SongLab, which was created by the co-founders of UPPERROOM, is a worship collective seeks to bring revivals cross the country through trheir music. Last year, they partnered with DREAM Records to release their first album, Live From South Eden. Later this year, they will release a follow-up EP Simplicity. We are honored to catch up with SongLab's founder Meredith Mauldin for this exclusive interview.
Q: Meredith, thanks for doing this interview with us. Tell us a little about yourself and how you felt God's call to be a worship leader.
A: Thank you for the opportunity to share! My journey to becoming a worship leader is a story I share often! I grew up as a believer in a Christian home and have always loved Jesus from the time I was little. My family supported the arts and I started singing professionally in a 16 piece orchestra when I was 16. I started acting professionally right out of high school and started doing voice overs for cartoons, acting in commercials and industrials, and began booking smaller parts in films. I toured with a show band and started writing my own songs between gigs and acting jobs. I was very driven. I had been willing to give my 10 % singing at church but I actually didn't have a desire to sing "Christian music" at all. When I met my husband, who was also an actor, (who had just been radically saved-a really incredible testimony), we got married and moved to LA to be lights in the entertainment industry.
Little did we know, the Lord had other plans. To make a long story short, we ended up doing mission work in the Middle East 6 months after moving to LA.
That was quite a shock to my system. But during that time, we were praying about staying in the middle east to continue to minister. This meant laying down all the last 8 years of work that I had been building and pursuing.
In a moment with the Lord, I felt Him ask me to be willing to lay everything down. After about 6 weeks, a lot of tears and questions later; I said YES. I was willing to lay my dreams and career down. In that moment, I felt such a strong presence of the Lord say " I called you to be a worshipper" and all the other dreams seemed so small in comparison to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords asking me to sing and worship Him. That moment changed everything for me and my husband and I have been on a 16 year journey of learning to truly worship the Lord and what that looks like! It is my greatest joy and passion to be a worshiper of Jesus!
Q: You were also involved with the founding of UPPERROOM, tell us more about your involvement there.
We are good friends with Michael and Lorisa Miller (Leaders and Founders) and started praying together on Sundays in their tiny apartment before UPPERROOM ever had its name. My husband and I actually moved to Houston for 2 years, and when we felt the Lord calling us back, the Millers had been given a building that had an upper room overlooking the city of Dallas (hence the name UPPERROOM). It was more of a prayer room than a church at that time but our Sunday night services were so electric with the presence of the Lord.
My husband and I took over as the Worship Leaders/ Directors shortly after (in 2012) where we helped build out the prayer room (morning, noon, and night) and Sunday night worship. We began stewarding songwriting through songwriter intensives (starting in 2013) to help steward the beautiful spontaneous moments coming from the prayer sets and worship times.
When I realized we had so many beautiful songs being written from our prayer room, we decided to record them and that is where the UPPERROOM label and publishing started from. It was out of a desire to steward what the Lord was doing through our worship and prayer times.
The rest is history :)
Q: How then did you decide to part of SongLab?
A: When we felt the Lord call us out of the UPPERROOM to help start a media company to change culture through the arts (a story for another time), we landed in a small town in South Georgia.
I felt the Lord tugging on my heart to create a weekend where I took what I learned over the years of writing and worship leading and pack it into one event. I just opened it up to worshippers and people interested in songwriting and made a post on my Instagram and was shocked when it filled up! September 2019 was my first official SongLab and it was way more than I expected or dreamed! We are now doing them monthly and traveling all over to help churches and worship leaders grow in worship and songwriting.
Q: Tell us more about SongLab -- its ministry and mission?
A: I am pretty passionate about worshippers writing songs from their hearts, testimonies and what the Lord is doing in their churches.
There is a unity that happens when churches sing songs that are coming from their house! We all have a unique expression and I believe it is powerful! So my heart and mission is to get the church songwriting and stewarding their testimonies through song!
Q: With the market now flooding with worship bands, what makes the music of SongLab stand out?
A: Well, if I worry about what everyone else is doing , I'll never allow myself to create because I'll get stuck in comparison which stifles creativity. I believe the most unique sound is more than a style and is more about authenticity. When we write and sing from the treasure of our hearts and our unique experience with the Lord... His finger print is on it because each of us is unique. So, I believe in doing what the Lord said, which is "Sing a new song to the Lord" and then we steward that to the best of our ability! The rest is secondary.
Q: You have a new EP coming out, why do you call it "Simplicity"?
A: Sometimes we can make things so complicated. Life gets complicated. But simplicity can be so beautiful. This is an acoustic album with simple instrumentations and honest hearts displayed to our Father through our songs. No flashy light shows, big stages or complicated arrangements, (not that those things are bad,) just remembering that we can simply come before our father and know that our hearts and songs are enough!
Q: What were some of the highlights in the making of this EP?
A: We told everyone as we started , we were not after perfect songs, perfect singing and perfect playing, we are after the Lord, so be you cause the Lord loves you! It is so beautiful to watch these leaders and musicians, just let go, be themselves and worship! It felt like family and I loved every moment!
Q: How do you wish these new songs would impact the lives of your listeners?
A: My goal is pretty simple. My first goal is to minister to the Lord through the songs and then second, that people would encounter Jesus and fall in love with him all over again.
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