Eleven albums is a milestone that many musicians do not see, but Donald Lawrence is not average by any means. The gospel artist, known for teaching “self-affirming” and “daily how-to faith” lessons through a blend of traditional gospel and retro soul grooves, is preparing to present his newest album, Your Righteous Mind.
Lawrence describes this album as “somewhat like [a] continuation of The Law Of Confession but not as heavy.”
The chart-topping, multiple award-winning artist recently opened up to BREATHEcast to describe his new project and to give a few encouraging words to the next generation of aspiring gospel musicians.
This is your eleventh album and listening to it, it has your trademark which includes lessons of faith and encouragement, yet always fresh. What’s your writing process?
Lawrence: You know what, I’m a writer. Its part of my DNA, so I don’t have a process. I mean, I write as I’m walking around. I don’t really go to the studio to write. I don’t sit down in a particular place or fly somewhere to do it. Its just a day to day natural attribute to write. I hear something in my head. I might hum it a while, while I’m walking around, or doing something, or in the gym and it just turns into a song.
Are you one of those people who have a million unfinished songs in their phone?
Lawrence: No. I never really write it down is whats so funny. It stays in my head. I probably can log about twenty songs in my head then have them put on paper or demoed, but they just stay there. I can just file them in my brain somewhere. When its time for me to finish them or write them, I just kind of pull them out. Its just my process. You know I think every writer has their own way of writing and doing things. My process has always been just, very organic and as I’m doing my life and doing my day. Its never been, I go somewhere to write. Whenever I tell myself I need to go write, I need to go do that, I tend to not write. It just stops, because then it feels a little bit contrived.
“The ‘I Am’ Factor” is an encouraging song from the album. A quote from the intro explaining it says “When you say ‘ I Am,’ the principle of the universe is this: the minute the universe hears I Am, whatever follows I Am starts looking for you.” “Let the poor say I Am rich” was used for a demonstration of the principle, but Christ also spoke of suffering for those who follow Him as well. Do you think that the American church is somewhat disillusioned when thinking about all that comes with following Christ?
Lawrence: As far as the good or the bad?
Let’s say the bad.
Lawrence: Well, I might look at that a totally different way because I think that the scripture plainly says that Jesus Christ took on a curse so we would not be cursed. So, therefore, when you define the word curse, its sickness, poverty, and death. If He said I took on sickness, poverty, and death so you would not have to deal with it, then, I don’t feel like we should have struggle because He said I took it all for you. I think that every struggle that we have we tend to bring on ourself based on our level of faith, based on our mind set, based on how we think. I’m not saying that things won’t get challenging, but I also think that [from] every challenging situation, you can learn and you can find a lesson in it. And then, therefore, you determine whether this is painful or whether this is just a great lesson because [you] had to learn [and] had to mature. So I think you decide whether something is really bad or not.
I really really do study the scripture and I study it from a revelational place and when I study that, there are a lot of things that are really plain to me that I think that we don’t look at it in the total picture. I think more than anything, I think that, a lot of Christians are more disillusioned by speaking about their trouble all the time as opposed to speaking about their good. I hear more people speaking about how this happened, how [that] happened, how the enemy is always after me, how he’s on my track, can you pray for me. I hear that more then I hear people speaking about how great they’re doing, and so I try to always push them to speak about what’s great around them and not what’s they consider, or what they conceive to be as bad.