It takes some people nearly a lifetime to realize their gifts and discover how to use them. Then there are those rare individuals who know very early in life where God is leading. As a young artist who fast tracked her high school diploma and graduated a year early to devote full-time to her music, it’s obvious Joy Lippard knows her calling and is embracing it with fearless abandon.
Lippard has not only been gifted with an incredibly distinctive voice and intuitive songwriting skills that suggest a much older writer, she also possesses an inner drive and boundless energy. She gained notice at the 2006 GMA Music in the Rockies, winning first place in the pop/rock songwriting competition with the compelling “Beautiful Outside and In,” the title track of her critically acclaimed indie record. A year earlier, Lippard impressed a nationwide television audience with her performance on “America’s Most Talented Kids.”
The Virginia native has been writing songs since she was 11. She wrote her first song on the eve of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Lippard recalls looking at the lyrics after the tragedy happened and sensing a real calling to encourage others through music. From that point on, Lippard continued to develop her songwriting chops and studied music theory, piano, guitar and voice.
As an “A” student, who earned honors as both “Student of the Year” and homecoming princess, Lippard wrote her third album while still in high school. The album songs strike a chord with other young people, but also have a universal quality that attracts listeners of all ages. What sets her apart, on her self-titled album, is her ability to write poignant, insightful songs that cover a variety of topics from God’s grace to the challenges of daily life and the complexities of relationships.
“Hole in My Pocket” is an earnest anthem that is musically reminiscent of Jewel and lyrically as potent as a Casting Crowns song. “I wrote it with Scott Dente,” says Lippard. “It talks about how we want to be important, popular, wealthy, etc. and in a sense we try and keep those things in our pocket to feel successful, but in reality there is a hole in our pocket because only the things of God will last.”
God has shown the young artist the impact her music has on people. To a congregation of over 5,000, “I sang ‘Miracle’ and afterwards a lady came up to me in tears, she said, ‘I needed to hear that song!’ Her son was involved in drugs and a bunch of trouble and she was praying for a miracle. Another woman, who was battling cancer, also said, ‘Girl this is my song!’”
In this day of emails and text messages, “I Will Write You Letters” is just an eloquent song about a lost art of communication that also taps into an age-old dilemma all teens wrestle with. “I used to have such a hard time talking to guys. I got so nervous! As a songwriter, I would much rather write letters to express myself.” Though Lippard writes about life and relationships in a way that both Christian and mainstream audiences can embrace, she’s adamant about her music reflecting her faith.
Lippard exalts God not just with her music, but her life. She served as a worship leader at a mega church in Virginia and has been on mission trips to Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Peru and the Philippines.
Joy is presently studying at Liberty University, majoring in Biblical Studies, and singing in a worship band called, Seventy-One, named after the year the University was established. For more information about Seventy-One, see: http://www.liberty.edu/ministryteams/index.cfm?PID=21992.
While college presents great demands, Lippard remains true to her passion for music and continues to write and record new music. Her latest album, “Love Always,” released as a digital download, includes 5 tracks of fresh, new songs as well as the radio version of her hit song, “Hole In My Pocket.”
Joy Lippard writes songs that are a mirror where other people see their reflection. Her songs are personal, yet universal, and with her sweet, vulnerable voice, she taps into emotions we all feel. “Music has a lot of power,” she says. “I want to leave a legacy. I want to be able to impact others with the love of Jesus Christ.”