America's 16-year-old sensation JACI VELASQUEZ talks us through the tracks on her new album
"If This World"
Everybody just calls it the na na song now because of the introduction. It just says if ever you're lonely, if you ever have any doubts, all you have to do is look to him and everything will be okay. He'll put his arms around you and you can fall into him and this world won't be lonely any more.
"Un Lugar Celestial (A Heavenly Place)"
I'm Spanish so that's why the song is in Spanish. My Spanish is not very good but it's easier to sing it than speak it from the stage! The reason I put it on the album, besides the fact that my dad partly wrote it, was because to me the song is about bringing that little piece of Heaven, that little thing that makes you happy, bringing it right into where you are now. We're not in Heaven but we have to make our piece of Heaven right here and be happy until we get there.
"Flower In The Rain"
Chris Eaton, who is an awesome writer, wrote this and when I heard it for the first time I started crying. That's how I choose songs sometimes, if it makes me cry then I know that's the song! When I heard it I realised that it was a testimony to where a lot of youth are today. We're put into a place where we're not sure what we want to do with our lives. We're not sure what we are supposed to do. What has to happen is that we have to give ourselves to him. If we don't, we can make all these plans and nothing will work out the way we planned it. But if we humble ourselves before him, he'll use us.
"We Will Overcome"
A basic message that can never be said too many times. It's a message of let's get together and we will overcome any problem, any pain, any hurt! We can overcome it.
"On My Knees"
A song about prayer. It's a special song because I'm one of those people who just has to hug people. Sometimes I want to go to the Lord and give him a big hug and just show him how much I love him. The only way I can do that is through prayer and it's funny! You can be anywhere in the world, in a crowd, on your own and all you have to do is come to God and he will meet you right where you are.
When I sat with Wayne Kirkpatrick and Mark Heimermann, they were writing and asking what was going on in my life. I told them this and that and eventually it came up that I'd had a fight with my parents. You know, we all have arguments - a teenage thing! We think we know everything! A lot of people talk to my parents and say, 'You need to let Jaci see the world because she needs to see what life is about.' My parents have always stood fast and said, 'She is not of this world. We're just here and we have to make the most of it!' They do shelter me and I don't like it all the time but I respect them for it because they do know what's best. The song is a duet with Chris Rodriguez which was really special because I'd seen his name on other people's albums. It was weird having him play on my album, it was like wow! God, you're really out there!
For some reason it's caused a bit of controversy because people think it's a song about baptisms but the real reason we put it on the album was because it was a way of saying, 'Lord, drown me in your truth, love and grace and put your arms around me and never let me go. I need you to fall completely on me.'
"We Can Make A Difference"
It's an anthem! It's about unity and uniting. It's bringing brothers and sisters together where we are. It's saying to your friend, 'Come on, I'll help you and together we can make a difference in the world.'
We brought in Chris Rodriguez to play guitar. So he played and I sang and it feels very live and unplugged. The song is about chastity and I believe in it not only because it's what the Bible says, not only because it's what God ordained and that's his plan but because there's a lot of stuff out there! You can die, you can live with a terminal disease. Anyway, it's a lot more romantic this way! People don't realise it. It's the only thing that we don't have to give away, that we can keep for ourselves until we feel it's the right time and we've found our marriage partner. I have several friends who have not saved themselves and they feel like a chunk of them has gone away and they can't get it back. I have a friend in Michigan who is 14 and she and her 10-month-old baby both have AIDS. I wrote the song because I have a hard time with it when you know somebody who has these problems.
"Thief Of Always"
When we were doing the album, all the songs had been decided but I wanted "Thief Of Always". So to be honest, I threw a tantrum! When you're 15 you can throw a tantrum and you'll be forgiven! I really wanted the song on the album. The reason I chose it was it's got such a great message - to live every moment. Such a poetic way of saying seize the day! You need to live every moment as if it were your last. Another song written by Chris Eaton. He is amazing!