(Photo courtesy of Cade Thompon)
Q&A: Cade Thompson
By Sarah Komisky
Cade Thompson is a budding artist with big dreams. His story is much like other artists who have sojourned the same path towards a music career, facing high and lows. However, this artist had to face one of biggest unexpected moments any artist has faced thus yet – a pandemic. Only a year ago, after writing his now single entitled, “Provider” that Jay DeMarcus (Rascal Flatts) of Run Street Records heard, Thompson signed record deal shortly after filming an official music video in California. He moved to Franklin, Tennessee, and began a radio tour when everything suddenly changed. Here is his story on how he navigated the change in a season of pause and found hope and new music in the process.
Jay DeMarcus has been in the industry forever, so what have you learned from him?
I’ve learned a lot from Jay. I mean, just being around someone like him who’s been in the industry for so long on the country side and the Christian side. I think it’s been great to see how he communicates with people and how he communicates encouraging messages through his songs. And, I actually had the opportunity to be with him on my first radio tour. He went out on the road with us for a few days and it was so cool to learn from him and it was great for a newer artist like myself to learn from someone who’s been at it for so long.
So, you were a worship leader at your church prior to being a signed music artist?
I started playing keys when I was five years old. My preschool teacher told my parents, they were like, ‘he’s already singing harmony, you should put him in some lessons or something. It’s not really natural, it’s kind of a rare thing at this age.’ My parents put me in piano lessons and I eventually switched to guitar. So, in middle school, I had a student teacher who was also a youth leader at my church and she said, ‘Cade, you’re always singing in class. Sounds great. How about you sing on Wednesday nights with us?’ And so, I’m of kind of like, ‘ahhh, we’ll see,’ for a couple months. And then I decided to do it and just fell in love. So, really how I started singing was in my youth group. Eventually, in seventh grade, I started filling in on Sunday mornings. I just fell in love with what worship means, and that led me to writing songs.
Interestingly, you just graduated high school, got signed, and your career started taking flight when COVID-19 hit. This month, our magazine theme is called “The Pause.” So, how did you deal with that pause that came in a time when you felt like you were propelling forward?
I was in the middle of my first radio tour, played a show in Virginia and was gonna go out on the west coast. Played that last show and overnight, felt like everything stopped. I actually ended up going back home to South Dakota and stayed with family for five weeks. And it took me, honestly, a couple weeks to just process all the emotions of launching this whole “career” or ministry and things just being put on pause. And, God began to teach me a lot of things when I allowed Him to speak into my life as I started to slow down and process it all. I think in those moments, we come into the realization that this life of ours is definitely not in our hands.
I think one of things I appreciated when I was tuning in on your lives was your ability to take out the Word of God and read it with others. So, what is something that God has been showing you about who He is in this time?
We’re reading a Psalm a day at my church in this time and just seeing the different emotions that David went through in the Psalms and how that is very applicable for us as humans in our daily lives. But knowing that God is constant, and He is faithful and remaining in those truths has been huge. I think it’s easy in these times to run to the world and what culture says or we can run to who God says about us. Diving into the Word, I think now more than ever I’ve made time to spend an hour or half hour a day and being able to realize the power of God’s Word.
I want to talk about Providing Hope. Share how it got started?
I try to be a really encouraging person and it’s kind of what God puts on my heart. As I was beginning to look at fans and friends on social media, I saw that there’s a lot of really hurting people in this time and if I can point people to hope, which, I believe hope is found in Jesus, then I believe we are doing it right in this season. To use music, special guests, the Bible, laughter, and all that fun stuff to encourage people. Honestly, I just started doing it, and I didn’t know it would ultimately be eight weeks straight that I would go live every single night. It was a wild task! We’ve actually moved it back to three times because of the record. And, it’s just been so cool to see so many people being impacted by what God is doing in this season. And obviously, there is more people on social media now than ever I think in this time before, So, using that platform for good, although there are a lot of different opinions and voices out there. As believers, when we can enter into that sphere, it changes everything.
There is so much content you put out there. So what have been your favorite moments with the lives?
There’s been so many moments. I think, in a way, there’s been a lot of people that’s struggled with anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide more now than ever. And I’ve received so many messages of people just saying thank you for the message of Providing Hope that has literally helped point them to Jesus and saved their life in this season. Which is just a crazy thing to think about. And I think also too, just connecting with other social media influencers and seeing how God is working in their lives. And, how God can speak different things to us in different seasons. And so, I think we’ve had twenty different guests on in the past eight weeks. So, seeing what God is speaking to them is encouraging and uplifting to me just as much as my audience.
I really like that you’re bringing mental health to light. Is that something you struggled with or was something that you felt was a need to address?
I personally have never struggled with depression, but I went to a public high school and I’ve seen what my peers have gone through. And, I think that’s been put on my heart the past couple years. About three years ago, I had the opportunity to start doing school assemblies. So I would go into public schools and share a message of hope. And just seeing what people go through, really, God began to put that burden on my heart. So I wrote a song called “Almost Dawn” that was written for people who go through that exact same thing. And it’s been incredible to see that message resonate with people in an amazing way in this season as well.
Let’s talk about “Provider.” I think it resonates so much with what we are going through right now. Talk about that.
So, I wrote this song crazy enough almost two years ago. And, I never would have guessed that this song would be released right now in the middle of a pandemic. At the time, I was really wanting to write a song that would remind me, in that season that I was in, that God was the only person who could fulfill every single need and provide. And, it’s easy to reach for things in this world that seem like they’re going to measure up, but they never do. Releasing the song has been so cool just to see this message resonate with people in this time, and sometimes we don’t know what God being our Provider looks like, or how He’s going to provide or when He’s going to provide, but we can rest in that truth. And I think with the word ‘Provider,’ we initially think of finances, but the word ‘Provider’ can mean so many different things in so many different areas. For me, moving to Franklin, the Lord provided a way for me to work with a record label, to have a community of people down here, family, and friends.
New music is on the way. Share about what that music is?
Half of this quarantine, I’ve been quarantined in the studio. I’m working on my debut album. I’m very excited for people to hear the messages in these songs. I feel like they’re so timely for what our world is experiencing right now, for what my peers have experienced, and really people of all generations. As a creative person like myself, to begin to write those songs last year and now being in the studio and being creative in so many different areas, it’s amazing how God works through the process of songwriting, and how he puts those messages on your heart.
Find out more about Cade Thompson by visiting cadethompsonmusic.com