It’s the same story. Just as for Cade and Elle, 2020 was a rough year for Christian singer/songwriter Leanna Crawford.
‘It was a wild for everyone, but I’m grateful. For me, not being able to play live shows was very weird. I learned a lot in 2020, but it was definitely hard.’ Leanna laughs about some of the activities she tried during lockdown, like baking and taking up tennis. ’I love anything outdoors. In the end, I went home and spent three months with my family. It was so sweet, and I’m so very thankful for that time.’
Leanna shares a bit of her journey and how God led her to becoming a singer and songwriter. ‘Ever since I can remember, I loved singing. As a kid I was always making songs up. It’s just a part of me. When I joined the local Youth Group, I made friends on the worship team and I just fell in love with music.’
Leanna recalls writing her first song at age 15. ‘I was actually on a mission trip to Haiti, when I felt God call me to do music. From then on I just kept walking through the doors that God opened.’
‘One of those incredible experiences was meeting Matthew West at a conference. They had an open mic the first night, and my name was called, and I had to sing. It was such a God moment. Matthew heard me sing and really felt that God was calling him to mentor me. Now we are writing and singing together and it’s like a dream. He invited me out on tour, and I was signed to his label in 2019.’
Leanna loves to see how God works things out, knowing He always has a bigger picture in mind. She believes there are some things we’ll never understand at the time, but it’s fun to look back.
With the release of her self-titled album, Leanna has a message she wants to get out. ‘In many ways, it’s aimed at young girls. I want to remind them that they’re not alone, and I want to encourage them wherever they’re at. The songs are about the power of words. Words can hurt, and it’s so hard not to compare ourselves. But we need to know that the only words that matter are the words of God and Scripture. God can use whatever we’ve been through.’
Her song, Mean Girls, was born from her own experience as someone who is a ‘words of affirmation’ person. ‘Hurtful words have a painful impact for a lot longer, so we need to be careful what we say. At 8 years old a friend made a comment about my weight, and I didn’t understand why. We all have experiences that stick with us.’
‘I’ve learnt that sometimes the meanest person is actually myself. The things I say to myself I would never say to anyone else. God wouldn’t want us saying those things to ourselves either. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, and we are worthy because He died on the cross for us.’
Leanna says the response to the song has been very humbling. ‘Lots of people have dealt with bullying in a real way. This song is about the hope that your worth is so much more than those words. It’s a reminder that our worth is in God, and I want to encourage girls and give them perspective. This has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with God.’
The song Photoshop is in a similar vein but attempts a lighthearted look at a serious issue. ‘We constantly compare ourselves, but we don’t need any photoshop. This has such a negative impact on girls, it gives them such a distorted idea of what perfection is. We need to think about what we are projecting and be authentic and real. We are not all perfect but that‘s a beautiful thing. My heart is that you see yourself as beautiful just the way you are.’
Leanna’s album also includes Truth I’m Standing On, a song which is the story of a woman walking through her husband’s battle with cancer.
‘During her journey, this lady would post a Scripture every day. Even though she was walking through the hardest season, she encouraged others and knew where her truth came from.’
‘I was going through a season of anxiety at that time, and I was so encouraged by her story. I wrote the song because I really needed it too. A lot of people need that reminder when they’re scared and in doubt.’
We definitely have a truth and a hope in God’s word. Open your hands and your heart and be excited to see what God will do next.
Leanna Crawford Vision180 Interview – 06 March 2021