by Tracy Darlington
Francesca Battistelli Interview
God has given you a dream and a calling, do whatever is in your hand
to do right now. I like to say, 'bloom where you're planted'."
Armed with her passion for writing and hope for a hurting world, Francesca put pen to paper and crafted heartfelt, personal reflections on life and faith for what’s now her major-label debut, My Paper Heart. Inspired by everyone from the jazz greats her dad introduced her to as a kid, to contemporaries like John Mayer, Sara Bareilles and Nichole Nordeman, Francesca set out to write “soulful pop music that someone pops in the morning and says, ‘Now I can start my day, I feel encouraged.’”
Tracy: How did you know God was calling you to pursue a career in music?
Francesca: I've always known I was called to be in the arts, but it wasn't until I was 17 that I felt God's clear leading to write and sing Christian music. I had the strongest knowing in my heart.
When you were 15 years old you joined an all girl mainstream pop group. How did that prepare you for where you are today?
I learned a lot about performing, songwriting, and teamwork. God definitely used it to help prepare me for what I do now.
Can you share with us an experience you had with the band that you will never forget?
We got to play at the House of Blues in Orlando three different times--those were all very cool experiences!
What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you first started in music?
How difficult it is to be away from home and live out of a suitcase!
What was the inspiration that prompted you to record your album “My Paper Heart”?
Moving to Nashville and all the changes that entailed was a huge inspiration. God was teaching me so much about trust, that it prompted me to write a lot of the songs on the record.
What message do you hope people will come away with when they listen to “My Paper Heart”?
That God loves them and has a great plan for their lives, and that no two people's journeys look the same. You were made uniquely, so celebrate the things that make you unique!
Is there a story behind your song “I’m Letting Go”?
It was moving to Nashville and letting go of all the comfort I had at home as well as all of the expectations I had about what life would look like after leaving home and embarking on this journey.
Can you give us an example of how God has used your music to change someone’s life?
I've been so encouraged listening to stories of people who have been touched by my music. I'm especially excited when I hear that my songs have inspired a young girl to go after her dreams and the calling God has placed on her life. Those kind of stories bless me so much!
Tell us about the time when the Lord really captured your heart for Christian music?
I was just out of high school and really getting involved as a leader in my youth group. I wanted to write songs that would encourage my friends in their walks with Christ, and God used that to inspire me to start writing different types of songs.
Do you have any advice for teenagers who want to pursue their dreams, but don’t know where to start?
If God has given you a dream and a calling, do whatever is in your hand to do right now. I like to say, "bloom where you're planted." Until God calls you somewhere else, wherever you are right now, you can always practice your craft, you can always get better. So work hard on that, and let Him open the doors when He will.
What’s the biggest obstacle in your life God’s helped you overcome?
Believing that He loves me for who I am, not for what I can do. That's what "Free To Be Me" is about. There is much freedom found in learning this truth!
Are there any steps you take to stay on track spiritually?
I meet with a group of girls once a month who understand what I do for a living. They're all part of the industry somehow, and we help each other stay accountable and pray for each other. It's made a huge difference in my walk with God.
What’s the coolest prayer God’s ever answered for you?
He brought me my amazing husband! (We're getting married in late August)
Do you have any advice for someone trying to reach their friends for Christ?
It's not as scary as you think. Invite them to church. Tell them God loves them. Be Christ to them, and they will see the difference in your life.
If you could say one thing to this generation what would you say?
God loves you for who you are! Go out there and have a wonderful adventure making a difference for Him.
What is your favorite Bible verse and why?
Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you--to give you a hope and a future." I've had to cling to this verse during rough times, and God has taught me so much through it.
What’s the most memorable place you have ever played?
Anything else you’d like to say to TitleTrakk.com readers?
Thanks for listening! God bless you!
What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
I can't whistle, and I have no middle name.
When you’re not singing, what do you enjoy doing?
Cooking, reading, being home and enjoying time with family and friends.
What did you have for breakfast this morning?
A homemade berry smoothie. Healthy and delicious!
Three things always found in your refrigerator:
Organic eggs, half-and-half (for my coffee), and yogurt.
You’re next in line at Starbucks. What are you ordering?
A grande Americano with cream or an iced green tea, unsweetened.
What’s currently in your CD player/iPod?
Joy Williams' new stuff.
Tracy Darlington is a freelance writer, and her work has appeared in Brio, Breakaway, YS, CCM Magazine, Insight, Susie Magazine, and other publications. She has interviewed countless Christian musicians including Rebecca St. James, Delirious, Newsboys, Leigh Nash, Barlowgirl, Krystal Meyers, Joy Williams, Pillar, Michelle Tumes, and many others. In her spare time she can be found riding horses or listening to music and sipping a Venti 3-shot sugar-free vanilla latte. Visit her online at her blog where she talks about Music, God, dogs and coffee. You can also look her up at Twitter and Facebook.