Crooner Mary Lambert has spent a fair amount of time in the spotlight this year. Now that “Same Love” has earned Lambert, along with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, a Grammy nomination for Song of the Year, the singer is making plans for 2014.
Before she hits the red carpet, Lambert is going to light up one more stage. The singer will bring her vocal chops to Orlando and Los Angeles for To Write Love On Her Arms‘ annual Heavy and Light event, which the organization fondly calls its “favorite night of the year.”
Heavy and Light is known for bringing a slew of great artists together for their evening “songs, conversation and hope,” so Lambert is understandably excited about being included in the special night.
To find out why the Lambert is calling the pairing a work of “divine intervention,” who she’s taking to the Grammy awards and more, check out our interview below.
ACT: You’re performing at TWLOHA’s Heavy and Light in January. How did you get involved with the organization?
LAMBERT: They reached out to me, and I’m so glad that they did. I’ve been a big fan of TWLOHA. I haven’t ever done anything with them, but I know from my friends and my circle that they’ve done a lot of good. I’m really happy to be a part of this organization that is about discussion and vulnerability.
ACT: You’ve had a pretty crazy year. What have been the heavy and the light moments of 2013 for you?
LAMBERT: The Grammy nomination is pretty incredible. That’s really nuts. Honestly, I get that same sort of feeling when someone gives me a really big hug about one of my songs affecting them. That sounds so cheesy once I say it out loud — “the gift of love” — but it’s really about that personal connection that I’m making from my music. That’s what’s the most important to me. And the Grammy award nomination is exciting because that means that I’m affecting people on a larger scale. I would hope.
ACT: What are you hoping your fans take away from the nights in Orlando and L.A?
LAMBERT: I hope it’s the same agenda that TWLOHA has. I think it’s the perfect pairing. I don’t know why I haven’t worked with them before, and I really would love to continue being part of it. My shows are about vulnerability. They’re often about crying. I want to open that up, and I often cry. I’m a big emotional mess. I try to talk about things that people don’t like to talk about, especially in music. Hopefully it reaches someone and lets them access their vulnerability. That’s what I want it to accomplish.
ACT: Speaking of music, you just released your EP, “Welcome to the Age of My Body.” It is incredibly powerful. What was your inspiration for the EP?
LAMBERT: It’s a line from a Brian Ellis poem. He’s an incredible writer. I wanted it to be a collection of work that was empowering. That, for me, is sort of like the thesis, if you will, of what I want to accomplish through the EP. This is a reclamation of myself. Hopefully — I know it’s “Welcome to the Age of My Body” — but I hope that it’s a reclamation of all bodies, acceptance of all bodies.
ACT: You blog a lot about self-care. For our readers who are struggling, what are some things that you make a point to do when you need to take care of yourself?
LAMBERT: My real goal is to be extremely analytical about any situation, so what I usually do is think, “OK, I’m here right now. What are some solutions that I can use to pull myself up? What has worked before?” For me, that’s calling my mom. I immediately call my mom, and usually that helps. My mom is the bomb dot com. If that doesn’t work, I have a counselor that I’m able to call. She’s essentially an on-call therapist, and, luckily, I don’t have to call her that often. I went through a breakup a couple of months ago, so that worked on the road. Something that I’m able to do, that’s in my control, that’s an action, is writing. If I can sit down at my keyboard and have a melody that says something that I can’t with words, that’s a really beautiful thing. I feel like if I couldn’t write, I would explode.
I think it’s always been like that. I was 6 years old, and I remember my parents were fighting really intensely. I ran to my room — they were still fighting; they were oblivious — and I turned on my little keyboard and I started playing and just started singing. You know, it’s not just about creating art for a living. That in itself, as a concept, blows my mind that I’m able to do that. I get to create art and perform it for a living. But then to be on a platform that I’m on — it’s one in a billion. I’m on a platform this large, where I get to sing about social change and a song that has widely impacted people? Shut up! That doesn’t happen to people, and I get to do that. That’s really incredible to me.
ACT: As you mentioned earlier, you’re nominated for a Grammy award for “Same Love.” Congratulations! We know that years ago you launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund your EP. One of the rewards you offered was to be your date to the Grammys, which you seemed confident you would one day attend as a nominee. Now that you’re nominated, is it too late to volunteer to be your plus 1?
LAMBERT: [Laughs] My mom is going. It’s probably good no one believed me, because then I would’ve been taking some weirdo and not my mom. I mean, I would’ve brought whoever had donated the $1,000, but it worked out.
ACT: If “Same Love” takes home the award, do you know what you’ll say once you get on stage?
LAMBERT: I mean, I’m not going to pretend that I haven’t had an acceptance speech written since I was 5 years old [laughs]. I think I have an inclination, but I also know that every time I’m in that situation, everything sort of clams up and I sort of have to reassess where my mental state is. We’ll see! I’m trying not to have any expectations. It’s just such an honor to be nominated.
ACT: Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions? What can we look forward to seeing from you in 2014?
LAMBERT: That’s a really good one! Do you know, it’s funny because my New Year’s resolution is to make sure that I’m having a balance of my personal relationships and my career. What’s really funny is that I’ve worked every New Year’s Eve since I was 18 years old, whether it was in a restaurant or in a bar or performing. And I decided this year to take the day off and I want to spend it with the girl I’ve been seeing. And so I told my agent and my manager that, and they were like, “But you’ve got this gig offer that pays a lot of money for New Year’s Eve.” And it’s probably the biggest offer I’ve gotten. It was like, “No! I’m not doing it! I have to draw the line. I have to be able to say no.” So it’s funny that the resolution is applying to the day before, too.
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