WHY SHE ROCKS
We interviewed Mary Lambert at this year’s South By Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival in Austin, TX and immediately fell in love with this incredible lady. She is fearlessly genuine and uses her music as a platform to inspire and lift up those who listen. Not to mention, she is incredibly articulate and has no qualms about sharing her personal views on hard-hitting issues. We asked her how she thinks young people can take action to make a difference in their communities. Take notes:
“I think having an open dialogue and having an open heart and talking about things that matter to you and doing so in a loving and kind way is the best way to create change.”
Watch the full video here.
LISTEN TO THIS
She Keeps Me Warm
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR THIS
- New music later this summer.
- Mary Lambert’s summer tour with Matt Nathanson and Gavin DeGraw. (Tickets here)
MARY LAMBERT’S STORY
Mary Lambert had just quit her third job as a barista when her whole life changed. An aspiring singer-songwriter who also worked as a brunch waitress and bartender, she got a call from her friend Hollis Wong-Wear, who had sung and written on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “White Walls.” Wong-Wear had recommended her to the duo, who were struggling to write a chorus for their new song, a marriage-equality anthem called “Same Love.” “Hollis said, ‘Ryan’s going to send you the track. You have three hours,’” Lambert recalls. The result is the transcendent chorus to “Same Love,” now a double-platinum hit, which Lambert wrote from her vantage point of being both a Christian and a lesbian.
“The song already had a brain,” she says. “I wanted to give it a heart and make a very simple statement that my love is valid, too.” Writing and singing the hook led to Lambert’s first Grammy Award nominations (for “Song Of The Year” and “Album Of The Year”), performing “Same Love” with Macklemore and Lewis on the MTV Video Music Awards, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and The Colbert Report, and joining the duo on their fall tour. It also opened the door for Lambert to sign with Capitol Records, which releases her EP, Welcome To The Age Of My Body, in December, followed by a full-length album, produced by Eric Rosse (Tori Amos, Sara Bareilles), next year. The EP’s first single, “She Keeps Me Warm,” is an extension of “Same Love” that Lambert calls “the other side of the story.” It peaked at No. 2 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart. Its accompanying video sets the song to a visual of the romantic love experienced in a same-sex partnership. “The video is about visibility,” Lambert says. “I could be wrong, but I’ve never seen a relationship like mine accurately portrayed in a music video.”
Lambert always wanted to be a performer, but figured it was a long-shot. Growing up poor in Everett, Washington, she began playing piano and writing songs at age six, taught herself to play guitar at 10, and fell in love with such folk-inspired artists as Tracy Chapman, Indigo Girls, and James Taylor as a teen. She studied classical composition at Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts and planned to be a middle-school music teacher. “Yes, I wanted to sustain myself through my art, but less than one in a million musicians gets that life,” she says. “So rather than being like, ‘I’m an exception!’, I thought I’d get a real job.”
“The fact that my work has affected people on a personal level is what I’ve always wanted as an artist,” she says. “After a show over the summer, a girl came up to me who was a pastor at her church, which was not accepting of same-sex relationships. She said that ‘Same Love’ allowed her to come out regardless of the consequences. The fact that music was able to do that? That I could have been a part of that, and that she felt safe enough to tell me? I know how strong you have to be to do that. If I can give that fight to somebody, then I want to keep doing it.”
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