs, recalls Lippard. They called me back a week later and said, Hey, we want to fly you to LA for the show. It was really cool!
The Virginia native has been writing songs since she was 11. She wrote her first song on the eve of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Lippard recalls looking at the lyrics after the tragedy happened and sensing a real calling to encourage others through music. From that point on, Lippard has continued to develop her songwriting chops and studies music theory, piano, guitar and voice. I like to listen to people and write down things that catch my ear or what they are dealing with. Im always observing to get ideas.
An A student, who earned honors as both Student of the Year and Homecoming princess, Lippard writes songs that strike a chord with other young people, but also have a universal quality that attracts listeners of all ages. What sets her apart, on her new self-titled album, is her ability to write poignant, insightful songs that cover a variety of topics from Gods grace to the challenges of daily life and the complexities of relationships.
Hole in My Pocket is an earnest anthem that is musically reminiscent of Jewel and lyrically as potent as a Casting Crowns song. I wrote it with Scott Dente, says Lippard. It talks about how we want to be important, popular, wealthy, etc. and in a sense we try and keep those things in our pocket to feel successful, but in reality there is a hole in our pocket because only the things of God will last.
God has shown the young artist the impact her music has on people. To a congregation of over 5,000, I sang Miracle and afterwards a lady came up to me in tears, she said, I needed to hear that song! Her son was involved in drugs and a bunch of trouble and she was praying for a miracle. Another woman, who was battling cancer, also said, Girl this is my song!
In this day of emails and text messages, I Will Write You Letters is just an eloquent song about a lost art of communication that also taps into an age-old dilemma all teens wrestle with. I used to have such a hard time talking to boys, admits the 17-year-old. I was so nervous. As a songwriter, I would much rather write letters to express myself. Though Lippard writes about life and relationships in a way that both Christian and mainstream audiences can embrace, shes adamant about her music reflecting her faith. I like writing songs that could go mainstream and reach kids my age who wouldnt typically listen to Christian music, she says, but my heart is in it for the Lord and I want to glorify him.
Lippard exalts God not just with her music, but her life. She serves as a worship leader at a mega church in Virginia and has been on mission trips to Guatemala, Dominican Republic and Peru. Her youth group raised money to build orphanages in Uganda. I want to be able to help kids, she says. My friends and I went door-to-door selling t-shirts and bracelets and together our youth raised $100,000!
Joy Lippard writes songs that are a mirror where other people see their reflection. Her songs are personal, yet universal, and with her sweet, vulnerable voice, she taps into emotions we all feel. Music has a lot of power, she says. I want to leave a legacy. I dont want to go through life just doing my own thing. I want to be able to impact other people. I want people to be able to say Yeah, she encouraged me! Id like to leave that mark.