Talent, passion and youthful exuberance are always a potent recipe for great music, but when you add messagedriven lyrics, a finely tuned sense of purpose and five fun-loving girls, therein lays the foundation for an explosive new entry on the cultural landscape. 1 Girl Nation (1GN) delivers an ear-grabbing, effervescent sound that uplifts audiences by merging engaging melodies with substantive yet catchy lyrics, packing a one-two punch with considerable impact.
1 Girl Nation was originally made up of five talented young women but since its formation, two members has left the band. Each member of 1 Girl Nation had been pursuing separate musical careers when they heard about a unique opportunity to audition for a faith based, all-female pop group. They decided to try out and see where the open door would lead, and through a series of events, all were distinctly chosen to make up the group.
“We couldn’t imagine doing this journey alone,” says Kayli, who grew up on military bases all over the world due to her father's career in the Air Force, settling in Orlando, Florida. “I was already an artist on my own and heard about the audition for this group and thought it was the perfect fit. It’s such an incredible experience. We’re sisters. More than friends, we’re family and it’s just amazing.”
The 1 Girl Nation musical family also includes Lauryn Taylor, a 21-year-old from Birmingham, Alabama who heard about the opportunity from a friend who works inside the music industry; and Carmen, a singer/dancer who grew up in the Nashville area and attended famed Belmont University and the youngest member of the group,
Its influences range from the country sounds of Vince Gill and Alan Jackson that Kayli listened to as a child to Stacie Orrico and Kelly Clarkson, who are among Carmen’s favorites. Lauryn Taylor says her family listened to Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith.
Indeed there’s a sense of fun and a musically adventurous spirit that is pervasive throughout 1 Girl Nation’s debut, self-titled album. The title track, co-written by Lauryn Taylor and Lindsey, is a buoyant anthem sure to get audiences on their feet as the girls declare their mission. “Lauryn and I wrote ‘1 Girl Nation’ with Barry Weeks and this is our theme song,” says Lindsey. “It’s our message. It encourages girls to stop all the gossiping and trash talk, but come together, be strong, and live for their faith. Come together as a 1 Girl Nation. Our message is unifying the generation that’s rising. When we sat down to write the song, we talked about what our name meant to us and thought, ‘Let’s just write it down so no one has a question.
The group co-wrote more than half of the album, collaborating with such noted writers as Jason Ingram, Kipp Williams, Tony Wood and others. “We had a huge hand in the writing and song selection process,” says Lauryn Taylor. “I feel like our hearts are definitely in this album. It’s our stories.”
Those stories evolved into songs that carry powerful messages about finding identity in Christ and not in the things of this world as well as encouraging people to lean on God during times of struggle.
“While We’re Young,” the group’s first radio single, encourages young people to make the right choices early in life. “There are a lot of songs on the radio today that say, ‘Let’s live while we’re young, just do whatever and take it day by day. You only live once,’” says Kayli. “It’s fun, but it’s only fun for a short amount of time. We wanted to put our own spin on that idea and say, ‘While we’re young we want to live out our faith and bring the message to young girls that you only live once, so why not live for Christ?”
1 Girl Nation wants to encourage and inspire its audience, but ultimately they want to lead them to the source of all power. “The whole point of everything that we do is to bring more people into the Kingdom of Christ,” says Kayli. “We were given these talents, abilities, tools, opportunities and platforms to get people to know the name of Jesus and that’s the only reason why we do what we do. It’s a fun life and we get to play out our dreams because of the talent God has given us, but it all goes back to Him.”