Grammy-nominated artist and worship leader Leslie Jordan recently released All That I Need To Know via Integrity Music. The record is a 6-track project collating songs that she helped write and were previously recorded by other artists. The concept of this new EP shines with Leslie Jordan's generous heart and open-mindedness. After almost ten years of being a part of All Sons & Daughters, she has been thriving in the writer's seat since 2017 championing others to carry the songs they've written together.
With her new project, Leslie also reminds us that if God is a safe place, so should his people be. So should our music be. All That I Need To Know seeks to create space for people to exist and belong without demanding anything, but simply allowing listeners to be and be reminded of who God is in the process.
Q: Thank you so much Leslie for doing this interview with us. Congratulations on the release of your new EP. In your press release, you call these new songs your "good companions." How have these songs your good companions?
They have been good companions to me in many ways. First, I believe because each of these songs already existed on projects prior to this one. So I lived with them for quite some time before recording them. And secondly, we aimed to create a sonic bed for these songs that was safe. And what I mean by that is we hope that sonically, these songs don't require anything from the listener. That they will accompany you wherever you are. Jess Ray, who I helped co-produce this record with, and I were talking about how we need more songs of worship that wind us down rather than work us up. I think we can all agree it is good to be in the presence of God. But most of our hours are spent doing very normal, and mundane things. Wouldn't it be lovely to have music to accompany that aspect of our relationship with God?
Q: You have entitled the EP "All That I Need to Know." What is the significance of the title to you?
The title comes from the lyric in "Good God." It says, All that I need to know is this, You are a good God. The Maker of Heaven calls me His, you are a good God. Each song on this project holds a message that resonates in my heart for what I know to be true about God. And if all else fails, those things are all that I need to know.
Q: Who are some of your co-writers on this new project? Can you share with us an inspiring episode while you were co-writing these songs?
Sandra McCracken, Taylor Leonhardt, Jess Ray, Paul Zach, Orlando Palmer, Isaac Wardell, Aaron Keyes, Stefan Cashwell, Ethan Hulse, Carly Ruiz, Maddie Thompson.
The night Jess & Taylor and I wrote "Good God," we were on the North Carolina coast writing for a new Mission House record. We had been writing for a couple of days and we were pretty exhausted. We felt like we had explored all of the song ideas and were probably going to head to bed early that night. After dinner we returned to the house and started talking about the importance of writing songs for a specific community. Taylor & Jess were co-leaders of a gathering in Raleigh called Feast & Feast. We began to talk about what that gathering, those people, that community needed to sing. What was their song? Their truth? And I remember playing them a little idea I had, which turned into the verse, and Taylor read us something she had written which ultimately became the chorus. The song happened so organically and emerged out of conversation and a deep love for people. I have found this is how some of the best songs are written.
Q: One of my favorite songs off the EP is "Take Heart," which you co-wrote with Mission House's Taylor Leonhardt. How did the song come about?
Taylor brought the first verse and chorus idea to me. I was instantly drawn in to the melody and the message. An invitation to the ones who are weary, the ones who wonder where God is...an invitation to Take Heart. To rest. To remember when and how good He is. We explored more of that territory before writing the second verse and the bridge, which has become my favorite part of the song, our joy is born in labor pain, love suffers long but not in vain.
Q: It has been 4 years since All Sons and Daughters have parted ways. Do you still listen to some of your older songs? Any chance that you and David will be reuniting for more new music?
Occasionally an AS&D song will appear on a playlist or shuffle and I listen with fondness for what that season of my life was - especially now that I am a mom! My son will turn 5 in November and doesn't know that part of my life. So it is fun to share those memories with him. I'm grateful for that music and that time making records and touring. But even more grateful for where that season led me!
Q: You are an inspiration to many of us. What advice do you have for some of us when we lead worship?
One of my favourite quotes from Richard Rohr says this,"The greatest dis-ease facing humanity right now is our profound and painful sense of disconnection. Disconnection from God, certainly, but also from ourselves, from each other, and from our world."
I think connection is one of the greatest tools we have as worship leaders. And as important as it is to know God, it is just as important to know ourselves so that we can know others and be known while aiming to lead truthfully. Take care of yourself, rest well and be a good listener. All of these things only help when in any sort of leadership role.
Q: How can these new songs be "companions" for your listeners especially for those who are struggling with various forms of trials?
Take them with you and let them accompany your every day moments, let the truth of these songs sink down into the empty parts of your spirit. Be still with them, go for a run with them, cook with them. I believe they will provide a safe and honest space to sort things out with God.