SongLab recently released their newest EP titled Simplicity. The 4-song collection was produced by co-founding member Meredith Mauldin. Simplicity features a worship collective of rising leaders. Seph Schlueter (Damascus Worship), David Porcheddu, Brittany Rivera and Meredith Mauldin (SongLab) all contributed new features to the EP. In this TCB Exclusive, SongLab’s Meredith Mauldin talks about the collaborative effort that produced these new songs, the authentic sound of the EP and her hope for all who listen to the record.
You just released the new SongLab EP ‘Simplicity’. How was it working with Seph Schlueter, David Porcheddu and Brittany Rivera on the collection?
Honestly, it is such a gift to get to work with such beautiful hearted people with such humility, talent and passion for Jesus. They all live in different states and lead worship in different churches and even different denominations, but when we came together, it felt like family!
This is the second EP you’ve released recently. The Live From South Eden album also came out not too long ago. Between both albums, how would you describe your sound to new listeners?
I would probably just describe our sound as authentic. It’s not overly produced, but it has a whole lot of heart. This is a collaboration with so many different people from different places… but the one thing SongLab has such an emphasis on is that we value authenticity over perfection. We are human and sometimes when we overproduce, we miss the real-ness and sometimes the real is just so beautiful.
How long does it take to make an album with everybody and is it difficult to write with a lot of writers?
Well, the recording process really takes only about 2 days.
Every song that has been recorded has been written at a SongLab event and then my team picks a song or 2 from each SongLab and invites the leaders to come record their song at a live worship night.
We spend the day before the recording creating, rehearsing and making arrangements, and then the next day we worship together and hit record. A lot of my favorite moments are not even on the project but were sweet times in-between where we just lingered! As far as it being difficult to write with a lot of writers, we think that’s the fun part! That’s what SongLab is all about—collaborating and celebrating!
SongLab isn’t just a music collective though, right? You do writers retreats under the same banner. Tell us more about those?
Yes, SongLab is also a 2 1/2 day retreat where worshipers come together to grow in worship and songwriting! My team teaches, we worship together and then we write songs. Everyone leaves with at least 2 songs written. After doing a few of these events and seeing the beautiful songs and beautiful leaders coming from those times, I felt like I was supposed to highlight the songs that were highlighting Jesus! And that is how the recordings came about.
Tell me how you got to this point in your career? Did you discover music at a young age?
I have always been around music and grew up in a family that loved and supported the arts. I started singing in a 16-piece orchestra when I was 16-years-old and sang in jazz bands for 8 years. I have done lots of genres, from pop to showbands, but when I had an encounter with the Lord, all I wanted to do was worship and it continues to be my passion today!
Who are your musical inspirations? Tell our audience what kinds of music inspire you.
I love songwriting… so I appreciate a lot of styles, especially when it can take me on a journey, or even bring me to a new place with the Lord. I honestly just have some super talented friends that inspire me. Elyssa Smith (from UPPERROOM), Remy Shuck, and Steffany Gretzinger are so authentic, those are a few of my music inspirations.
What message do you hope listeners take away from this record?
Life gets complicated but our worship doesn’t have to be. Our worship doesn’t have to be flashy or perfect to be beautiful but our hearts simply devoted to Jesus is enough. “Simplicity” is simple instrumentation with open hearts and authentic heart cries.
How will you define success for these releases?
To me, it’s all about stewardship. When we are faithful to steward what the Lord has given us and when we release our songs as honor to the Lord, it takes the pressure off of what we think the outcome should be. I also think it allows us to enjoy the heart and honest place the songs came from. All 4 of these songs have stories and meaning behind them and that is beautiful if it resonates with others and honors the heart of the Lord.
So what’s next for Meredith Mauldin and the SongLab team moving forward?
We have lots going on and new things on the horizon! We have a SongLab coming up in Illinois in September and Louisiana in October. If you want to join us check our website, songlabmsc.com or keep an eye on our Instagram for future SongLabs @songlabmsc. We are currently working on another release for SongLab and I am personally working on a new worship project as well!